I’ve been lugging around the old mahogany toe rails since 2008 when I first removed them from the boat. They worked well as patterns for the new toe rail installed in 2013, which ended up looking sooo much better than the originals. But I couldn’t bring myself to toss out the old stuff, if for no other reason than that I figured I could resaw it and use it as…whatever. After the theft in May 2014, I found myself without most of my tools, so I decided to make myself feel just a little bit useful and finally do something with the old toe rails.
The top two boards in the pic above are upside down. The white stuff is aluminum oxide that formed when when water made its way to the aluminum deck. The grey stuff, which I believe is butyl tape, is still pliable and in some spots sticks like crazy…in other spots, it comes off in sheets but is still sticky, even after 45 years. The orange stuff is the barrier coat/primer Chris Craft used on the aluminum hulls, which peels right off where there was white aluminum oxide powder growing underneath it.
When we got the boat, the big holes had bungs that covered the 1/4-20 stainless steel machine screws that secured the wood to the deck. In the center of the stanchion base is a big hole that, for some reason, Chris Craft didn’t bother to coat with varnish or anything else. This seems inconsistent with other areas of the boat, like the interior joinery, where practically every piece of wood got coated on all sides to protect it from water intrusion and, eventually, rot.
In the pic above, the wood at the bottom of the big hole in the center of the stanchion was only about 1/16″ thick. Though there was no rot in this area, the crack along the screw holes was ripe for failure.
So…after stripping off the sticky butyl tape, I brought the rails over to the wood shop and ran them through the resaw mill. And when they came out the other side…
Now that they’ve been resawn, I’ll use the old toe rails to mark the holes for the stanchion bases (once I find stanchion bases to replace the ones that were stolen). Then I’ll run them through the table saw, most likely to make 1″x1″ cleat material. We’ll be seeing this wood again as the interior build-out moves forward.