Michigan Squirt Build

Outboard designs up to 14'

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JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Michigan Squirt Build

Postby JimmY » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:32 pm

Hi All,

I'm starting my Squirt build and hope to document the build here. I've been underway for a few weeks and have a basic Squirt "kit" almost ready.

I made a trek to L.L. Johnson lumber in Charlotte, MI to pick up Okoume plywood and some Sapele for the frames. If you are in Michigan, Indiana, or Ohio I highly recommend checking them out. The people are very friendly and helpful and the wood selection is awesome. I'm stretching the Squirt to 10'10" (limited by my basement access). I bought 5 sheets of 1/4" and one sheet of 3/4" plywood. For the frames I bought 28 bd-ft of 4/4 Ribbon Sapele and for the sheers and chines I bought 20 bd-ft of 8/4 Flat Sawn Sapele. I paid $20 to have all of the 4/4 planed on two sides and the 8/4 straight line ripped along one edge. The 4/4 should be enough for all of the frames, keel, and battens. I have a DeWalt Planer and will thickness the frames down to 3/4". The plan for the sheers and chines is to rip 5/8"x2" strips from the 8/4 stock to laminate these pieces for ease of bending them around the frames.

20160826_165510.jpg


I had a 36" wide roll of plastic film for a plotter, and used this to trace the frames shapes from the plans. The plastic is dimensionally stable and being clear made tracing simple. One thing to note, it appears Glen L reproduces the plans with a typical blue print copier. Since the paper snakes through these machines the copies tend to distort slightly (they stretch in one direction). On the Squirt plans one of the frames is drawn 90 degrees to the others and it was about 1/8" different from the other frames (measuring the distance from the centerline to the batten locations). I don't think the overall frame width will make much difference in the finished boat, but I made sure to measure and mark the location of the battens rather than rely on the drawings. Also the instructions talk about 4/4 rough lumber being finished to 3/4" thickness, but the plans have the thickness of the keel and battens at ~7/8". So, I'll cut these notches based on my finished lumber size and not the plans. This is not a criticism of Glen L, these are hand drawn plans from the 50's and 60's, just trying to help other builders avoid some frustration.

I had one piece of 4/4 that was 8.75" x 15' and I was able to cut most of the frame pieces from them. Typically I would cut a blank from the board to the length of a frame piece, rip the blank down the middle if the frame had a straight edge, and get a left and right piece. I used a combination of tools including a hand circular saw to cut the boards to length, a table saw for ripping, a 10" bench top band saw, a oscillating spindle sander to final shape the pieces, and router table with a pattern bit to copy left and right frames.

20160828_182301.jpg


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I was able to get all of the 3/4" plywood pieces from half of the sheet. So, if anyone in the area is starting a Squirt I can make you a deal on some Okoume!

I ordered the fastener kit and a quart of Poxy-Grip. I transferred the epoxy to a pair of squeeze bottle to see if this makes it easier to dispense and measure. I also have a pair of 60cc syringes for measuring and I've been recycling all the yogurt containers from my lunches for mixing.

I know my shop is a bit of a mess right now, but once I get the frames together, I will need to remove a portion of my workbench to make room for the building form and there will be a major clean up effort at that time. I want to make sure I have as complete a kit as possible, since once the boat starts to take shape it will get tight.

Stay tuned...
Last edited by JimmY on Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby JimmY » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:46 pm

A few more photos of my progress to date...

One Squirt kit...
20160907_205601sm.jpg

Sapele is pretty nice to work with and machines nicely. The grain is a bit wild, but it doesn't appear to matter what direction it goes through the planer. I got little if any tear-out while planning.

Not too many straight lines in a boat, so lots of scrap...

20160907_210025sm.jpg


Found these squeeze "condiment" bottle on Amazon for my Poxy-Grip...

20160907_205944sm.jpg
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Batten and Keel Notches

Postby JimmY » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:58 pm

I like the idea of rounding off the battens, keel, sheers, and chines. I figure that sharp edges are prone to dings and damage which could result in water damage. So, I ran the top edges of my battens and keel across a roundover bit on my router table.

20160908_201836sm.jpg

Next, I made a simple template from a scrap of plywood, and used a 1/2" pattern bit to cut the notches. I had some problems with this, and splintered the bottom of frame 1, Twice! (See my other topic). I was trying to hog out the whole notch with the router and if it grabbed the grain of the Sapele it would splinter. I practiced a bit more and came up with this final method: 1.) double sided tape the pattern in place, 2.) saw along the edges of the template to within 1/4" of the bottom of the notch, 3.) chisel out the waste, 4.) route out the rest of the notch.

