This is the big test to see if my joinery plan will work. Unlike Chris Craft, I plan to use round corners for all of the new joinery rather than square. I also plan to avoid bungs on the visible cabinet and wall surfaces whenever possible. I’m also using epoxy thickened with wood flour and pocket screws rather than 1″x1″ cleats to glue and screw it all together. To avoid having the thickened epoxy stain the mahogany when I put the panels and other components together, I had my painter apply a heavy layer of ICA clear base coat to the panels after I rough cut them to size. In this article, I pull together a bunch of pieces that have been in the works for a while and install the first of several aft stateroom walls.
When we turned sheets of aluminum into side decks to replace teak that had rotted, I had tabs on the underside of the new deck panels welded to the hull frames to better support the structure. The mahogany panel extends past the end of the tab, which is fitted up tight to the original mahogany frame that supports the aft deck overhead. So I’ll use scraps from the side deck build to fill that gap and and provide a solid contact surface all the way across the top of the mahogany wall panel. When it’s all bolted and epoxied together, the wall panel will become a structural element supporting the aft deck above.
While the wood flour-thickened epoxy starts to set up, I got to work with my newest toy.
Great use of materials here, having the stop collar jig integral to the tool case.
I also roughed up the mahogany wall panel where it will contact the overhead frame, then wetted out that area and the bottom edge with epoxy. The first coat of straight epoxy soaks in pretty quickly to cut plywood edges, so I reapplied there several times.
The bolts, frames, and insulation I’ll install will all be hidden by the headliner.
The orange part of the frame in the pic above is a 1/4″ steel plate that runs across the entire width of the cabin. It’s attached to the mahogany frame with wood screws and, no doubt, adds some rigidity to the aft deck that these frames support. Since I’m through-bolting the entire assembly, I believe this will add much more strength to the aft deck than it had originally. The original anti-corrosion coating has failed in this area, but I’ll clean that up and recoat it with modern epoxy later. It would have been easiest to do that when we were replacing the side decks, but I didn’t think of it at the time.
As with the mahogany plywood, I had the visible parts of the corner pieces coated with ICA clear base coat. We taped off the inside corners so the epoxy would be able to soak into and bond directly to bare wood. The clear coating on the visible parts protects the wood from being discolored by any epoxy that squeezes out, and clean up is easy using an alcohol-soaked rag.
The shot above shows what the back side of the corner piece looks like when attached. I may put in bungs later, but since this is the inside of a closet I may just coat each counterbore with epoxy to exclude condensation.