Page 1 of 20 1211 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 987

Thread: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Hi All;
    Well, I finally decided to start posting my restoration project. She is a 34' Stephens Bros. trunk cabin cruiser, one of seven built in 1929. We have located 4 of the seven (three here in the bay area, and one in Maine).

    Her name is Makoto, which means "Sincerity" in Japanese. She was formerly Woodrow. We bought her in early 2009 up in the Seattle area and shipped her down to the SF Bay area. SHe is currently berthed at the Petaluma Marina, next to her sister ship Killara.

    Here is a pic on the San Joaquin River last summer.



    She has some substantial hull issues that we are scheduled to deal with this summer. However, while waiting and saving for that, I have been slowly rebuilding much of the interior.

    Over 83 years, the interior had suffered many "improvements". Bulkheads constructed using 2x4's and shop ply, cabinets that didn't fit right, and an antique electrical system with fuses scattered hither and yon.

    My first project was to rebuild a side cabinet and the aft cabin bulkheads. I did these bulkheads using Mahogany with Hydrotek panels. I am using mahogany and Sapelke for all of the painted lumber, and teak for all of the bright parts. I'll post pictures soon.

    Recently, I have been restoring the head. The head was basically a 'LectraSan toilet in the forward V cabin. It was mounted to the floor, so, not only was using it a little like sitting on a camp potty, the bowl extended right into the companionway. You can see this in the picture below.



    I created some bulkheads (formed to fit the complex hull shape), and made a mahogany platform to raise the toilet and allow it to be moved outwards, out of the companionway. Here are some "before" pictures. I'll post "after" pictures later today.







    This last picture shows the sort of thing I have found a lot of... Here the original straight toilet outlet has been made into a right angle by adding hoses and an elbow. This meant extra size, extra (leaky) joints, etc...Raritan sells a 90 degree outlet that I installed in about 5 (stinky) minutes. This reduced the rearward size of the assembly by about 3 inches, and allowed me to move the whole assembly outward, to make more room. I'll post pics later showing this.



    I an now enduring the process documented so well in Tom Freeman's thread on Peaceful. Stripping, sanding and painting.. The head side of the main bulkhead must have been painted with latex. Using a heat gun, it stripped off in large sheets. It was especially nasty down on the side of the toilet..nothing quite like the smell of ancient urine cooking under the heat gun...

    I'll continue to post pics as she comes together.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Great to see some photos! Thanks for taking the time to post!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,059

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Cogniac....

    Great to see a picture of her delta country. She was one of my favorite restorations....mmm, must have been around 1980...jeebus, that's 30 years ago!!!

    the owners at the time were the Liggetts...fine people. She's had good luck with owners.

    Email if I can help with anything...I think you have my email...pcf
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Neat looking boat.

    Just a question, what hull issues do you have? I guess I ask from the perspective that if they became "bigger issues" do you end up taking out/redoing a lot of your already done interior work? I am sure you have thought of that, but I was just curious when you say substantial hull issues....

    g'luck either way. I sure do love those old cruisers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California Delta
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    What a great old Stephens! I'll look forward to reading your updates.

    The head situation reminds me of the configuration on our boat. If you are are considering replacing the old Lectra San with the newer Electro Scan model be sure to consider Purasan as well. I opted for a Purasan Type I sanitation system because it uses half the power of the other units. Hold n' Treat can be added to any of these systems and may be a good choice if you plan on using the head in the Richardson Bay NDZ.

    http://www.raritaneng.com/products/w...ent/index.html
    "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over." -Samuel Clemens

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,071

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Oh my! A thing of beauty! Can't wait to see more pics.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric D View Post
    Neat looking boat.

    Just a question, what hull issues do you have? I guess I ask from the perspective that if they became "bigger issues" do you end up taking out/redoing a lot of your already done interior work? I am sure you have thought of that, but I was just curious when you say substantial hull issues....

    g'luck either way. I sure do love those old cruisers.
    The hull issue is that the deadwood is too thin, and the shaft log drifts are showing through the sides. I am working with a shipwright here in the bay area to fix this. Our plan is to remove the engine and replace the shaft log, deadwood and horn timber. It's a major project. The boat is fine as she is, but probably does' have more than 10-209 years without this. I'll probably also replace the keel bolts and a few planks in the process.

