1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Moldings for the Aft Stateroom Head

When I last worked on the aft stateroom head early in the summer of 2015, the walls were fiberglassed and faired and I’d made the ceiling panels. Before I start the priming and painting, I need to make moldings for the door opening and the jamb for the sliding door. The door opening moldings will basically cap the ends of the 3/4″ mahogany plywood. Since I’ll be using that approach everywhere there are exposed plywood panel edges, I’ll set up my ShopSmith and run off several lengths of identical molding at the same time.

The original interior concept rendering

Detail-level pieces of the concept rendering

While my interior concept drawings work well as a guide, I need greater detail and also need to refine the measurements to match the real aft head walls before I start cutting wood. Planning out the corner piece/door jamb in Sketchup’s free CAD software also allows me to plan the order of operations I’ll need to take to make the piece. This stuff is probably second nature for professional woodworkers, but it’s all new to me. I may be a rank amateur, but I want to get it right.

I'll start with a long hunk of mahogany

I’ll start with a long hunk of rectangular mahogany

First cuts will make the panel attachment point

First cuts will make the panel attachment point

Second series of cuts will make the door jamb/pocket

Second series of cuts will make the door jamb/pocket

Something like this...

Something like this…

Presto! Sketchup gives me my measurements

Gotta make sure I get all the measurements right

I'll use router bits in my ShopSmith to round the exposed corners

I’ll use router bits in my ShopSmith to round the exposed corners

And in the end, it ought to look something like this

And in the end, it ought to look something like this

Relocate the ShopSmith outside and start setting it up

Relocate the ShopSmith outside and start setting it up

It sucks having to cut, route, and sand lots of wood in Tent Model X. There’s just no room. So I find it’s easiest to wrestle the ShopSmith outside, but since I’m in a boatyard with a gravel lot it’s not easy. Once outside, I set up the table saw and sliced off the strips I’ll use for panel end moldings. Then I brought out the bigger piece of lumber and made the cuts for the corner piece/door pocket. I  followed up with dado cuts to clear out material from the door jamb/pocket and moldings, and finally rounded the outside edges.

3/4" plywood end cap moldings

3/4″ plywood end cap moldings

First corner cuts for the corner piece

First corner cuts for the corner piece

Another problem is that the ShopSmith is down on the gravel outside the tent but the corner piece I’m making goes inside the aft stateroom. After making the first cuts, I walked the piece inside the tent, up the ladder, across the aft deck, down the steps to the salon and down the steps to the aft stateroom…THEN I could check the fit and go back outside to make the next cuts. I suppose the exercise will keep me fit! 😉

Looks pretty much like the plan drawings!

Looks pretty much like the plan drawings!

Lop off some of the length for a perfect fit, height-wise

Lop off some of the length for a perfect fit, height-wise

After sanding, all of the parts got coated with ICA base and top coat glossy clear

After sanding, all of the parts got coated with ICA base and top coat semi-gloss clear

This is the same approach I used with the corner pieces in the aft stateroom, in which I apply the finish before assembling the parts with epoxy thickened with wood flour and cabosil. Doing it this way avoids epoxy stains on the wood. It’s super easy cleaning up any epoxy that squeezes out from the joint using alcohol on a rag, leaving the urethane coating unaffected and beautiful.

Et voila! Beautiful mahogany corner piece/door jamb is ready to install

Et voila! Beautiful mahogany moldings are ready to install

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Wiring For The Aft Head Lights

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