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Steve Goddard

NB Siskin

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Hi welcome to the mini blog of the build of NB Siskin. You can see the full blow by blow account ay www.nbsiskin.co.uk. Siskin is a 57 foot remake of a Cowburn and Cowper boat being built by Simon Wain at Brinklow Boat services who has worked on a lot of historic narrowboats including some of the original C&C boats and has built some really nice remakes of both C&C boats and little Northwich both of which were built in the 30's by Yarwoods. We're lucky really because Snipe (one of the original 8 C&C boats) is moored in the arm by the yard.

 

 

This blog is starting a bit late as we are a little way down with the shell build so there will be a flurry of posts as we catch up J.

 

 

Ikeas delivers

 

Well it all starts today with the ultimate flatpack only requires an allen key (supplied) to assemble. I wish icon_smile.gif

 

08072010123-300x225.jpgThe first delivery of steel is for the hull of Siskin. We'll order the steel for the cabin and roof when we need it. All of the plate has been shotblasted and primed so we won't have to worry about mill scale when Siskin is painted. There seems to be an awful lot of it and I hope that Simon knows where it all goes.

 

The side plates need to be sent off to be cut to size and folded top and bottom to give the correct profile and my first job is to cut the knees out of 100 x 10mm plate.

 

Now I need to state here I am not a steelworker. The last time I tried to join two pieces of steel together was when I was and apprentice and that is many many years ago so working on the shell is going to be a steep learning curve.

 

Simon introduces me to the plasma cutter and it is love at first sight. It is quite easy to quickly and accurately cut steel and as I find out a little later quite easy to quickly and inaccurately cut steel. However great fun is had by all and in a little while I have cut out 24 knees and am starting to cut out the bottom braces which are more interesting as they are out of angle and have nice little semicircular drain holes in them. A coat of primer finishes everything off and we have the first bits of Siskin ready:).

 

12072010133-225x300.jpg

Well it seems that the first bit of the boat proper is the bottom plate. I suppose that that makes more sense than trying to build the roof first. The bottom plate for Siskin is 3.5 4m x 2m plates of 10mm steel. The forklift makes short work of laying them down on the hardstand and then the first job is to get them aligned. This is done with a precision alignment tools as you can see in the photo below.

 

 

The next job is to tack them all together but before that can be done the edges that have to be welded need to be vee'd on both sides and edges so that you get a full penetration weld. This is a cruddy job, there is a lot of metal to take off, the plates are at floor level so you can't get comfortable and to make it even worse you can't turn the plates over to do the bottom. Guess who gets that job

 

 

Once all the plates are tacked together the alignment plates can be removed and the tacks used to hold the down the alignment plates can be cleaned up. My job again.

 

The last thing to finish off the base plate for the moment is to get an accurate center line down. The center of the plates are pop marked and a string line run down the whole length of the base plate. This is then fixed in place with little bits of gaffer tape to ensure it doesn't move and then a quick spray over with some white paint. When the string line is removed you are left with a fine and accurate center line that you can use to set the rest of the boat off.

 

15072010141-225x300.jpgWe are getting somewhere now icon_smile.gif

 

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Time to build the straight parts of the sides. The steel has come back from being cropped to size and bent to the pattern we sent with the sheets. First of all the sheets are laid out on the base as it offers a nice flat surface to work on. Then its a repeat of the base plate, grind the weld vee's at the joints which is a lot easier as the steel is only 6mm thick and I can do it on a cutting table at a decent working height, line up the plates with a string line and straight edge, weld temporary plates across the joints to keep them flat and then tack then together and then go around and grind off all the tack-welds. I'm getting use to this now 22072010146-225x300.jpg

 

Next thing is laying out the knees and welding them on. They all fit pretty well and only need a little persuasion with a weld on clamp to get them sitting tight to the sides.

 

23072010148-225x300.jpg

 

When the first side is finished we get to do it all again on the second side. When everything is tacked together Simon goes around and finish welds all of the knees. Then its my turn to get in, grind off all the tack welds which held down the clamps and then finally give both sides a lick of red oxide primer. 27072010156-225x300.jpg

I love primer, you can slap it on with impunity and at the end the improvement in looks is amazing.

 

At the end of the day it looks as if we really do have the first bits of the boat

 

 

27072010157-300x225.jpg

Siskin finally becomes 3D as we lift and fix the two sides . We (well Simon) welds on a couple of eyes onto the top side of the sides so that we can attach a couple of D shackles and a lifting beam and use the forklift to pick them up. Once the side is roughly upright the first job is to get it tacked to the bottom plate and lined up with the string line which has been painted along the side. With Simon working on the outside and me working on the inside it is quite easy to get the plate lined up and tacked onto the base. All that remains to be done is to put a couple of temporary struts to hold the first side up.

 

Then it's deja vue again as we do the second side and all of a sudden I can start to see the shape that the boat will eventually be. Back to reality and the next job is to get the gunwales on to give some strength to the top of the sides. First job is to weld prep the top of the sides with a bevel. As you start grinding you start to wish you had decided on a 30′ boat rather than a 57′ as there seems to be an awful lot of side to grind up and this is just the straight bit. Oh well practice makes perfect so they say. We soon have a couple of lengths of gunwale on the boat. Now it really is starting to look the biz 28072010167-300x225.jpg

 

 

Edited by Steve Goddard

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I have beeen watching this. It is very detailed, written in an entertaining style and is well illustrated.

 

For those who are interested in how an elite builder works this blog is essential reading.

Edited by andywatson

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Well Siskin looks a bit more like a boat everyday. All it needs now is a pointy bit at the front and a roundy bit at the back and it might even float. However its not a simple as that first of all it needs to be the same width all over. This is a relatively simply task. Just cut some 25mm square tube struts to the exact length and weld it across the shell just below the top fold.

 

Trouble is the tops of the sides lean out a bit and need pulling in before the struts can be welded in. Here's me thinking lots of grunting and groaning but Simon just brings out the BIGGEST sash cramp I have ever seen.

 

29072010168-300x225.jpgPop it across the top, tighten it up until the sides are parallel weld up the struts and we now have two sides which are the right distance apart and parallel to each other . A quick check on the diagonals shows that the sides are not quite square and that we need to get a bit of diagonal adjustment to finally square it all up. Again it's a lot simpler to do than I thought it would be. Simply pop an Acro prop across the diagonal, adjust up, and suddenly we have a straight and narrow shell. A quick check of the diagonals show that they are within an eighth of an inch and checking with the Gemred bevel box shows the sides and base plate are square to within a half of a degree. Out standing .