    Fortunately, all of this is aft of where I am working, so none of what I am doing now will need to come out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Spent a few hours after work stripping the forward cabin brightwork. The teak in this boat never ceases to amaze me. The forward cabin is a single piece, about 15 inches high, 4 feet wide and 1 1/2 inches thick.


    It stripped off fine using my trusty heat gun. I sanded it once, but it needs a good Lenihan rub...Then I need to strip one of the curved cabin beams to wood, and then I can varnish!!! Yay!!! I love varnishing. The entire interior will be done in Epifanes Matte, which just seems to make love to the teak. Then it's days and days of Brightsides. I used African mahogany on the painted cabinets (works nicely and is reasonably strong and reasonably cheap...Well, maybe not.. It sucks up paint like nobody's business!). I used Sapele for a different cabinet, and the first coat disappeared into the wood and then the next went on beautifully. Looks like 4 coats will do there.. But the AM, jeez, coat after coat and it just keeps soaking in! Takes 6-7 coats to get the hard gloss finish my wife Susan likes. Fortunately the lumber yard has lots of perfect straight grained Sapele, so that will be used for the bunks and banquette...along with teak, of course.

    My plan is to finish the head, rebuild the bunk and banquette and then revise the galley. THEN I'll sand the ceiling, strip the rest of the teak in the cabin proper and start all over again with the Epifanes and Brightsides.

    Once that is done, then I am replacing the sole with a set of teak/ ply drop in panels. More on that later...

    Here is a photo of the revised toilet arrangement. If you go back a few posts, you can see how much cleaner this setup is (pardon the construction dust!)




    And here is the new electrical panel cabinet



    And the panel itself

    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Making Grates:

    Since I am redoing the galley and head, I decided to make teak grates for the cabinet doors. The existing doors had openings that seemed too large, so the door fames were too thin. So, I made some doors from 4/4 mahogany with smaller openings. These were fabricated using mortise and tenon joints, and I routed out a relief on the back side to accept the grate.

    Here are some pics of the doors.





    So, to make the grate, I had to first cut up some teak strips. After a lot of screwing around (and wasting about $20) worth of wood, realized that I could not get the strips uniform enough using my table saw...So, I ordered 1/4" by 5" teak sheets from Rockler. I then sawed these up into 1/4" thick by 1/2" wide strips.



    I then had to make the end pieces to hold the strips. These were 1/2" square teak with 1/4" wide slots cut every 3/8". Again I tried and failed to do this on my table saw, and not having a router table, I opted for the old fashioned way. First I had to determine how many strips to use with this spacing. This was a relatively simple calculation shown here (of course it would have helped a lot had I made the opening some uniform multiple of 1/4 and 3/8, but there was enough wiggle room to get it to work.



    I then clamped the pieces to my kitchen cutting board, and marked off the lines, using a square, at 1/4" and 3/8" intervals. I used an X-Acto knife to score the lines on the pieces, and this helped guide my trusty Japanese dovetail saw...



    Once I had cut all of the lines, I then carefully picked out the 1/4" pieces using the X-Acto knife.

    This left me with this exciting little kit...



    To be continued...
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 10:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Continuing on...

    I had to glue the kit together, but I wanted to be sure it could be removed easily for cleaning, and also for re-varnishing over time.

    So, using a trusty trash bag to keep from gluing the grate to the door, I set up the door as shown below.



    I then carefully glued the strips into the slots in the end pieces, as so...



    Here is the grating, sanded, but not yet varnished...



    and here is one with a couple of coats of Epifanes Matte.



    and a preview of what it looks like in the door...



    Now just two more to go!
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 10:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Wow! Nicely done.

    Your either a bachelor, or have a very understanding Lady of the House.
    Member of the Loyal, Mostly-Noble, Elite and Most Ancient order of the Laughing Polar Bear Cap Society.

    I ask out of Ignorance, not Criticism.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Susan is very understanding!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    20,011

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Good luck. She needed commitment, nice to see her getting it. I'll be interested in how you handle the engine re-installation. As you may remember, I spent some time down there looking it over and it seemed like it would need re-wiring and detail attention to really make it meet the promise of the new machinery. I guess you came to the same conclusion.

