Construction project, Day 3

[table]Come to the table, for all is ready.

Today was a short day, but an expensive one. It started with a trip to Home Depot to pick up some strapping to make cross braces. Somehow I ended up buying a DeWalt 12V cordless drill. Then I came home and installed the cross braces, and put the tops on the tables, and plus I ordered the kit. Here are today’s interesting (to me) discoveries:

  • Walking through the tool corral in Home Depot is scary – tools keep leaping towards your shopping cart, and you have to keep fending them off or you’re going to end up spending thousands of dollars. There was a particularly aggressive mitre saw that kept stalking us.
  • Forget quick release drill chucks – the real secret to productivity is to have two drills, one with the drill bit and one with the screw driver bit. After the DeWalt cordless drill had charged for a little while (half an hour or so), I was able to do it that way.
  • You ever noticed when two contractors are talking about things with dimensions, they’ll often pull out a tape measure and look at that dimension to help visualize it? Well, it turns out there is a reason for that. I made a mental calculation, and thought I could hack 1 foot off the width of my table tops, based on the fact that it was 4×8 and my cross pieces were 3 feet. I forgot that I’d put the other pieces outside the cross pieces, so the under-structure is actually 3 feet 4 or so. Which I discovered when I was cutting the particle board and I thought “hmm, why did the saw just get slow and then speed up again”. I cut 3 or 4 feet into the board before I realized the mistake, so I went back and cut only 8 inches off, and put screws on both sides of the partial saw cut.
  • There is no room to walk around one end of my table. I hope that doesn’t cause any problems.

Anyway, more about the kit I ordered. After exchanging a few emails with somebody at Pygmy Boats, I ordered the Arctic Tern Hi Volume. I don’t really need a high volume boat because I’m not carrying overnight gear, but the deck is an inch higher and I figured it would help get my size 11+ feet in. The boat is pretty similar to my existing Skerry RMX in size, and it has a hard chine. I’ve already started experimenting with leaned turns, so I’m looking forward to doing that with a hard chine boat. I did not opt for the Silver Tip epoxy, because I am not clear that the hundred dollars extra would really be worth it. I also didn’t opt for overnight shipping, since it would add another $300 to the cost. I did buy the optional bulkhead and hatch kit – I had considered skipping those and just buying some inflatable floatation bags for the bow and stern, again because I don’t use it for overnight travel, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have them. I also went for the foot brace studs that you cement to the inside, instead of the standard ones that you drill through the sides. And considering how I like the built in thigh braces on my Skerry, I also ordered the “key hole” braces for this one. For some strange reason, I only ordered one hand toggle. I’ll have to email them to see if they’ll throw in a second one.

I can’t wait for the kit to arrive!

Construction project, Day 2

Another day of interesting discoveries:

  • Our drill SUCKs. It’s a not incredibly old Skil 4.1 Amp corded drill, and it doesn’t have enough power consistently to drill 3 inches into the end of a 2×4. It also has a standard old chuck instead of one of those new quick ones – I must have spend 80% of my time switching between drill bit and nut driver bit.
  • In spite of having a degree in structural engineering, I forgot that a parallelepiped with non-rigid joints needs cross bracing or it will collapse. I guess I’ll go get some strapping or something tomorrow.
  • This is probably going to end up being a fair weather project. After finishing the two parallelepiped, I put the particle board sheet on one (and attempted to put on the second one, but that one collapsed), and there is almost no room to move around the garage. I might rip a foot off the edge of the sheets to give me some room.

Anyway, the work surface is nearly done, and I can probably safely go ahead and order the kit.