 

The stem post is made of a couple of sheets of 10mm steel spaced out with a 60 x 15mm cap on the front. If you see Siskin heading towards you be afraid as this looks tough enough to go on the bow of an arctic icebreaker.

 

12072010132-225x300.jpg

 

Getting the cap tacked onto the side plates is a bit of a job. Although there is enough leverage (at least at the beginning) to bend the cap cold the resultant bend was not very good so we ended up using the gas axe to heat up the cap and carefully mould it to the correct shape tacking it in place as we work around the curve.

 

With the stem post in place on the base plate and the front bulkhead set up you can really start to see the finished shape of Siskins bow

13082010174-300x225.jpg

.

 

 

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Well there was a simple task for the week Simon was off on the cut. All I had to do after that was to clean up the inside, give it a coat of red oxide primer and then a coat of red oxide gloss to get it properly waterproof. Not a problem you would think especially as Eddie had volunteered to come and help with the painting. The great British summer however had different ideas. We started to get the primer on Wednesday afternoon. After a couple of hours pulling the tent backwards and forward to try and keep the wind and rain off the new paint we finally decided to call it a day with about half the primer done as we were not really getting anywhere.

 

I arrived back early Friday morning to find water all over the paint we had put on and a veritable swimming pool at one end of the boat. The good news is that the boat is water tight. The bad news is I have no bilge pump fitted yet and Im going to have to bail it out by hand. A quick trip to B&Q for a big sponge and a bucket and bailing commences. An hour or so later and the bulk of the water is out, the wind is blowing hard and it looks as if it will dry pretty soon. Eddie arrives and starts at one end on the gloss and I start on the other finishing off the primer. Things are looking good, although it is very grey and windy it looks as if the rain might hold off. We plough on through the afternoon trying to see in the dull light just exactly where we have put red oxide gloss on red oxide primer which is not the easiest colour combination to see a contrast with icon_sad.gif By the end of the afternoon we are done icon_smile.gif and the inside looks good. The weather however has different ideas and over the weekend it pours down http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/angry.gif

20082010176-300x225.jpg

 

Well things are not to bad when I get over to the yard. Granted there is enough water on the inside of Siskin to float a battleship but the good news is that the gloss paint seems to have dried before it rained so it looks as if I wont have to paint it again icon_smile.gif . Plan for the day according to Simon is to crack on with the top bends First of all Simon needs to sort out the patterns for the top bends as the foredeck on Siskin is a little bit longer (at 6 feet 1 1/2 inches) than the pattern. While he is doing that Im back on grinding and linishing the seams in the sides. As Simon has the tent at his end my morning is spent either running for cover as it pours down or sweating like a pig in the sun. However its not a big job so even with all the interruptions the first side is done by lunch .23082010190-300x225.jpg

While Im doing this Simon has been in the nice shady dry bit sorting out the final shape of the top bends, cutting a pair out of 6mm plate and dressing them so they are identical.23082010184-300x225.jpg A quick offer up to the stem post and front bulkhead and they look fine.

 

The afternoon is spent flitting outside to do a bit of grinding when it is not raining and helping Simon out when it is. The bends are soon tacked into place and Simon starts to mark up and cut out the tops of the cants. 23082010191-300x225.jpgIm back to making little temporary brackets to hold them in place while they are aligned properly. By the end of the day we have the cant tops fully fitted to the top bends so we should be able to tack them in place tomorrow and despite all the rain Ive finished linishing both sides. If tomorrow is fine Ill get some primer on them. I really really hope tomorrow is fine because I getting webbed feet with all this rain.

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Tony

They come direct off the main blog. I had some issues over the weekend with the hosting so the www.nbsiskin.co.uk site was downs so no pictures there either http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/sad.gif .

 

Should be fixed permenantly now I hope http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/cool.gif

 

Steve

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Next job for Simon is tacking the cants in place and then sorting out the breastwood, both of which are one man jobs so Im dispatched with a wire brush to clean off all the side to base plate welds and then to get a coat of two pack onto the sides to weather proof them. I dont know what it is about the two pack but it dont half make you cough. I sound like somebody thats on 40 a day icon_sad.gif . Never mind the paint is actually a lot easier to put on than the normal red oxide so the job doesnt take long and at the end Siskin looks a whole lot better24082010195-300x225.jpg

Simon is not a happy camper icon_lol.gif . The lines of the breastwood and the front end of the cants is not how he wants it so some modifications need to be made and a lot of banging and grinding and huffing and puffing ensue until Simon is happy with the way it looks.

24082010197-300x225.jpg

Simon continues on putting more tacks on the cants and I make a start on the stern dollies. First job is to linish up the castings and get all the mould flash and crud off. Then I need to cut a couple of plates off for them to be mounted on. Simon wants the dollies mounted in a hole cut into the center of the plates so they can be welded top and bottom for strength. I mark round the dollies (which are nowhere near round) cut out the bulk of the waste with the plasma cutter (have I said how much I like the plasma cutter icon_smile.gif ) and then file the hole and fettle the dollies until they fit. Simon welds them up with stainless rods as the plate and the dollies are dissimilar materials and all I have to do then is to tidy up the welds. 24082010196-300x225.jpgWhile Ive been doing this Simon has tidied up the ends of the cants24082010198-300x225.jpg and cut the deck drains in so you can now see the finished shape. Can wait till tomorrow to see the foredeck coming on.

 

The following day disaster rears it's ugly head. The dollies that Simon had welded and I had painstakingly linished up have cracked http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/mad.gif I grind all the cracks out and Simon rewelds them using lots and lots of preheat. This does the job.

 

25082010199-300x225.jpg. 25082010200-225x300.jpg

 

I get promoted icon_smile.gif and get a fiddly job rather than a crappy one icon_biggrin.gif I get to sort out the lolipop i.e. the end of the stempost where the T Stud is welded to. Its a really nice little job grinding up the profile and then heating up the end and putting a slight bend in it so that it will blend in with the stem post when it is fitted. Its actually very satisfying getting a nice looking piece rather than being constrained by by a set of dimensions.