    She will be a great Delta boat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Hi Lew;
    Thanks

    I am seriously considering putting in a different engine after the keel work. The Deere is very heavy (1100 Lb), and has about 50+ more power than is needed. The real issue is that the boat sits low in the back, and the size of the engine really results in problems with the captain's seat. So, I am leaning toward selling the Deere and going with a smaller more compact unit. I am definitely rewiring the entire boat starting with the electrical panel and going out from there.

    S

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,151

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    WOW! One of only seven ever built and a Stephens Bros. to boot!! Folks who undertake to maintain and preserve a country's maritime history/heritage ought to be given a tax break, ie;pay no taxes for all their boat purchases and related expenses.

    Very nice looking boat Scott and nice grill work too.

    Looking forward to seeing her progress whenever possible. It must be tough owning a boat in a land where it is always warm and the water always soft.


    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,151

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Hi Scott,

    You do know there are some folk who firmly believe..........




    that all these pesky fussy calculations could easily been passed by through the intervention of one simple tool.............................






















    I'm sorta inclined to agree too !


    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yeah, not to mention that there is an arithmetic error in the lower right (4 times 3/8 is not 3/4, it is 3/2..oops!).. I guess that's the engineering equivalent of close up photos of one's joinery!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    20,011

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Scott, I think Yanmar suggests itself here. If you pick the right one, you can get light weight and a turn of speed.
    I don't think Yanmars are always the right choice for old boats, but your situation might be perfect for a lightweight
    higher turning motor.

    Too bad, that Deere is a good motor in the right situation. It will make somebody happy.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yes Lew. The Deere is a fabulous motor. Super strong and reliable, just much too big for this boat. There is another Stephens '34 in Napa that was re-powered with a Yanmar. They loved it, and the shipwright that did it said it was a pretty easy project...so I am definitely leaning that direction.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Devonport, Auckland NZ
    Posts
    1,194

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Sister ship ???

    "Old boats are like teenage girlfriends: there is a certain urgency to their needs & one neglects them at one's peril"


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by snow(Alan H) View Post
    Sister ship ???
    No, that's the SAME ship...That is Larry Benson the previous owner on board. I think this photo might have been Miss December in the Wooden Boat Center Calendar...some year.

    Good eye though!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    20,011

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Woodrow is an example of how a boat can look OK but need a lot of work. She never looked too bad during Larry's tenure, and a quick once over might have led you to believe she could be very close to excellent condition, even when she was brought to survey for her sale. The interior would not have passed a close inspection but you could have convinced yourself it was just cosmetic, no big deal. Let it be said here that Larry, her former owner, is a great guy. There were no real surprises; you just needed to be paying attention, and be up for the work. Our Cogeniac went in with eyes open, and he was motivated and informed.

    This boat is lucky to have Scott.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 05-09-2011 at 11:30 AM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yes. What Lew Said. Larry is a great guy. He dropped in a few weeks ago with some friends (Evie and Dave, I think, were their names) they happened to also be the previous owners of a different sister ship, Uncle Roy. So, with Larry, Greg Sabourin and Killara, and us, e had 4 members of the 34' Stephens club aboard.

    This weekend I decided to do the galley cabinets. I had built a cabinet face, but had to remove the old one. This was a major project that basically took all day. I think it was Lew who said, "Interiors are a bitch".. and right he was! The solid teak galley counter top was attached to the cabinet with through screws. I did not have the heart to try to remove the bungs that have been there since she was built, and after 83 years of "seasoning" seem to have become one with the counter top. Removing them would have meant replacing them, and they would have never been the same. I ended up having to cut the cabinet face away from the bronze screws that were holding counter to the frame (sort of like endodontia). I'll cut them off flush and then blind screw the cabinet frame in from below. And all of this meant having to rebuild the ENTIRE cabinet, not just the one face..so the only things here that won't be changed are the original counter top and the sink (although that's coming out to be re-enameled..it never ends!).

    Lew is exactly right. Makoto (Woodrow) makes a great first impression, but as I have peeled back the years, I keep finding little things that need fixing. A hole to plug here, and dent to fill there.. a flat head screw where an oval head should be...Things that don't show until you put on three coats of Brightsides and then see just how wavy that panel really is...lots and lots of little things that take time and patience. However, I am certain that, in a few months the interior will be really really nice (If I don't expire from dust inhalation first!).

