When I ended the last post I had epoxied the second layer of the floor onto the first. I used the router again to cut the final shape, having the flush-trimming bit following the first floor piece. The result is a single floor made of two layers of douglas fir, which looks remarkably like the pattern. Due to the slope of the planking, for the floor at Station 2 I had to bevel the bottom edge of the floor for it to fit. Finally, I rounded over the upper edge of the floors. If you’re using a hardwood, a small roundover bit and the router might be just the ticket, but for the soft splintery fir I was using, a sandpaper round worked just fine.
We can’t glue the floors in just yet. The floors will first need to be sealed with two coats of Clear Coat, especially the bottom edges of the floors. The floors will have limbers, which is another boaty term meaning it will have gaps where it joins the planking. This is not sloppy workmanship; the gaps are intentional to allow any water to drain from say, forward of the floor to aft, or vice versa. So these bottom edges, especially, need to be sealed now before they are glued in.
Epoxy is slippery stuff when wet, so to make installation easier I used a single bronze screw to fix the location of the floor. The floor was positioned in the dry, and a pilot hole drilled in the floor on the drill press. The floor was then taken back to the boat, set in it’s place, and a pilot hole drilled through the floor into the keelson. Finally the floor was drilled to the diameter to clear the bronze screw, and the countersunk was bored. The drill press came in handy for this. The drill press I have was built by my father when he was at college, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
Finally the floors can be epoxied to the hull. I used epoxy on the keelson and only the outboard edges of each plank, and added a small epoxy fillet on the outboard edges, making sure to leave a limber at each plank so that water could drain. In the photos below, you can see the epoxy fillets and the limbers at each plank.
Now that the floors are in, my plan was to tackle the breasthook next. The breasthook is a triangular shaped piece that reinforces the sheer at the bow, tying together the two sheer strakes and the stem. It’s a rather complicated piece of work with all kinds of funny angles, so it’s best to get this out of the way.
But sometimes plans need to change.