Ok everyone...the big initial reveal! Still looks filthy without any sanding done...there's epoxy smears and gunk everywhere, etc etc...but getting darn close!
First some answers and responses:
@Dave I like the dash insert too - highly recommended. I think it both looks and performs better than a standard, wooden dash. Helm is on the starboard side because I've never actually seen a boat (in person) with the helm on the port side - I know in a Jet it makes no difference, but all of my driving experience would go to waste if I had to switch things! (it will also, almost always, get docked on the starboard side). I think I'll put in a reinforcement plank underneath as well - I forgot how thni the veneers were, so I don't think they're doing to do much in terms of structural reinforcement...I had quite a few nails "go through" so I have to re-encapsulate the underside anyways
@Carl - It's fantastic! It's been a while since I've been able to really "get in the zone", but I find it's so much nicer and more productive. The starting and stopping seems to get in the way...and disrupt my whole train of thought all the time. Case in point, I think I got more done over these 4 days than I have all summer...
On that note, picture time! The three main topics are the dash / decking area (As a quick memory jog, I'm trying to hide the fact that there's any plywood sub decking), the little transitional / difficult areas, and the overall boat with all veneering. In that order:
This picture shows the "bottom" and "middle" layer of the fake dash / deck veneer. The plywood gets veneer on the bottom, on it's edge (middle), and will then get it on the top as well with the rest of the decking. By doing this, the plywood is completely covered on all sides so it looks like the whole deck is mahagony. Notice the thin "edge" strip and the weird half round side piece that fits into the rabbit - once everything is sanded down, it will mimic the curve of the plywood.
This shot shows the dash section "complete", i.e. there's all three layers of veneer. Note how you can't see any plywood edge or surface anywhere! The clamps are touching the bottom piece, the edge / middle layer is squished between the bottom and the top veneers.
Last but not least, how the finished top veneering fits into the coamings. It's quite messy and is going to need a bit of work with the sander / a potential gap fill to look the way I want it, but the veneers are partially set into the coaming as well, which is why I needed the double rabbit at the end (see a few posts back). I suspect I've made everything about as clear as mud, but the end result is that you can't see there's any plywood!
Next up, the screw up / difficult areas:
This picture shows one of many examples where we couldn't quite get things to line up, had a tiny gap, and had to fill it with a little scrap piece of veneer. The very nice thing about using (raptor) nails instead of vacuum sealing things, is that this fix took maybe 15 seconds to pull off - whereas I imagine everything would have to be *perfect* before you started using a vacuum system.
This shot shows the veneering from the top, where the coamings start to poke out of the deck. It looks a bit weird right now with the "diagonal cut" through the veneer along the coaming line, but should clean up quite nice once everything's sanded / stained!
Last but not least, my hidden racing stripes. Due to the way we ripped the veneers, they're all the tiniest bit skinnier at the "back" than the front. This works out well at the stern of the boat, which tapers in slightly anyways, but not so much on the front deck, which is pretty flat and square. Since the ash highlights run exactly straight, and the veneers were sized to exactly fill them, the "rear" edge had a noticeable gap of ~3/4". Instead of fitting a single peice, which would have taken forever, I was lucky enough that the scraps from ripping them were - of course - inversely angled in the opposite way, and ended up with three "racing stripes" down the very middle of the front deck. I highly doubt anyone will ever notice them once the dark stain and varnish are on, but just in case, I tried to make them look as nice / "intentional" as possible.
And now, the moment of truth...the fully veneered deck!
Side shot - the very last piece hugging the sheer line took longer than the rest of the side put together, as it had to be fit along it's entire length.
Shot of the rear, showing the gradual taper in the sheer.
From behind - only one racing stripe at the back
This might be one of my favorite pictures so far. A) I *love* the way the ash accents turned out, running the entire sheer and along the stringers for the length of the boat (they also exactly match up with the accents on the side)
B) At this angle, the cockpit and front deck seem to poke out ever so slightly from the sides, but in a very fluid, beautiful way.
C) It definitely doesn't look slow...
And there you go, progress shot for this week! I'm hoping to get most of the sanding done next weekend, and maybe even some of the staining (we'll have to see how the sanding goes) - things will be going a little slower again now that I only get 2 days weekends for the foreseeable future!