Deckhouse Beams

January 7, 2016  Hours spent building to date:  1,948

deckhouse beams in

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.

Carlins notched and installed

Carlins notched and installed

Test beam/cutting pattern -- looking good!

Test beam/cutting pattern — looking good!

Beam cutting area -- bandsaw said, "1 hp, sapele? You've got to be kidding."

Beam cutting area — my bandsaw said, “1 hp? Sapele? You’ve got to be kidding.”

Beam trimming area.  Router just runs along the pattern and makes a perfect copy.

Beam trimming area. Router just runs along the pattern and makes a perfect copy.

View from the forecabin house.

View from the forecabin roof.

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