Sunday, 23 February 2014

Of Shepherds, Steamboxes, SeaFleas & Neptune!

This has been a WOW week in the Boatshop! Corners have been turned and stuff is moving along suddenly more quickly.

First is George's probably amazing steambox which has been a missing for some time in the shop - if you go back far enough you might notice we were busy with a lovely little cedar strip dinghy called "Quail" then suddenly nothing. Well we recognized that she requires a full re-ribbing and hadn't done this before. But at the ACBS Fall Workshop, Ken Lavallette showed us how to do this - so all of a sudden we need a steambox! After a bit of discussion George came up with a concept and we got on with it - take a look so far.

First the shell is constructed
and boat-nailed together.
We opted for an 8' x 15" x 10".
They are drilling all the pilot holes
out to 3/8" so the lead end of the
square oak splints will start.

next it is drilled in a grid for 3 levels
of steaming. We tried a wire but didn't like it.

George sawed up oak splints
to be the internal supports.
Here is his special tool for rounding
the lead end.
soon all three rows are driven
through and the box is ready
to be closed.
using a bucking iron held by Jim, George
drives the square oak splints right through.

with the machined lid clamped
in the right place, the bottom
is boatnailed in place.
almost done, add back and hinged cover - oh
and steam!

Congratulations George and Jim, very nice job and almost done now. We have a sealable container and burner but are missing some fittings and hose to make and deliver steam to the back of the box.

This past weekend saw another breakthrough on the 16' Shepherd Outboard as well, we cut the two rear inner plywood bottom pieces and using an offcut of mahogany plywood fiddled around to see if we could make the whole inner bottom with one scarph per side. Looks like it will work and we now have a pattern for the front end of the new bottom panels....

First the rear panels for
port and starboard sides..

cutting out the other one.

it took quite a few "on and off" tests and reshaping of the curve
along the keel but we finally got the test piece bent into position.
We were not at all certain the panel would take this bend without
buckling or cracking but - hey! Looks easy so far..Ray is tightening clamps.

Meanwhile Anton was rearranging the area around the entrance to the shop. It has been a jumble of subjects and it is time to make it more effective as the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive. The tools and fasteners will move to the back with the rest of similar stuff. We will keep our eyes open for some more suitable display furniture for this area.

Library ladder is a nice touch and gets us
to our art gallery - mostly thanks to Anton!

First time volunteer JJ who is a hobby outboard motor fanatic arrived with Ray and got right into the spirit of the community Boatshop! We picked out our 1930's Neptune Evinrude outboard motor to see what he could do with it - well, just as our friends Scott and Al from the Halton Regional Police Marine Unit dropped in, he had sorted out the little motors' systems and was ready for a first pull! On the third pull - away see went! A bit smokey and no water circulation but fired right up! Cool!

off comes the little carburetor
With Anton's help the motor
 gets cleaned up.
before disassembly take a picture!

Ray and JJ get the carb back on
lots of hands make light work?
promising noises are heard...

ready for the big pull!

the smoke says it all - JJ got it running!

Paul showed up to move the Mini-Hopper project along and as the no 2 prototype had told us all we needed to know (I hope), Paul got on with getting out the first of the final parts for a real Mini-Hopper! We need four for this summers' kids programme. Part of our redesign is building with mahogany and marine grade plywood.

The outer side panels came out of
a 3/4 mahogany plank.
Al and Scott check out our high tech
outboard collection...
The new look is visible, no kink
in the rear quarters and a real transom
with the bottom still full length.

All in all a really great day for our team members, new and long term. Just had to have a picture - who says having the police take your picture is bad news anyway....

The cops catch us near the end of a great Boatshop day!
Paul, Anton, George, Ray, JJ and Malcolm (hisself).

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