Sunday, March 4, 2007

Shop Notes:

I mentioned in a previous post how most people have a set of plans (drawings & instructions) to work from. Some do not have such plans to work from. I have found on a few occasions though, that a drawing was necessary. Drawings take an idea from one's mind and put it down on paper enabling a person to see how something is going to look. It can also enable one to see the different dimensions (side, top & front as well as 3-d). A drawing gives a worker the ability to apply measurements (dimensions) to his idea, there by making it possible to "test" it's workability. If your attention span is a bit short (for what ever reason) the drawing helps to keep your idea in focus too :).

A lot of what I'm doing is more or less duplicating something that was already there. Maybe it was broken or deteriorated... but, it was there. Some of what I'm doing to my project is completely from scratch... like the keel repair, the bulkhead between cockpit and cabin and the fuel cell's enclosure. I've had to improvise these ideas in my head and work out how they will be made. Drawing has helped a lot with this.

I used to draw a lot as a kid. In school, I had 4 years of drafting. It's been many years and I've forgotten much but, I can still draw basic pictures and apply the dimensions. I wish that I had a lot more math (geometry) background. The ability to work with angles and other geometric functions is very useful.

The making of the bridge (mentioned in the previous post) was possible thanks to my ability to draw... I had first constructed the box enclosure which hangs between the two bulkheads. Before installing the bottom (3/8" ply), I layed a piece of wood (straight edge) across the bottom ledges of the box and took 3 measurements from the bottom of this straight edge down to the keel. These 3 measurements were taken from precise points along the length of the box. This is how I determined the correct height of the bridge and it's angle or pitch. I actually transfered these measurements to my benchtop and drew it out full scale onto a piece of poster paper that I had stapled to the benchtop. It worked out pretty good too.

I plan to buy all new drafting tools again and set up a drawing table in the shop (somewhere) for future drawing projects. I have plans to add and addition to my house someday and, I'm planning to do the job myself. Also, I have some landscaping ideas to incorporate into the big picture of the house as well as enlarging my shop another 14' to the north. Being able to draw all of this out on paper will help to bring it all together and in perspective.

Here's a couple of pic's of some seating ideas that I have. These pictures are of two seperate boats and were downloaded from the picture galery at Their really nice looking seats.
My boat's seating wasn't original but, I do know the basic idea how the cockpit seats were made...( plywood-fold down)... I did't like it either. The back seat was constructed with a heavy steel frame and was basically a bus seat... very heavy too, probably 150 pounds. I hope to design something similar to these pictures for the back seat, which I want to wrap around the port side, maybe both sides. I'll have to draw it all out and see what happens............... Untill next time... ; )