1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The V-berth Bed Foundation Frames

The V-berth is coming together nicely, though it is taking more time than I expected. The heat and humidity in the tent is a major contributing factor. I tend to head home once I reach a good stopping point on one project even though there are plenty of other things I could do. It’s just too hot in there. Stepping outside on a 90° day with typical east coast humidity, it feels cool compared to inside. But enough of the whining. I’m getting close to having the V-berth bed foundation done. But along the way, I discovered a problem with my Eureka Zone track saw that took a half-day to figure out and resolve.

The trouble all started with my Shopsmith jointer

I used the jointer to true some mahogany boards that will become the cabinet corners for the V-berth closet. But while making those pieces I discovered a problem with the jointer fence.

When the leading edge of the jointer fence is square…

…it’s out of square at the knives

When I square the fence at the knives…

It’s out of square at the leading edge

This twist in the fence explains a really frustrating problem I had getting the cabinet corner angles right. Word has it Shopsmith may machine these cast iron fences when the castings are still ‘green’, and twist in them is reportedly fairly common. The company considers 0.015″ twist to be within spec, but that strikes me as pretty sloppy for such an expensive machine.

Jointed pine board is square

The trick I’ve learned is to set the fence square at the knives and press the material against the fence there. But since I had the square out, I was curious how square my saws were.

Tracksaw blade is perfectly square

But one pass down the jointed pine board shows it doesn’t cut square

This problem with the tracksaw completely threw me for a loop. How can the blade be square but the cuts not be???

It turns out that the anti-chip edge on the track and the tracksaw base on the saw were the problem. Earlier versions of the anti-chip edges were less rigid and they’d just compress down on the wood when the saw was pushed along. But the current version of the anti-chip edges are very rigid, so when the saw base engages with it the base rides up on the anti-chip edge, lifting that side of the saw. When one side of the saw lifts up, it throws the blade out of square to the track and the wood it’s sitting on.

The white plastic part is the anti-chip edge insert

How far off is the cut?

I measured the top and bottom of the strip I cut off the jointed pine board. The top measured 0.132″.

The bottom measured 0.107″

0.025″ off of square over 1-1/2″ is a long bloody ways out of square. I hadn’t mentioned some problems I was having getting panels to fit square, but this explains why that was happening. The whole time, I thought it was just me being a rookie!

I suppose another way to look at it is that it is a rookie move not to have figured this out sooner. 😉

Anyway, I spent the better part of an hour making tiny adjustments to the saw tilt and cutting off pieces from the pine board until I finally got the angle just right.

An hour later the blade was finally adjusted right

Top and bottom of the cut are within 0.001″

The tracksaw now cuts perfectly square

Unfortunately, this means that all of those 1″ x 1″ mahogany cleats I made out of the old to rail are out of square! Attaching panels to them without re-sawing or jointing them will put the panels out of square. I guess it’s better to figure this out now than to wrestle with poorly fitting panels later. Still, it’s frustrating to have an expensive tool betray me like this. (I know…rookies blame the tool. lol)

With my saws and jointers all square, I finally got around to cutting the frames for the bed foundation.

Time to add some framing

Swapped out the jointer for the bandsaw

6′ ruler helps ensure all the frames are on the same plane

End of a long day

I’ve got most of the bed foundation support frames cut, and the two longitudinal plywood pieces glued and screwed in place. I’ll finish cutting the rest of them over the weekend, then epoxy them all in place.

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


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