 

By the end of the day there is not a lot of apparent progress despite the fact that neither of us have stopped all day. However the foredeck is starting to take shape and we have the next bits already marked out for cutting and fitting tomorrow, plus all the fiddly bits and re-dos so we shouldnt complain.25082010201-300x225.jpg

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Thursday. What a day! It didnt stop raining all day long and the wind was strong enough to blow the rain under the tent no matter how we moved it. We ended up getting progressively wetter and wetter as the day went on icon_sad.gif There were times when I felt like abandoning ship or changing the name to the Ark. Added to that there were lots of interruptions so we didnt get as much done as we would have liked. Oh well there are days like that.

 

Simon started off on fitting the side plates on the foredeck . They fitted in well and with the two of us lining them up and clamping them in place for tacking it was a quick job. I got underneath the foredeck and ground off all the tack welds which had held the temporary support for the cants. It was so dark under there that it was like grinding by braille icon_smile.gif . 26082010202-300x225.jpg[/left]

 

After lunch Simon fits the last bit of the foredeck and I start cutting the angle for the upstand on the hatch. We clamp it up to ensure that it is square and flat and Simon welds it up. While Im dressing it up and rounding the corners Simon welds the lolipop onto the foredeck and stem post.26082010203-300x225.jpg At least by the end of the day we have a completed foredeck .

 

 

TuesdayWhat a difference from last week. The weather is dry, sunny and HOT. Everything has dried out at last and we can really get down to some serious work except Simon has to do some shuffling around in the dry dock to get one boat out and another one in. This leads to an instant further promotion for me icon_smile.gif as not only have I got to cut the fore plates and prepare the welds but I also get to tack on the temporary alignment plates across the seam between the two plates. Remember the first attempts and the very sick rabbit. Well the rabbit is getting better but is still poorly icon_sad.gif . Problem is that I cant really see what Im doing. If I look through the correct part of my glasses (which are varifocals) I cant see out of the welding helmet. If I look out of the welding helmet I cant see what Im looking at as it is out of focus icon_cry.gif . Ive gone and bought some cheap reading glasses so well see if that works.31082010219-225x300.jpg

 

Notwithstanding leporidae illnesses Simon soon has the first pair of plates welded together and we can lift them into place. Before setting the plates in place Simon welds lots of little tags to help get the plates aligned. 31082010220-300x225.jpgA quick lift with the forklift and the plates drop into place with very little bother at all.

 

The first job is to attach the front plates to the side. A couple of plates on the outside and tags on the inside get the plates roughly lined up and a couple of weld on clamps later and we can tack weld everything together.

 

31082010221-225x300.jpg Now we're getting somewhere

Edited by Steve Goddard

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RE: glasses

 

Can you adjust the angle of your welding mask to your head so you are looking through the appropriate part of the lens? I can get by with my bifocals that way. My (cheap) helmet has three settings at the side

 

Richard

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Richard

 

I don't know but I'll give it a try.

 

Thanks

 

Steve

 

RE: glasses

 

Can you adjust the angle of your welding mask to your head so you are looking through the appropriate part of the lens? I can get by with my bifocals that way. My (cheap) helmet has three settings at the side

 

Richard

 

Thursday:- Another great day with perfect weather, not to hot, not to cold. A great day for getting things done. First job is to prep up the second side. Simon gets to welding the tags on the sides and base and I tack on the plates across the join. Well first of all good news, the rabbit is a lot better today icon_biggrin.gif Ive got a pair of reading glasses and I can actually see what Im doing and the end result are some half decent welds. Another 30 years or so of practice and I might be as good as Simon. Come teatime weve hoisted the second side up and are starting to weld up the seam to the side02092010223-225x300.jpgplate with the help of the ubiquitous weld on clamps and tags. Weve managed to get as far as we did on Tuesday in just a couple of hours. Great stuff icon_smile.gif

 

With the two sides up the boat looks more like a landing craft than a narrowboat. Perhaps its not a bad idea it would make it easier to get the bike on and off the boat icon_smile.gif02092010224-300x225.jpg. Im a bit puzzled about how all of this is going to come together but Simon seems quite comfortable that it will all work out so its fine.

 

First of all we mark up the guard line using a wooden stick to get a nice flowing line. Tack welding a thin bit of steel just offset from the line gives a guide for the plasma cutter. Simon cuts the plate from the front to about three feet from the back and then grinds a thin cut about half way through the plate 02092010227-300x225.jpg. This then enables us to fold the plate over so that the back part follows the top bend on the side and the front will twist and rise to match the end of the front bend. Im actually amazed with how close to being spot on the cut is when it is finished and the plate is pulled into position with a couple of clamps. A little bit more work with the plasma cutter and the grinder to refine the sweep of the curve and it is ready to be tack welded into position. 02092010228-300x225.jpg We use a couple of lengths of 25mm square tube as there is quite a lot of twist to control and that makes it easier than using flat bar and very soon the first bit is folded over and welded into place. The resultant sweep is magic. Its smooth and rises nicely all the way to the stem post. The fact that this complex curve has come out of flat plate with no computerised rolling or bending makes it even more amazing.

 

The next job is to strike the top curve which will be above the tug deck. The normal process applies. First of all we set up a stick with weld on clamps and adjust it until the curve looks smooth and correct. Then a chalk line is put on the side and a 20mm steel strip tack welded on at the correct offset for the plasma cutter. Its just a matter then of popping the plasma cutter along the strip as a guide and the all of a sudden the shape of the bow is clear to see.06092010230-300x225.jpg06092010234-300x225.jpg

 

I have to say that I really like the lines of the bow of the Cowburn and Cowper boats. It is nowhere near as aggressive as the little Northwich with much gentler rise and a lot less tumblehome. Much more refined (or thats what I tell Simon as he is building himself a little Northwich boat icon_smile.gif )

 

The second side is a whole lot easier as we can take measurements off the first side and transfer them over. It soon shows that it works and is going to save a lot of time as the bottom cut is soon marked out and cut. When the top is folded over and cramped up to the top bends there is far less dressing to be done to get the curve looking right.

 

06092010235-225x300.jpgWe get back to the second side just as the weather starts to turn and the rain comes down, but fortunately we can continue to work in the dry this time as we are working in a small area. By the end of the day the second side is finished and the shape of the top of the bow is there to see..

