Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Romanes eunt domus

So, having cut the hole in the deck and welded in a lip, we've been waiting for Brian to have chance to build the actual skylight to fit into the hole.

A few days ago he delivered the skylight, which he'd built offsite in the workshop,

and then a couple of days later returned to, with Lorna's help, weld it in place over the hole.

They started by cutting off what were probably the old sockets for pegs for securing a tarp over the roof.

And then Lorna ground down the paint from the area of wall that would be welded, and they put the skylight in position.

It was at this point that they discovered that although it was flat at the base, the wall had a slight bow in it, which meant that although the skylight fitted the hole in the deck perfectly it didn't butt up to the wall properly.

They then spent most of the day cutting, repositioning, trimming and fiddling,

and eventually all the hard work paid off and the skylight was welded in securely and watertightly. We are SO pleased with the result, the shape and the big, heavy, industrial styling works really well with the front deck, and when we get glass in there it's going to let so much light into the room. The open-able panel also provides a much better secondary fire escape exit than we had before. It's been a LONG time in the planning but it was totally worth it.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Wood, Wood Glorious Wood

So, after a while of doing a lot of grinding, cutting and welding with metal, it was time to break out the screwdriver and the mitre saw and do some woodwork. After a good start through doing boat thursdays work on the galley, which i started on here, and which we continued here, here and here, had ground to a halt, partly because of being busy with work and other jobs, and partly through lack of funds to get the materials. Eventually we managed to buy a whole load of wood

and set to work on the galley.

First up was to finish facing the walls with ply, so we cut the sheets to size

and filled the remaining gaps that we hadn't had the materials to finish off

before filling

and sanding the joins.

Then, with the help of James' Kreg Pocket Hole Jig

I rebuilt the framework for the plan chest shelves, making them stronger and more solidly built than the original temporary ones

and with a split bottom section

to accommodate a fridge for drinks.

I primed the walls and shelf frames

and then turned my attention to the ceiling, which was panelled but in a fairly hap[hazard way, with some of the panels missing and all painted in some kind of super thick, nasty paint that would be a nightmare to get off. We decided that, at least for the next few years, it would be much easier and nicer to just put a nice smooth plywood ceiling over the whole lot.

I cut the shape out of a 3mm ply sheet on the roof,

and then had to cut it in half to get it down the stairs and into the back cabin

before getting one half

and then the other, fixed up

and painted, along with the walls and other woodwork, before putting the shelves into the shelf frames.

Finally, it was time to lay the floor, surely this would be a quick, easy task with such a small space right? I got most of the floor down in about an hour,

but i knew that eventually i'd have to deal with the Great Lurking Problem, the old sink outlet pipe which was still sticking up through the floor

and which led down to an outlet in the engine room, under the waterline.

The pipe was connected to the valve with an old, slowly perishing rubber joint, and although their was a tap that presumably closed the valve to the outside i didn't fancy trusting it as the only thing between us and water pouring into the engine room if we removed the pipe. We needed to seal off the hole from the outside.

At low tide we went down onto the shore and i ground down the area around the hole

while Lorna set up her welding gear

and welded a small plate over the hole.

There was just time to paint over it with a nice thick coat of bitumen and let it dry a little before the tide came in

and finally we could take out the pipe that was sticking up through the galley floor

cover the hole with underlay

and finish the floor.

Bit of a detour just to get a floor down, but another job ticked off the list that was great to finally get around to doing, and a weight off my mind that we're unlikely to have hundreds of gallons of Thames water pouring into the engine room anytime soon!

With the room itself essentially finished it just remained to rebuild the bookshelves that we had temporarily made when we first stripped out the room. We sanded down the scaffolding planks

and screwed everything together to make a bookcase.

All that remained was to fill all the shelves

and, apart from some proper hardwood frames around the windows and skylight, which are definitely a 'second tier' project, the galley was finished!