    Here's another example. The head originally had bright teak cabin sides. It looks as if some rot or other issues resulted in some damage, so they were fixed structurally, but ended up white. I scraped them, and patched the wood to get a good base finish (so it didn't look like white paint over cottage cheese), but then I found some really nice period deco porcelain lamps to replace the cheap 1960's tin jobs that had been put in (probably in the 60's). However, cream colored porcelain on a white surface is weird, so now I am carefully covering the cabin sides in thin teak to bring the look back to original... so then I can mount the lamps as they would have been back when she was new...

    And another. I had always wondered about the interior cabin beams. These are steam bent oak beams about 1/1/2 by 1 1/8. Makoto's seem to have been wiped with some heavy streaky stain. So I attacked one with my trusty 3M Sandpaper. Wow.. nice clean oak beam underneath. So I sand another one. Same thing.Then I get to a third, and it looks OK until I start looking really closely, and find little bits of mint green paint in the grain..So THAT'S why they were so heavily stained.. Some goofball back in time painted these beautiful beams mint green! and some later owner (understandably) didn't have the time or patience to clean all of the paint out of the grain..I think it was also Lew who said something about using a dental pick in situations like this..Oh boy! I can't wait for that little project! AAAACK!!!

    Time and patience...

    S

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    20,011

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    She's a gorgeous design with all that Stephens charm intact. You, Larry and I are not the only people with a weakness in our hearts for this boat.

    Before Larry acquired her, she was moored on the south side of the Ship Canal near Seattle Pacific University's gym. Both my daughters were on the girl's gymnastics team there and every night, one of us parents would have to drive over and pick them up. Invariably, practice would run late as one girl or another would work the kinks out of some aspect of her routine. I loved watching them, but not so much in practice.

    There were so many evenings when I would walk over to the little marina where Makoto ((I need to get used to that) was kept and sit down to admire her. I gazed at your boat for years while idling away time. It was more pleasant than waiting in the gym or my car for the girls to get out of practice.
    I know her profile well.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 05-09-2011 at 08:27 PM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    St. Paul, MN Mississippi River Milepost 840.2
    Posts
    5,887

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    A great boat and a great thread. Thanks, Congeniac.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    .I think it was also Lew who said something about using a dental pick in situations like this..Oh boy! I can't wait for that little project! AAAACK!!!

    Time and patience...

    S
    A trick I've used on oak with success: Cut shellac flakes with denatured alcohol, paint on, let dry for a day, strip with heat. Pulls out a lot of those little paint flecks in the pores. (Just plain denatured alcohol works too.) One of my favorite tricks is to take off the "skin" of a paint fleck with a utility knife and scrub out with denatured alcohol and bronze wool.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I mastered the fine art of the dental pick while getting 70 years of paint and filler out of Peaceful's deck beams. If I had known what I was up against beforehand, they would still be painted. But seeing how nice they look now, I am thankful for ignorance.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew Barrett View Post
    There were so many evenings when I would walk over to the little marina where Makoto ((I need to get used to that) was kept and sit down to admire her. I gazed at your boat for years while idling away time. It was more pleasant than waiting in the gym or my car for the girls to get out of practice.
    I know her profile well.
    Thanks Lew, That's sweet.

    Discovered a section of dry rot today...I peeled off the tile work Larry had done in the galley. We are going to replace it with a stainless back splash. I then found, at the point where the starboard cabin meets the deck, the main bulkhead is partially rotted. This is the bulkhead that separates the cabin from the engine. It is made from 1 inch thick vertical grain T&G Doug Fir.. It is all solid other than this one place where apparently water leaked in and worked its way down the seam between two of the T&G boards. The dry rot thus goes the full length of the boards about 1 inch out from the seam. There is a small section of sub deck that is also affected, as is the starboard side of a piece of what appears to be cedar that crosses the bulkhead and ties together the T&G Boards. I'll post pics of this mess later today.

    So, I'll have to remove the two rotted boards, spline the sub deck, and the replace the cross member... Sigh.. The good news is that this is, so far, the only rot I have found, and I have been all over this boat. I had to look under a tile backsplash, and inside the deepest recess of a cabinet to find it, so that's probably a good sign. SO, it looks like Saturday will be spent lying on my side next to that big ol' diesel engine replacing bulkhead boards.. yippee!

    The good news is, I always hated that big piece of cedar. It was painted with 5 coats of diverse paints with all the unevenness that implies, and it seemed out of place. So, now I can make it with something slightly thinner, stronger, more rot resistant, and then cover it with a nice piece of 3 x 1/2 teak moulding. Should look nice next to the stainless splash.

