Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Check Another One Off The List........

The major projects seem to be wrapping up. The King plank was one of those projects that we all knew how to fix, but no one really wanted to do it. Just the thought of taking a router to the center of a teak deck and pray that you don't screw up, just didn't seem like the best idea. However there was no other way. So we did just that. After gluing together, what seemed like a thousand pieces of timber to make a pattern of the king plank; Soren headed back to his shop to prepare a jig to not only router out the existing king plank, but one to rough cut the new inlay. I didn't have my camera with me to get any good pictures of the jig, or the progress; complete with saw dust flying. Here, the majority of the old king plank has been removed. The saw dust has been vacuumed up, and all that is left is about 4 hours of clean-up around the ends of the teak deck planks. USA 111 is a true wooden boat from the deck up, complete with wood deck ribs underneath. The builders topped the ribs with 3/8" marine grade plywood, then with 3/16" thick teak planks for the deck, and 3/16" thick mahogany for the king plank and margin boards. Take note, none of the inlays on the deck are screwed. Instead the builder used teak deck caulking. This may have been the demise of the old king plank all along. The caulking allows the teak in the deck to shrink and swell. So, the little bit of movement may have allowed the old king plank to twist when stood on, causing it to crack. It makes sense to me, and no one is arguing or coming up with a better answer, so I am running with it.
After cleaning up the edge of the teak planks, removing the remaining teak deck caulking and the few tidbits of mahogany that the router didn't we were ready for the new king plank inlay. Instead of using the caulking again, we opted to go with the tested and proven option of epoxy. The new inlay was fitted to perfection, and embedded in the deck with West Systems Epoxy. We clamped it down and left for the evening, allowing the epoxy to cure.

Over the next couple of days we tapped the new king plank off and prepared it for caulking. Once the tapping was finished we were able to run a thick bead of black teak deck caulking around the perimeter of the new inlay. (Free teak deck tip from Soren: The longer you can leave the caulking to dry; before cutting it, the better the finished product will be.) I guess the caulking shrinks a lot, and continues to shrink until completely dry. Soren says 2 weeks should do it.
Now we wait. It would really suck if this was the only project that we had to do, but it wasn't. So, we just moved on to other ones and left this one alone for a while. Trust me, we all were counting down the days. It was like that scab, that you just have to pick.

After waiting the suggested 2 weeks, it was time to cut the caulking and remove the tape. Using a very sharp chisel we sliced the caulking to the top of the tape. A little sanding of the caulking, and it was time to reveal the the finished product. After the tape was removed we sanded the new inlay.

This isn't the greatest picture. (I never seem to have my camera when I should. From this point on, I am leaving the camera in the truck.) Now, in this picture we have already sanded the new king plank, stripped and finish sanded the margin boards, and re-tapped the deck. This project is ready for stain and numerous coats of varnish. So, check this one complete.........

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