January 7, 2016 Hours spent building to date: 1,948
The Tardis is looking very shippy today with the installation of the deckhouse beams. This was a lot of labor, but nothing technically difficult, since all 10 beams are the same length and camber.
I started by notching out the carlins, not a bad job since I could cut the vertical slots on the table saw two at a time. Then I unearthed a beam drawing that Mark sent me many months ago, and modified it slightly to fit the deckhouse dimensions. I knocked down the camber a bit from the forecabin curvature, since the deckhouse roof is also the “boat deck” and I will be up there from time to time handling the dinghy.
Then I made a pattern from very stable 3/4-inch plywood and took pains to get it smooth and perfect. After that it was just hard work — laying out the beam on the stock, sawing it out on the bandsaw, trimming it up with a router using the pattern as a guide for the bit, smoothing the beam up with the spindle sander.
The stock is an African species in the mahogany family called Sapele. It is beautiful and stable, but extremely dense. I chose it for its looks and because I could get it in wide widths and cut two beams per board — even so it cost $500+. My little bandsaw, jigsaw and router thought this was a horrible choice and screamed through the whole job. I pretty much wore out a Bosch bandsaw blade and my Freund flush trim bit is starting to chatter a bit.
But the beams look beautiful, and will be even more so when varnished and set against the light-colored roof sheathing.