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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Beginner Blunders Thru Beth

    Iím building a Beth in Brooklyn, New York, and Iím very grateful to Mik for creating the plans, and the beautiful instructions that go with them. Iíve never done anything like this before, and it has been very enjoyable. So if youíre a beginner like me, donít let this thread put you off. Iíve made some titanic blunders, but frankly if you can chew gum and walk at the same time, you wonít make anywhere near as many. And Iím still fairly confident Iíll end up with a functional, nice looking boat.

    Iím about halfway through. I will post the full horror show pix over time - hence the title I chose for this thread. Iím doing that out of gratitude to the thousands of people that have posted advice for others on the web, eg Sir Mik himself, Andy Kane, YouTube videos about wood planes, Slash5 motorcycle forum, etc.

    Even beginners will learn little from this thread, but it might help somebody somehow, and I think I may actually have useful tips about making the centreboard (something I'm sure I did get right , and really enjoyed).

    My biggest cock-ups happened because I entirely forgot to engage brain. Elsewhere, I forgot to RTFM (read the instructions). Actually I did RTFM, just not well enough. Mikís excellent manual was clearly a labour of love, and as somebody else has said, itís pretty much a course in boat building. Any other beginner who reads it and maybe also looks at Andy Kaneís or othersí fab and very useful pix and notes (this forum) should be golden.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Question First and Worst Cock-up

    I glued one of the sides to the bottom about two inches out of place. I took this picture much later, after I had fitted the bulkheads, but it makes it easy to see the problem.

    Sight_2015_05_30_165136_746.jpg


    Obviously I felt sick when I saw what Iíd done. Surprisingly, it wasnít quite the disaster I thought. To get the two sides of the boat to match each other, I had to plane less than 1mm from the sheer-line on one side, near the bows. I worked that out by leveling the bottom, and then using a level across the two sides. Phew. The bottom of the boat will be very slightly twisted, but I can live with that.


    But before I (mis)glued the sides, Iíd followed Mikís instructions to coat epoxy on the panels, after masking where bulkheads, knees etc were to be glued or filleted. With one panel glued in wrongly, that meant that Iíd be laying fillets on top of existing epoxy. Specifically, one side of all fillets on one side of the boat.


    Stupidly, I decided to just sand the epoxy coat to give the fillet something to key into, and to make the fillets big and fat.

    Sight_2015_06_07_190354_273.jpg


    Then I carried on building. Now before I fit the carlins, I have to ask:

    Will those fillets hold up, or should I accept the worst, and use a heat gun (very carefully) to remove the dodgy fillets, get back to bare wood, and then re-fillet?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    100

    Default

    I'm sure that they will hold.

    Good luck on your build!

    Pontus


    Goatislandskiffingothenburg.blogspot.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Wollongong
    Posts
    85

    Default

    I would agree the strength of those fillets would be okay.You will be no be happy at the time,but with some adjustments you can get things back on track.You would not believe the amount of times I had pulled out these trims and revised until decent.Stick with it please!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Great thanks for the reassurance

    That was good to hear, thanks.

    OK on with more pix of mistakes. I'm dooing this because this is the best way I can contribute.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Next Mistake - Stem and Stern Posts

    Sight_2015_05_30_165333_835.jpgSight_2015_05_30_165345_425.jpg

    Mik's instructions, if I remember right: glue the stem and stern posts to the sides , before you glue the sides to the bottom.

    I decided to fit the posts AFTER I had glued the sides to bottom. Bad idea. The posts are tapers (the sides aren't parallel). When I tried to screw the posts to the panels, the moved backwards- even though I had drilled pilot holes in the posts to accept screws.

    So with glue liberally applied and going off, I had to make a quick fix by filling the gaps with extra pieces of plywood, as in the photos.

    Do what Mik says: glue the posts to the sides first.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Make those sides SQUARE

    When I glued the sides on, I also didn't get them square, or 90 degrees to the bottom. The sides ended up leaning in slightly towards the top. You can see this a little in the picture of the stem post in my previous post.

    Never mind the effect on the handling of the boat, this just looked bad. So I added another bulkhead to push the sides back into square where they needed it most, at the rear of the boat.


    extra BHD.jpg


    At least the boat looks OK now. But it would have been better to get it right first time.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Think about where to cut hatch holes

    I wanted waterproof hatches in bulkheads three and four, because that creates waterproof stowage compartments, and it means less water to bail out after a capsize.

    The first time I cut the holes for the hatches, they were too low in the bulkheads, and would have stopped me making good sized epoxy fillets between the bulkheads and the bottom of the boat. So I had to put those bulkheads aside and start again.

    Second time I cut the holes, I cut them too high, making the bulkheads too weak. Mik suggests 60mm around the outside of hatch holes (page 20 of instructions).

    But I didn't realize this until after I had glued in the bulkheads. To fix the problem, I've added extra layers of plywood to the bulkheads to stiffen them up. Not such a huge problem, but that has involved work.

    This isn't quite the best picture, but it shows the reason for my mistake second time around: I forgot that a lot of the bulkhead at the top (masked off with blue tape in the picture) would be removed later.

    By the way if you know what a Beth should look like and you're confused by this picture, the bulkhead nearest the camera is an extra one I put in to stop the sides leaning in.


    WP_20150301_12_47_16_Pro.jpg

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Making the Centreboard

    This is all new to me, so what I'm saying here will only be of use to other beginners.

    Making the centreboard seemed like it was going to be a tough job. It wasn't.

