January 14, 2016 Hours spent building to date: 1,985
As I mentioned in the last post, the forward deckhouse windows are a morass of compound curves and bevels. So immediately up on perusing the plans, I made a quick trip to Walmart for some poster board and patterned the window first in cardboard, then in thin plywood, then on the actual building stock.
It looked like the fit was very good, so good I made a critical mistake. Instead of installing the frames, then the heavy mahogany carlins, I thought I would just attach the carlins to the frames and snap them together like Lego blocks during final assembly. My “good” fit went away when I could no longer squeeze the completed panels together. Three inch by one inch Sapele mahogany does not “squeeze.”
I was left with three good joints and one ugly gap. I could easily fill the painted plywood part, but the varnished mahogany would look really bad with a big filler block in it.
Given my skill as a joiner, I have three stock solutions to these inevitable problems:
- Spread the mistake out among all the joints so it won’t look so bad. No good. Every time I tried that, the windows went all out of alignment and the trapezoids became rhomboids or deltoids or something. With the gap, alignment was perfect.
- Cover the gap with trim. But the carlins are trim. Putting trim on trim is prima facie evidence of poor joinery.
- Make the gap looked like it was planned all along by inserting a gap on the other side.
This had real promise. The roof framing sort of cantilevers out over the forecabin deck. When I first saw the plans, I thought I might add a couple fore-and-aft supports, thinking of a cold Lake Huron wave bashing square against the windows. But I decided not to, since the framing looked very strong. But if I did add them, they would fall exactly in the area of the gap, covering it up completely. So I blew off almost a day fitting and trimming the new supports, and the gap is gone.
As with all coverups, no one will ever know.