After epoxy work and more epoxy work, I’m finally ready to install the side panel doublers. I feel like I’ve been applying epoxy for months, but in reality it’s only been a few weeks.
The aft most doubler warrants much more attention than the others. It will be seen inside the cockpit and the cockpit coaming will but up against it. The doubler will be proud of the coaming, so I took a little extra time to clean it up a bit and round over the top edges.
So, I curved the top of this doubler to match the curve of the cockpit coaming.
Clamped into position while I inserted a few screws from the underneath side.
This is the first installation, hence without glue. It was easier to leave the wax paper on the screws than to remove it, but it is unneeded for this step.
Rear doubler epoxied in place.
The forward bulkhead doesn’t require any shaping and goes much faster.
With the starboard side panels complete, I’ll now focus on the port side panels. I’m almost ready to begin building the hull.
After spending 4 days in Moab, Utah to relax with my wife, I’m back in the shop. I spent some time this morning sanding, filling and plugging holes.
All the screw holes in the hull doubler need to be filled. I used micro balloons and wood filler to thicken the epoxy. The micro balloons make for easy sanding once cured.
I then rolled another coat of epoxy on the oak dowels that were used to plug the screw holes in the front bulkhead. The oak dowel provides a great custom look and is very easy to achieve.
Then I rolled epoxy on the transom and transom doubler to move forward with the next piece.
I did see a little blush on the hull doubler after returning home from Moab. This epoxy is not suppose to blush, but all epoxy can blush. Don’t worry, it’s no big deal. Just take a bucket of warm, soapy water and wipe with a rag. It comes right off easy peezy.
Remember every piece gets 2-3 coats of epoxy with sanding in-between each coat. This takes time and patience, but makes for a beautiful boat. Give these little details time and attention. It’s not a race but instead a remarkably enjoyable project.
Still waiting for the arrival of my epoxy, I decided to dry install the hull butt blocks.
I marked the location of the holes per the plans. 4″ apart, 1″ & 2″ off the center line. I used a counter sink to drill the holes.
I first drove the screws into one side of the butt block…then after making sure the panels were tight, I drove the screws into the second half.
This pulled the butt block up tight to the panels. I then removed all the screws and cleaned up the holes with a rasp to remove burrs from the back side of the butt block.
This approach of dry screwing the panels allows you to relocate this position later when epoxy is applied. Think of all these screws as mini locator clamps. Once all the pieces become slippery with epoxy, you’ll be glad you took the time to pre-drill the holes. Now if that epoxy would just arrive.
I’ve been busy cutting out parts while I wait for the epoxy to arrive.
The plans call for doublers when joining two panels. This approach is simple, effective and attractive. Kilburn asks the builder to cut a 15 degree angle on the long edges. This gives the doubler a very attractive, eye catching appearance.
I used one half of the front bulkhead to trace and create the second half. These two pieces will be joined with a doubler. Kilburn has utilized nearly every square inch of a 4 x 8 to create both front and rear bulkheads, a doubler, two cabinet bottom corners and the front filler board all out of a single sheet. Very clever!
This is the doubler to join the upper end of one side of the front bulkhead. You leave it 3/4″ shy off the inboard edge to allow for solid wood edging.
I designed and cut the windows at this stage while I had the panels lying flat. The front window is sized in accordance to plans but the rear window was dimension up a bit. It is 1″ taller and 2″ longer than the standard window. I felt this made for a more balanced looking cabin.
I will now put my attention toward building the construction frame while I wait to receive the epoxy. The plans have been easy to follow and very clear. I’m very impressed with Kilburn’s attention to detail. This is a surprisingly simple boat. In fact it’s so simple I believe it might actually work.