Squirt Progress

Outboard designs up to 14'

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AaronStJ
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Squirt Progress

Post by AaronStJ »

Hello again, everyone. Though I'd make a thread to keep everyone up to date with my Squirt build.

I recently put on the chines and the sheers. I was a little nervous about the chines, since they seemed to want to hit the stem awful high, but looking through the photos in the archives (particularly these) made me feel a lot better. I was also nervous about how deeply I had to notch the front frame to get the chine to bend naturally, until I saw found a photo in Boatbuilding with Plywood with the same deep notch. And when I started fairing today, I was able to plane the frame down to a fair curve pretty easily.

Still, I'm not super happy with the chines. For one, I think the meet the stem to far forward. Another issue is the curve is weirdly unfair near the bow - the chines kind of flatten out. When I checked with a straight edge to make sure I'd actually be able to plank that section, it turned out it was dished in. I added a quarter inch shim between the frame and the stem today, though. I'm sure if I proceed carefully everything will work out.

I bent on the chines be fastening in the middle first and then working fore and aft. To cut the bevel at the stem, I made my best guess cutting long and then progressively shaped it, which probably isn't the best plan. Had I been a good boy and re-read the chapter on chines before I started bending on the chines, and not after to see what I'd done wrong, I'd have started by temporarily clamping on the chines, used a hand saw the cut the bevel at the stem, fastened at the stem first, and then worked back. Oh well, I'm sure if I proceed carefully everything will work out. And anyway, the next boat will go easier. :D

The sheers were much easier. I decided to make them out of four laminations, rather than the two specified in the plans, since I'd read so many reports of people breaking the sheer trying to get them to bend. I figured the extra laminations would be stiffer, and would save me the trouble of rigging up a steamer as well. I rigged up a clamping block to clamp the sheers to the breasthook by cutting a notch the shape of the first couple inches of the breasthook out of a short piece of scrap 2x6 (or maybe 2x8, whatever I had laying around). It worked OK, but if I had to do it again, I'd probably rig up a blog on the back of the breasthook like BulldogBoater did.

I ended up only having enough 12 foot stock to cut half the laminations I needed. I decided to use an eight foot board I was going to use for the battens rather than buy another 12 foot board that I'd only need part of. I figured the other laminations would act as a butt block. I made sure to stagger the joints and keep them towards the aft where there was less curve. Overall, it seems to have worked well, and I'm pretty happy with the sheers.

I started the fairing today, and it's going fairly well. I'll get pictures and a write up of that up eventually, probably once I start planking. It's pretty cool to have the sheers and chines in place, since all of the lines of the boat are defined now. It's boat shaped.

Anyway, some photos:

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I dug out a wider angle lens, which definitely makes my garage look bigger.

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Clamping the third sheer lamination. (And yes, that's white glue. I'm using Titebond III for all of the construction. I hope you expoxy nuts aren't too badly offended :D )

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My fancy sheer clamping block

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The deep chine notch. The other side is about the same. I faired the frame down, though, and it looks great now.

Here's the whole set of photos for the chines and sheers.
Last edited by AaronStJ on Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Oyster
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by Oyster »

You have done a very nice job, neat, clean and well organized shop too. Your setup for your stem clamping also is a great idea and thanks for sharing it in a photo format. Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.

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BulldogBoater
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by BulldogBoater »

Good looking build.

Just so you know, my chines "dished in" a little bit also and I had to add some more mahogany prior to plaking. I think it came from twisting the chine when trying to make it meet the stem at a better angle. It was easy enough to fix and I am pleased with the outcome.

And like you said, the next boat will go easier!

Good Luck,

KB
"I'm not trying to get it perfect. I'm trying to get it finished!"
Strip Planked Skiff, Jet Squirt, 2 Tubby Tugs, Console Skiff, Modified Kingfisher (Last One #6)

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BayouBengal
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by BayouBengal »

Nice looking build, Aaron.

I think your chines look fine, they don't look like they're meeting the stem to far forward, they meet the stem about the same place that mine did.

All wood does not bend equally; so, continually check for symetry. Keep in mind, you can add on laminations at different places to aid in symetry and fairing.

Thanks for posting your pics and progress.

