1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Making Solid Mahogany Corners for the V-berth Cabinets

It’s July 4, 2017, and in America that means we’ll be celebrating Brexit 1776, also known as Independence day. Our son came down for the holiday and introduced us to his charming fiance, so this will be a very memorable 4th of July. We’ll take our 1968 Chris Craft Commander 42 up to Three Sisters in Washington, DC, where the Potomac runs clean and clear. We’ll go swimming, grill up some of the missus’ homemade sausages, then head back to the dock to watch the fireworks show tonight. It’ll be hot and steamy here in the nation’s capital, but not nearly as hot or steamy as it is inside Tent Model XXX, where I’m making decent progress on the V-berth joinery.

The V-berth plan

The V-berth reality

There will be a hanging locker (closet) above the small cabinet to the right. I need to make the corners for the closet out of solid mahogany, then I’ll glue and screw mahogany plywood to those corners using the same approach as I did on the aft stateroom walls.

The mahogany stick across the middle will be one corner

I’ve got a lot of 8/4 (~2″) thick mahogany planks stacked under the boat and also a bunch of leftover bits and pieces from the new toe rail. The leftover bits are odd shapes because the toe rail is curved to some degree all along its length. I thought I’d end up using the stick in the pic above as bung fodder, but it turns out to be just the right size to become one of the V-berth corner pieces.

One pass down the table saw removes the curve

A 6′ board will become a couple of Mahogany corner pieces

I use my track saw to true the edges

One end touches the track

You can see the banana in the board.

It’s got ~3/16″ banana in the middle

And good contact with the track at the other end

After truing the boards with the track saw, I ran them through my new Dewalt surface planer.

New planer and table

Those cleaned up pretty nicely!

I think these corners are going to be pretty.

With the lumber dimensioned, next I started shaping it into corners.

First passes at 30°

First time using Shopsmith jointer

I’ve had this jointer attachment for years but never used it. I was considering cutting the cabinet door rabbets with my table saw or maybe a router, but it turns out the Shopsmith jointer cuts them pretty well.

Set the cut depth at 1/8″

1st pass

Bump it up to 1/4″

2nd pass

Maximum depth

3rd and final pass

Repeat the process for both corners

Both of the cabinet corners are roughed out now. The next step will be to use a belt sander to smooth off the 30° and 60° curves. But first, we’re going to goof around at Three Sisters and enjoy America’s Independence Day celebration. I hope y’all have a great one, too!

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Bed Foundation Frames



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