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Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:29 am

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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:12 am
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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Hello all,

I thought it might be helpful to other non-builders out there to post my fumblings as the kit progresses. Always good to learn from your mistakes but even better to learn from somebody else's. I am a 56 year old Veterinarian and took my last woodworking class in high school. I have been a rower for 20 years so am comfortable on the water (flat water) but of course am always going backwards so my mindset for port and starboard are also backwards. I have been on a sailboat about 5 times in my life so basically have no sailing knowledge. I like the idea of being on the water without the sound of a motor and don't plan on worrying about how long it takes to get there.

My only boat building experience is building a 23 foot cedar strip rowing shell with my retired engineer father. Gave good experience in shaping wood, fiberglassing, epoxy and varnishing. Two somewhat perfectionist personalities involving a lot of heated discussions over a good single malt Scotch finished what I think is a thing of beauty but it took 5 years of occasional evenings and weekends. Any of you who have been attending the Port Townsend wooden boat festival will likely have seen ones build by the designer, Ben Louden. I think he used to bring his boats and give carving seminars.

I thought I would likely come up with a lot of stupid questions along the way so I might as well ask them here and save others the embarrassment . Hopefully I can figure out how to post photos as I go. Feel free to tell me if I am rambling or if my ideas are idiotic. I take criticism well at a distance. I will also try and tally up the costs as I go as I suspect a beginner is going to be far more wasteful than an old pro.

So, first couple of questions. Bulkhead 3 gets the large doors. Most of the builds show the cut outs being made and doors installed after the bulkhead is in place. Seems it would be easier to do the installation and epoxy the bulkhead prior to installing it. Any reason not to do this? I also though locking doors would be a good idea but the only ones I saw posted with locks were in New Zealand. Cannot seem to find any with locks in Canada. Any suggestions?

I am in the process of epoxying the pieces prior to building and suspect I am being too fussy with the sanding between coats when needed. How much of the gloss needs to go before the next layer adheres well? I am using West Systems epoxy

Thanks,

Dan



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Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:41 am

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Hello Dan,

I just wanted to say thank you for your post. As a non-builder myself, I have been unsure if building the scamp is a possibility for me. I look forward to your continued posts and I wish you great success, happy building, and a minimum of frustration. I expect your post will be a be inspiration to us hesitant non-builders.

Frank S.



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Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:30 am

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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:31 pm
Posts: 154

I am in a similiar position, assembling and pre-coating the various components. I built a 4x16' work table by screwing 2 pieces of particle board to a couple of 2x6's, resting the assembly on a pair of saw horses, and covering the table with heavy plastic. This provides a flat, waist high surface for applying epoxy and sanding. Doing this 'on the flat' eliminates runs and allows the use of a random orbital sander.

When I apply epoxy, the surface after cure is not particularly smooth. Some of this is due to imperfect application, some to raised grain, and some to 'out gassing'. Applying additional coats just builds up the high spots. At some point, you will want a nice paint job on the assembled boat and this will require that you sand the surfaces to be painted smooth. Therefore, much as I hate it, I make an effort to sand everything fairly smooth between coats. It is a pain, particularly as you have to do both sides. But it is a lot easier while evrything is flat.

Epoxy is easier to sand if you wash off any amine blush before you start. Sandpaper is relatively cheap and it gets dull and/or clogs up fairly quickly, so change it often. Finally, at this stage, 80 grit is probably the best choice; you are trying to grind down bumps, not polsh out scratches.

Re: installation of hatches, I plan to cut and fit all vertical hatches before assembly, although this will require some study of the plans and careful measurements.



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Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:37 pm

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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:12 am
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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Thanks for the replies.

I actually picked up the kit in PT on Jan 28th after a week of delays due to snow. I know it sounds whinny but it almost never snows in Victoria. Special thanks to Brandon at Turnpoint Design who cuts out the kits and Josh at Small Craft Advisor who sells them. Both allowed me to wreck their weekends after numerous delays. Check out Turnpoint Designs website - they do very cool stuff.

Cost of the it $2399 with foils. Estimate for shipping was $558 plus $225 to clear Customs plus taxes (12% HST) of $287 for a total of $3469 delivered to my door (about 40 miles away as the crow flies). Pickup cost me about $325 including ferry, gas, hotel and food. The boarder waved me through without paying tax so actual cost was $2724. I could get the same wood locally for about $1400 taxes in so kit premium about $1325. I have no idea how to transfer the layout from a plan to true size and the pieces of the kit are very intricate and exact. I was amazed how they could do something that detailed with one prototype build. So for me the extra cost was well worth in for the savings in time and effort.