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AaronStJ
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Location: Seattle

Re: Squirt Progress

Post by AaronStJ »

Thanks for the kind words, guys. Being as this is my first solo boat build (really first serious wood working project of any sort), the compliments and encouragement mean a lot.
Oyster wrote:You have done a very nice job, neat, clean and well organized shop too.
You'll find my shop is about the only clean thing about me :D . My office, desk, everything else are a total disaster (the admiral is reading this over my shoulder, and she agrees). I picked up the habit of cleaning and tidying my shop after every day of work from my dad. I've found that if you do it every time you work in it, it only takes 10 minutes or so, and it makes getting work done a lot easier. Plus, I don't think I'd be able to do anything in that small a space if it wasn't fairly neatly organized.
Oyster wrote:Your setup for your stem clamping also is a great idea and thanks for sharing it in a photo format.
Thanks again. The clamping block worked fairly well, but it was a little tricky trying to get it clamped down with the sheers springing back against it. I'll probably use a block on the back of the breasthook like BullDogBoater on my next build (maybe a zip utility in a Costco carport?).
BulldogBoater wrote:Just so you know, my chines "dished in" a little bit also and I had to add some more mahogany prior to plaking.
I know. I've read your website several times, and it's been a big help and inspiration, so thanks for putting it up. I think my chine issues because I got the bevel so steep, and I when I screwed the chine to the stem it pulled the chine in to and unfair curve. Boatbuilding specifically warns that that can happen. It even has a picture. Again, a good reason to re-read the chapter before you goof something up.

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AaronStJ
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by AaronStJ »

Ok, it's been a long time since I made my first progress report. Largely because progress has been slow. I've been mired in the "frustrating, tedious, etc." process of fairing for a while. I know there's not much to fair on this boat, but I don't like doing it, so I haven't been putting in that much time, and I've had other weekend obligations. I've finally got the sides on, though, and I expect to put the bottom on fairly soon.

Fairing was actually really easy and quick for the aft two thirds of the boat. It was the front third that got to me. I can see why Boatbuilding has you go from back to front. If I started out the bow, I probably would have considered a chainsaw. I mentioned in my last post that my chines were dished in, and that I'd added a shim to both sides. That didn't actually end up being enough material, and I eventually added another layer. A lot of C&C time was involved. I'm glad I took my time to think it through and fix the problem early, though, because the side planking went on really easily and fits well.

The planking itself was fairly straightforward and simple, although it did involve driving a lot of nails. My hand hurt. I had scarfed all the panels beforehand, and I rough cut them to shape, test fitting against the side several times, which three deck screws used as locators. I tested to make sure the panels were, as Glen L says, "relatively interchangeable". I almost wanted to skip this step - magical thinking making me not want to find out if something was wrong, so that I didn't have to deal with it. They looked good, though.

After I was satisfied with the rough shape of the panels, I pre-drilled nails holes. This process ended up eating my small drill bits. The small end of my drill index is looking pretty thin now. I actually ended up finishing the pre-drilling using a finish nail clamped in my drill, which worked surprisingly well. I snapped three drill bits, but only one nail. Next I used a foam brush to lay down a generous, even layer of glue on my longitudinals, which worked really well. Then I fit the panels one last time, and started the tedious process of driving 200-some bronze nails.

Working along the sheer on the second panel I installed, disaster struck. I must admit to what I now consider a big mistake in my construction. When I installed my sheers, I made them out of four laminations, which I still think is a good idea. However, I only screws the innermost lamination to the frames. I relied on glue to outer layers together. Looking back, this was obviously a mistake. When I got about a foot from the transom nailing the planking to the sheer, there was a bang. The last few inches of the first and second lamination failed, and the outer layers sprung outward. I quickly re-saturated the area with glue, clamped the sheer back together, and drove two large screws. It seems pretty solid now, but I sure wish I glued all the laminations on first and then screwed.

Disaster dealt with, the side planking was successfully in place. Having the side planking is place made it easy to tell where I'd made minor fairing mistakes. I took the fairing slowly and checked constantly with a small piece of plywood, so overall things fit very well. There are a couple of places where you can see the planking is maybe a millimeter off of the longitudinal at the edge. I think these are mostly caused by having a bit of a roll in the side of the member, rather then having in perfectly flat. This made sense when I was fairing, since the whole plank rolls top to bottom. Once it hits the hard longitudinal, though, it obviously wants to stay flat , and doesn't "pull in" to the member". Oh well, another lesson learned, and I'll fill with epoxy and saw dust.

