Steve's Tolman Project 47th page...

December 5th, 2004

Picked up a propane heater from Home Depot the other day and an empty propane tank, and got it filled. Came back to 50 degree backyard, and got warm. I can't believe I've done without this thing for so long. Even though I work outside under the tent the heater got it nice and toasty. It's one of those heaters that hooks on to your propane tank, and heats up a metal grid attached to a metal reflector. On low I kept warm, and was able to heat up the rear deck enough to get it taped and epoxyfied.� Next weekend I'll start on the splashwell. Heck I might start tomorrow night now that I have heat.

Am also working on my steering station, epoxying all the parts together. Don't think I'll glass it except for maybe the corners. The steering station will be bolted to the rear cuddy cabin bulkhead, and the steering station box will contain a switch panel, fuse panel, etc. I'll cut a hole in the cuddy cabin bulkhead, round the corners over and have access to all the electrics from here (inside the cuddy).� Will make a sliding panel to cover the hole in the cuddy to keep it nice and tidy inside.� Bottom of steering station has a glove box sort of compartment for binoculars, spare fuses, flashlight etc. Will post pictures on fishyfish when I'm done. Trying to decide whether to epoxy or 5200 the steering station on permanently, or maybe just bolt it on and run a bead of silicone around the edge. Hmmmm. Update: I changed my mind and glassed the outside of the steering station, filleted the inside joints and taped the fillets. Before this I was able to twist the steering station (box) around and flex it. I figured that an ocean going boat of this sort needed to be stronger and so I made it so.

Trying to decide on what switch panel(s) to buy. I'd like to have some nice Blue Sea panels, but I'm not sure I want to drop the bucks. Maybe a couple of the cheapy red button panels will do me ok.

While I'm thinking about the switch panels, I'm also thinking back to Gary's instructions on how he rigged his Widebody, how Dick re-wired his Striper, and how other folks have wired their boats... or at least the one's who have confessed to me, or the ones I've stolen ideas from. I reckon I'm going to have to get off the fence and order wire, connectors, switches, lights, battery switch, etc. so I can get all these things in place for installation. I know, I don't have the wheelhouse even started yet... but I'm just thinking ahead.

Also thinking forward to the time that I have to start filling and sanding. I'm not looking forward to this at all. I have Bruce's long boards sitting there with fresh 100 grit on them, but I'm thinking they will work for certain highly visible areas of the boat, but most places I'll use either the Makita sander polisher or the BuzzBomb PorterCable 5" Orbital. Think I'm going to ditch the BuzzBomb and spring for a new 5 or 6" machine. I'm thinking something with a vacuum attachment, variable speed and something that doesn't vibrate my hands to sleep or worse. I know we've talked about this before. Gary likes his Fein sander but it vibrates too much. Back to scratching my head on that one. One thing's for sure.... sanding sucks.

December 19th, 2004

Been colder than a Well Digger's Fanny with night time temps hovering around 35 degrees, and daytime temps hovering around 50 degrees. The epoxy isn't curing fast enough, so I'm giving the propane heater a work out. I heat up the wood, apply the fillets and glass, and let the heater get the cure going.

Have the splash well installed for the most part. Last weekend I initially installed the bottom panel of the splashwell, and this weekend I mostly finished it by filleting the splashwell bottom to the 2x8 running the width of the transom and along the sides. I taped the fillets with two layers of glass, 4" and 6". Probably overkill, but I figured I'm going to be climbing in and out of the boat and stepping on the splashwell for the next few months, so I'd better do an extra strong job. Installed the front bulkhead of the splashwell with fillets front and back on the sides and a fillet on the bottom/front connection. I also put two layers of glass on these joints. I need to fillet underneath the splashwell, and also need to fill the front of the bottom/front bulkhead and tape it. This is going to be done laying on my side and back and I'm not looking forward to that. Renn says to use Silkaflex or 5200 adhesive underneath, but that stuff is messy also. Will think about this and tackle it after Christmas.

next installment...