20160908_205042sm.jpg

Fits like a glove.

20160908_210943sm.jpg


Once the boat is framed up, I'll route the limbers with a "dish" pattern bit.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

DSR
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:11 pm
Location: Allegan, Michigan

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby DSR » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:07 pm

Hi Jim
It's nice to see another Michigander on here! I'm sure there are many more but I'm pretty fresh here myself. What area are you in if you don't mind me asking? I'm in the Allegan area just north of Kalamazoo.
You're right about Johnson's. I made it over there a few weeks ago to get a feel for the place and I really liked it and the people there are great to deal with.

Dave
DSR Performance - Home of yet another jet TNT build :D
Codename "Just A Little....."
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29753

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby JimmY » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:19 am

Hi Dave,

I'm in Brighton just north of Ann Arbor. Your TNT build looks insane! I was considering a jet ski conversion for my Squirt, but decided to go with a vintage 18hp Johnson outboard. While the jet ski power would have the cool factor, I liked the vintage look and ease of maintenance of an outboard.

I can't say enough good things about Johnson's Lumber. I bought a boat load of cherry there for a desk last year and it was all top notch. When I picked up my ply, they had stacks of any thickness you could want and it was stored and handled properly with cover sheets. When you go in to pick out wood, one of the guys will pull down the stacks of wood for you to pick through and as long as you're not taking hours to find the perfect board there is no charge. And if you're buying a lot, there are bulk discounts. The planning was a good value for me, since it would be hard to handle a 14' board with my planer. It is a rough planning with a little tearout, but I was starting with flat boards and it was a big time saver.

If you need a 1/2 sheet of 3/4" Okoume, let me know! :D
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

DSR
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:11 pm
Location: Allegan, Michigan

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby DSR » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:50 am

Morning Jim.
Yeah, with me being me and having just enough mechanical skills to be dangerous, this TNT should turn out to be a pretty interesting little boat. (A couple friends and a few barley-pops DO have to share the blame also...) :D
Brighton's not too far away. I'm interested in the 3/4 Okoume, I'll have measure the pieces i need but I think half a sheet would work. PM me on it if you could please.
I do love the classic runabout look and your Squirt with the 18 will be a great combo. I also love the look of the Sapele your using for the frames and would like to ask the reasons you chose to use it? I'm just getting to the building stage on the hull and I was planning on using Johnson's African Mahogany for the frames and Okoume ply but I'm not familiar with the Sapele and what it may have to offer?

Thanks Jim
Dave
DSR Performance - Home of yet another jet TNT build :D
Codename "Just A Little....."
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29753

DSR
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:11 pm
Location: Allegan, Michigan

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby DSR » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:02 pm

Haha... I caught your signature line just now. Very funny but so painfully true... :lol:
DSR Performance - Home of yet another jet TNT build :D
Codename "Just A Little....."
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29753

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Sapele Choice

Postby JimmY » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:00 pm

Hi Dave,

I did a test woodworking project with African Mahogany, and while it was pretty easy to work with it also had a lot of internal stresses and warped when re-sawed. It was pretty light, but also pretty soft in my opinion. I also considered Genuine Mahogany, but the price is twice of Sapele or African Mahogany. The real deciding factor was that Roberta used Sapele for the frames on her Torpedo. After reading her blogs, I figured she knew what she was talking about.

Now after working with it and making a few mistakes, I think it is a pretty good decision. I think some of the problems I'm having are also due to my router bits. I'm sending a few out next week to get sharpened!

I'm still on the fence for my deck and bright work and I'm considering either African or Genuine Mahogany. My plan is to have Chriscraft red with darker covering boards like Trisailor's Gentry or John's Monte Carlo, so I'm not sure if I need Genuine Mahogany if I'm going to stain/dye it.

Later,
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

DSR
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:11 pm
Location: Allegan, Michigan

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby DSR » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:06 am

Thanks for the reply Jim,
I'm definitely going to have to think about this before I make a final decision on the lumber.

Thanks again
Dave
DSR Performance - Home of yet another jet TNT build :D
Codename "Just A Little....."
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=29753

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Epoxy station

Postby JimmY » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:10 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm making a little more progress on the Squirt and I've started gluing a few things together. I'm using Poxy-Grip and I transferred it to a pair of plastic squeeze bottles. This stuff, especially Part B, is really thick and the squeeze bottle make it easy to pour. I bought a pair of 60cc syringes on Amazon, but the ones that were delivered had a very small, short nozzle and not the ones pictured online. My original plan was to suck up the epoxy with the syringes, but the small tips make it difficult an messy. So, I drilled two holes in some scrap wood to hold the syringes. I can then pull out the plungers, squeeze in some epoxy, and push it out into my mixing cup. This makes it pretty easy to measure and mix small batches.