Next up was cutting the batten notches in my frames, and installing the battens. After cutting the notches, I wasn't happy with the limber holes, which were fairly roughly cut out with a jig saw. I ended up using my sanding drum in my portable drill to round out the limber holes. The diameter of the drum is 1 1/2", so it was the perfect size to sand the holes to a 3/4" quarter round.

I also didn't have a router to cut the limber holes in the battens (still don't, but Christmas is coming up...), so I clamped them together in pairs, and used a drill press to drill down between the two battens and cut the holes. That work out pretty well. I screwed and glued the battens in place, and then installed scabs above the limber holes to strengthen them. As you can see from the photos, the scabs don't fit nearly as well as I thought they did when I was installing them - I admit to being in a bit of a hurry - I'll have to remember to take things slow in the future, which isn't really in my nature, but makes things turn out a lot better. I'll have to fill the gaps with thickened epoxy.

I also have gaps in the notches on the transom frame, since I cut them to plan, and ended up using slightly smaller battens. My battens are a little thin since they're cut out of an S4S 1x8 - actually about 7 1/2" wide. Epoxy and sawdust to the rescue again.

Anyway, what you all came here to see: pictures!

You can see the shims I added to the chines in this shot. Once they're faired in, it's a good, sweet curve.
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Side panel in place and trimmed. So my line of nails isn't straight or even. Sue me. :mrgreen:
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The end of my battens with fancy drill-cut limber holes, and ill-fitting scabs and notches. Epoxy to the rescue
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Where she stands now
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Actually, it's made a little progress since that last photo. In that photo, the inboard starboard batten isn't screwed in place, since I ran out of bronze screws of the right size. I picked up five (two extra, I didn't want to go back) at Fisheries Supply this weekend to attach it - cost me $3.50. Did you guys know this boat stuff if expensive?

You can also see from the photos that I upgraded my lighting situation. I replace my old, dim, flickery electromagnetic ballast fixture with two new electronic ballast fixtures that put off a lot more light, especially when it's cold (which it's getting to be now). Much better.

Anyway, more planking, then fiberglassing and painting up next. Hope to get another progress report in before too long.

The whole set of photos of side planking and battens.

Oyster
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by Oyster »

Nice work. In regards to having your nails in a straight line, actually thats not always a good practice in small woods or even narrow in thickness. Nails or fasteners that go almost all the way to just under the skin on the other side "saws" the plank down the middle with a line in the same plane. So there is nothing wrong with a gradual off center fastening pattern. If anyone is ordering ring shank boat nails and using adhesive glues, there is nothing wrong with using nails that will end up about half or so into the solid batten or chines.

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AaronStJ
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by AaronStJ »

Oyster wrote:In regards to having your nails in a straight line, actually thats not always a good practice in small woods or even narrow in thickness.
In that case, I did it on purpose. :mrgreen:

That makes a lot of sense, actually. I can easily imagine a line of nails splitting a piece of limber apart. My boat nails actually peek out of the other side of the chine in some places. I just ordered the nails listed in the BOM, but with decent glue, shorter nails make sense, too. With a decent glue layer, the nails shouldn't be doing much work at all.

Learning more about woodworking in one of my favorite parts of boat building.

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vupilot
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by vupilot »

My chine also flattened and "dished in" near the bow about 1/4". Except I didnt notice until all the planking was put on. Now I have to figure out the fix after the fact. Glad to see Im not the only one and that you caught this much earlier than I.

Looks great, I might have to build a squirt next.

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BayouBengal
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by BayouBengal »

Aaron, the boat looks great!

Fairing is tough and it's good to read that you've dealt with it much better than I did. I got so frustrated and confused fairing the bow that my boat sat from October to January until I worked up the mental strength to attack it again.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks like you're working at a nice deliberate pace and doing a very professional job. I look forward to seeing more pics as you progress.

Oyster
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by Oyster »

vupilot wrote:My chine also flattened and "dished in" near the bow about 1/4". Except I didnt notice until all the planking was put on. Now I have to figure out the fix after the fact. Glad to see Im not the only one and that you caught this much earlier than I.

Looks great, I might have to build a squirt next.
Dishing in and not just flat spots between the stem and the first frame aft is normally caused by the improper angles at the end of the chines. The twist which creates the compound curving wood can be a tricky fit. Cut long and hand fit with a grinder after hand cutting the end with one of those short stroker hand saws holding it against the stem as long as your jig is secure enough. A sharp one is a must.

