Monday, 23 June 2014

Basic scumbling and great lacquer

I was given this dirty old Captain's chest, the top of it can be seen before I took out the wood strips, lacquered them with Le Tonkinois oil based lacquer, I then rubbed down the top and scumbled it.

It still needs a few coats of lacquer over the scumble and to get the fittings, lock etc. re-brass plated. Not bad for my first attempt in over twenty years and using only an old brush and some tin foil!

The stern welding is done (hopefully)

All last weeks new steel that we added has been cut back out and three new panels have been welded to the diesel tank, then a new, slightly oversize, weedhatch made and and welded in. I have now re-filled the tank and it's seems to be leak-free, but time will tell if we'll get any seepage through any pinholes in the welds.

Lots of new steel and welding have transformed the badly designed stern area, by making the weedhatch a bit bigger we had a lip that meant we could weld from both sides without needing to take her out of the water. Next we'll add a skin fitting each side and use flexi tube that can be removed to clean if need be.
I was going to paint all of this new metal but decided to leave it to get a light skin of rust to provide a good key for the paint, then I'll Fertan it before the undercoat.
We may also further modify the deck drain channels so that they can be easily removed for better access to the engine 'ole.
I'll also re-route the wiring, stern gland grease tube, raw water intake pipe so that they don't get in the way when I want to climb in the 'ole.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Starting again from scratch (almost!)

Here you can see the most obvious of the holes, in the diesel tank, that were behind the weedhatch, there were several smaller holes too.

The diesel tank drain was an upside down length of channel with a tap welded into the end, I decided to cut this out too, as we now have the inspection hatch, we can easily clean out the tank, and there is now a centrifugal filter to catch anything else.
The three old tank panels have been completely removed new panels welded into place ;o) One of the old panels is lying on the 'moon pool'

The new weedhatch sides welded in.

The first three flanges were welded on before it got a bit late to be working, the fourth will be added tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

One step forwards and two steps back

Back to the drawing board! I decided that we would need to take radical action, chopping out the rear deck drain channels, then the entire weedhatch!

We found that the diesel tank had rusted through, behind the weedhatch, so a large section of the tank got the chop.

I could now get at the narrow area around each side of the tank. I, once again, cleaned out the tank, finally getting at the last deposits in these, hard to get to, areas.

The water is scarily close to the opening! LOL! The things you do to save paying for drydock or slipway!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Fix a problem and find more problems

When I cut the deck drain off the counter plate this was all that was left of the steel.
This is what the 'good' one looked like!!!!

We welded a plug in each hole and then over-plated, we'll re-route the deck drain through a skin fitting later

We added a lot of steel and welds and still the diesel bled through pinholes in the weld and started to weep into the weedhatch in tiny quantities, but it would only get worse.

So we have to bite the bullet and get her up on our marina's new slipway, I will cut out the weedhatch and we'll replace it with a new one, I also cut out some of the newly added steel so that we can eliminate the void/rust-trap between the weedhatch and the diesel tank and then overplate diesel tank.
If the pre-purchase surveyor had done his job properly, he would have found these problems, but all he said was there was some rust around the weedhatch that could be treated! Had he picked up on the dangerous faults, we could have done all this while we were in dry-dock last August. Grrr!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A labour of love ;o)

More than twenty years ago I was at a bubblecar rally in my Messerschmitt kr200, at the time I had no serious longings to own a narrowboat.
We went for a wander on the Hatton flight and visited the craft centre where I bought four small pieces of different hardwoods that I could carve into traditional Welsh lovespoons.
These bits of wood have been moved from pillar to post over the years and I have never got around to making anything from them. Recently I found them when we were moving out of my garage in Cardiff.
I decided it was time to make my lovely lady a lovespoon that would reflect my love for her and our love for our pair of boats and in doing so, re-unite the piece of rosewood with it's canal based origins.

Pencil drawing the design on the piece of rosewood
I rigged the fretsaw attachment to my treadle lathe
USB LEDs, bought from a pound shop, help me see what I'm cutting

It was about this time that my chisel slipped and chopped the top off my little finger! I struggled to find the piece in the woodchips and to open the first aid kit with one hand. Once I found the lost bit of finger, complete with fingernail, I went around my neighbour's boats asking for superglue to stick it back on, Rita insisted that she clean my wound and patch me up minus the bit! "Too many germs", she said.
So now the lovespoon was rosewood with a splash or two of my blood! Love or what? LOL!
Freyja takes shape
Freyja and Christina roughed out

Starting to take shape
Busy working on the real boats at the moment, hopefully get a chance to carve the finer details when I'm back out on tour.