Was going to add photos here but they are too big so I am off to resize them and put on another coat of epoxy then will try again.

Cheers,

Dan



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Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:32 pm

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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Will try again with the photo. Showing all kit pieces removed from sheets and laid out on garage floor. Bulkheads are leaning on the wall by bike. Almost no trimming required.


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Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:49 pm

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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Now at about Feb 7th. Picked up 2 gallons of West Epoxy with hardner (fast due to cold weather) and associated fillers, microbeads, colloidal silica and grafite powder, pumps etc. - $412 tax in. Likely will need 2-3 more gallons. Total cost to date $3136. Glued up scarf joint on hull bottom as directed in manual. Suggests adding a fair amount of weight to keep joint flat while it sets. Wasted a little time looking for used weights over and above what I had but were about $1/lb. Used the 35lb cat litter container instead. Multitasking at its best. Used a scraper to remove the worst of the extra epoxy - very effective if sharp and with a little practice, and then finished with a random orbit sander. Photos show before and after and material removed with scraper.


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Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:11 pm

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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Now about Feb 11 and hull bottom set aside to build frame. Frame in kit is MDF rather than chipboard shown in prototype build. Cross frame #2 slot was slightly narrow but easy to remedy by planing edge of crosspiece. Everything else fit like a glove. Raised entire jig by 17 inches using 4 - 2 X 6 feet. Jig not glued, just screwed together into scrap pieces. Placed scrap door skin over bottom feet supports to form shelf to hold longer pieces out of the way. Covered the whole thing with a sheet of plastic to protect wood below and prevent anything from epoxying itself to the jig. Also laid 3 - 2X4's across sawhorses and placed sheet of MDF that the kit shipped on to form tabletop - also covered in sheet of plastic. Supports placed under legs to hold rest of pieces out of the way. Now have building jig next to tabletop with about 3 feet of workspace on all sides with all pieces out of the way and safe from drips. Wood for legs, tabletop supports and screws $29. Total $3165. Value of hourly wage assumed to be zero throughout build.


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Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:58 pm

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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:55 am
Posts: 631
Location: Port Ludlow, Washington

Dan,

Great job with the start of your build and the documentation. The photos really help other builders.
I really like your shelf idea under the building jig.

The advice from JohnT regarding epoxy coating/sanding is excellent.
I found it helps to make a sheet to keep track of the epoxy coats as you go, throughout the build.

As to bulkhead-3, if you already had your hatches in hand, it would be fine to install (glue in) the backing rim of wood behind the opening and dry fit the hatches. I'd then remove them and store them safely away somewhere since they will be in the way and vulnerable to splatters,drips and smears as you progress on the build. I'll see if I can find any hatches of the right size that have a locking option. Tasman (SCAMP #15) on this site probably used the set that you are referring to.

For the two SCAMPs I helped build at NWMC this is what we used.

Bomar G71320-WT with optional Twist Latches
Opening: 17-1/16” x 9-7/8” (433x251)
Cut-out: 18-1/8” x 10-15/16th (460x278)
Outside: 20” x 13” (508x330)

Here's some research I did for a plans builder many months ago. I don't know if anyone in the SCAMP community has used Jim Black-Innovative hatches but I'll contribute the links as they were then. They keep moving (and sometimes discontinuing) links and part numbers. Take a look at the very impressive leak-test video of the 12x16 Access Panel with the link below.

Possible alternatives for B-3 Hatches ***

1. Innovative HMG 12” x 16” Access Panel. This would work for both B-3 and for seat-top hatches in the cockpit

http://greatlakesskipper.com/product/94 ... hatch.html

12” x 16” Access Panel Leak Test: http://www.gotohmg.com/howto.cfm

Opening: 13-1/2” x 9-1/2”
Cut-out: 14-1/4” x 10-1/2”
Outside: 17” x 13”


2. Jim Black 581-1317-04 13 X 17 Inch Arctic White Boat Deck Hatch

http://greatlakesskipper.com/product/94 ... hatch.html

Opening: 14” x 9-1/2”
Cut-out: 15” x 10-1/2” x 7/8"
Outside: 17-1/2” x 13” x 1-3/8"

These turn-key polypropylene hatch solutions are expensive. The least expensive solution will be plywood hatches with toggle latches; maybe one of the SCAMP builders that has perfected this will share drawings/photos.

