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Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Cruiser

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:42 pm

A bit of an update. It is still quite cool in Toronto so I have not been able to finalize the stem and bow knee installation. The parts are made and dry fit, but I require higher temperatures to ensure that the adhesive I use will cure properly. I removed frame set #3 (as in 3rd from the bow) and repaired the two frames where they had deteriorated (ok, where they rotted) at the keel and behind the floor. The following pictures show a bit of the process I use. I do try to save as much as possible, but as I have said before, I have lowered the threshold criteria for full replacement. In the case of this frame set, the rot was localized and I was able to cut back to fine wood, saving about 70% of each frame. The floor was probably salvageable, but I chose to make a new one. I will cut nice plugs from it, so there won't be much waste.

I intend to install the new frame set tomorrow and then remove frame set 5 (4 has been done already and is now installed). As before, I will assess #5 and determine what I will do. These sets are easy to remove because they are in the open and not attached to stringers. They are also multi-part and are readily taken apart. Removing the screws and bolts at each end allows them to be tapped out of place (they were initially assembled with nails). I should mention that the bolts used by CC were ss. The floor for set #3 was fixed to the keel with two large ss screws, not a through bolt like the other frames. I wonder why???

A final point. I like keeping as much of the original frame for another reason. It helps to overcome my limited skill in ensuring that the shape and fitting is just as it was. This is particularly true for the bow where there are curves and such. I keep checking the alignment as I go, and I think it is pretty close. Keeping the original frame and reattaching it to the existing pieces that remained in place reduces anxiety.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by dag55 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:46 pm

That's right! :idea: No pressure when glueing with epoxy! Just enogh to keep the parts together. Keep the good work up :!:
Cavalier 36' Seastrake 1967 "CillaGreta III"
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:53 pm

Dag55

I have a question for you. I will be gluing a piece of white oak to the existing white oak stem. A few posts earlier I included a picture of the stem end. The stem is extremely hard and dense, and the piece I have fabricated to repair it is also very dense (it is white oak after all, air dried for 4 years). Is there any special preparation I should do on the mating surfaces beforehand if I use epoxy. I plan to use System 3, g-2 which has given me excellent results on mahogany, and a few white oak bits. 5200 seems a reasonable alternative for this application, but epoxy is my favoured adhesive. The weather in Toronto will be too cold for the next two weeks anyway, so I have plenty of time to worry about it.

Thanks
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by dag55 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:22 am

Oak is tough material for adeshives because of it's dense and acids. I would roughen the surfaces with a course sand paper 40 grit, clean good with acetone and prime it with epoxy on warm surfaces before glueing with thickened epoxy. This is the best bond you can get on oak, I would not trust 5200 or like for this application.
Cavalier 36' Seastrake 1967 "CillaGreta III"
http://chris-craft.org/registry/viewboa ... at_id=2318

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:05 pm

Thanks dag55 for your advice. It jives nicely with everything else I have read and heard. I will give it a whirl when temperatures permit. In the meantime, I have been fixing and installing frames in the bow area. I am pleased with the condition of the keel, and have decided that I can leave it in place. When i had the frames out I sanded off the top 1/16th inch and got rid of the dirt and checkered bits. It cleans up to fine oak, and based on the condition of the stem where I cut it back, it should be just fine as is. I am now about to seal and paint frame #6, having installed #5 today. Bear in mind that this is all dry fit at this point so any fine tuning is yet to come as well as appropriate fasteners. That said, I have progressed more this March than the last two when temps were so low I couldn't do a thing. Frame #7 came out today without incident but the floor was in two pieces. It must have split decades ago but the frames are in really good shape.... almost beyond belief. I expected them to be totally rotted out, but they are just split a bit right at the end at the keel. I will decide tomorrow the extent of the repair I will do, but at least 85% of each frame is as clean as the day it was installed. I wish I could lay hands on materials from the 1930's!

A few pictures for those who may be interested.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by dag55 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:40 am

Fantastic job you are doing! I am more patching up to be able to put in water... :oops:
Cavalier 36' Seastrake 1967 "CillaGreta III"
http://chris-craft.org/registry/viewboa ... at_id=2318

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:01 am

It is still cold in Toronto so I have done little over the last two weeks. However, I have been organizing my supplies and tools for when the weather improves. In doing so I came across one of the original bolts from the rudder assembly. This bolt passed through the stbd keelson and was one of four that held the stbd rudder bearing in place. It looked great when I took the nut off, and not too bad when I drifted it out. The shaft was a bit enlarged and discoloured so I put it in a vice, gripped the shaft with a pair of vice-grips, and gently torqued it. It flaked apart very very easily to the state you see in the pictures. I think it is bronze.

