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Thread: Building a Welsford dinghy

  1. #141
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
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    15,196

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    I’ve seen it. It looks like SOMEONE knew what they were doing. The next one will be FANTASTIC!

    And, in real life, it is the cutest little boat.

    Peace,
    Robert

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Winter has set in, here in the Valley. As T. S. Eliot once observed, the Summer nymphs have departed....



    The Winter inversion layer has set in, making for great working conditions: temps in the mid 50s to low 60s.

    Lots of life and the holidays have intervened since I last had anything to report. Christmas, followed by a frantic effort to clean the wife's sewing room and the living room to make way for her new sewing machine: an 18" long-arm machine so she can occupy her retirement sewing quilts.

    But now I can get back to working on the boat. I keep reminding myself that I'm logging the build, not looking good. I had painted the transoms, for and aft, and the upper side strakes, one coat. Upon examining what I had wrought, I had to face up to a hard truth. I have been too long in the build -- and the plywood side strakes have begun to check. So, reluctantly, I broke out the sander again, and took the top strakes back to wood. Today I had the chance to lay down a layer of epoxy to fill the surface.



    My original fantasy was to paint the outer hull white. Period. Now, however, I'm tempted to paint that lower rub-rail a nice nautical red. Who knows what I'll do when I get to doing the finish work. Now while the epoxy cures I can get on to the work of finishing the rudder and dagger board.

    It did feel good to be back working on the dinghy again. I'd been away far too long.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Finally -- another MAJOR milestone (at least in my playbook). I've spent the last month and more working on the top side panels. Gave them a coat of paint, only to see that what was required was to sand them back to wood and apply two coats of epoxy to fill the checking. (A problem caused by leaving the build to go on for two years.) Finally the epoxy cured and I was able to apply a second "first" coat of paint. Let that set. Sand that coat and apply a second coat. Upon examining my handiwork, I found that I had succeeded in contaminating the paint -- the second coat needed to be seriously sanded back to first coat. Drop back ten and repaint (and thin no more!) That coat looked almost acceptable. Almost. So sanding again with my soft sanders 220 grit. Final coat of one-part polyurethane paint, and the boat was looking good.

    Today I unwrapped the boat and removed all the blue tape. I'm sold on 3-M's blue tape. It doesn't allow paint to bleed under. One cautionary note, one I have learned early on and still ignore: don't leave the tape on too long -- it has an affinity for what it's stuck to, and doesn't like to have to leave.

    But now, finally, I can show off the top portion of the dinghy looking pretty much as I want it.



    and



    Next on my to-do list: clean up the number of small "oops" spots, and bring some "ignore 'cause I'm not sure how I want do deal with it" up to snuff. That should keep me occupied for a while. After that, it's turn the dinghy over, paint the bottom, and DONE!

    One point I need to revisit. The dinghy is my first build, and as such it is a wonderful learning experience. In the process of trying to figure out what I had done to the second coat of paint, I learned that using one-part polyurethane paint was not recommended for wooden boats: I can attest that painting with this paint is nothing more or less than painting plastic on the wood. And wood moves -- plastic doesn't. When I will need to repaint, I'll be using an oil-based enamel (recommended).
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Weather and obligations, familial and social, have played hob with the build recently. However, The dinghy now sports its second coat of paint on the outside.



    As it stands, there is too much white for my taste. It appears almost blue here, but this is just a reflection of the cloudless day I'm enjoying; the buds on the orange tree have chosen this weekend to burst open into bloom. The aroma overtakes the smell of paint wonderfully. It's a great day to be outside working.

    The rub strakes will be painted a medium gray to break up the mass of white. I had considered painting it red, but felt it would argue with the gunwales. Blue just makes a statement I'm not willing to make here.

    The rudder and dagger board still hover in their half-complete stasis. In a few more days they'll be receiving my full attention.

    As I close in on the end of the build (not yet -- still much to do) I begin to assess just what I have accomplished here. Were I to build another one, would I do anything differently? Do get me started. Likely almost everything. I must give full credit to Mr. Welsford for his building jig design. It has retained its rigidity over far more years than he had anticipated.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    I have now brushed on what I hope is the final coat of white on the hull. All I needed to do as I was painting was to just hold the pot away at arm's length to be overcome again by the aroma of an orange tree in full bloom. The most addictive naturally occurring odor I can think of.



    When the paint dries completely, I'll tape around the rub-strake and paint it Interlux's "Kingston Grey," a medium gray. Just to break up the expanse of white as I mentioned in the last post.

    Unfortunately, I have no paint booth, and the winds of Spring have kicked in: when the paint has dried, I'll need to remove the bits of tree and bugs that have landed while the paint was wet and do some spot painting.

    If I were to wait for the wind to stop blowing, it would be in early July. The wind starts blowing cold in April, and slowly blows hotter as we get closer to Summer.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
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    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    The wife insisted that I post a picture with me posing by the dinghy....
    So I did.



    Then she said "Put your hand on the boat!"

    But I know wet paint, especially when I'm the painter.


