So, the last task of the year, putting the bottom runners on the main hatch. A small and quick job that will stop the hatch from being lifted off.
The bottom runner, constructed from a piece of 7mm x 15mm Sapele cut to length, glued and nailed to the bottom edge of each side of the hatch as can be see here, is the last piece of the main hatch construction.
The bottom runner fits under the main runners as shown.
I'll need to do some trimming once the glue has set as the hatch now binds on the starboard side about half way open but that will have to wait for the New Year.
The task this afternoon was to cut, fit and glue the outer coaming to the coachroof. The only difficult part about this was that the crosswise coamings had to be cut so that the lower edge fitted the curve of the coachroof and the upper edge had to be flat.
The hatch was not only used to ensure that the coamings were in the correct position but also to press down courtesy of the lead weights ensuing a good fit to the coachroof. I hope.
This is the scupper through which you can see the double skin construction of the hatch.I will close this up a little as it is too large at present but that is part of the finishing of the hatch.
The primary reason for closing up the scupper a little is to stop ropes getting caught under tha hatch. The secondary reason is to prevent too much water getting it.
I was amazed to find that the heater was still warm when I went out to the workshop around 9 o'clock this morning. I had topped up the heater at about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon and when I looked into the fire chamber only about an inch of glowing coals remained. So the heater had remained going for around 17 hours. The manual does say that a kilo of charcoal can last up to 12 hours but I'd never had it last more than 4 hours before. The difference, on reflection, is that yesterday was the first time I had topped up the charcoal. Normally I let it get cold, rake out the ashes and relight it and it is the raking out that makes the difference.
You have to rake out at least some of the ashes in order to be able to light the charcoal but once it is lit a layer of ashes covering the griddle is no bad thing since is restricts the airflow even more. So, yesterday afternoon, when I topped it up for the third time, there was a good layer of ashes at the bottom which only allowed enough air into the fire chamber for a very low heat and hence it lasting so long.
I put some more charcoal in, not a full charge but about a quarter full but that was too much and the heater went out shortly after. Now I had charcoal on top of the ashes and no easy way to rake out the ashes. I cut a short piece of dowel and used that to clear a couple of the holes form the bottom, catching the ashes in the ash tray as they fell out and then lit the heater as normal and away it went. It will be interesting to see just how long this burns for with most of the grate still covered in ash.
Unfortunately, the anti-warp measures failed to prevent the twist in the plywood. It is not as bad as it was but it is not all gone. So I will just put up with a bend hatch. When it is down and clipped in position it will be flat against the inner coamings and it is only in the raised position that the twist will be noticeable.
The construction lines for the strengthening battens.
Glued and screwed. A view from the inside.
Resting in position since the heater is on so the warm interior will make the glue set quickly. Just the lower, outer coamings to do and the hole for the deadlight.
The last task for today was the rebuilding of the fore hatch in a non-warped fashion.
The outer coaming temporarily fixed for fitting.
The galvanised panel pins are ideal for this job.
The anti-warp measures. Two 52.5 lb weights on the inside of the fore hatch. We will see if that works tomorrow.