Edited by Steve Goddard

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The weather was absolutely magic today and we were able to crack on. We dug out a couple of offcuts for the tug deck cants. Simon welded on a couple of tags to roughly hold one in place and we made certain that the lines were still nice and smooth and then marked the cant directly from the side. Back to the plasma cutter and a couple of minutes later the curve is cut and all I have to do is to tidy up the cut and vee the edge ready for welding. Once we have tried it and are happy that it fits really well we use the first cant as a pattern for the second so that we know that both sides will be identical. Simon tacks them into place ensuring that they are level and tight to the sides. They make such a difference to the look of the boat extending the "3D" look right back to the gunwhales. Next decision is the line for the inside edge of the cants. The back of the cants will be slightly wider than the gunwhales but what is the best size and shape for the rest of the cant? We stick up a curve to a 6½" width at the deck beam which looks pretty good. Then we try a different line with a slightly narrower front but it looks pants icon_sad.gif . Back to the first width but change the curve a little bit and we end up with a curve that we both feel really good about. 07092010237-300x225.jpg icon_biggrin.gif

 

Now the really neat thing about the plasma is that it can be used with the stick as a guide which is simply astounding and enables you to quickly set up the curve with the stick and a few cramps and then to cut a really smooth curve. And all this without setting fire to the stick icon_smile.gif

 

It's then a simple matter to measure up and transfer over to the second side and quick as a flash Simon has it cut out. Simon starts sorting out the deck beam and I get to grinding up the edges for welding and generally getting rid tack welds and other rubbish.

 

We start on putting the top on the deck beam. It's a bit of a faff and a fiddle to make certain that it fits well and follows the curve of the front bulkhead. When it's done it's pulled the front bulkhead in a bit in the middle so that it's not straight. Simon gets the gas axe and heats up the back of the beam and like magic when it cools down the front has straightened up quite a lot icon_smile.gif .

 

After lunch I cut up a bit of 50mm for the back of the deck beam, linish the mill scale off and then bevel the edge. Simon gets on the fly press to curve it up to the top of the beam. After that is tacked in place. We have a bit of a finish off. Simon finishes off the side plate seams and the gunwhales, I paint up the deck beam and grind off some more tack welds. This has got us in good shape for tomorrow which is a big day as we will hopefully be able to pull in the side plates.

 

When all the clobber is cleared away you can start to see the whole shape of the front of the boat. The shape is really really pleasing, all the curves flow and look as if they were just meant to be there. 07092010242-225x300.jpg It's difficult to show the lines properly in a photo but believe me they are wonderful icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Another perfect day of weather, 08092010243-225x300.jpgand we are steaming forward. The next part of the great jigsaw is to fit some 60mm strips underneath the top bends. This does a couple of things: 1 it adds a lot of strength to the shell and 2 it gives a nice flat area for the guards to be welded to. Weve already had the strips through the fly press and got them roughly shaped to the compound curve of the top bends, I linish off the mill scale (Im getting really good at recognising what will come of easily and what wont. Now I just need to get better at getting it off icon_smile.gif ). 08092010244-300x225.jpgSimon sets about tacking the strip on with the occasional push, pull and grunt from me and I set off on another trip round the working area grinding off tacks, cleaning up and touching up with primer. I get the feeling that this will be a constant task while we are doing the steelwork on Siskin. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Next Simon welds on the galley shelves. I cant help thinking that 08092010246-225x300.jpgweve read the plans a bit wrong and that they should have been on the inside of the boat icon_smile.gif . Actually these are strongbacks to make certain that while we are pulling in the bow that we do not pull the straight section of the sides out of kilter.08092010247-300x225.jpg

 

After this we get a couple of Acros inside the hull and adjust them until everything is straight, square and spot on and then put in more bracing to make certain that nothing that is not supposed to move will shift when we start to pull in the front end.

 

Simon then welds on 5 eyes which we will use to pull in the front end (and some more bracing). A couple of chain pulls (one across the boat just behind the bulkhead and one pulling a chain across the two front eyes)08092010248-300x225.jpg a couple of minutes later and we are ready to start pulling the front end in. A little bit of pulling and we have reached as far as we can as the plates start to catch each other. We measure up the plate at the front and trim some off with the plasma. This allows us to pull the plates up to the stem post and for the first time Siskin actually has a point icon_lol.gif . 08092010250-225x300.jpg It looks a bit like the bow of the Titanic at the moment, and weve hidden all the nice graceful curves but all will be revealed when we finish off the bow but thats a job for tomorrow.

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Straight into it this morning, Simon is continuing on with the bow and Im getting onto linishing up the rivets on the deck beam flange and the lid up-stand. Its not a hard job but it takes some time simply because of the number of rivets that need doing. Simon tells me there are over 1000 rivets on the boat in total so I suspect that by the end of the build Ill be wishing I had a rivetless boat icon_smile.gif . By the end of the morning however Ive finished the linishing and slapped a primer wash on them to stop them from rusting until they are welded into place. I have to admit that they do look good icon_smile.gif

 

15092010259-225x300.jpg15092010262-300x225.jpg15092010260-300x225.jpg

 

Simon is still methodically working through finishing off the bow. It really is exacting work and much more of a craft than a science as its all about working with the steel rather than trying to force it to go where you want. Its very like working with wood where you need to take account of the grain which is very surprising.

 

Simon asks me to start on the forward knees. Same basic shape as the others I made right at the beginning of the build but because the sides are now curving the knees need to be shaped to match. Simon nonchalantly tells me to shape them in the fly press to curve them to fit. Heres me thinking that it will be easy WRONG. Try bending an 80 x 10mm strip along the 80mm axis. Even with my 100Kg on the fly press all I seem to do is move the press around the yard and make very little impression on the knee icon_sad.gif Eventually I manage to get the requisite curve in the knees by which time Simon has finished the bow icon_smile.gif and we get the first real look a how Siskin will eventually look. The end result is stunning. The lines of the whole shape are really smooth and refined. All the curves look dead right and everything just flows. I cant wait until the guards and rivets are on and its all linished off icon_biggrin.gif

 

15092010266-768x1024.jpg

 

 

 

great day. The weather was fantastic and we got a real good day in. Only problem is there is nothing to see for all our efforts icon_sad.gif . I spent most of the day grinding and linishing the tack welds that had been put on during the build of the bow. I started linishing the curve on the lolipop and bent a couple more knees (the forward knees are 60 x 10mm and are much much easier to bend). Simon welded in the knees, welded on the deck lid up-stand and went round all the cant and deck seams fully welding them. I cleaned all the rubbish out of the inside of Siskin and Simon drilled a hole in the bottom to let out some of the water which had gathered there in the rain. (I hope he remembers to weld it up before we put Siskin in the water icon_smile.gif ). End result 10 hours of work and not a single picture icon_lol.gif better luck another day

 

Another full day at it and still no picture to show any visible progress but a lot got done. Simon had to modify the cants a little bit. When the weld was linished off the curve was a little bit hard to the eye in the middle. This meant cutting the weld and raising the top of the cant by about 2mm. It may not sound a lot but the difference that it made visually was quite marked and well worth the effort.