I forgot to reverse the order of the pics, so look at the last one first.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:15 pm

After a cold weekend the weather is a bit milder today. Still too cold for epoxying the stem repair, but good enough that I managed to finally install frame sets #6 and #7 (counting back from the bow). With all the new frames bolted in place I am ready to tackle what I anticipate to be the most torturous part of the structural repairs. That being frame sets #8 through #12. There are four stingers, two per side that run from the stern to about midships. At that point the outboard stringers terminate, leaving only the inboard frame/stringer connection for me to deal with. I store most of the materials I have removed under the boat, so I will have to shift everything to a new spot in order to have a clear area to work. Next, I will remove the 9mm 1088 ply that I dry fitted in December to expose the frame sets. Once all that is done I will take more pictures to show you the situation. I know the frames are notched into the stringers and bolted to them. I don't know if it is better to try and get them out in one piece by enlarging the notch in the stringer, or cutting the frame (a scarf cut) and taking it out in two pieces. I would then have to glue the pieces together when re-installing the new or repaired frame. They won't just drop out because they chines interfere. Anyway, I hope you folks can give me some advice and maybe another approach over the next week or so, and I'll do my best. For now, here are some pictures from last fall showing the difficult frames, and some from today showing what I have done.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:32 pm

Today, I removed frame set #11 (counting back from the bow), skipping #8 through #10 for now. This saved me having to move the block under the keel that covers the through bolts for #8 and #9. I will do #10, then #9 in that order. To remove the set I had to cut the floor, which was in bad shape. Using a hand saw, I made a diagonal cut. The wood was quite soft and clogged the teeth of the saw. Once that was done the floor was easy to remove, which left room in the stringer notch to extract the frames by turning them sideways. The port frame had been drastically notched at the factory to make room for the head (check the picture at the beginning of the thread) and was close to failure as a result. Not from rot, but because so much had been cut away. In that previous picture you will see how I had sistered it a few years ago when I started all this. At any rate, I will fabricate a new frame set and avoid cutting material away when I re-do the head. Here are some pictures of frame set #11.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:17 pm

Finally getting warmer in Toronto, which makes working on the boat much more pleasant. I completed fabricating the new frame set #11. The last post showed the originals removed and disassembled. I used the one intact frame to make the new pair by attaching it to my stock as a template and cutting everything simultaneously on the band saw. Before trying to install the new set, I decided to cut the port side of the floor (at a scarf angle) just short of where it would pass through the notch in the stringer. Today, I was able to get the frames in place with just a bit of fiddling with a sharp chisel, but I did not have to touch the stringer at all. The keel under the original frame is very good indeed. With one end short, the floor went in easily. I will epoxy the piece I cut of the port end when we get temperatures over 10c overnight. As you can see from the pictures, I have everything bolted up temporarily, but structurally it is totally secure which enables me to proceed with the three frame sets immediately forward of #11. I have included some pictures of those.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:56 pm

Here are a few more pictures from yesterday, when I extracted frame set #10. In the above post I misidentified frame set #9 as #10. #9 is the one at the end of the stringer. #10 bisects the head and must have caused some issues for the workers who were doing the interior after the hull was completed. As you will see, they simply cut off the portion of the frame from outboard of the stringer to the chine. Original frame set #11, which I replaced as you can see above, had a notch cut out of it near the port chine (including part of the gusset) that removed 80% of the material. I had said earlier that this was to make room for the head, but when I looked yesterday it seems it was done to allow clearance for the ice-box. As a result, two consecutive frames have been missing or seriously weakened since 1937, but no one knew until now. I will reconstruct them in their entirety and re-install the original head and ice-box around them.

In other good news, I found another supplier of hardwoods just 20 minutes north of our place. I went in and the fellow I chatted with was very knowledgeable and took me on a tour of their inventory. Stacks and stacks of domestic and foreign species. No Dark Red Meranti..... he said the quality was becoming too variable so he stopped buying it. He said that if I really wanted drm, he would recommend another supplier who had picked up a couple of stacks two years ago... the supplier I have been using!

