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Ben Miller

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Ben Miller last won the day on January 7

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About Ben Miller

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    TC, MI

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  1. Finished up shaping the mast step. This was a fun piece! So many angles going in all different directions.
  2. Thanks, Alan! That compliment means a lot. Can't wait to get it in the water this spring!
  3. Thanks Paul! I'd probably go with some different art for a permanent workshop, but in this case, what I have works fine. Speaking of (unintentional) art, I've been appreciating the interlocking of all the different parts and layers that make up the aft corners of my dinghy:
  4. Thanks for the input! Maybe I'm overthinking things, but I wanted to make completely sure that I aligned the center seat properly to the bottom of the boat before I gooped it up and glued it down. My solution was to drill a couple of small holes in the hull just to one side of the keel and then insert finishing nails into the holes. That way I could drop the centerboard trunk down over the top of the nails and register the side of the trunk against them. It's all glued down now, so hopefully it worked! I had some time over the holidays and I made some good progress on Mo (named after a "dinghy-shaped" cat my wife and I used to have). I'm using Gaco oarlocks, which required a little extra thought compared to a standard oarlock. These oarlocks get mounted into a 5/8" hole. After some thought, I wound up gluing a small reinforcement block on the outside of the hull directly under the oarlock and then drilled the holes. Having the knees glued in is really making the boat come together, and shaping them to match the curve of the transom and gunwale was very satisfying. My next task is to build the mast step and drill the hole in the upper mast support. I'll be reaching out to B&B for advice on making sure those bits are properly aligned with each other, since I imagine that would have a big impact on sailing performance.
  5. Ok, the frame is almost ready to go in, along with the central seat. Any tips for how I can align the seat properly with the keel? I’m thinking of epoxying it down first and then cutting the centerboard slot later, but I want to make sure everything winds up in the right spot. Second question: what’s a good way go about cutting out the limber holes that pass through the seat and frame? Do one first (probably the seat) and then trace onto the frame. That’s what’s making the most sense to me, at the moment.
  6. This is very true to my experience. Speaking of thinking, I decided (since there's no worry any more about trying to get the boat in the water this season) to beef up the central frame with some additional joinery, rather than relying entirely on gussets. I went with bridle joints at the ends and an odd-shaped half-lap in the middle: I'm going to add gussets to the side joints, but I'm planning (for now) on leaving the middle joint gusset-less, since it's also going to get epoxied to the centerboard trunk, which I figure will give it sufficient support.
  7. Progress over the summer was slow, but I'm picking up the pace again, and it's looking more and more like a boat. I've had a couple of setbacks, the most recent one was when I epoxied the side of the centerboard trunk on the wrong side of central spine of the seat. Had to cut it off, fill the scars, and rebuild it, but I'm almost back to where I was.
  8. Hey Mark, maybe you didn't notice, but you're adding your post to an existing post right here in this thread! So just do that in the thread you'd like to continue: From the main list of topics, click on the thread you'd like to continue. Scroll down to the bottom of the page Find the Reply box. Enter your post Done!
  9. Thanks ribs, that's good feedback. It seems to me that fillets wouldn't be any weaker than cleats, but I'm not a boat-building, and my experience with this stuff is very limited. Right now, installing cleats feels like more work than fillets.
  10. Still plugging away on my Catspaw, although my dreams of launching her this summer have…sailed. Right now I’m assembling the center seat and I’m wondering, is there any reason not to affix the pieces together with fillets rather than the 3/4 x 3/4 rails called for in the plans? I have it all tacked together with epoxy and at this point it seems easier to go the fillet route rather than fitting and shaping filler rails. Thoughts?
  11. I've got the inside taped up and coated in epoxy, so I'm ready to flip her over and start on the exterior. Looking ahead, I have a small question about the gunnel. The instructions say something about making sure the gunnel is applied 1/16" from the top the of the sides, but I'm unsure as to whether that means 1/16" above, or below the top of the sides. Above makes sense to me, since then I'd have a little meat on the gunnels and could bring that down to match the sides. Is that right? Oh, also, I'm not supposed to glass the outside of the center seam, right? The bedding of the keel gives enough strength for this joint?
  12. Thanks Alan. That helps. After a week working on the transom framing it's coming together into the shape of a boat. Yes, I can get it out of the room. ? I know that because we stitched it up outside and then carried it inside to do the tack-welds.
  13. Overthinking things again on a weekend morning...The plans don't call for sheathing the hull in glass. If the plans don't call for it, then I'm sure it's not necessary, but I see that some other people have chosen to do it anyways (one example). What are the pros/cons of doing it vs. not doing it? I'm going to be using this to row out to my boat on its mooring. It'll get stored on dry land, so there'll be a little bit of hauling it in and out of the water, but no really rough treatment.
  14. It took me a couple of reads to get it, but yeah, that does make sense. Thanks for the explanation and the illustrations. Boat geometry is hard! I'm glad you guys figured it out for me. ?
  15. I thought I was all set, but this line threw in a new complication. The specified angle for the stern stiffener matches up perfectly with the aft quarter knee, but the forward one does not. Which one should I follow?
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