 

I had a go at grinding and linishing the top of the cants. You would think that this would be a pretty easy job. Lets face it there is a nice flat reference surface to work off, the curve is nice and gentle and we are only talking about cleaning up some weld. Well let me tell you its a lot more difficult than you can imagine and getting a really smooth surface without little dips in is a definite skill. The first one I did was a bit rough but the second was a better. Simon says theres lots to do so by the end of the build I should be a lot better. icon_lol.gif

 

I reckon that it takes be about three times as long to grind and linish a seam as it takes Simon to weld it in the first place. I get the feeling Im going to be busy icon_smile.gif

 

I knocked up another couple of knees and some tops and Simon finished welded all the knees so now the inside is supported all the way up to the bulkhead. Next job is to finish off all the seams which I think will take quite some time as there are miles and miles of them.

 

We had a bit of light relief when we gave Steve and Mark a hand to get Snipe into the dry dock. Shes quite deep drafted and the cut is low at the moment so it really was a case of dragging her into the dock inch by inch with a chain hoist. It will be fun getting her back out.

 

Anyway well crack on again tomorrow and continue to make progress Im certain..

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Another great day, one of those that make you feel great, nice crisp morning warming up nicely in the afternoon, Days like this make it easier to get stuff done.

 

Simon continued on welding, in-fact Simon continued on welding all day icon_smile.gif . Its incredible just how much welding there is to be done and of course there is all the grinding and linishing that needs to be done after Simon has finished welding icon_sad.gif . The good news is that the welds on the inside of the boat are left as they are for strength so that halves the amount of work I need to do at a stroke icon_lol.gif

 

Just so that I dont get out of practice the first thing to do is to grind and linish the two seams on the bow plates. The good news is that because this is covered in blacking it does not have to be perfect, just straight, flat and mirror polished icon_smile.gif its a bit awkward as the hull angles make it difficult to get the grinder in comfortably but I must be getting better at it as it does not take to long to sort out.

 

Simon asks me to make 21092010271-300x225.jpg T stud. First job is to tootle over to Snipe in the dry dock and measure up her stud (is that too rude to say icon_smile.gif ) then furtle around in the shop to turn up a short length of 1½ bar which is ideal material to start off with. A quick attack with a 9″ cutting disk and the rough shape emerges. There then follows a pleasant hour with the metallic equivalent of whittling, a lump of steel instead of a stick and an angle grinder instead of a penknife and the shape of the cross piece starts to appear.

 

21092010272-300x225.jpgSimon then welds the two pieces together (well you still wouldnt want to trust my welding yet icon_smile.gif ) and then I can finish off the stud so it is ready to go onto Siskin. A few more minutes of work and I have a very presentable T Stud even if I do say so myself and checking it with Snipes its pretty close21092010273-300x225.jpg. I need to do a little bit more work on the lolipop as the curve from the stem post to the lolipop is not as smooth as I would like. When thats finished Simon breaks off from seam welding to cut a hole in the lolipop and welds the T stud into place. Siskin really is starting to look like a boat at the front now. 21092010279-300x225.jpgJust to show some of the other progress I sweep out the inside of the shell. Can you belive I nearly fill a 5lt tin with the grinding dust. It weights a ton, I wonder if it has a scrap value icon_lol.gif . Theres still quite a bit of welding to do and once that is done I can sort out the inside and get it painted which will be a real step forward

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Foredeck finally Finished icon_smile.gif It is just amazing how long it takes to finish something off properly. I reckon I've spent the best part of a day on tidying up the foredeck alone. All of the weld splatter needed to be chipped off, the welds across the deck linished down and all the welds around the cants, deck beam, lolipop, T stud and lid up-stand need dressing and finally a coat of primer gets put on.23092010283-300x225.jpg When its done however it really does look the business icon_biggrin.gif . Shame however that I missed linishing the tack welds on the INSIDE of the up-stand icon_sad.gif . I bet when I do get round to doing it it will bugger up the paint I have just put on icon_mad.gif .

 

Simon finally emerges from the bowels of the boat having spent an eternity welding the internal seams. There are miles and miles of seams to be welded both inside and outside and I'm just glad it's not me having to weld them. It is one of those jobs that simply can't be rushed and patience definitely is a virtue icon_smile.gif .

 

I head off down the side of the boat and guess what, do some more linishing on the side seams icon_smile.gif . A strange man turned up at the yard today (got to be considered strange he was in a suit). Turns out he is flogging abrasives. Simon and I have just got a new delivery but he leaves a couple of linishing disks for us to try. They are made in Germany and the 4½" disk is magic, the 7″ doesn't seem as good as the smaller one but still does a good job of cleaning up the seams. I finish off the day mixing up some 2 pack primer and going round spotting all the bits I have linished up during the day.

 

Simon meanwhile is working23092010285-225x300.jpgon the stem post and welding the bottom bends on. This is not just a single weld but enough to allow a nice curve to be linished in to represent the small bend that the trad boats would have had where the plates were riveted onto the stem post. Simon also welds on a couple of small plates from the top bends to the stem post as per the original. At the end of the week on Siskin (Simon works on Oberon his boat of Friday and I try to catch up with the rest of the world) you can really start to see the progress. The front end would now float and we could do a Titanic on the foredeck icon_smile.gif very encouraging. Next week should see even more visible progress.

 

 

 

What a dismal day. Grey, damp and drizzly icon_sad.gif . Contrary to what I said last week Simon has not quite finished inside the bow as he still has to weld the side plates to the base plate. He drags out the oldest, strangest welder I've ever seen. 27092010286-300x225.jpgIt looks as if it would be more at home on a film set of Frankenstein by Boris Karloff. I can just imagine Victor saying "Igor is this brain fresh?" and getting the reply "I'm thorry mathtur, it ith yetherdays, it'th all I could get". "Well in that case Igor turn up the voltage a little and lets have some more current as well" icon_lol.gif

 

The reason Simon is using it is because it will handle welding rods which would not look out of place holding up the roadway on the Clifton Suspension bridge and aparently do it all day. It's really interesting to watch Simon welding with it, it seems so so gentle, no big crackling or spluttering just a quite hiss and a massive weld going down as nice as you like icon_smile.gif .

