I hate sanding!

by Mike Lechowski

Two weeks of Internet browsing yielded some very interesting results, including one boat building web site that came up in all web search engines: Glen-L.

I told several people that I was considering building a boat and just about every one said I was crazy to consider it. When I heard that for the 20th time, it was decided, I'm gonna build me a boat. (Talk about your reverse psychology).

The requirements for the project were simple:

  • It had to be a protected water fishing platform for 2 to 3 people, not too big, not too small.
  • It had to be able to be built on a shoestring.
  • It had to be light enough to be towed with small pickup or minivan.
  • It had to be constructed within 3 years in my spare time without interfering with my fishing or computer time.

...The Glen-L Bass Boat fit the bill.

After ordering plans, materials, epoxy and digging out all my old tools etc., I began the project last year, about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Today, I'm fairing.

Here is a picture of the humble beginning: Transferring patterns onto wood.
Yes, it's my living room (I don't have a garage and it was cold outside) and yes it's a bloody mess (we were at the end of repainting and rearranging). As you can see my cat James was not of much help, but a jar of pickles was... or was it me in the pickle...

I will keep on bombarding you with emails unless you get a restraining order... or tell me not to. For now I got to go back to work.
Oh by the way: I HATE SANDING.

8 September

Like I said, I began assembling the frames Thanksgiving last year. The plans call out spruce, white oak or Douglas-fir, of which I could get only white oak at the local lumber yard. It was a special order at over $4 lft for 1" x 8", and they could not guarantee any specific lengths. Too expensive and really not good. I would spend more time scarfing than building. So I asked the sales guy what else could he get, giving him a list of acceptable species. He came up with southern yellow pine at $1.05 a lft for a 1" x 8", in 16 ft lengths, select and kiln dried. Well that's more like it, and that's what I ordered.

I picked the stuff up a week later, along with the 3/4" and 1/4" plywood for transom and frames (some really nice material). I don't have a band saw so I used a jig saw, well started with it anyway (it's in the trash now). I finished cutting with a Sawzall (now that's the tool) and the circular saw. I have also used the table saw to rip down pine for most of the long pieces (chines, sheers, battens...).

This project has given me a chance to form a closer bond with my family - peeled my son away from Nintendo and my wife from the computer and TV (yes she does both at the same time). I told them to dress warm and chased them outside to help run the pine through the table saw. You can replace "Are we there yet" with "Are we done yet"... about a 100 times in the span of the hour it took to finish. In their defense - it was about 30 degrees that day and we were in the driveway. After that is was gluing, drilling, epoxying, screwing, nailing, gluing, drilling... Well finally, some time before Christmas, I had the frames ready and about 2 feet of snow outside, so further assembly at that time was not possible. I had to wait.

Spring came (finally) but I had to postpone the project to catch up on some yard and house work. Then of course I had to go fishing. Just as I was about to start on the boat, we found out that we would be moving. No big deal right? Just find a house with a garage this time and all the problems were solved. Wrong. For one, I didn't want to move, it's something I hate more than sanding. Two, it just takes up too much time, which I'd rather spend fishing or building the boat or something (except for sanding). So anyway, we started looking for a new place, putting some stuff in storage, doing other prep work and things started to drag... Then the bomb. The owner of our house decided to keep the house and we were not moving. @#%*&^%$#@!!!!!!!!!

In the dark ages the man in my situation would have gotten drunk, whipped the wife and kids, kicked the cats, slept it off and felt sooooo much better the next day. I'm jealous we don't do that any more – I would have liked to have gotten drunk that day.

My boss is looking over my shoulder so I guess I need to get back to work. I'll try to continue tomorrow.

In the meantime here is a picture of my frame kit and a stack of SYP in the corner of my living room.