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Monday, July 15, 2013

Twenty-Four Feet of Caprail Trim...

...has been dry fitted.

A bit of trial and error on the fitting technique, but I think I got it down.

The caprail material is 1 x 4 inch PlasTeak (0.75 x 3.5 inch actual size). The top of the bulwarks vary from 2.75 to 3.25 inches wide due to variations of the deck and hull construction (hey, it was the 1970s). To help conceal the outer edge of the bulwark joint and provide a "drip edge", I shaved off about an 1/8th inch of material off of the material stock, from one edge to about 3.25 inches across the width. This left approx 0.25 inches to form the drip edge (which will face outboard when on the boat).

Jointed plank, drip edge on the right.
I used a 6 inch jointer to shave off the material. Clamp on a couple feather boards and it works nicely. However, the plastic shavings, about thee inches long, tend to clog the dust collection system.
Jointer jigged up with feather boards
Two 12 foot planks of material, port and starboard, were installed near the bow. I used 1.5 inch, #10 stainless tapping screws, spaced 12 inches apart. The first couple screws were #8, but they don't bite as well, and the soft stainless steel snapped off at the screw head with the torque of the driver, leaving the rest embedded in the fiberglass (which had to be drilled out).
Using a vise in the drill press to consistently spot the pilot holes.
I even think #10 is a bit small and may re-bore the pilot holes for at least #12 screws for the final install. The outer edge of the planks where notched with a jigsaw, on-the-spot, to joint in space for the chainplates coming up the sides.
Starboard caprail.
The PlasTeak bends nicely to the curve of the rail. It cuts and routes just fine. The plastic material has a high melting point so friction from routers or jigsaws do not melt the material.

Next are the pieces aft, a slightly higher level of difficulty, where I must deal with the caprail T-track and join the pieces with a "modified scarf joint".

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