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