11 posts categorized "Boats"

progress report


I’ve spent most of the past few weeks working in my gardens, communing with the chipmunks and birds, but did get a bit accomplished on the build.


Left wall:

I finished bricking, then grouted, aged, and shadowed.  I stained the boathouse door, applied layers of gloss medium to make faux windows, and added a bit of signage. 

A bit of cheesecloth between the layers of the rightmost window made an acceptable spiderweb.

I used bolts, washers, and nuts to fasten the rubber bumper to the bottom of the door opening.  I’m not happy with it, the hardware is too high on the bumper, so I will make corrections, and most likely reduce the fastenings from seven to five.

Because I didn’t want shiny hardware, nor rusty hardware, I used heat to remove the shiny finish.




Right wall:

I decided, as I was gluing a piece of stripwood to the side of the door so it would fit the opening, that I didn’t like the blue I painted the door and window, as it created a focal point in competition with the boathouse door.  I was pondering whether to sand and refinish them, or flip them over and stain the unfinished other side, when I thought to test others from my stash.


I really like the shorter Timberbrook door (bottom left).  I bid on eBay for a matching window in a small lot, but fell asleep a half hour before the auction ended and lost it.  I suppose it was for the best, since I am trying to reduce my stash, not add to it.  I will use the small double-hung window I already have.


The door needs to be moved to the right, and the window hole resized, so I’ll do that this weekend, unless transplanting overgrown ferns from the front to the back garden wears me out. 

I did get the bottom section of the wall painted to look like concrete, then aged, along with the supports the dock posts sit on.  I am not happy with the paint job but I haven’t figured out why yet....too gunked up maybe?  I’m not necessarily unhappy with it either, though.  I’m over-thinking it.  Most likely it won’t matter, because by the time barnacles take it over not much will be visible.


I have plans for a roof edge but have to work out the construction.  I also need to decide on siding.  I stained some thin wood strips already but might use clapboard instead.

The base:

I sanded the edges of the cut-out and painted.  The paint is primarily to seal the MDF, don’t be alarmed by the color :)

During the past few months I’ve been collecting, scavenging, and crafting sea life to fill the tide pool, but I will cover that in its own post, later.


The Peapod:

My friend Bill sent an email suggesting I coat the boat with PC Petrifier.  I should have thought of that, I used it on the edges of the roof of the English Cottage Kitchen.  I still had half a bottle in my supply cupboard, so gave the boat a couple coats.  I haven’t started sanding/filling the inside yet.

Peapod part three

I faired the planks on the outside of the hull, it required hours of careful sanding.  Once that was done I cut the stems from the strong back and removed the boat from the form.


The inside is very scary, because I botched the planking.  Hopefully I can manage to make something of it without causing irreparable damage.


Holding it up to a light accentuates thin spots.


I plan to sand down the high spots and fill the low spots to finish with a smooth surface.  Wish me luck.


Peapod part two

I botched the build a little bit, but thankfully not so much so that it can't be salvaged.  

I was so attentive to gluing the ends of the planks to the stems cleanly that I didn't pay enough attention to the middle of the form.  I realized about four planks later that I was not flush, and the only thing I could think to do to get back on course was to flip the planks on their sides to make loose contact with the form.

Once I got to the relatively flat bottom of the boat I flipped them back to the correct position.


Hopefully once I've finished sanding I'll have a boat shape made of wood, and that's all that counts.

I didn't take a picture before I started sanding the outside, which is going to be insanely more difficult because of the plank flip.  I had to stop sanding because I was making a dust storm in the air in the house; once it warms up outside I'll resume work in the garage.


I dread having to sand the inside.  I suspect I will need to glue additional stripwood or quarter round into the deepest steps so that I don't sand through the hull.  Or perhaps a combination of  sanding the highs and wood filler in the lows would be better.  I'll decide once I get the exterior sanded and can remove it from the form.


Dinghy Dismay almost complete

I did have one of Nancy's pointy leaved echeveria kits in stock to make water lilies from.



After those were done and color accents added to the lily pads (not pictured), I set about sculpting tadpoles and minnows.

