1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cutting New Salon Cabinet Panels

With the original salon mahogany sanded and ready for stain, I had to cut new plywood to replace the panels that rotted out.

The plywood panels below the windows were rotten when we found the boat in 2007

We like the original salon layout with its built-in hide-a-bed sofa, but the plywood panels near the sofa were rotted out from the leaking teak side decks and the leaking salon roof. Fortunately, I’ve been hanging onto the original rotten panels ever since 2007, so cutting replacement panels wasn’t too difficult.

After rough-cutting the panel, I cut out the door opening

After rough-cutting the panel, I cut out the door opening

My mini plunge saw has a super small kerf blade, a laser guide, and a dust collection port. It’s been out of production for a few years, but when I use it with my Eureka Zone track saw guide it does a good job at cutting cabinet door openings.

Bosch jigsaw makes quick work of the corners

Bosch jigsaw makes quick work of the corners

Good fit in the panel opening, then find 90°

Good fit in the panel opening, then find 90°

Once the panel was in its final resting place, I marked the lines for the 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleats that will hold the panel in place.

Glue and screw cleats in place

Glue and screw cleats in place

As always, I used wood flour and cabosil-thickened epoxy for the glue, and edge sealed all sides of the cleats with straight epoxy. Even if water somehow finds its way in here, it will have to work to breach the coatings.

Sofa back panel cut and installed

Sofa back panel cut and installed

Look ma…no bungs!

Chris Craft originally used bungs to cover screw holes. When done right, bungs can make screw holes vanish. But eventually, the varnish over bungs can develop cracks and chips begin to grow. So instead of the original method, I’m fastening the panels through the mahogany cleat from the backside. When the installation is complete, the wood flour and cabosil-thickened epoxy will be the primary bond; the screws only serve to hold the panels in place until the epoxy cures. The result is a bung-free panel that shouldn’t ever develop cracks in the varnish.

Back-side of the panel, with screws through the cleats securing the ply

Back-side of the panel, with screws through the cleats at the top securing the ply

With the last of the salon panels cut, it’s time to get some stain on the wood before oxidation sets in. After the stain sets up, we’re spraying ICA base coat clear!

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Staining the Salon Mahogany

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s