    S

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    more pictures are of course required!! Sounds delightful.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Pictures wil be forthcoming this weekend. I am off to LA today to attend a funeral.

    However, yesterday, I found a really great selection of 3x2 quartersawn teak at the local yard..priced at "only" $20/bf (usually $30), so the cedar (now I am thinking maybe it's pine) beam will be replaced with a wonderful piece of solid teak.. all for $64... I think I'll head back there next week and stock up to use this stuff for my sole project later this summer. I am thinking coving, and floor strips...

    Got more Sapele to replace the bulkhead boards. I have an idea for how to fit a new board into an existing stack of T&G boards...

    Calling PC Ford... Do you recall what material the sub decks were made from? These are the 5/4 boards under the bright teak outer decks. One of them has a small section of rot, and I'd like to spline it with the same type of wood if possible.

    Thanks
    S

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,059

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post

    Calling PC Ford... Do you recall what material the sub decks were made from? These are the 5/4 boards under the bright teak outer decks. One of them has a small section of rot, and I'd like to spline it with the same type of wood if possible.

    S
    Could not figure out what you meant...I presume you mean the shelf...the member at the sheer. I am 98% sure that the original (and the replacement port forward which I put on in '80 or so) was fir.
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    PC;
    The bulkheads appear to be fir. both at the aft end of the cabin, and between the cabin and the head. Did you do those? (nicely made, and lots of work!!).

    The specific place I am asking about is the horizontal planking at the sheer. These planks come inboard from the sheer to the bottom of the trunk cabin. I am not sure I would call it a shelf, but I see the reason one might call it that. It forms the bottom of the small deck between the hull sheer and the trunk cabin sides. On this boat the exterior decks are bright teak, so this would be the structure on which these teak decks are attached.

    The dry rot area on this "sub deck" is not large... Maybe 2" by 3". Unless others think this is a bad idea, I think I'll cut the bad parts out and epoxy in a plug made from Sapele. Then i'll replace the Fir T&G bulkhead boards.

    S

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,059

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    PC;
    The bulkheads appear to be fir. both at the aft end of the cabin, and between the cabin and the head. Did you do those? (nicely made, and lots of work!!).

    The specific place I am asking about is the horizontal planking at the sheer. These planks come inboard from the sheer to the bottom of the trunk cabin. I am not sure I would call it a shelf, but I see the reason one might call it that. It forms the bottom of the small deck between the hull sheer and the trunk cabin sides. On this boat the exterior decks are bright teak, so this would be the structure on which these teak decks are attached.

    The dry rot area on this "sub deck" is not large... Maybe 2" by 3". Unless others think this is a bad idea, I think I'll cut the bad parts out and epoxy in a plug made from Sapele. Then i'll replace the Fir T&G bulkhead boards.

    S
    I believe the member to which you refer is called a shelf...if I recall correctly, your boat has a typical shelf/clamp assembly. I think I replaced both the shelf and clamp on the port side forward...there was a lot of rot in that area. I do not believe I replaced the shelf as far back as the cabin.

    Maybe this weekend I will recount the work on the boat here...one of my favorite projects.

    I did not do anything inside the boat...the owners at the time, Terry and Diane, did it themselves. And I don't think they did much except paint...
    The engine, wiring, and interior was done later.

    Former owner Larry Benson was by the boat I am working on today...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25409219@N02/4547279834/


    Strange life...cutting video and doing web stuff some days...today crawling on my belly like a reptile working on bulwarks. But ok.
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    That would be cool to hear about. You sent me one photo of her on the hard back in the 80's

    I'll post pics tomorrow so you can have a walk on memory lane! She is pretty well apart inside these days, but I can see her coming back together in the next 2-3 weeks.

    Also, you had mentioned in a prior note that you had always thought someone should put a life ring at the junction of the added rear portion of the wheelhouse. I looked at that, but there really isn't room because of the half Dorade vents. The area is smaller than it might seem. The overall effect as is is not bad. You did a nice job getting it to match reasonably well. I am going to eliminate the sort of victorian hump where the salon splash meets the wheelhouse (See Post #20). It's a little fussy, and makes fitting the canvas covers we are making difficult.