To be honest, I am trying not to be disheartened by having to replace every frame set that I extract and inspect. I do enjoy the feeling of having fresh wood in place but I really wanted to keep Elude as original as possible. That said, there is no doubt about the reality that wooden boats wear out and that the only way to be certain with an original bottom is to remove it completely. The up side is that I have figured a way to remove and replace the frames by only cutting one side of the floor, which can then be made whole by gluing the scarf with epoxy.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:53 am

Looks great! Your getting there. Chris Craft cruisers pre and immediate post war 35' and longer were built like tanks. In this size range the materials dimensions take a big jump up. Frames were notched here and there to accommodate interior installations and this obviously could be done without jeopardizing the structural integrity of the hull. The diagonal mahogany planking is a super strong sub-system that ties the hole frame and bottom together. I believe they were all built this way up til the 50's sometime and then the switch to plywood inner bottoms. Of course when Elude was built, the boat carpenters had the best of the best old growth mahoganies and oaks at their disposal, but even that rots eventually. Looks like your using really good replacement materials and it should last many years to come. One thing I question is your use of stainless bolts and fasteners instead of bronze. I'd use bronze, especially for keel bolts and any areas on the bottom exposed to sea water. Thanks for all the photos.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:06 am

Joanroy

Thanks. The galvanized bolts are temporary. Before spending literally thousands on fasteners I want to be sure this project will succeed. I have also read that the life expectancy of galvanized is about thirty years..... maybe more in fresh water. I don't know. That said, all the original bolts in the floors and frames have been steel, probably stainless. Although a bit corroded, in not bad shape. Nor was the wood adjacent to them. All the bolts that go through the keel, chines, and stringers have been bronze, as were the bolts for the rudder assembly and prop shaft strut. The strut blocks and keelsons were attached with large steel screws (stainless). The fuel tanks' steel straps are attached to the engine stringers with 1/2inch galvanized bolts which seem in fine condition. I have found the bulkheads fastened to frames with brass screws as well as what appear to be galvanized, the latter not lasting very well. The inner planking was tacked into place for ease of assembly with nails that appear to be galvanized, some surviving, some not. The gussets, floors and frames were initially tacked together with plain steel finishing nails before being final assembled with brass screws and the stainless bolts I mentioned earlier.

All in all the question you raise is one that has tortured me for some time now. My current plan is to finish the framing, cap the chines, get drunk and order 4,000 silica bronze screws for the bottom and in the order of 200 silica bronze bolts for the structural components. It will take about a minute to drift out the current galvanized bolts and slip in a new sb one. Here is the rub.... at my age, galvanized will outlast me. I also know that as lovely as I think this cruiser is, it has either no or very limited monetary value to anyone else. Never will, which is why we all justify this as a hobby. On the other hand, why put in so much effort only to go cheap on the fasteners? Because silica bronze fasteners are impossibly expensive. I get that, but they will last 'forever' and I won't have to worry. Ok, but you can replace the galvanized bolts when they show signs of rust, and put in a new one for a buck in less than a minute...... maybe I should start drinking right now......
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:21 am

Thanks for the break down on the different fastener types CC used in original construction. Interesting. You could probably get away with galvanized thru bolts on the inner framing. I suspect when done your bilge won't see any water for some time. Definitely need the bronze in chine and keel and bronze for the bottom fastening. I think your wrong about the future value of your 1937 cruiser. Their quite rare now and yours may be the only example left 50 years from now. So get drunk, order the bronze and tell your kids to save the Elude for the grandkids. They'll own a beautiful and extremely rare and valuable piece of Americana. Thanks to you.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:08 pm

I was able to dry fit frame set #10 today. From a previous post you may recall that the port side of the frame set had been truncated immediately to the outboard side of the stringer to make it possible to have a flat floor in the head. I decided I would replace the set with the port frame meeting the chine as it did before the factory guys chopped it off. I know it went to the chine because there is a hole in the chine precisely where the frame would be screwed to it, corresponding to the stbd attachment point. I was in a hurry and forgot to take pictures, but maybe the frame by frame reporting is getting tedious for everyone. The main reason for this post is to ask for opinions on the next frame set, that being #9. The forward bulkheads are attached directly to the frame, which will make it tough to extract them. But out they must come none the less. Here are a few pictures that I took several years ago of the bottom of the port bulkhead (separating the head and forward cabin). You can see that the bulkhead looks delaminated, and now that the bottom is off I can say that the bottom six inches are a mess, both port and stbd. I will post better pictures tomorrow if I can. My question is, should I simply cut the bottom 8 inches off to get rid of the deteriorated plywood? Once the hull is done (oh happy day), I would probably attempt a scarf to add new ply to the bottom.... without removing the rest of the interior. I should add that the bottom of the bulkheads where I would cut will be totally obscured from view except for the part in the head.

