Completing CB Case

Building the CB case seemed to take a long time.  I went very slowly to insure I didn’t make a mistake.  It was weighing heavily on my mind and I’m glad I got through it.  As you know, I was using a different construction technic, so I wanted to make sure I got everything right.  It went together beautifully.DSC00002Here I laid out my screw patterns and dry screwed everything together.  I used an impact driver which offered a lot of control when screwing into the plywood.DSC00003These screw are a joy to use, they drill their own holes and pull hard enough to go right through the plywood if your not careful.  I’ve never used anything like them.DSC00002Here are the specs for the screws.  They are not stainless steel, but they will all get epoxy plugged and shouldn’t see much moisture (since they are buried inside the wood).  They are designed for outdoor decking.DSC00004The process is to dry screw everything together in it’s proper layout, disassemble, epoxy and reassemble.  This allows the screws to go back into their original holes insuring proper alignment.  This system, though slow, offers a lot of accuracy and precision.  DSC00007Summary: 

  1. Though it had me worried, the build was straight forward and relatively easy on the bench.
  2. If you take your time and build the case accurately on the bench, it should fit beautifully between the bulkheads.
  3. Glue up was simplified by working on the bench.
  4. The case doubler plate was easy to epoxy by working on the bench.
  5. Everything is easier on the bench.

Prepping CB Case

There are a lot of steps here folks.  My steps will be different from others due to the way I have decided to construct the case.  The overall process is driven by my desire to build the case outside the boat on my work bench as Dave did in building Scamp 243.  This may not be the best way, but it makes sense to me.

DSC00003First I needed to fiberglass the inside surface of the CB case.  I like to keep my first coat of epoxy thin as not to add undue weight.  I also believe this creates a better bond between the wood and glass (it seems to suck the glass into the fibers of the wood).  DSC00002I used tape to separate the glassed portion of the case from the remainder of the seat longitude piece.  You glass right over the top edge of the tape, and then use a razor blade to cut a clean line, using the edge of the tape as a guide.  This provides a clean edge between the glass and wood and works beautifully.  DSC00012 I then epoxied the support plates to the case sides.  I am using the stones as weight to hold the two pieces together.  DSC00001Drilling out the epoxy plug to recieve the brass bushings. I had to be extra careful to get the two panels properly positioned to each other prior to drilling.  I used two extension supports to keep everything horizontal.  On the drill press, I drilled one hole through all the layers. DSC00002Test fitting the bushings prior to installation.  I marked and then cut the bushings to proper length.  You can see the epoxy plug that surrounds the bushing to prevent water intrusion.  DSC00004To ensure the bushings hold securely in the epoxy, I scored the outside with a metal file and then epoxied the bushings into place using thickened epoxy.  DSC00008Just looking over all the margins to make sure the CB will fit.  DSC00009Mocking up the whole ensemble.  The width looks just right.  I have 3/16″ on each side of the CB.   No, I didn’t forget to add my homemade poly washers.DSC00006The pivot bolt will be used as an alignment tool during glue-up to keep the panels in proper orientation to each other.  DSC00011I need to add a few more coats of epoxy to the inside surfaces prior to assembly.  I used tape to separate the graphite epoxy areas from the case end pieces.  DSC00013The graphite sure makes things look official.  


There a lot of little steps here that seem to take forever, especially when working with epoxy.  My goal is to take my time and not make any mistakes.  So far, so good.  I am just enjoying the journey.  Next step is to assemble the case.

Wrapping my Head around the CB Case

There are a lot of ways to build the CB case.  It has been a blessing to read and see how others have accomplished this step.  I have the advantage of reading and learning from those who have gone before me.  DSC00005  I decided to build the CB case on the  bench prior to installing it in the boat.  I believe this will make it easier for me to build and keep the panels properly aligned.  I was not confident in my ability to drill a perpendicular hole through four panels after the case was installed in the boat, so I’m going about this a little differently.  DSC00008The line route for the CB uphaul needs to be designed also.  After playing with several slopes, I finally decided on a very subtle slope back into the case as the best line and water control route.  The actual hole will be drilled after installation and run through BH4.DSC00009After thinking a few nights about how to keep the panels properly aligned, I decided to start with all the layers sandwiched together and indexed by the CB bolt running through the existing holes in the stack.  I drew lines to index the panels for future alignment.DSC00011I fixed this position with 4 screws to hold all four layers securely together.DSC00012I then drilled out the existing holes on the drill press with a 3/4″ oversized forsner bit.DSC00013I then coated all the holes with unthickened epoxy and followed that up with thickened epoxy.  The stones keep the panels laying flat on the bench to keep the epoxy from running out the bottom of the holes.  I use duck tape on the back sides of the panels.  DSC00014Once cure, I’ll sandwich the panels together again using screws in the holes drilled earlier.  I’ll then drill out the epoxied holes to accept the brass bushings, leaving an epoxy ring around the bushings to prevent water penetration into the wood.  I’ll then glass/epoxy all panels and begin to build the case, using the CB bolt through the holes to maintain proper alignment.  This system seem to make sense to me, I’ll report how it all works out upon completion.

