My painter’s schedule still isn’t aligning with mine, so the stack of mahogany plywood panels that need to be clear coated keeps growing–the V-berth bulkhead, the aft stateroom head and closet/locker porthole surround panels. This boat also has porthole openings on the transom, but Chris Craft used fixed panes of glass there. I want to do things differently, by installing the same Bomar portholes as Chris Craft used on the ones that open. Chris Craft also painted the aft stateroom white on these boats, but we’re going with clear coated Mahogany everywhere outside of the bathroom.
The remains of two original panels can still be seen on the left side of the pic above. I used a sawsall here during the demolition phase years ago, so the cut edges aren’t straight. But the vertical panel will make a good pattern and the horizontal panel can still be used, I just need to remove it and square up the cut. In the linked demolition page, you can see that Chris Craft left the original fuel pipes exposed. I plan to box in the fuel inlets I made behind African mahogany panels, and provide a removable panel for maintenance access to the hose.
Because the porthole flange is wider than the available space, I’m going to make more space by using 1/2″ plywood here instead of the 3/4″ that Chris Craft used. I’ll add 1/4″ spacer to all of the attachment points so the side of the new panel that faces the flange is inboard of where the original panel was. If that doesn’t make sense, hopefully the pix will tell the story.
There’s only one 90° corner on this piece. All the rest are different angles. I have no idea how you could easily make these cuts on a traditional table saw, but with the tracksaw it’s a breeze. You put the panel on the wooden raised top. Drop the track bridge onto the panel, line up the marks on either end, turn on the vacuum and make the cut. Rotate the panel and repeat. The panel doesn’t move, the saw does, so it’s great in tight spaces like my boat salon. And even a complex panel like this is cut with perfectly straight lines in ~5 minutes.
BTW, I don’t get a commission for my tool reviews. When something works (or doesn’t) I like to share my experience.
It’s always a difficult decision when to keep or throw away wood scraps. Turns out the decision to keep this one was a good choice. There was enough to split it into two panels, one for each side of the boat.
I clamped a square to the overhead beam then clamped the long leg of the square to the inboard panel to keep it in place. If I do all of the fitting right, all of the other panels that are attached to that panel will be square, too.
I think I won’t even need quarter round moldings to hide the joints. 🙂
That’s three more panels on the “to be painted” pile.