Friday, 5 February 2010

Hatching a plan (chest)

Last Boat Thursday we carried on with work in the galley. We built the top surface for the planchest that will support our tea+coffee area. We're not sure how we're going to finish it off yet- probably with tiles. We also put in the deep shelves underneath that will house watercolour paper and old paintings. We left space at the very bottom for our mini fridge and a narrower set of deep shelves.

We also finished panelling out the space with plywood everywhere except on the side that will be behind the floor to ceiling shelving unit. This isn't for aesthetic reasons but because we ran out of large sheets of ply. We then filled the countersunk holes with filler and when they are dry we'll sand them down and be ready to paint. It will make a big difference to the space when it's got light walls as it will optimise the light that comes in through the small porthole and window.

This weeks job was making the metal hatch to go over the old skylight in the galley.

The old hatch covering was a window with a wooden frame that leaked a lot. It also made the pathway around the wheelhouse on that side really difficult because it meant stepping over the window.

Steve cut the angle iron to the right size. There was a bit of fiddling to get it to perfectly fit over the gap which is why is much better suited to these initial stages than I am.

And I welded it up into a solid frame. I thought I'd've forgotten how to weld as it has been a while since I last did any, but surprisingly I've started to get a feel for it. I still haven't got close to mastering vertical welding, but the horizontal stuff was looking pretty neat for a change.

Steve then ground the welds flat and I did another pass anywhere where there were small holes. These were mostly on the vertical surfaces- which as we have established- I suck at.

Next step was to attach the frame to the top piece. We found an almost perfect sized top sheet of metal in the engine room with a really nice handle. I welded it in place and Steve cut it exactly to size and then ground down the welds so that it was a perfectly smooth.

When it was all smooth I painted it with 2part epoxy paint.

And that was it. It looks great in place and I'm really proud that we made something like this from scratch. Hurray.