Good luck and keep up the great work. Let us know if you find the perfect solution.

Simeon

_________________
Simeon
Voyaging with Noddy, #11



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Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:23 am

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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:12 am
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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Hello and thanks again for the help

The next step involves the joys of epoxy. I think a lot of woodworkers love to build but hate the finishing part. It is easy to stay enthused about the build as you shape the wood and put it all together. You can see your creation turning into the end product. Then comes the final stage of coating and sanding that can seem to go on forever. Too bad that a good finish can cover a lot of ills but a good build is ruined by a bad finish. When I built the cedar strip boat, the first 80% of the time was working with the wood. Every piece you added showed an obvious point of progress towards the finished product. Epoxying and varnishing was a necessary evil at the end and even more important because the wood is on display.

Now on SCAMP I can see how one could get discouraged. Get the kit or pieces cut (lots of respect to those of you with the talent to make your own) and then it is time to epoxy. Paint and sand,repeat a few times, flip over and do again. Move the finished pieces aside due to space limitations and start over on new pieces. Wife and kids saying stuff like "let me know when this is supposed to look like a boat". Go back to pictures on the site to figure out which side is the right one to epoxy etc. Wife catches you on the message board again (I'm a Scout leader of 15 yrs and the youth tend to call me Scouter Dan) and with great hilarity decides to rename me Scamper Dan! Hope that one does not start a trend. I know it is much easier to do this with the pieces on the flat and I shall overcome.

A short discussion on epoxy. I used MAS epoxy on the last boat, seemed easy to work with and no amine blush issues. Unfortunately not easy to get in my area any longer. The three common types seem to be West Systems, System 3 and MAS if available. All close in price in my area. Looked into a newer product called Ecopoxy - supposed to be more environmentally friendly. Only negatives I could find was very poor customer service and when I contacted them then never responded so dropped that one. Mike Monies used Duckworks Marine Epoxy which is almost half the price and he says works very well. Actually more expensive if try to get it shipped to Canada due to border regulations. Industrial plastics sell a marine resin for about 40% less and countertop and tub makers buy resins by the drum and apparently some boat builders use it. My attempts to tell the difference is as follows. The expensive products are all true epoxies. The Industrial plastics resin is a polyester, not an epoxy. There are sort of hybrid products called vinylesters as well. Apparently the epoxies molecules bind to each other and supporting structures over a much greater area than the other two. In theory this means it has better adhesion, it is stronger and stiffer, will show less fatigue (cracking) and allows less water penetration. Does this make a difference in something like SCAMP - no idea. Many sites also mentioned that the majority of fiberglass boats are made of polyester resins due to cost. Hopefully those that know what they are talking about can comment on this.

Don't have many pictures of the finished rowing shell but here it is loaded up for a trip.

Cheers

Dan


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Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:53 pm

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Location: Victoria, B.C.

Me again, an actual build post this time.

My next step was to epoxy the inside of the bottom sheet. I agree with John about how rough the first coat is. I think a lot of it is raising the grain of the raw plywood. I used some left over 2 year old epoxy to do this and it took over 12 hours to set at about 9-10 degrees C so decided to hold off on epoxy for a few weeks to let it warm up a bit. Sanded it smooth and went off on holidays. Managed to fall at an old castle in France and trash all the ligaments in the outside fingers of my left hand - of course I am left handed. So late March before I dared the sander again. One of the comments on a post was that the storage areas were quite dark if left natural so should be painted a lighter color. I hope to bypass that step so applied a second coat of regular epoxy and the third coat included about 5% white pigment. Mix the pigment with the resin 1st and then add the hardner. Adds about 2 minutes to each epoxy mix. $15 for a 4 oz jar of from System 3. Will let you know how long it lasts. No sanding and about 4 hours between coats at 16 degrees C. Got a very smooth finish with only a few bumps from contaminants. Note that the plywood is not attached to the jig at this point. I epoxied in on the jig - ie with the curve in place but did not want to attach it as once done I removed the bottom sheet and remodeled the jig to a flat surface to do more pieces. Again lack of space.

On the next pieces I wet them down with water first to raise the grain and then sanded them down after they dried. Helped a bit at keeping the first coat smoother but still needed sanding. Any hints on this - Acetone or alcohol better? I am going to apply one coat of clear epoxy, sand and then apply 2 coats of pigmented epoxy to the next ones and will let your know how it looks.


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