Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mast Beam

It's unfortunate that most of the work doesn't show in these pictures. Today I spent a good two hours belt sanding down the compression blocks flush with the plywood web of the crossbeam. This was a grueling task as there are (I believe) 28 blocks to sand which are all .75 X 1.5 inches of Douglas Fir. After that, I spent another 45 minutes sanding the top plank down to 80 grit, rounding the edges, and fitting it to the web. Then came the final fit and gluing of the top plank. I was going to do some fillets on the plank today, but the wind has picked up, and it was funneling through the storage room corridor and blowing all of my shit all over the place. Needless to say, I gave up on the fillet idea for today! I may get around to them tomorrow after work if there isn't any rain.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I finished up filleting the aft crossbeam today, so I now have the forward and aft beams mostly complete. They still need a good sanding and two coats of epoxy before paint, but the main thing was to get the fillets done. I am so tired of fillets at this point that getting over this hurdle will be a huge psychological milestone! I'm going to glue on and fillet the top plank tomorrow with the bottom plank filleting going down on Friday. I think as of right now I have done around 110 linear feet of 1.25" radius fillets which have taken quite a lot of epoxy, but the beams are super stout.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Slaying the Beast (80 linear feet of large radius fillets)

It's no mystery that the crossbeams require a large number of big fillets, which is a very long process no matter how you go at it, especially working alone. For this reason, I have put off finishing the beams out for a while. Today, finally, I spent about four and a half hours or so knocking a large majority of them out! I got the top planks for both the forward and aft crossbeams completely filleted today. I got into a new system that works pretty well and allows me to not waste any epoxy at all, even the excess I scrape off after using the radius tool. I'm going to cut it down to one plank's worth a day from now on, and with this new system I will gladly be finishing out the beams this week!

On a side note, after working all day on Beto, a buddy and I went out on his Sabre 34 and anchored in this place called Overlook Point on the reservoir here. The Natchez Trace Parkway goes along this side of the lake and Overlook Point rests on its (national park) property. The Trace is a modern road that winds along the original trading route from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. It's a beautiful two lane road that winds through the country with big pine trees and an old time feel to it. Anyways, Overlook is a huge grassy area where people park and picnic and hang out on the lake. Once anchored, we saw these high school age kids with their brand new vehicles pulling donuts and spinning out all in the grass for a solid twenty minutes. As this is the nicest place to relax in Jackson, and the method of relaxation is enjoying the grassy area and laying blankets out, we were a bit pissed! After doing donuts, these kids threw trash out (Styrofoam of all things) on the ground and kicked it down into the bushes along the banks. We decided to call it in at this point, and we got to spend two hours watching the Natchez Trace officers scare the hell out of the kids for defacing federal property, put them in cuffs, call their parents, and take pictures of all of the damage they caused. I was a bit of a delinquent myself, but defacing a national park is about the most inconsiderate and just trashy thing one can do! The last picture is of the epic sunset with the police lights going in the bottom right corner.

Back to Work!

I moved back to Misssissippi from Birmingham this past weekend, as the weather has warmed up enough to get back to finishing Beto up. The winter was a nice break, and I feel I have the motivation to get the last few bits of her done so that I can start sailing her! I'm working on crossbeams this week, and plan to glass the aft decks Monday and fill in the weave Tuesday. I have the forward and aft beam top planks glued up, and get to spend the day doing a ton of large fillets along the joints today. I'm soooo excited about more fillets.