    No "Gotcha!" this time.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Modesto, CA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Building a Welsford dinghy

    Progress was going great. I got the dinghy turned upright again, and have finished the painting of the rub strake. Now, I have only to touch up some small blems at the strake/hull
    interface. I also finished varnishing the cheekplates on the rudder. I then took another look at the alignment of the pintles, top and bottom. Slightest bit of a problem. Had to take out the 1/2 inch chisel and take down a bit more of the pocket that seats the upper pintle. Now they look to line up better, and I now have a pocket-bottom to stain and re-varnish. The dagger board is all properly varnished now and awaits a course of paint or two.



    So I proceeded to working on the spars, work I'd been delaying for 3 years. Started with the mast, of course. First principles. Laid the mast down on the large build table, and sat down with the mast up against my left leg. Took out my trusty belt sander, with 80 grit paper mounted. It's an old, old belt sander -- the plug isn't even an oriented plug, it's that old. Turn the puppy upside down on my left thigh, grabbed the handle plus trigger in my right fist, turned it on and began to sand the bottom 24 inches of the mast. See, the thing is that the aluminum spars Mr. Welsford specified are metric aluminum tubes, not murican standard. The tubes I have are one 24 inch 2" OD x 1 3/4" ID that serves as mast step. The mast itself has a 1 3/4" OD x 1 1/2" ID. I knew this at the time of purchase, knew I'd just have to do what I had finally set about to do: turn down the bottom 2 feet of the mast to just under 1 3/4" OD. Maybe take off a 64th of an inch all around.



    Slowly, inch by inch, I was able to turn down the mast base, until I was able to get the mast to step right properly in its mounting tube. Mr. Welsford drew the mast with a 4 degree rake. I checked the rake, and saw that it was close enough. Then I stood at the bow to take a look at the mast. Sadly, Mr. Welsford did NOT specify a 12 degree list to starboard.



    This was a blunder I made in the very early months of the build, when I still considered myself to be a better woodworker than I actually was. The 2" OD mounting tube sits in a 40 x 100 x 310 mm block of hardwood that I had rather nicely (I thought) carved to fit the planes of the panels at the bow. Said block of hardwood epoxied and glassed in place to the bottom side and center spine of the hull. The top of the mounting tube passes through the forward deck, and is epoxied and glassed to it all around. Oh, and the mounting tube is also epoxied into the hardwood step at the bottom.



    At this point, I considered my options. Fortunately, they were very few. I could declare my learning to have been complete and take a sawzall to the boat. I could hack the mounting tube out of the hull and re-set it properly plumb, and with the ordained 4 degree rake. I could bend the mast at the point where it exits its mounting tube to offset the list of the tube. I could calculate the moment of rotation the off-set mast would apply to the hull, so that I could then add extra ballast to the port side to cause the mast to set plumb in the air. (With the hull slightly a-list.) I sent Mr. Welsford an email explaining my options, asking if he had any other insights he could offer. Mr. Welsford has remained wisely silent on the subject.


    I chose, ultimately, to open the forebay up to perform surgery on the mounting tube. I figured that if nothing else, I could try to put what I’ve learned to the test, to see how I measured up on doing a boat repair. So, between my jig saw and my Dremel skill-saw-like saw, I was able to open up an unscheduled hatch in the foredeck.






    I then attempted to use my Dremel saw to cut the tube off just above the hardwood step in the hull. Given the space constraints inside the forward hatch, I was able to cut about 1/3 of the perimeter of the tube. I then fell back to trying to hack it off with my basic Dremel tool with grinding wheel. This got me perhaps a little beyond the half-way point. At this result, I decided that it was time to outfit myself with an Oscillating Power Tool, by Robert Bosch. Well, when I finally presented myself at OSH, the tool on the shelf was a Bosch tool. I like Bosch tools. That puppy made short work of the rest of the tube. I wish I had had that tool when I started on the tube.





    So now I am in the process of laminating a sistered mast step from 3 pieces of 4/4 hardwood, 4" wide, with a 2" hole drilled ( this time) on my drill press. I'll have to take the tube to the belt sander to take down all the epoxy drippings, but it looks like a good fit. Next, I'll have to fit a pair of mast partners (unspecified by Mr. Welsford) to assist with setting rake. AND I'll be double checking plumb before I fix any part of the assembly to the hull. Then it'll just be a matter of fitting a bit of ply to cover the opening I've had to make, epoxy the connections and paint.


    What's left, then, is to finish the rudder bright work -- stain, then varnish -- and then paint (white) the rudder blade and the dagger board. Fit the pintles to the rudder. Then line up and mount the gudgeons (so that the pintles don't bind up in them). Then on the finishing the spars: drill and tap screw holes for mounting fittings and finials. Rigging the little boat and getting it wet.


    A week ago it all looked like I'd be able to make the repairs and still get the boat finished in time for the family reunion the last weekend in the month. Then, a week ago yesterday, Betty Ann and I decided to buy a longarm quilting service business. Now I'm lucky if I can get a couple of hours a day to work on the dinghy.
    "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

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