I started with air-dry clay, because I already had some and figured the first practice batch would end up in the trash can anyway.


I gave up on minnows rather quickly, and transitioned to polymer clay for the tadpoles.  Tadpoles would be impossible to create to proper scale, as they'd be too minuscule to be noticeable, so I created them in multiple sizes.  I only used the smallest nine or ten babies, the rest I deemed too large, so they'll join their air-dry prototypes swimming in the rubbish bin. 


I finished installing lily pad stems on the base, sanded it, then sorted through my jar of 'stuff I pick up on walks' for some natural materials to add to the bottom of the pond.



I used tacky glue to add acetate strips to the side of the piece (which will be removed later), positioned it on a turntable base, then poured the first layer of resin.


I'm using a mesh dome Sheila gave me to protect the piece from cat hair and airborne debris while the resin drys.


I have poured a layer of resin each morning this week, adding tadpoles between layers.  I took these pictures prior to pouring the last layer this morning.  I have now used all of the resin that's been in my supply closet far longer than recommended, I'm surprised it was still viable.



Did you see the fishing bobber floating in the boat?  I made it from a piece of leftover tiny turnings.  I save all the little leftover bits in an empty spice jar, for when I need a wee little odd something.

I will give the final pour a few hours to cure most of the way, then cut the stems to size and lay down the lily pads while the resin is still slightly tacky.  Final pictures tomorrow (hopefully), then I'll move the piece to the dining room table for a couple of weeks to completely cure.

Dinghy Dismay continued

Sand was applied to the base after the first batch of cattails, then the second batch was glued in place.  I am using a mix of coarse, dark, Pacific Ocean beach sand and fine, pale, Lake Michigan beach sand.


I sunk a rusty coffee can anchor, just like my grandpa's ♥, and began gluing in lilypad stems.



The bases of the second batch of cattails were sanded, the third batch glued in, and the terrain elevated at the rear of the piece.


The lilypads are being shaped now, I need to decide on placement before I glue more stems in place.  I am planning to use one of Nancy's pointy leaved echeveria kits to make a few flowers, hopefully that kit is one I have already.


I dug through my stash on a search for appropriate wildlife.  I found a couple of butterflies and a duck.  The duck is a decoy so most likely won't be used here, unless he was left in the boat.


I am going to attempt sculpting some minnows and tadpoles.  Wish me luck.

Dinghy update

I've taken a bazillion pictures  of the contest build over the last few days. I have not been happy with any of them yet. It's a  very vexing process.  I'm going to take a break for a couple of days then come back to it.

Meanwhile, I finished the dinghy Dismay.  I cut some balsa seats, and saved the mahogany ones for a future build. I also held back the oarlocks and didn't install the inwales.   I sanded a hole in the bottom, then distressed the finish.


I'm a bit worried about the stability of the cattails.  Am contemplating.



dinghy dismay

I won more eBay auctions than expected, so have three dinghy kits.  :D  I decided I would utilize one to experiment on.

The new glue I auditioned, Quick Hold, did not perform well.  I will revert back to the kit manufacturer's suggestion of cyanoacrylate adhesive (superglue), but will add wood glue where appropriate.


I dyed the wood before assembly this time, which I thought would aid in the sanding process (all pieces have to be sanded to fit during construction).  It worked wonderfully, I was better able to see where I was sanding, helping me keep straight, even planes. Aesthetically, I don't like the red paired with mahogany, so will have to buy different colors.

Now I am at the point where I have to decide whether to keep going with this dinghy (using superglue) and finish it to be grungy, or abandon the build.  A vision of it sunk, tilted, into a landscape of cattails and lily pads, has formed in my mind, perhaps I'll use it for that.

The dinghy kit is much easier than the skiff, as the frame is stable.  I look forward to building the next two.

The Skiff


The skiff was insanely more difficult than the dory.  Carving, measuring and cutting stripwood, precision sanding, a lot of regluing parts that pop off or break...profuse cursing.  I am happy with how it turned out, and found the challenge very rewarding.






I made this boat for my husband.  It joins his end table flotilla in the living room.


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