Posted by: Mike Randall | December 9, 2010

Trimming the trim!

Now the Hatch has been hatched. I’ve decided to keep my focus on finishing all the cuddy cabin details before I move on to the excitement of laying the deck.

After some deliberation I’ve settled on Sydney Blue Gum as my trim timber of choice. Why? Well it’s obviously an Aussie native timber and I felt my French designed boat needed some Australian timber in it. It’s also a nice redish colour and fairly readily available. So off to Matthews Timber I went and stood in front of the racks of timber for ages trying to look knowledgeable until rescued by one of the yard hands who took a keen interest in my boat building project and helped me choose the best bits for my cabin trim.

At the time my thicknesser/planer was off at the tool doctor getting a worn feed roller replaced so I took my oversize timber to Baker & Davies Joinery who did an excellent job of trimming and finishing the timber to my exact sizes.

First task was to make the rails that the hatch would supposedly slide effortlessly along on.

Hatch Runners

I used my table saw set very shallow to cut the runner grove in the rail, moving the guide fence a couple of mm each pass to get the groove’s final width. I then cleaned this up with a chisel and light sand paper. I’d wondered for ages how to do this bit neatly and it came out pretty good If I don’t say so myself.

The groovy runner groove!

Hatch guides to go in the groovy groove.

It took quiet a bit of tweaking and fiddling to get the hatch to slide nicely, but finally I was happy with the way all looked and worked and moved on to the cabin trim.

Early in the build when I would study the plans I thought I would ignore the cabin trim and finish everything flush and in white. At the time the idea of including trim and highlighting this detail in varnish all seemed a bit fussy and not quiet my style. How things change overtime!

I started with the cabin sides and didn’t want any screw holes in the finished timber so I had to develop some way of holding things in place while the glue went off.

Cabin side trim clamping blocks

The trim on the cabin face is obviously curved, so I figured I’d make a pattern first out of MDF then use it as a guide to cut and trim my finished piece.

Trim Pattern held in place with double sided tape for accurate trimming and routing

Nothing is ever straight forward and I had a few disasters where the router shattered the edge of my nice bit of trim before I got the hang of pattern routing on the table.


Finally got the hang of it

I reckon over the course of a week I made every piece of trim at least twice before I was happy with the results.  I usually rely on the brilliant filling powers of epoxy and a few coats of opaque paint to cover my joinery skill shortcomings. Unfortunately there is no hiding with varnished trim!

Whacky clamps to hold trim on without marking

Clamps in action – covered in packing tape so no epoxy sticks.

Cabin front trim

Hatch opening trim

Hatch grip trim

That’s probably more trim information than anybody really needs. Next bit of trimming I’ll be doing will probably be the Christmas Turkey!

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