More work on Odyssey's hatch

by Chuck March 5, 2009

Sorry, no catchy title. I did try...

I've continued working on the hatch over the last week and a half, I just haven't got around to writing about. It hasn't been too exciting actually. Most of the time I've been waiting for glue to dry.

On the 26th I made it out to the barn to epoxy the inner hatch together. I mixed up a pot of epoxy from the same cans of resin and hardener that I used to repair the transom -- they've been sitting around for a couple, three years but I figured they still be good. Anyway, I spread the glue, stuck in the biscuits, and after a little jiggering, I clamped the whole works together. And started waiting for the epoxy to kick.

Two hours later, still nothing. Great, I thought. Now I have to clean all that mess off and start over. Yuck. I couldn't take it. I walked away.

On the 27th I stopped a Schuck's while I was out running errands and picked up a new syringe of 5-minute epoxy. That way when I got around to cleaning up and starting over I'd have epoxy to play with. While I was putting the epoxy on my workbench I eased the clamps on the hatch -- still gooey. I tightened them back down (hey, it could still kick I thought) and went away.

Until Sunday.

Sunday (the 1st.) Almost a week later. I eased the clamps and the wood didn't split apart. The epoxy had finally gone off and stuck the pieces together. Yay! I got out my belt sander and my palm sander and spent some time sanding off the squeeze-out and generally cleaning and smoothing the frame. It looked great. Life was good.

Until I test fit the frame in the hatch. The *%$)@ thing didn't fit. The bottom was fine, the top was a quarter in on both sides from the frame. Looks like it's really 3 degrees, not 4. I'm not sure if I'm gonna to to the trouble of starting over, but before I do I'm gonna get one of those bevel gauges that other people have so I can take an accurate angle off the hatch. This is good enough for now though.

With one thing (baseball practice) and another (being lazy) I didn't get out to work on the hatch again until last night (the 4th). I used a router and my router table to cut a rabbet for the plexiglass window to fit in. I cut biscuit slots, mixed some epoxy, glued it up and clamped the whole thing together. Now I just have to wait a few days for the epoxy to kick and I'll be ready to cut and fit the window and bolt the whole thing together.

While I was out in the barn I picked up a scrap piece of hemlock and tried out a different way of milling the hatch frame. I cut what is essentially a long tenon on one side and then turned the piece over and cut a slot. Two quick milling operations and I had a piece that would have worked perfectly. Next time I'll know...



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