 

While Simon is doing this I take the opportunity to engage in my favorite pass time and do a bit of grinding and linishing on the side. It takes me the better part of the morning to finish up on the port side so that the top guard can be put on and soon I'll have to do it on the stbd. side as well icon_sad.gif . While I'm doing this a guy turns up with four lights in a box and asks if27092010287-300x225.jpganybody is interested in buying them. Turns out he is clearing out his garage and has found them and thought that they might be of interest to a boatie person. They really are unusual. They are all brass / copper construction and obviously low voltage as they have a small bayonet bulb holder but it is not obvious where they have come from. He's asking 10 quid each so I take the plunge and get them as I reckon I can make them work really well in the bathroom of Siskin.

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Hello Steve,

 

thank you very much for sharing this magic process of the building of your boat with us.

 

It's really quite something to be able to participate in the creation of your own boat.

 

I admire your work (with Simon's help) and hope you'll show us more of it soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter.

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Hear hear! I've been following it with great interest.

BM, the boat in your avatar looks like 'Avonbay'. Is it?

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Hello Athy,

 

if you are far enough away, or only see the little avatar my boat may look a bit like "Avonbay", but is very different. I've known "Avonbay" quite well and know that she was sold in France. She's a lot smaller than "Joy" which is 14.75m. "Joy" was built in Holland in 1994 at the "Broesder yard" and is a "Broesderkotter 1475 OK", I bought her in Berlin in 2004. There is a bigger picture of her on the forum, if you use the search put in: Broesderkotter in forums, and you'll find a picture like my avatar in a bigger version in "photo's of your boats".

 

Peter.

Edited by bargemast

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Siskin is coming along nicely Steve. Been following the blog for a while http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/biggrin.gif.

 

Got a rough plan/sketch of what the finished boat layout is going to be?

 

Well thats the next job. Basically it will be a back cabin approx 8'6" long, engine hole 6'6", bathroon 6 - 7', Kitchen ?? Saloon ??? and a double under the tug deck.

 

As you can see it's fully planned out http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/laugh.gif

 

I've really got behind on keeping this blog up to date, this is actually a posting off the main blog from the end of September:blush:. Must try harder.

 

After what seems like ages we are finally nearing the end of building the bow. After I left on Monday Simon managed to get enough welding done to enable him to remove the large RSJ's which had been supporting the bow of Siskin and then to cut off the base plate around the pointy bit. When I arrive on Tuesday morning Siskin is really looking like a boat icon_smile.gif28092010289-300x225.jpg. Simon continues welding and welding and welding icon_smile.gif I reckon he's put about 20Kg of weld on since we started the bow. I get on with my favorite pastime (sic.) and do some more grinding and linishing. If Simon has put 20KG of weld on then I think I've ground off at least half of it icon_smile.gif . It's another day of non stop work and by the end of the day the only real evidence of our hard work is the few splashes of primer that I have put over the new welds and the places I have linished off which are not going to get any further welding near them28092010292-300x225.jpg. Not exactly thrilling stuff icon_biggrin.gif . Wednesday arrives along with rain and more rain. Simon only has the welds around the stem post to finish off now. The welds on the outside are not simple as after they are finished they have to be ground and linished so that they look like the original plates which would have been bent and riveted to the stem post. This is quite tricky so Simon says he will do it. I'm happy with that as it gives me a break from grinding and linishing which seems to be all that I have done non stop for the last couple of weeks. Simon finished the first of the top bends and I'm really glad he did it and not me as getting the look correct is quite tricky.28092010293-225x300.jpg While Simon is finishing off the outside of the stem post I start on the deck lid. We're taking a bit of artistic license here and building a properly hot rivetted lid as per a Josher boat. It's really great to be getting on with something new so the first thing is to build the frame which is made from 40mm angle. This needs to be cut to length, mitred at the corners and then welded to making certain that it is flat and square. I'm really pleased as in less than an hour I've done all of that and it is spot on icon_smile.gif I'm definitely getting better icon_lol.gif A quick coming together with some 5mm plate and the plasma cutter and we have a lid which just needs a little grinding and linishing to get it to the exact size of the frame. Some head scratching then ensues to figure out how many rivets and what spacing to do them at. 29092010297-300x225.jpgAfter a couple of tries a nice set of dimensions are arrived at and then it's only a matter of drilling the 28 holes and countersinking them on each side and we have the start of the deck lid icon_smile.gif . We have a look at what rivets are around in the shop and decide that none of them will really do the job so my first job tomorrow will be to actually make the rivets before we finish the lid off by riveting the two pieces together.

 

Simon in the mean time has disappeared back into the bow of the boat and is doing the FINAL welds of the stem post to the side plate. Hooray icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif . I think this gives a real good idea of just how much work there is in the bow even without the guards and washers but I have to say that both Simon and I are really pleased with the end result. As a final flourish I get a coat of primer on the inside of the deck lid so it is all ready to rivet up tomorrow.29092010298-300x225.jpg

 

..

Edited by Steve Goddard

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What a great day weather-wise. One of those crisp clear autumn mornings. First job for me this morning is to make the rivets to hold the deck lid together. The pan head ones in the shop would have fouled on the up-stand so the only recourse is to make some countersunk ones. It's a really simple job according to Simon. Just heat up the end of a piece of rod, bang it with a hammer and the jobs a good un. Yeah right. 30092010301-300x225.jpgI definitly have hand eye co-ordination issues with this. It seems to be a bit like patting your stomach and rubbing your head at the same time (or is it the other way round icon_sad.gif ). I guess its just a matter of what you are used to. I guess I would not want to make a living doing this especially if it was piece rate but soon I have enough rivets (with a few spares) for the deck lid30092010302-300x225.jpg and they look as if they will do the job icon_smile.gif .

