View Full Version : Lofting Floor
10-08-2010, 09:22 AM
I am ready to loft Ian Oughtred's Auk on to a sheet of 4x10 mdf for my first attempt at lofting a boat. Everything I have read suggest painting the lofting floor white. I understand that painting over an existing lofting would give you a clean slate and for a Larger boat the lines would stand out more clearer. BUT as a custom cabinet maker with years of laying out custom cabinets and fancy reception counters full size on mdf without painting, why should I paint the mdf now? The one benefit of not painting is that it makes adjusting or removing a line as easy as sanding it off. Am I missing something else that would make me want to spend the money and time to paint?
10-08-2010, 02:34 PM
I believe the reason for painting the lofting surface was to provide a surface on which the lofted lines are easily visible (and hide the previous lines). It also hides the wood grain pattern (which MDF won't have) so that there is no mistaking what is a line, and what is a grain boundary.
Go to your favorite paint store and get a quart of mis-mixed light colored paint for a dollar and you will have an erasable surface on which you can see your marks. The money and your time are not issues. A throw away roller and about 15 minutes will do the job.
10-08-2010, 03:01 PM
Old style lofting was done on bare wooden floors in chalk! Don't sweat it, plain MDF will be fine; and I like the idea of being able to sand off the pencil lines - you will be doing plenty of that. Have fun!
10-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Don't sweat it, plain MDF will be fine; and I like the idea of being able to sand off the pencil lines - you will be doing plenty of that. Have fun!
10-08-2010, 04:41 PM
My eyes and my back and my knees are pretty old, so I find that flat white latex makes things easier to see due to the contrast. I use a big eraser for changes, and I think the pencil lines erase better on paint. You might experiment with that.
The biggest improvement ever though was building my lofting floor as a waist high and sloped drafting table, with a pencil and other device holding trough at the bottom edge. which made it much easier on my joints, not having to creep around and get up and down all of the time. The dog and/or visitors won't walk on it up there, either.
I find that the best square to use is a 48" drywaller's square, with 2 scales, one having zero at one end, the other having zero at the other end. Leave room to hook it over the top of the sheet.
It helps to do your different views in different colors, as well.
10-08-2010, 07:43 PM
Forget the paint. I've lofted four boats on clean plywood with no problems.
You might find the floor not the most pleasant place to work. Setting your lofting surface on sawhorses will save your knees, and allow spring clamps to be used along the edges to hold battens. Be sure to check the square of your squares before you start.
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