In the bigger hulls with thicker plywood this sometimes will pull it out a bit. If the chines are secured in place and cannot be moved and if you notice it before applying the plywood, let the side plywood hid some of it with thickened glue and leave fasteners out in that region using only a clamp to hold and adjust the sides using your eye to see what looks right.

No two boats when having a measuring tape placed on them will measure exactly to the 1/16" since wood also varies in bends too.

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AaronStJ
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by AaronStJ »

I figured I better post and update on my progress or you guys will forget that I'm actually building a boat. Progress has been slow and steady, mostly to keep pace with my budget. I have finished the planking, fiberglassed the hull, and added three fill coats of epoxy (on top of the initial wet-out coat).

The bottom planking was pretty straightforward, and I don't have any photos. I did hit one snag; there's a photo of it little farther down.

After finishing up the planking, I had to fill and fair all of the little holes and gaps. I had planned on painting the boat from the start, so I wasn't as careful as I could have been about minor gaps and imperfect joints on the outside of the hull. I filled everything with epoxy and microballoons - the end results is a smooth, fair hull, even if it does have ugly red blotches. It'll all get painted over anyway.

Here's a good example of the kind filling and fairing I did. My first pass sagged; I didn't use enough filler in the epoxy. The light red is sanded filler, and the dark red has yet to be sanded.
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As promised, from the planking: I learned (yet again) why you should always cut to the outside line. I scribed the cut line for the button joints on the text by rubbing the edge of the side planking with chalk, and bouncing the bottom plank on it, as detailed in Boatbuilding. I managed to get two lines on this one, though, and foolishly cut to the inside line, and ended up with a wedge shaped chunk missing. It took a fair amount of thickened epoxy to fill, but once the boat is painted, you shouldn't even notice it.
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The fiberglassing was pretty simple, just slow. I precut all of the pieces to rough shape before hand, and then applied them. Every piece overlapped every other piece somehow, so I had to put one on, wait for it to dry, and then feather the edge before proceeding. It took a while. After I'd gotten all of the fiberglass on I started in on the fill coats. Again, I moved slowly (this time 'cause I'm lazy :mrgreen:), which meant I had to sand each coat before applying another since the epoxy had cured.

The second piece of fiberglass (the transom was first)
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The third piece, lapping the first two. It's pretty amazing how clear the weave gets once it's wetted out. I'd read over and over that it would disappear, but it's pretty hard to believe until you see it.
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The entire boat is fiberglassed, and in this photo has the third fill layers still wet on it.
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Coming up, I have to build a crisp edge along the transom. I tried the method shown in Boatbuilding of building up a couple of layers of fiberglass, but had a hard time with it. I couldn't get a crisp edge with my random orbit sander. My new belt sander (Christmas present from the admiral :D) worked better, but... let's just say I ended up having to add patches to the edge. I'm thinking I'll fix a "dam" of plastic or tape along the transom, and just try pouring a small amount of un-thickened epoxy to try and "mold" and edge. We'll see.

Next up, I have to order paint and prime and paint the bottom so I can flip and then get back to proper woodworking - the fun part!

Oh, somewhere along the way, I bought a motor (actually two, but that's a longer story). I had been planning to beg, borrow or steal the 1980s 10hp Mercury from my dad's sailboat, but I decided I needed a little more oomph, and I wasn't a huge fan of the aesthetics. I picked up a 1957 18hp Johnson that a local marine shop had gotten for trade in. Runs like a dream; cost me $425 (sorry, Iggy - you should have chosen a smaller boat :mrgreen:) The stand I build using these great plans.
Image

All the photos:
Filling and fairing
Fiberglassing
Motor

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BayouBengal
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Re: Squirt Progress

Post by BayouBengal »

That's a great looking motor and should work well with the boat. I have the 1956 Johnson 15Hp and it isn't quite enough, the 18 ought to be just about perfect.

Your boat's looking really nice.

Regarding the crisp edge, I think I must have had to overlap about six inch strips of cloth to finally get my edge sharp. This is mainly because I had rounded it too much prior to glassing. Your sander may not be the problem, you may just have to add more cloth, then sand off most all of it but the edge. Also, I'd work it with the long board so that you have a smooth transition between the edge area where you're adding the cloth and the aft few feet of your hull (planing area).

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