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3/23/02 - Laminating the First Floor
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Sometimes I despair of ever finishing this boat in less than two years time, and it's just a stupid little dinghy. I can't imagine how people who build much larger vessels manage to move forward, between work, family and days spent curling into a fetal position and sucking my thumb during fits of suicidal depression. Here I'm laminating the first floor for station five. I don't know why I chose station five to start. What difference does it make? The world is going to be a huge ice ball in ten billion years anyway.

3/23/02 - The Deluxe Floor-Gluing Jig
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While the glue was drying on the laminate, I stared for a very long time at the bottom of the boat, wondering how I was going to clamp the floor in place long enough for the epoxy to set. I didn't want to use screws, so I did what I always do when I'm at a loss to proceed. I faked it. Here is my solution. I clamped a two-by-four over the gunwales, and, using calibrated, precision placement techniques, I kind of joggled some sticks into place to pin the floor down. This seemed to work okay till I heard a cracking sound, at which point I removed everything and examined yet another cracked bit of lumber produced as a result of excessive stress. No problem, though. I've been here before. Slip-slip, epoxy in the split and back to the floor for you.

3/23/02 - The First Floor in Place
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Here's a look at it in place. These guys are a pain in the ass. First you have to laminate the layers, then you have to shape up the wood so that it doesn't look too Euro-industrial, then you have to mash the thing into place with sticks and hope that the few dubious touch points at which epoxy has been applied serve to hold the damn thing down, when you know good and well that every fiber of that compound piece of glorified furniture is completely committed to springing free. I'm seriously re-thinking my no-screws policy here.

3/27/02 - Floors Complete
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Of all the things I've had to do to get this project moving forward, I have to say that, for some bizarre reason, the floors were my least favorite part of the work. I don't know why. It's not like they were all that hard to do, I just had to really push myself to get them done. I screwed blocks into the appropriate places on the mould forms to laminate up the floors, but each floor was generally made up of three fairly thick pieces that didn't really want to bend, so I ended up with several floors with nice little cracks in them. Once again the magic properties of epoxy came to the rescue, and I was happy to get this bit done. After all, there are whole new realms of tedium and frustration just waiting to be conquered.

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