So, how did these bulkheads get enough water damage that they delaminated? A dock collapsed prior to spring launch, no batteries aboard yet for the pumps, and seams that had opened a little over the winter. I have other pictures, but the water flooded as far back as the engines. In fact the stbd engine filled through the dip stick. This happened around 2000 if I recall. It is an interesting story but that is how the bulkheads got messed up. We drained the engine, put new oil in it, ran it for ten minutes, changed the oil again, ran it for ten minutes, changed the oil and filter, ran it for half an hour and changed the oil and filter again, and twice more through the summer. That motor ran like a champ for ten more years of hard use until this refit.

Wooden boats are the best hobby ever!
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:11 pm

I know your trying to do everything 100% and leave no stone unturned, but how bad is #9. If it's not badly rotted would it be possible to re-fasten and sister this frame rather than tearing into the bulkhead? As you mentioned before there is a lot of structural redundancy built into these heavily framed and fastened cruisers. It's hard to tell from the photo, but is the bottom of the bulkhead mush or just slightly delaminated? I'd be thinking about a reinforcement or repair of this as well.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:32 pm

Thanks for the advice JR. After putting #10 today, I spent an hour looking at #9 from every which way. I agree with you that tearing into the bulkheads at this point is premature. I will think about it more but maybe I will take out the floor. I might be able to get it out in one piece as it and the frames are screwed into the end of the stringer. Consequently it is not buried in a notch. Then I will assess the frames to see if I can cut out the deteriorated ends and piece in new material where they sit. I think with the floor out I will have space to do make a nice scarf joint with the new material. The frames are excellent from the chines to within about 8 inches of the keel. If this works out, I can deal with the bulkheads when I am refinishing the interior. I appreciate you taking the time to wade in on this problem.... I feel better for the advice.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:15 pm

Number Nine, Number Nine......

Once more, thanks Joanroy for slowing me down enough to consider more carefully the situation with frame set #9. I pulled the floor as I said I would in order to fully assess the frames. The keel through bolt was broken (no surprise there), and once I removed all the fasteners, the floor came apart in my hands. I does not appear rotted at all, but there is oil in it. I mentioned sometime ago that Elude had been run aground hard in her ancient past taking away about 1" off the bottom of the keel at the bow. I am beginning to think that this is when a couple of the floors were cracked as they are near the impact area. Once the floor was out, I was truly impressed by the condition of the frames where they mate with the floor. There is no sign of rot at all (there is oil), although the frames are split near the keel, port being worse than stbd. Once more I face a decision on next steps. I have decided that I will definitely NOT remove the frames (thanks JR). As there is plenty of room for clamps, I can easily cut out the split ends and scarf in new material, gluing with epoxy. I know for certain I will get to excellent, oil free wood. I will make up a new floor and use most of the old floor to make plugs and other such things. Sistering the bottom of the frames is another alternative, but I won't like the look of it.... so there ya go. I hope folks find the following pictures interesting.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:36 pm

A little compromise here and there is fine. Once your new bottom and floor goes on and spans all those frames you'll have a very strong integrated structure. Love the nice tight straight grain in some of that old stuff. Just out of curiosity, what are you using for power tools for your scarfing and fitting etc.? Great Progress!

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:59 am

Joanroy.