Assembling the Jig

Well, it’s time to “get the troopers on the flats” and assemble the jig.  The first order of business was to build the legs.  I’m 6′ tall and decided on 16 1/2″ leg length.  The plans suggest 2×6 stock, I elected to use 2×4 stock I had on hand.DSC00001I then dry fit the pieces to get a sense of how the jig comes together.  The bottom 3/4″ plywood piece was mismarked (it read Stbd on the Port side).  After staring at it for 30 minutes, I decided to carry on and keep building.  All other pieces went together just fine.DSC00006In addition to these pieces, you will need several 2×4 for cleating.  I ripped the stock into halves, which made nice size cleats.  DSC00009Use a straight edge for alignment when you screw in the supportive gusset.  This gusset proved to be too large and got in the way of the cleating.  It had to be replaced with a wider/narrower gusset.  DSC00018Garage floors aren’t level.  Mine is designed to drain all water toward the overhead doors.  Hence, It took me a great deal of time to get everything level and true.  The diagonals were right on at 128 1/2″.

DSC00012Redwood shims proved very helpful in getting everything level.DSC00021Some legs took a lot of shimming, while others took little or none at all. 

What I learned:

  1. This is a three (3) Mountain Dew step.  It took an entire Saturday to complete, but be patient.  Sage advise from others is to not rush this critical alignment step.
  2. The instructions for building the jig are definitely lacking some content.  My advise is to build the box on a large bench, as if you were building a casket.  This will help you keep everything level and square. Then, move the box to the legs and shim up all the legs to achieve levelness.
  3. The cleating around the inside edges of the jig take up space, so cut your gussets small enough to allow for the surrounding cleating.  Otherwise, you’ll be removing it and cutting it again (yup…all three gussets needed to be recut/reshaped/reinstalled).

Afterwards, I went for a nice cool down bicycle ride with my 3 sons.  Life is good!

Wet Storage and Bulkhead 7

There is a ton of dry storage on the Scamp, probably more than needed.  Many will be tempted to take the kitchen sink. But, I don’t want to overload this little boat, I want to keep it light.  I also don’t want to fuss with hatch fasteners to simple throw in a Subway sandwich or access a water bottle, so I’ve decided to open up the storage areas between BH7 & BH8, making this area essentially, wet storage.  DSC00002First, I epoxied a filler plate into the access hole in BH7.DSC00013After scraping and sanding, it looked like this.DSC00017After two coats of epoxy, it looked like this.  Also notice the small filler piece near the bottom the bulkhead to keep water out.  This also needed to be filled.  I will now cut an access hole in the top of the seat between BH7 & BH8 for quick stash items.  I will also cut out drainage holes near the bottom of the seat longitudinal pieces for proper drainage into the scuppers.DSC00018Otherwise, still sanding and epoxying.  

Let’s Get it Started!

When I was a young man, my dad always emphasized the importance of using a block plane.  There was never to be a rough edge within sight and he could spot one from across the room.  He would say, “Ooh…smooth down that edge”.  So, the first thing I wanted to do, was to knock down all the rough edges.   DSC00060I purchased an 1/8″ round over bit for this purpose.DSC00061This photograph shows a little ridge left over after the cut, but this was very easy to sand off.DSC00063I left all the adjoining edges square and rounded off all the touchable areas. DSC00065After easy hand sanding, these areas looked great.  This just makes me feel good.DSC00001 Okoume Marine BS 1088 is gorgeous stuff!DSC00002 Second coat of epoxy on inside surfaces of the panels.DSC00005This photo shows my corrected front bow piece.  I’m happy with how I was able to accurately relocate the indexed areas.

What I learned:

  1. Foam rollers make the epoxy application a breeze.
  2. If you push very hard with the foam roller, as you roll out the epoxy, it will create tiny air bubbles that will texture the surface and make sanding harder.
  3. Multiple thin coats of epoxy seem to work the best.
  4. This project is going to require a lot of sanding pads.

I’m having fun!