    The rot I was speaking of is at the shelf on the port side, right at the place the front of the wheelhouse meets the lower cabin. It is all inside, you can't see any ingress point from outside, so it must be a slow little leak...

    S

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I'm going to second the request for more pictures. I love what you are doing for this boat and want to see more of the details. The good news on our end is that Jessica is now feeling well enough to pick up a heat gun again. We'll be heading to the marina later today to remove some more old varnish.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    OK, So I spent all day working on the boat.

    In the AM I finished fabricating, and assembled the port side cabinet frame. I'll post pics of that tomorrow.


    In the PM , I went out to the boat and did some major surgery with my grinder and my Fein Multimaster. If you are restoring a boat, trust me, you need this tool!

    Here are two pics of the dry rot cancer in the midship bulkhead.

    Under the galley counter



    Above the galley counter



    After surgery.. I cut the boards with the multimaster and then worked free the T&G parts.

    Bottom view


    Top view



    I also cut a section of the "shelf" that had some rot. You can see this spot (pre-cut) in the orange and grey board in the upper part of the photo above.

    I think I have managed to remove all of the rotted wood, and will now replace those parts with fresh wood.

    Here is an overall shot of the galley in its current state. Hold this thought... Because in a day or so the replacement framing should be in.



    I also stripped the entire upper bulkhead (shown in white in the above photo). It is now down to bare wood, so I can clean it up.

    The many little arcs are from my grinder, after grinding off about 30 galvanized nails that were left after I peeled off the pine cross member.


    I fabbed a new one today from Sapele.. I'll install that tomorrow,

    Cheers.

    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:01 PM.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Ahh.. That was a satisfying little Memorial Day weekend...

    My galley cabinets are coming along. Most of the parts are in various stages of painting, but before I can install them, I needed to get the sole ready to be rebuilt. THis, of course meant taking up the sole boards. These were 5/8 doug fir nailed down to the floor timbers probably 50 years ago.. so up they went. I sawed a couple because I am not ready to redo the entire sole just yet. I have to have SOMETHING to walk on.

    What greeted me was the most disgusting mess I have yet encountered, and I am no stranger to disgusting messes! This was right on the scale with Nex7en's sex toy find.. only ickier.. Apparently back in time some PO had had a diesel stove. I had earlier found and removed the disused fuel pipe. Well, I guess these thigns are really as messy and nasty as they might seem. THe bilges were coated with about 1/4 inch (in some places up to an inch) of black sludge.

    Here is a picture of what I started with...



    And after hours of scraping, scrubbing with lemon juice and salt, and then paint.. here's what I ended the weekend with..



    THAT was the most disgusting job I think I have yet encountered...sort of like cleaning an old sewer...Glad its done.

    I have a bit more to do, but I am finally staring to put stuff back, as opposed to tearing crap out..

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:02 PM.

  37. #37

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Looks great. I think that was just a build up of old sludge. My CC cruiser was in the same state when I pulled the engines. It was nasty sludgy old oily crap, I found a utility knife blade, some screws,pieces of wire, etc.

    Great work , great thread.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    More progress:

    After my fun weekend of scraping sludge from the bilges, I thought I'd change locales and media a little and scrape paint from the main bulkhead.

    The picture below is from an earlier post. It shows the fab multicolored multiple coats of paint on the bulkhead. I am especially fond of the orange latex, some PO's attempt to mimic Red Lead.. maybe a little unclear on the concept.... I was originally planning to just paint over this mess, since it is behind the back splash above the counter and represents the back of the galley cabinets below the counter. But then, a little voice called to me, reminding me that the Pixar folks "sand the bottoms of the drawers", and another pair of voices called out from a future owner 80 years in the future: One said, "I can't believe some PO just added another coat of paint to the hot mess (actually they used coarser terms..but this is a family forum). The other voice said. "Man, I can't believe some PO actually took the time to scrape 80 years of paint off this bulkhead, and then had the gall to paint over 300 year old first growth vertical grain Doug Fir..."



    I decided that the second voice was better.

    So, after about an hour or scraping with my trusty heat gun, here is the bulkhead:



    I have since removed the counter top so I can replace the support screwed to the bulkhead.
    Next up is sanding and paint!

    It's nice to be turning the corner and starting to put stuff back together again!

