With the rough cut aft stateroom wall panels back from clear coating at the paint shop, it’s time to fit them to the boat.
I’m all giddy.
That ICA base coat clear is some tough stuff. The plastic base on my Makita jig saw glides right over the top.
After cutting the panels more precisely to the height of the ceiling, the next step is to figure out how to get the panel into position between the frames overhead without bumping into the frame and the standpipe below. After tipping and flipping the panel this way and that, I finally figured out the order of operations to get it close to where it’s supposed to go.
So, I repeat the panel tai chi in reverse, trim the top a bit, and do the panel tai chi again to check the fit.
Again, repeat the panel tai chi…
More panel tai chi…
And pretty wood…too bad this will be the inside of the hanging locker.
Chris Craft just screwed the original panels straight to the frames, inducing warp in the panel even when the cabinetry in the room had square corners. I prefer not to induce warp in the panel, since that’ll make my joinery work all the more challenging. Since I’m pretty much guessing on all of this, the easier the better! I’ll make spacers out of scrap plywood so the panels stay nice and square.
There were fewer fancy tai chi moves to get this panel into place, since there wasn’t a standpipe to deal with.
The panel is laid over a bit, so once I cut the top off it should slide right up into place.
After some lessons learned on the first panel, the stringer cutouts were much more accurate on this second one.
I transferred the dimensions from the interior concept drawings to the floor, but hadn’t accounted for irregularities in the frames or the thickness of the welds that kept the panel from lining up with the transferred lines once the panels were square to the floor. There’s plenty of width for the washer and dryer, though, so the 1/2″ shift to the right is no problem at all.
There was all kinds of panel tai chi going on when I fit that panel on the starboard side. The washer, dryer, and jet bath boxes are seriously in the way, but there’s no other way to get this done. Fortunately, by the third panel I was getting pretty good.
With the fitting done, I did some more panel tai chi and pulled them all out to seal the edges that face the hull.
And because the panel faces were clear coated, little drips of epoxy cleaned right up with alcohol on a rag.