1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cutting and Installing Overhead Mahogany Plywood

Aft stateroom overhead needs panels installed before foam

Aft stateroom overhead needs panels installed before foam

Once the foam insulation gets sprayed between the frames, it will be very difficult to securely attach mahogany plywood panels overhead. The panels over every door and cabinet would have to be free-floating below the insulation, which wouldn’t make for a very solid structure. Alternatively, I’d have to slice and scrape away the urethane foam, and that sounds tedious.

Time to break out the luan ply strips and glue gun

Time to break out the luan ply strips and glue gun

The luan strips capture the complex angles and distances of the overhead framing

DSCF6832

Transfer the luan shape to African mahogany plywood

Transfer the luan shape to African mahogany plywood

The mahogany plywood pieces I’m using are the scraps that were left over from the aft stateroom walls.

First cut...not a bad fit

First cut…not a bad fit

I’ve noticed that the luan tends to have a bit of spring in it. The transferred shape that I cut in the plywood is never a precise fit the first time around. It only takes a fraction of an inch here and there to make the fit too tight.

Better...but now quite right

Better…but now quite right

That's more like it

That’s more like it

There’s a good fit all along the overhead plywood and frames, as well as along the edge where the overhead piece meets the walls and corners.

Repeat for the next segment on the port side

Repeat for the next segment on the port side

While I'm at it, I might as well install the last aft stateroom bulkhead

While I’m at it, I might as well install the last aft stateroom bulkhead

The pic above shows the stairs coming down from the helm station into the salon, behind which there is a large open area that permitted big things–like the fuel tank, the washer, dryer, and jet bath, to be moved into the aft stateroom. I removed the bulkhead there during the early demolition phase, since the plywood there was rotted out from the former teak decks. Since I no longer need that wide opening, it’s time to put the new bulkhead in.

Scarfed in frame replaces rotten mahogany

Scarfed in frame replaces rotten mahogany

Pretty close fit for the first cut

Pretty close fit for the first cut

After trimming off 1/32" along the bottom, the bulkhead clicked into position

After trimming off 1/32″ along the bottom, the bulkhead slid right into position

Like all of the other aft stateroom walls, I had this panel finished with ICA basecoat clear before installation. We’ll top coat it when we do the entire interior.

Overhead panels back from the paint shop

Overhead panels back from the paint shop, then prepped for gluing and screwing

Varnishing a piece of molding for a butt joint

Varnishing a piece of molding for a butt joint

The varnish protects the wood from the epoxy that’s used for the joint. Instead of staining the wood, any epoxy that squeezes out of the joint just wipes off with alcohol.

Molding hides the joint for the panel over the aft stateroom head door opening

Molding hides the joint for the panel over the aft stateroom head door opening

That’s a wrap for the overhead panels in the aft stateroom

Ventilator opening through the toe rail had a piece of rotten mahogany

Ventilator opening through the toe rail had a piece of rotten mahogany that I removed

Last but not least, a big chunk of mahogany for a vent hole

Wetting out the new mahogany piece to encapsulate it in epoxy

My ShopSmith bandsaw came in very handing making this piece for the ventilation opening. It’s a big chunk of mahogany, and none of my other saws could have made the cuts.

Wood flour and cabosil-thickened epoxy will hold the new piece in place

Wood flour and cabosil-thickened epoxy holds the new piece in place

But before clamping the new mahogany in place, I coated the entire opening (chute? chase?) with epoxy until it wouldn’t take any more. Then I applied wood flour-thickened epoxy where there were sharp edges at the transitions from the mahogany toe rail to the aluminum deck, and then to the mahogany underneath. Once the whole opening was smooth with thickened epoxy, I coated it once more to give an even smooth finish. Any water that passes the ventilator scoops will encounter a plastic tube, with no exposed wood to rot out.

And with that, the aft stateroom is ready for spray foam insulation.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Prepping the V-berth for Foam Insulation

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2 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cutting and Installing Overhead Mahogany Plywood

  1. Bill Large says:

    In many of your blog entries, I see old Chris Craft wiring. Do you have a wiring plan? For instance, with the wall/bulkheads in, how will you provide 110 VAC outlets for those new appliances? When I rehabed my Sea Skiff, I ended up removing all of the original Chris Craft 110 VAC and 12 VDC wiring and installing new, done correctly. The original wiring was sparse and sloppy.

    I know you have a lot to do but with your planning skills, I’m sure you this covered.

    Bill

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Hi Bill.
      All of the new appliances will have new wiring with junction boxes on the aft stateroom-side of the engine room aft bulkhead. Where the original wiring is in good condition (and if it fits into the new layout), I intend to reuse it. I’ve already removed any wires that showed even a hint of verdigris or heat.
      Cheers,
      Q

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