    I made the center-board *before* I made the centre-case, so that I could be sure the board would fit the case. I'm glad I did this, because my board would not have fitted the centre-case as specified by Mik. I ended up building a case with spacers that were slightly wider than Mik's drawings, and my fit is still snug, not sloppy. Obviously my board is a little fat, but I'll live with that (again .)

    I've never used a plane before, but I got the hang of it , using a "Stanley Number Five" plane (Amazon, about US$50) keeping the blade sharp (watch a YouTube video) and fiddling with the plane settings.

    You have to print out Mik's foil cross-section as a template, and it has to be the right size. I just told my laptop to "print full size," and it came out the right size.

    I don't have a band saw. I cut the template from ply using a jig-saw clamped upside down in a workbench. Very easy to cut accurately with that.

    I wanted to put hardwood strips along the leading and trailing edges, but I screwed up. I thought that 12mm/0.5inch approx strips would be fine, so I adjusted the size of Mik's staves to give me 12mm at front and rear to fit teak strips.

    That was a mistake. Hardwood doesn't glue easily, and you need dowels as reinforcement. At the leading and trailing edges, a hardwood strip that is 12mm from back to front is even narrower from side to side. Not enough area for gluing, and not enough room for for dowels.

    So I put the hardwood strips aside, and made up for the lost size by adding some WRC strips back among the big staves. The result is quite pretty I think, and I'm guessing it's not significantly weaker than it would have been if made as planned.

    I did use one of the teak strips to create a hardwood strip along the bottom horizontal face of the board. I rubbed the teak with denatured alcohol to remove oils immediately before gluing, and I doweled it after gluing. Seems good and strong.

    This picture is that teak bottom being glued on. That clamp is actually a saw guide that cost about $40, and on a separate note is fabulously useful when cutting with a circular saw. It ends all that frigging about trying to use G-clamps to fix a baton as a guide, while keeping the clamps from fouling on the saw.


    WP_20150208_11_40_26_Pro.jpg

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default An idea when making the centre-board

    Here's the glass cloth being epoxied to my centreboard.


    WP_20150212_22_18_43_Pro.jpg

    This is the way that Mik says to do it (by now, I'm following instructions, no more going off-piste.)

    As you can see, you can't actually get glass cloth onto the corners where the board is held in the clamps. Mik says add glass cloth to those corners later.

    My brilliant idea: epoxy the the fibreglass cloth to the centreboard *before* you've cut the top and bottom of the board to size. That should give you enough spare timber to clamp, and then you can cut the board down to final size by cutting through glass-covered wood. Less fiddly than glassing corners.

    Too late to do the centre-board this way, but I was thinking of doing the rudder this way. Will it work ?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Wollongong
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Wow Tim, you really do have the 'bit between your teeth'!

    I am impressed with your tenacity and keep up the momentum.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    767

    Default

    Tim, thanks for sharing your experiences warts and all. In my opinion, a first-time builder will learn as much or more from your challenges.

    Are you familiar with the Sebago Canoe Club in Brooklyn? Although I'm not a member, I'm a big fan. They have a growing sailing community but they are mostly about canoes and kayaks. Your Beth might fit in nicely there. Patrick (Flat Daniels on this forum) is an active member and could tell you more about the couple of vintage(?) sailing canoes in the club.

    You and your Beth will be welcomed as cousins to the Goat Island Skiff Northeast Herd. Feel free to join the GIS Facebook group you haven't done so already. Lot's of great sailing/boating/beer making discussion takes place there beyond GIS, and MIK is usually quick to chime there too.

    Keep up the good work!
    Dave
    StorerBoat Builder, Sailor, Enthusiast
    Dave's GIS Chronicles | Dave's Lugs'l Chronicles | Dave's StorerBoat Forum Thread

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Thanks for all the encouragement

    Thanks to all. I started fitting the carlins tonight, and will add more pics later. Happy sailing and canoeing! Cheers

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    New York, United States
    Posts
    24

    Default Carlins, and Fist of Ham Strikes Again

    I've put the carlins on. All good, but as usual, SNAFU - systems normal, all fouled up.

    No pictures, but the following happened:

    I glued in the carlins one lamination at a time, the same way Andy Kane did it. This takes longer, but it is easier.

    The first carlin that I put in cracked halfway through, at the tightest point of the bend. I don't remember screwing the clamp up very tightly but obviously it was too tight. There was no crack when I glued it in, but the next morning the crack was very easy to see. The crack had developed overnight.

    The crack was in the first (inner) one of the two laminations. So it mostly straightened out when I glued and clamped the next (outer) lamination to it. Not entirely perfect, but OK to look at, because the outer lamination curved nicely. I then added two extra laminations on the inside of the inner lamination where it had cracked, made of 4mm ply. Glued one at a time. I'm guessing this will be strong enough, especially when the deck is in place.

    Mik's instructions say to put the carlin cleats in place *before* you glue the carlins in place. As usual, I only skimmed the instructions, and I forgot about putting the cleats in first. So I glued the first carlin lamination in place on each side, and THEN I shaped and glued the cleats in place.

    The laminations held in place until after I had glued the cleats in place, but I think I might have been lucky this happened. With no cleats, the surface area for gluing is small, and it is end-grain on the plywood knees.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Poland
    Age
    62
    Posts
    805

    Default

    Hi Tim,

    I'm glad to see another BETH build. Looks really OK - good job!

    My thread can help if needed: https://www.woodworkforums.com/f169/beth-yuanfen-building-wooden-sailing-canoe-poland-budowa-drewnianej-kanadyjk-96247

    And this year sailing photos from Zegrze Lake (Poland):




    and from Bay of Puck (Poland)





    Best wishes!!!
    Aloha!
    Robert Hoffman
    http://robhosailor.blogspot.com/


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