    Also, in the right side of the last photo you can see the new boards I installed to replace the rotted ones described in an earlier post.
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:03 PM.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,151

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Hi Scott,
    That is an impressive amount of work you've got done already! Love the clean bilge picture with what looks like a goodly stash of medicine cans. It must have been a real treat too to scrape all that galley bulkhead staving too! What is the dark staining on the lower ends of that staving, right in front of another medicine bottle? Water,oil or worse?

    Sanding will seem a dream after the hard work you've already done with the scraper et al.

    Continued success!!


    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Peter;
    Alas, that "medicine bottle" is actually my heat gun. It is designed so that it sits on its back when not in use, since the front part gets really really hot. I try to indulge in the amber elixir only after I have finished my work. It seems to go faster that way, and the quality is better too!

    I believe the dark satining is oil oil from the bilges. It is worst right where the diesel heater was located (as was the bilge crud). My guess is that some PO used the heater a lot, and over many years a drip here and a drip there added up to a lot. These boards terminate on the engine side (behind this bulkhead), so another explanation is oil from decades of dirty engines seeping up the end grain of the wood. I was also concerned that is might be rot, after my experience with the right side of this bulkhead, but, it is all very solid, so I think it is OK.

    As for progress, I have found that this boat a a bit like the cars I have restored. You have to maintain your pace, and do a little every day. Slow and steady seems to be better that periodic fits of superhuman work. ANd pretty soon, there is less and less to do! I am sure you are all to familiar with this drill!

    Cheers!
    S

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,071

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogeniac View Post
    I was originally planning to just paint over this mess, since it is behind the back splash above the counter and represents the back of the galley cabinets below the counter. But then, a little voice called to me, reminding me that the Pixar folks "sand the bottoms of the drawers", and another pair of voices called out from a future owner 80 years in the future: One said, "I can't believe some PO just added another coat of paint to the hot mess (actually they used coarser terms..but this is a family forum). The other voice said. "Man, I can't believe some PO actually took the time to scrape 80 years of paint off this bulkhead, and then had the gall to paint over 300 year old first growth vertical grain Doug Fir..."

    I decided that the second voice was better.
    A man after my own heart! I congratulate you, sir, for listening to that second, wiser voice and digging in with gusto. You have to be bloody, bold and resolute to undertake these kind of projects, and if you're going to do it, you might as well do it all the way and do it right - if you hadn't, it would bother you for the rest of your years using that boat - but you already know that, don't you.

    As JFK said about putting a man on the moon: "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard." (Although, of course, he pronounced it "hahd").
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikerust View Post
    ...if you hadn't, it would bother you for the rest of your years using that boat - but you already know that, don't you..
    exactly!!!

    S

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Spent a lovely evening sanding..

    Got the last bits of paint off the bulkhead (see above) ands then set to work on the teak door frame. Following Tom Freeman's lead, I want to clean this up and varnish it before I paint. I'll deal with the wet edge joint later. That's what 1000 grit paper is for...

    Yesterday I received my new galley drawers. The old drawers must have been done in the 60's. They had 1/8 masonite bottoms that had gone all wobbly, and had, jeez, must be 10 coats of paint. Looked like sh*t. I considered making them myself, but then found drawerdepot.com.. I was able to order custom sized dovetail drawer boxes made from white oak with white oak ply bottoms. The boxes are solid 5/8 oak, and the bottoms are 3/8 ply. I plan to do full varnished teak faces that will sit about 1/8 proud from the cabinet face with a slight round-over edge. These are "panel" drawers, so there is no lip covering the gap between the drawer and the cabinet...so you have to get it all right or it will look wonky...I decided to try the slides they offered. I am not totally sure how these will hold up on a boat, but, I can always replace them. The slides are soft close Blum under slides, so there is no hardware showing when the drawer is open.

    Here are a couple of pics of the boxes out of the box...



    ...and a detail of the nice joinery:



    I decided to try to get these to match the teak woodwork as best as I could, So, here is one drawer stained and compared to the teak grating I showed in an earlier post.



    and another...



    Next up... Varnish and paint!

    Cheers,
    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:04 PM.

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Lovely boat and nice work man. I'll be following along.
    Chuck Thompson

    1955 18' Chris Craft Continental
    1950 30' Chris Craft Express
    1955 Concordia Yawl #26 (under restoration)

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Here are some pics of the cabinets.

