The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.04.22 - More Tabernacle and Centre Plate Top

The tasks for the day are to get the tabernacle fitted and to complete as much of the curved centre plate case top as possible. However, before all that could begin I made a quick trip to the local woodyard for some plywood as I don't have any left of a sufficient size to make the curved top. It is not marine plywood but the top is not structural and I'll coat it with neat epoxy before varnishing to stop any water getting into the wood. If, in a season or two, it looks like the plywood is failing then I'll get some marine plywood and rebuild it.

Having returned from the woodyard I took the curved part of the top off the jig. Here it is before it gets cut to size and cleaned up. The cutting to size will not be carried out until the rest of the top is completed. The the edges will be trimmed using a router and follower bit after the top have been fitted to the body of the top. The reason for this is that the centre plate case is tapered and accurately cutting that taper on a curved piece of wood is not going to be easy, whereas using the filler bit in a router is very easy indeed.

This is the underside of the tabernacle backing pad. Apart from the line down the middle which is caused by the sharp crease in the plastic, the bottom of this is pretty flat. Time to clean it up and drill the bolt holes.

Here is the backing pad now cleaned up, with the bolt holes drilled, the edges rounded, dry fitted and now coated with neat epoxy. I should be able to fit it tomorrow.

The curved top sprung back a little so I used a piece of string to pull it back to the correct shape.

The two side pieces were cut out of the new piece of plywood and the top drilled for screws then dry fitted together.

The contraption looks fairly good so far. I wonder where I will store it when it is not in use.

I did need to check the fit, fortunately it fitted well on the centre plate box, but then I had the flat top to use as a guide.

I put the substitute plate in the case with a piece of rope attached, you can just see it on the port bunk, and checked that the curve is correct. I would have taken a photo but to do that I needed three hands.

This is the curved top glued together, or the parts so far. There is more to be done but not until the main part of the structure is glued up.

The Oak parts used Titebond III since the epoxy doesn't stick too well to Oak due to the tannin content, and the rest was glued with epoxy.

The join between the curved top and the sides was filled with an epoxy fillet to strengthen the joint.

Clamping the ends of the curved top proved to be impossible, so I cut four pieces of wood with a slope on one end and clamped that to the flat section of the top with the sloped part pushing against the curved top.

It worked better than I expected.

That's all I shall be doing for today as I need a break and then I have a DCC dinner this evening and will need some time to get the epoxy off my hands and the sawdust out of my hair!