Glen-L marine designs
Building the Glen-L Yukon
by Wayne Milner
Working alone made it difficult to erect the first frame. Some rope and a few conveniently located trees helped. Once the first frame was up, a block and tackle attached to the peak and moved along from peak to peak made erection of the next and subsequent frames easy. The frames were set at 2-foot intervals and braced with 1x3 strapping as they were erected. The roof was strapped at 2-foot intervals with 1x3 strapping running at right angles to the rafters.
The sides of the structure are covered with 6-mil plastic sheeting attached to the vertical wall studs with wood laths and galvanized nails. The plastic on the sidewalls was left about 2 feet long at the bottom, spread out on the ground and covered with earth and rocks to help hold the structure down in wind storms. I got a silage tarp, treated to resist ultraviolet radiation, from a farm-supply store. I used this to cover the roof, and fastened it with laths and nails along the roof edges and up the peaks at the ends. The earth floor was covered with 6-mil plastic to keep out moisture from the ground, and to ease cleanup. Working about a day and a half on weekends, and the odd day I could take off work, it took me three months to build my shelter. Materials cost about $2,300 Canadian, or about $1,700 U.S. Seven or eight years ago I built a similar shelter 30 feet by 14 feet with 8-foot side walls for about $300 Canadian.
These structures are stronger than one would think. My present structure has withstood winds of 60 or 70 mph at times, as well as a load of about 6 inches of wet snow. Snow won't slide off the roof tarp unless I go inside and poke the underside with a padded stick. During a big snow storm, I go out a couple of times to knock the snow off so that it doesn't build up too thick.
I bought a 14-inch band saw when I started this project, which I probably didn't need. A circular saw and a saber saw are essential. A circular saw will cut a significant curve. A power hand plane with a couple of spare drive belts and lots of spare blades (blades shatter when you run over a screw or nail) is an essential tool, and saves a lot of hand labor. Also essential are a 1/2-inch industrial-grade drill, a high-quality, 3/8-inch variable-speed reversible drill, drill bits, and screwdriver bits. I fabricated a bit to drill the hole for the shaft. A sander is necessary. I like the angle-grinder type.
I used half a dozen pipe clamps and a few C-clamps. You don't need as many clamps as you would think. A lot of times, a Spanish windlass or a special clamp made out of a couple of pieces of wood and a threaded rod can be used.
A 10-inch table saw with lots of power would be an asset, as would a thickness planer. I have an 8-inch table saw with not much power, and I don't have a thickness planer. I do have a homemade (not by me) 8-inch jointer set up on an antique washing-machine frame.
With regard to safety, I tried to be careful not to breathe in too much dust or chemical fumes. I used a 3M respirator with appropriate filters, safety glasses, and a lot of medium-weight latex gloves. (I found medium-weight gloves better than the very thin ones.) When I got epoxy on my clothes and it soaked through the cloth, I washed the skin with soap and water within a few minutes.
The Building Form
The set of plans I bought included a sketch showing the building form on which the hull was to be built. The lumber used to build the form was going to be inside in a dry environment for the length of time it would take me to complete the hull. I reasoned that, by that time, the lumber would be pretty dry, without my having to pay the price for kiln-dried lumber. I could then rip it up and use it for such things as deck supports, and cabinet and bunk framing. I bought a piece of 6x6 lumber, 16 feet long, on which to sit each of the five sets of legs of the building form. The 6x6s have another use later on. I laid the 6x6s transversely on the ground, leveled them, and proceeded to build the form. I braced the form well in every direction, and made sure that it was straight and level.
During the course of the project, I frequently checked to see that the building form stayed straight and level. I did this by running a string down the centerline, and making sure it stayed over the marked centerline of each set of legs, and by checking with the level.