 

Simon in the meantime has started putting the top guard on the port side. The first real bit of "new boat" for a while. The top guards step out from the shell and a quick measure of Snipe gives us a starting place. 30092010304-300x225.jpgSimon tacks the back of the guard in place and a strategically placed jack and a piece of rope give us the means of maneuvering the front end into place. 30092010306-225x300.jpgThe guard is stepped out from the shell with bits of bar, nuts and even some old rivets from a little Northwich (does this now mean Siskin is a historic boat icon_smile.gif ). As the curve develops it looks a little wrong for Siskin so Simon changes it to the same measurements as Starling another C&C boat he has worked on previously and we both agree it looks better. Simon then cuts plates to go on the top and bottom to fully seal the guards and I shoot of home as Dave the plumber is coming to bend up the last 28mm cooling pipes for the engine. The front of Siskin is now really taking shape30092010305-300x225.jpg

 

 

 

Rush of posts this evening before I brave the cold and pop down the pub for a pint. I will get this blog in sync with reality

 

What a wonderful day. The sun was shining the temperature was perfect. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been to be actually on the boat motoring down the cut. Oh well next year hopefully icon_smile.gif . Simon was working on Oberon today as rain stopped play last Friday icon_sad.gif however he did some more work on Siskin on Friday and finished off the port top guard and fitted the second guard which is good news.

 

I start to layout the rivet centers for the stem post, Top bends and back to the first butt plate. Simon has got all the magic numbers from Starling and I head off to Snipe armed with pen, paper and tape measure. The good news is that basically the rivet layout is the same for both boats (as you would expect) the not so good news is that the measurements are different (also as you would expect). I start off and layout the rivet centers based on Starlings dimensions for the Stem Post using a combi square for the distance from the front of the stem post and some dividers to ensure the centers are even. Then I draw round the washers so we can see what it will look like. Simon and I have a little conflab, rub it out and try plan two, rub some of it out for plan three, move a couple of them for the forth and final layout. Not unsurprisingly it's somewhere in the middle of the two originals.04102010308-225x300.jpg The next job is to get a center pop on the centers in-case I rub the chalk lines off while I'm working icon_smile.gif . Next I need to transfer the measurements to the opposite side of the stem post. Simon issues dark warnings about what will happen to various parts of my anatomy if I fail to get them the same (unlike some pictures we looked at from another builder recently where the guards were at different heights on the two sides of the bow oops icon_smile.gif ). Fortunately it's a reasonably simple job for the rivets below the top bends ad all I need to do is to set the first one accurately and all the rest follow simples. The four rivets on the top are a little more tricky as they are not all the same distance from the front of the stem post however it's soon done.

 

Dave is drafted in as a third pair of hands to hold the stick to get the cant line in place then it's pretty easy to mark out the rivet centers on the top bend and down to the deck beam. Another quick trip to Snipe confirms the position and dimensions of the first butt plate and it's all systems go. By four o'clock both sides are fully marked up icon_smile.gif04102010310-300x225.jpg and we can start to see what the final result will look like. One thing that becomes blindingly obvious to me is that there are going to be literally hundreds of bloody rivets on this boat and I'm going to spend a lot of time sorting them out .

Edited by Steve Goddard

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I thought we would have a bit of a change from metal bashing and bring you up to date on getting the engine ready. . I bought the motor for Siskin late last year and have only just got round to starting to document it icon_sad.gif . I picked up a real marine Gardner 3LW with a Twindisc hydraulic gearbox on the back end for a reasonable sum and less than the asking price. The motor starts on the button and runs really sweetly with no nasty noises, healthy oil pressure at running revs and at tickover but it is a bit tatty looking. Picked it up from Manchester on the back of a rented trailer and brought it back to Bosworth. Not ready to start work on it straight away so left it in farmer Eds barn for the winter. Spring arrives and Ed needs the barn for lambing so the engine has to move. A bit of reorganising in the garage with the Healey sent off to Chris barn and some help from Graham with Martins tele-hoist (you may guess I live in a farming village) and the engine is in the garage and ready to start work on.eb26-300x199.jpg

 

Given that the engine internally seems to be in very good nick Ive decided not to do a complete strip down but to strip and refurbish all of the outside components and strip and repaint the engine and gearbox. First job is to take lots and lots of pictures especially of the plumbing as the pipework seems to have been put together by a plumber who has partaken a little to freely of the old herbal remedy and who doesnt know the meaning of a straight line. Most of the stuff comes off reasonably easily with the help of the impact wrench although there is a whole mish mash of Whitworth and UNC nuts and some of them are pretty chewed up but the nut on the end of the crankshaft is another matter all together. For a start it is 1 1/4″ Whit (just over 2″ AF) and the biggest spanner and socket I have in my tool box is 1″ Whit. I do have a 1 1/4″ tube spanner which fits the hub nuts on a eb24-199x300.jpgLand Rover but its not up to the job even with a bit of help from the gas torch. I give the nut a bit of a tickle with the stilsons but it is obvious it is far to tight to shift even with them. Of course its still possible to go buy a 1 1/4″ Whit impact socket but they are about 70 quid so that really does have to be the last resort.

 

OK plan B Ill make a socket Six bits of 25 x 3 mm steel strip fit the nut like a good un. Held on with a jubilee clip while I tack weld them together. Pop them over to Simon who welds them up (you know how well I weld) and pop an old socket on the end and hey presto I have a cheap 1 1/4″ Whit impact socket Back to the engine crank up the impact wrench to its highest setting (which really is high) and tackle the nut again. Nada, nix, bugger all. Gas torch, WD40, tommy bar and scaf tube nothing seems to work. This is getting serious.

 

Down the pub in the evening consoling myself with a beer I mention the trials and tribulations to the assembled crowd. My mate Jim says he might have a spanner that fits in a job lot he bought in an auction. Sure enough a week later Jim fronts up with a 1 1/4″ Whit spanner which must weigh 2Kg. Back in the garage some more WD40 a lot more heat, Jims spanner and a 7lb sledgehammer finally manages to shift the nut after a total of three weeks of trying. Ho bloody ray now I can get the last bit off the engine (the front engine mount) and really start the refurb.

 

 

 

Ok the next thing to do is to get the gearbox off. With the help of Rob and a trolley jack we get the gearbox off the bell housing. The bloody thing must weigh at least 100Kg as it is all eb32-300x199.jpgwe can do to lift the thing between us and were both pretty big blokes. Next all the old paint needs to be stripped off the engine. Actually not to bad a job as the paint is pretty brittle and comes of quite easily with the help of a needle scaler and a wire brush on the angle grinder. However there is a large amount of engine to strip so it actually takes a fair amount of time to get the engine back to the bare metal, but the effort is worth while and even before there is any paint on the engine it looks so much better. Next job is to mask up the few bits left on the engine which are not going to be painted.eb13-300x240.jpg Ive got some grey zinc primer and half an hour later with a still smoking spray gun in my hand I can start to see the end result and it looks as if it will turn out OK. A couple of days later its time for the first coat of colour. RAL 7010 is the is the Gardner grey of choice and Im using a synthetic paint from the local motor factors. Soon the engine is done and it is looking really good. eb20-300x199.jpgIve got some nice satin finish black for the starter and dynamo and some silver for the bell housing so I cant resist poping the bits on to see what its going to look like.