    The picture below shows the port side cabinet face. As you can see the old one (right) was worse for wear (especially after being removed from the galley).
    The added section on the left side is a separator to keep stuff in the adjacent cabinet from migrating into this one. The slats are to provide ventilation between the cabinets. Those with a keen eye will also see that I changed the teensy right side cabinet door (which was basically useless) into two drawers. The lower drawer will be very short because of the hull, so I'll make it a tilt open face rather than a sliding drawer. I also ditched the slide out cutting board, since all that did was take up space and get dirty.

    You can also see the difference between Sapele and African Mahogany. I fabbed the slatted side using African Mahogany, and the drawer side using Sapele. It was what I had lying around at the time. The Sapele is definitely nicer to work with. Much harder, cleaner cutting and cleaner sanding.



    The pic below shows the internal separator that provides a base for the drawer (see above) supports and the cabinet, so the drawer sides are isolated from the cabinet.



    The pic below shows how I fabbed this separator.. I seriously considered doing it in ply, but with the curved edges it seemed easier to just spline bopards and make it solid. More period correct too.





    Cheers.
    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 10-11-2011 at 11:05 PM.

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I cant see the pics in post 43 or 45. Is it just me? Also, Cogeniac, you may want to reduce your pictures somewhat because they take a long time to load when they ar so big. If you use photobucket, you just double click on the pic and then select "resize" from the options at the top.

    Again--lovely boat
    Chuck Thompson

    1955 18' Chris Craft Continental
    1950 30' Chris Craft Express
    1955 Concordia Yawl #26 (under restoration)

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    OK Chuck. I resized all of my pictures. I use my own company web site to host the pics, so I just resized them and uploaded them again. Let me know if you still can't see some of them.

    Scott

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    I can see!! Thanks. Great work. Love the drawers--good call
    Chuck Thompson

    1955 18' Chris Craft Continental
    1950 30' Chris Craft Express
    1955 Concordia Yawl #26 (under restoration)

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,980

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Spent a long day doing this and that on the boat. It's raining like hell here (I thought this was summer!).

    Most of the day was spent stripping door frames, filling holes and sanding the bulkhead, etc.

    However, the big news is that I found a solution to the 1 million little hard flakes of old paint in the overhead beams. Tom Freeman and others had suggested the dental pick approach, so I got me some dental picks and started pickin'. After about 5 minutes, I realized that by the time I finished this, the boat would probably need to be restored again! That, and all the picking was tearing up the surface of the beams. So, I got some paint remover, and a small stainless steel wire brush. I carefully painted on the remover and went and sanded something.. After about 10 mins, I took the small wire brush and started scrubbing,. Amazing.. the remover had loosened these little dried flakes, and the brush just pulled them out. I found that hard scrubbing with the brush cleaned out the grain and also evaporated the remover, so, in about 10 minutes or less, I had a pristine clean white oak beam! I then stained it and applied Epifanes Matte. I'll take pics tomorrow (I didn't bring my camera today, anticipating a lot of dust). The stain is the same stuff I used on the drawers (see previous post). So the beams are the same basic color as the teak. The wire brushing cleared out the paint and some of the softer wood in the grain, so the beams will need about 5 coats of varnish to properly fill the grain, but the overall result is 1000% better than it was, and I didn't have to spend the rest of my life scratching away little paint flakes.

    At this rate, I should have all the beams done by next weekend. That means I can strip the inside of the cabin (OH! Joy!) and varnish everything properly. Then I'll paint.

    I also found a section of rot in one of the beam ends (right above the rotted bulkhead boards; see previous post). I scraped out the bad wood, and then spent about an hour carefully shaping a filler piece from white oak (nobody told me boat work was like dentistry!). I have recently sharpened my plane and my chisels using the Lie Nielsen sharpening kit. OMG, these suckers are sharp. Cut my left index finger twice with just a tiny slip of the blade..so the patch and I are blood brothers...(the red stain is inside, so it doesn't show...)

    S
    Last edited by Cogeniac; 06-04-2011 at 07:46 PM.

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Restoring a 1929 Stephens Cruiser

    Yeah--be carefull where your left hand is when your right one holds them chisels. I've learned the hard way too.
    Chuck Thompson

    1955 18' Chris Craft Continental
    1950 30' Chris Craft Express
    1955 Concordia Yawl #26 (under restoration)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •