Friday, September 24, 2010

Navigator: the ugly shots

After ten days off, I've started to undercoat the bits that will be hard to access once the foredecks are glued on. The fillets and corners always seem to need extra attention, so they get treated first, in the knowledge that most of this will be sanded off while working towards getting a nice surface for the final coats.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

back pain in old violins

This old dear has dried out. I sometimes think I know how he feels. The centre joint on the back has opened up completely- and that is a tricky repair in itself to do nicely because the curved surfaces are so thin- but it has dried out and warped in the process. Wood changes shape and size with moisture changes, so the pieces no longer fit the perfect book-matched joint that the maker cut with a jointer plane.
What I've done in the picture is pre-clamp the pieces while I undertake preliminary rehydrating of the wood, prior to gluing. If this doesn't make the joint disappear, the back will have to come off and be re-joined.

Friday, September 17, 2010

whale spotting in Moolooaba Queensland

We took a very pleasant day trip with a boat owned by Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo from Mooloolaba Marina, out from the coast to a distance of about 12 nautical miles, approaching Morton Island. We were blessed with a number of close encounters, all Hump Backs, and all over about 25 tonnes; not huge by whale standards. These were very difficult to photograph well, and I won't bore you with the evidence, and the same applies to the Dolphins that swam alongside us. These extraordinary animals were heading south for an annual feast of cold food, having given the new calves a good start in warmer waters.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Navigator forward seat edge preparation

The port side has had the edges shaped, ready for profiling. At this point the starboard side edge has been rounded. The block plane and a sanding block do the places that the router can't reach.

And here the profiled edges and the front area has had a coat of epoxy. I'm moving ahead with the sealing and priming of this forward area before the foredeck is glued on. The 9mm doublers have a large radius routed onto their top face and a smaller one underneath. This feels good and is quite strong visually too. The total edge thickness is 16mm.
In the top pic the front coaming is clamped on. Those pieces are 9mm ply and I need to decide whether to keep and paint them, or cut them again in solid timber for bright finishing. I have some 100+ year old pine- a bit like Kauri- that would do nicely there....just have to make a decision.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anchor well, and wish New Zealand neighbors well too...

The weather system that stormed in from the North West has filled some reservoirs, flooded towns and farms, and maybe stalled the death of the Murray Darling basin (I hope I am not being too optimistic too soon), so there is drought breaking rain as well as devastation in southern Australia. This weather pattern is now making it's way across to New Zealand, and will further complicate the lives of our neighbors there who are dealing with the shocking effects of an earthquake. Mercifully, no lives have been lost so far, but massive property damage will take years to recover from. This humble blogger wishes NZ readers well in this turmoil, and sincerely hopes that the population will rise to the challenge of looking after each other with their typical warmth and generosity of spirit.