20160912_192429.jpg

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I made sure to mark both syringes and the holder so I don't cross contaminate.

Right now I have the breast hook, stem, transom knee, bottom of frame 2, and transom glued up. These parts are laminated and there is a lot of surface area to cover. I've been mixing 20cc to 50cc of epoxy in a batch which appears to be enough. I've been coating both pieces, sliding them around and using the 1 1/4" ring shank nails (pre-drilled) to hold them together. The nails hold tight, and I typically get a small amount of squeeze out around the pieces. In a few cases I added a clamp or two. I've been checking the mixing cups the next day, and each batch has cured fine.

Next up is cutting a some 1/4" plywood gussets for the rest of the frames.

Later,
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Frames 1 and 2

Postby JimmY » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:38 pm

With all the pieces shaped and sanded, I spent a raining Saturday morning epoxying up frame 1 and 2. I ripped a couple of strips from 1/4 plywood for the gussets. I stacked 4 blanks for each gusset and cut and sanded them to shape and rounded over the edges that you'll see on the finished frames.

20160914_201136.jpg


I have a balsa building board from my model airplanes, and used this to pin down the frame pieces. I pre-drilled the gussets and frames for one side, and then offset the holes about 1/8" for the other side gussets so the nails would not interfere. Frame 1 went pretty well and I was able to epoxy one side, nail it together, flip it, and drill and nail the other side in one operation. The nails from the first side poked through a little, so I could press the gussets in place and not fear that they would move while I pre-drilled the frames.

For frame 2, I must have grabbed the wrong pre-drilled gusset on one side because when I flipped it over there was a bit of a gap between the frame members. I have experimented with the ring shank nails, and once they are in you end up destroying something to get them out. The way that the part slipped, I could take care of it by trimming off a little of the outside of the frame (easier than added more), so I completed the frame. This morning I measured it and it was off less than 1/16", so I trimmed it up and called it good.

I did fill in the space between the gussets with scrap Sapele.

20160917_173404.jpg

20160917_173344-1.jpg

One thing I have learned about epoxy is to not clamp it and forget it. On the transom I clamped up the motor board, wiped up the squeeze out, and leaned it up against my work bench, and went to bed. The next morning I checked on it and there was more squeeze out running across the inside of the transom! The morale of the story is, always check back in about 30minutes to an hour to clean up any epoxy before it cures hard.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

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travis24
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Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby travis24 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:43 pm

Jim,

Looks like you're having fun. Keep up the great work!

Travis
It's like anything you Build. You have to be Patient.

Measure Twice, cut Once.

Keep em Alive ! Vintage & Antique outboards

www.liquidassetsonline.org

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby JimmY » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:39 am

Hi,

I was out of town traveling for my day job last week. I did have a friend rough cut all of the chine and sheer pieces for me yesterday. I still need to run them through my planer to get them down to the final thickness. They will be laminated from two layers of Sapele. The chine is 1" x 1 3/4" and the sheer is 1 1/4" x 1 1/4". I am kind of lacking in the clamp department, and I've heard about using bungee cords or rubber tubes wrapped around the laminations when epoxying them. Have any of you tried this? I'm still a ways off from this step, but when I'm not building I'm thinking about the next step.

With the exception of a final sanding, Frame 1 and 2 are complete. On the transom, I need to bevel the bottom edge and route the sheer and chine notches. After that will be the big workshop clean up and the building form.

Later,
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

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hoodman
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Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby hoodman » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:03 am

Improvising clamps is definitely encouraged. If you are going to wrap something around your lamination just make sure it's something that epoxy wont stick to. An inner tube should work. You can also make rings out of 4" PVC and then cut the rings making a "C". You can also buy spring clamps pretty reasonably.

JimmY
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: Michigan Squirt Build

Postby JimmY » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:30 am

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the clamping tips. I did read about using PVC, but hadn't seen anyone using that technique here. I've got a piece laying about so I'll give it a try.

I got back into things last night, and took another bite out of the elephant. One thing I need to do was bevel the bottom edge of the transom to 12 degrees to match the knee. Here are a few photos of my table saw set up for this.

20160926_185248.jpg


I clamped a sacrificial fence in place and set the blade to just touch the bottom corner of it. I then double sided taped a straight piece of scrap wood to the bottom edge of the transom framing. I used some C-clamps to make sure the tape was secure. Once this was all setup, it was a simple rip cut along the fence to make the cuts.

20160926_185523.jpg

20160926_190048.jpg
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!


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