 

Unfortunately it has used up all the grey paint I have so its back and buy some more for all the other bits such as the front engine mount, header tank bracket etc. Back we come and finish the spraying. Hooray good job http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/rolleyes.gif . The following day I pop the front engine mount on the block, huuum.. it looks a different colour, must be the light but its not . The second tin of paint is a different colour to the first http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/mad.gif bugger bugger bugger. Now the burning question is which is the right colour? If it is the first tin then things are not to bad. All I need to do is to repaint all the odd bits which is not a big job. If the second tin was the right colour then Ive got a big problem as Ive stripped off all the masking which took ages to put on. Back to the paint shop with both tins of paint and examples of the colours. Much scratching of heads and checking finally comes to the conclusion that the second tin is wrong. Phew!! A free tin of paint later, another session with the spray gun and finally we have a set of matching bits. Soon be time to put them all together http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/rolleyes.gif

 

Gearbox gets the same treatmenteb19-300x199.jpg and is stripped to the bare metal, the rear oil seal replaced and then given two coats of everything. Have an interesting few days trying to find out what the box actually is and eventually identify it as a Twindisc MG506. Its easy to get the bolts that hold the gearbox onto the mounting ring but getting the nuts to hold the mounting ring on to the bell housing and the bell housing onto the engine is a nightmare but eventually Ive got all the bits to hold it together. It takes three big blokes to lift and align the box onto the back of the engine. I hope I never have to do it in the boat.

 

Engines now ready to get all the bits bolted back on.

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Hi Steve, I really do like your style of writing and the story of the building of Siskin that will surely be a very beautiful boat.

 

How nice it must be to live in your farmers village with lots of nice helpful people around with the right equipment and/or the force to help you lifting things and finding the right tools.

 

Your time is well spend.

 

Peter.

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Must be an age thing Im loosing my marbles http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/rolleyes.gif The aim for today is to try and finish the guards on the port side. However before Simon gets going on that we decide to grind in the lines for the cants and butt plates. 05102010312-300x225.jpg You know the process by now Im certain. I get a bit of 20mm strip and bend it up in the flypress to an approximate of the desired curve. The first thing for me to remember is that this is 20mm x 4mm strip and not the 70mm x 10mm knees which were the last things I was bending. Its actually quite easy to get the curve practically spot on and we soon have it tacked into place. I decide to let Simon grind the line in http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/rolleyes.gif as I want it to be right http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/laugh.gif 05102010313-300x225.jpg.

 

Yesterday I decided to needle scale the front engine mount as it had gone all grotty despite being taken down to bare metal and primed with Zinc, well I brought it to the yard to see if anybody could throw some light on the problem. As Im describing the problem to the assembled multitude I notice that when I rub my finger over the problem areas they come away wet http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/sad.gif . Closer examination reveals that there is actually water? coming out of the casting http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/mad.gif . Much scratching of collective heads and the committee decides that the course of action is to heat it up with the gas axe to dry out and trapped fluid prior to re priming. What a life eh! 05102010314-300x225.jpg 20 mins later the mount has been nicely warmed up and it was actually possible to see the fluid coming out of the casting and drying off so hopefully it will have done the trick. Next I decide to give it a quick sandblast (as you do) so half a bag of kiln dried sand later and it is looking very good with no sign of weeping (although I seem to remember being here before). I give it a really good coat of zinc primer which hopefully will sort the thing out. If it still looks good tomorrow then Ill take a picture. If it doesnt Ill simply go down the pub http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/laugh.gif .

 

While Ive been faffing around with all of this Simon has been quietly working away on the port side guides and has managed to get them all in place. They look great and there is another step forward on Siskin.05102010315-300x225.jpg

 

 

 

The next day dawns bright and dry. I lied the day starts damp and miserable, with a steady drizzle of rain. A perfect excuse to stay in the workshop and rivet up the deck lid. Everything is ready so we get set up with the gas axe to heat up the rivets, pliers and mole grips to hold them with when thems hot and a big hommer to hit em with. Im getting into character here http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/tongue.gif Simon heats a rivet up in the gas axe06102010317-300x225.jpg till its a nice yellow, pops it throught the hole, I grab it with the mole grips, we put the lid on the anvil and Simon beats the living daylight out of the rivet. Simple really except.. it all has to be done within 7 8 seconds before the rivet goes cold. 06102010319-300x225.jpg Working like a well oiled machine (well perhaps just well oiled) we work our way around the lid popping in all 28 rivets without a single duff one. Impressive hey http://www.canalworld.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/laugh.gif .

 

Simon then starts on the stbd. top guard and I get the job of fabricating the lid catch. Well its really a chain rather than a catch as per the original. The first part is to make a plate from some 30mm strip and shape it so that it will fit through a chain link. The chain itself is in three parts, the first is a single large link which will be attached to the plate, three small links from an existing chain and finally a long link which will go over the eye-bolt. 06102010324-300x225.jpgThis needs to be made from some rod heated up and bent around a suitably sized bolt in the vice. Its then simply cut to length and welded shut. Not quite the traditional way of making a chain link but it works. 06102010328-e1286398625334-225x300.jpgAfter a bit of work we have a finished catch which looks great. Another few mins and Ive knocked up a couple of rivets to fix it to the lid and striking while the iron is hot (ouch) its soon fixed to the lid.

 

Ive had a look at the front engine bearer and it seems OK (I think) there are a couple of little rust spots on it but I think it might be little pits which did not get filled with paint rather than the original problem of the metal weeping so I decide to give it a second coat of primer and hopefully that will do the job. Its a real faff with a brush as there are so many corners and bits 06102010329-300x225.jpgbut its too windy to spray outside and there really isnt anywhere in the shop to do it. At the end however its looking really good . If it is ok tomorrow Ill bring it back home and spray some top coat so I can get it back on the engine.

 

While Ive been doing all of this Simon has been steadily sorting out the top guard. Its a bit easier than the first on as you can mark off the dimensions but then its more difficult as it actually has to match. By the end of play its on and looking good.

Edited by Steve Goddard

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Really enjoying these posts and your website - well done - wouldn't fancy doing this in the cold weather though!

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