Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cutting Corners and the Fear of Cubism

The cabinet structures are rebuilt and their surfaces are filled and feathered into the surrounding woven roving tabs. The water damaged areas have new plywood that's been epoxied into place with a West Systems microfiber filler mixture. I glassed the front and side of the cabinets with some fabric that was laying around (6oz - I think), and used a low density/colloidal silica filler mix to smooth over it and bring the surface flush with the woven roving. If you go back to a previous post "What Holds Up The Mast" you can see how these used to look.

The image above shows the wicked sharp corners that, if left unaltered, would be a major hazard on the water. Since I'm not planning to use a rail molding around the cabinet tops the edges will be rounded over. I also wanted to add a more interesting geometric component so I clipped off the corners.

Here's the clipped corner with a new plywood wedge temporarily super glued into place. You can see the perfectly intact corner piece in the lower left hand corner of the photo. The precision cut was accomplished with, what is currently my favorite tool, a Rockwell SonicCrafter. I can't think of another tool that can plunge cut with so much control. In fact, it took a lot of personal restraint to stay focused and not hack geometric shapes into everything in sight. If it weren't for an irrational fear of cubism, our boat might have become an aquatic version of Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. Anyway, the tool is cool.

A wide angle (yeah it's not that big) view of the cabin with rebuilt v-birth bulkhead and cabinet boxes.

The plywood wedge was sized to allow it to plane across the angled cuts on either side and provide a gap for the epoxy/microfiber mix (the white stuff). I'll also fillet in the corners on the inside of the cabinet boxes. This will make a strong wood to wood bond and a more rigid anchor point for the chainplates. The next step will be to refine the corners with fairing filler and round over the edges around the top. In hind sight it may have been easier to take everything back to the hull and start from scratch, none the less, we have progress people.