I cut scarfs with different tools depending on the situation. If I have the frame off I will use my bandsaw. If I am doing a new plank (to get good length) I use a hand held power plane to rough cut most of the material, using a Veratis bench plane to finish. A quick pass or two with a belt sander finishes the job. I have tried with a router on a jig i made but I am incompetent with a router. Cutting a scarf with the frame in place, as I will try to do in this circumstance, will require the use of a very thin bladed hand saw such as that used for flush cutting bungs. I will attach white oak guides to each side of the cut (remember I will have to cut both the old frame and the new piece in place simultaneously) to keep the blade from wandering and keep the cut as square as possible. I will wait to see if my jig works and then post a picture. If the scarf is small (like for a dutchman) and has to be done in place, I mark the length of the scarf and use a very sharp chisel. The thought of scarfing used to intimidate me, but a buddy whose hobby is cabinet making told me to practice on some scrap and get on with it. Scarfs are not so hard to do as I thought and I like the result.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:26 pm

I was wondering how you would make that scarf cut in the bilge. It's tough in tight spaces. I've been a professional carpenter for many years and probably one of the best additions I've made to my tool collection in the last couple of years is a Fein Multimaster. Fantastic for making difficult accurate cuts in tight spaces. Also has a lot of other great feature with different attachments. You should check out their demo on line. There a little pricey, but other power tool makers have less expensive ones. I've only used a Fein so I can't do a comparison of other brands. Just thought I'd mention it. Hand saws work fine too.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:31 pm

I use another brand of the same tool. They are terrific. However, I do find that if I am trying to cut square, I usually and unknowingly tilt the tool a bit one way or the other and I go off square. Cutting through two pieces totalling 2 1/4 inches would see me mess up for sure. With the bottom off I have space to use a multi-saw, but the problem of lack of talent remains. I could not turn the port side screw that went through the frame and floor, so I used the multi tool to trim around it in order to get purchase with vice grips...then it came out fine. I also used it to cut the tapered channel for the port frame that had been truncated (see above). With the sides nicely cut I easily removed the material with a chisel. I often finish a difficult job that the multi-saw made easy and swear it is the best hand held tool ever.... then I use my offset power drill in a tight spot and swear that IT is the best tool ever....then I shave a gossamer thin ribbon of wood with my bench plane and swear that IT is the best tool ever... it goes on.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:04 pm

I decided to try to cut the scarfs for frame set #9 with the multi-saw, as suggested by Joanroy. I had already cut the replacement pieces which are, of course, 1 1/8" thick, same as the frames and floors. I clamped the new pieces in place and then fired some brads through the original frame into the new pieces to keep them in place. This allowed me to remove the clamps and have clear space for the saw. I used the widest blade I could find so that it would sit flush on the new piece which, being nice and wide, acted as the guide as I cut out the existing part of the frame that was in bad shape. Here are a few pictures of the results. I was very relieved that it worked so well and must say that I went very slowly. I am now down to one more frame to the bow, and when done will have fixed the first 11. Frame sets #12 and #13 look much better but have intersections with four stringers (two per side) and all kinds of interior structure. Now that I have confidence in this technique, dealing with any complications should be doable. Best tool ever! Thanks again JR.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sat May 07, 2016 8:23 pm

I was ordered to rebuild a small deck this week by 'she who must be obeyed', but I still managed to get down to the boat or do another boat job every day. Making a deck is no hobby and I don't particularly enjoy it, but who can choose? We also got a few days of warmer weather so I was finally able to glue up the scarfs on floors #10 and #11, and the new drm material into number nine...number nine. So, except for final touch up paint to cover where I sanded off the excess epoxy at the joints, those frame sets are done. I will replace the galvanized fasteners with sb before I put the bottom on in a few months (if all goes well). In some of these pictures you will see the original brass screws and an original bronze bolt or two. I used them to match the positioning of the new floors, which I predrilled using the original floor as a template. Happily, everything matched up pretty well with a minimum of cussing and knuckle bashing. To recap, I have replaced or repaired frame sets 2 through 11, except for #8 which is next. #1 will be easy but can't be done until the bow knee is fixed in place, because frame set #1 will close it in permanently. Recall that I have also replaced seven frame sets at the stern, including the transom bow. And 22' of chine on both sides from the stern forward. Oh, and I replaced the keelsons and the strut blocks. I love boating!

I hope to get warm enough weather to glue in the piece for the bottom of the stem, then I can finish the knee. the forecast for the next two weeks is not very good... a cold spring after a mild winter. I also have to go after frame sets #12 and #13, but I will repair them in place as I did with number nine..number nine.
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1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Mon May 09, 2016 2:46 pm

Today I pulled out frame set #8. It was straightforward as it was not connected to any stringers, only a few screws into the base of the interior bulkheads. No damage done. I cleaned the pieces up a bit and to my complete amazement, they are in excellent condition. The frames are split at the ends from the fasteners (port worse than stbd) but there is no sign of rot at all. There is likely some oil impregnation, but the wood is hard and rings true when tapped with a hammer (except over the splits). Similarly, the floor is in fine condition, although there are some cracks showing in the typical locations. Please take a look at the following pictures. I intend to repair the frame ends as I have before, saving close to 85% of the original, which tickles me. This is the first and only floor where I dither about replacing. It seems that fine. The cracks can be dealt with, and I would really like to have this one original frame set carry through the refit.

I keep putting the pictures in the reverse order out of laziness. Please view from the bottom to the top. Or not.
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1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Tue May 17, 2016 2:16 pm

In the previous post I said I intended to repair the last frame set as it seemed in excellent condition. As good as it is, I decided that it was best to replace it with new material. My wife doesn't know yet, but I am going to clean up the original set, put it together and hang it on a wall somewhere in the house. We will see how that goes over.

I have indeed installed all the frame sets from #11 to the bow. #1 at the bow will be done after the stem is repaired and the knee installed permanently. This brings me to the newest challenge, fixing the end of the stem. I have attached some photos of the blank I will work with, clamped into place and marked for cutting, or grinding, or planing, or chiselling..... You may be able to see where I attached a piece of plywood to it to facilitate clamping to the rest of the stem. I will use the same approach when I am ready to glue it place permanently. For now I am trying to figure out if it is easier to cut and shape clamped in place on the boat (not glued in yet), or to take off as much as I can with the bandsaw and maybe with some hand tools. Either way I have plenty of stock and the pattern used for this blank, so I should be an 'expert' in a week or so.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by robertpaul » Sun May 29, 2016 5:24 pm

Two weeks ago it was cold and sleeting in Toronto. The last five days have been very hot, which has enabled me to pretty much finish the bow. I have glued in the piece for the bottom of the stem as well as the bow knee. Everything set up quite nicely and I am pleased with the outcome. I had pre-shaped the stem insert on my band saw and it worked out ok, mostly because I put in a new blade and it cut through the white oak smoothly and quickly. I did take a bit too much out on the stbd side, but only in one little spot... I refuse to worry about it. Once the knee was epoxied into place I added the bolts... drilling through the original holes in the keel and stem (from the outside). I will address a couple of 40 year-old splits which you can see in the outer part of the stem in a little while, but it will be for cosmetic purposes because the stem is huge and the bolts bisect the line the splitting would take if it were to progress. Since they haven't changed at all in the 30 years we have had Elude, I am not going to sweat it now. The next step was to finally fix the lower ends of frame set #1, which I had cut off four years ago to get the knee out. Looking at the frames hanging there has bugged me ever since, so I am really delighted that the new pieces are spliced in. Today I installed the floor for frame set #1. I am sorry but I have not taken pictures of that yet.... I will when I take off the clamps. Why clamps??? I decided that I would epoxy glue this floor in place. It will be mechanically fastened as well.... like the knee. You will see in the pictures that large screws were driven through the chines and into the frames, causing some splitting. These spits happened in 1937 but I took the opportunity to laminate the floor onto the frame, thereby ensuring the original frames won't split further. A second reason was to reinforce the joint between the original frame and the new lower sections. Even though each joint is about 6 square inches of gluing surface, I wanted to back them anyway. I have more chiseling to do on the keel/stem rabbet, so the pictures look a little rough there. Still have to clean up a bit of the squeeze out but I remembered not to over clamp all these joints.
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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by joanroy » Sun May 29, 2016 6:32 pm

Rob, that's some real nice and well fitted stem repair. Will be plenty strong for sure. I'll bet your feeling quite happy and satisfied to get that back together, and I agree, I wouldn't worry about that old split. It's great following along with your progress. Thanks for including us.

Oh, that shot looking through the inside over the tops of your new frames should be on the cover of Wooden Boat.

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by jfrprops » Sun May 29, 2016 8:22 pm

really impressive...one of the very best and thorough cruiser refits I have seen!

Keep at it.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Honey, have you finished fixing Elude yet? 1937 35' Crui

Post by tkhersom » Mon May 30, 2016 6:43 am

It always amazes me how much can be accomplished by a talented carpenter who does steady meticulous work.

It is GREAT to see your progress!
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

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Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

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