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Iron Bark

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  • Brazil and Beyond
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28 October, 2018

Shelves and more shelves

The galley fitout goes on and on, but I think I've got most things covered.  Some things I've had to accept I can't have - difficult that one! - and some things have morphed into another shape between sketching the idea and making the reality. And some things are still rather nebulous and could accurately be put under the heading of: 'I'm sure I'll think of a way of doing this'.

 One of the things I have successfully avoided up to now is door hinges, but finally, I've had to face up to them.  They are swine for a not-very-skilled woodworker to fit.  You have to chisel out a rebate for them.  If it's too deep, the doors won't close, it it isn't deep enough, the doors won't fit back in their frames.  I have a book that was supposed to help me fit out this boat and is full of ingenious ideas that generally I haven't been able to use.  One of them is a jig you can make for routing out the hinges. However, the jig looked more work than the hinges and, besides, there wouldn't have been room for it.  Well, there would have been, I suppose, if I'd thought about hinges long before I did anything else.

 I carried on making and fitting my kauri shelves, all of which needed coating, which slowed down the production run, somewhat.

 Other shelves are required under the cooker - for pans, for glasses and plates and under them will be the vegetable lockers and a rubbish bin.  The latter exercised me enormously - not only deciding just what to have - and how many - but actually buying something of the right size.  Why didn't I make it? - well, I thought it would be quicker to buy something, but I spent so much time looking, that I should probably have just made it.

 I was just preparing to put in the final shelf when it suddenly occurred to me that once it was in, I wouldn't be able to get in with a screwdriver to fasten the counter under the stringer.  I had actually sanded everything and was ready to mix glue when this hit me.  Thank heavens that it did!  It was something of a shock to realise it was now time to fit the counter, which had been hanging around so long it had become a fixture!

 So I masked everything off and placed drop cloths for the inevitable glue drips, did a mental check - was there anything else I had to do first? - and spread glue.

 The counter is considerably longer than I am, and needed to be manoeuvred around all sorts of obstacles and then pushed under the stringer without (a) getting epoxy on anything else or (b) scraping the glue off the stringer.  I was dreading the mess, but in fact it was all perfectly straightforward.

 Moreover, it ended up fairly level - level enough for me, anyway!

 By and large, there are few advantages to being a hobbit, but being able to get through narrow doorways to the far end of a locker is one of them.  I decided to leave the screws in - wielding a screwdriver was one thing, trying to fill the holes, something else entirely.  The clean-up didn't go as well as I'd hoped - I had a visitor and by the time he left, the glue had kicked off from flexible to hard.

The shelves under the cooker require painting.  I did hesitate over doing this - it means that things have to wait an extra few days - but steeled myself to the delay.  I am going to visit friends in Nelson, next week, and would have liked all the shelves fitted and doors made first, but the time required for painting will probably prevent this.

I cut out and fitted the counter over the stack of drawers and the whole thing is ready for its tigerwood, now.  Although before I can do that, I have to make the sink, something else I'm dithering about, not wanting to waste expensive and beautiful wood making a hash of things.  Why don't I just buy a stainless steel sink?  I don't want one. Yes, I know - me and my aesthetics, but there we are.

The vegetable locker is going under the shelves, under the cooker.  I am hoping this will be the least warm part of the boat.  I'm making slatted shelves - here are some of the slats sawn from kauri siding. I'm going to have seagrass baskets for the vegetables, which I bought some years ago on Nelson market.  The fact that I'm planning to spend a lot of time in shallow water and/or dried out could mean that vegetables don't keep as well as I'm used to - their locker might get too hot.  I shall just have to see.

Yes, I know I could have a fridge, and am contemplating one, but if I do, it will have to go in the lazarette.  I'm not sure if I can be bothered with the added complexity in my life. I think my decision will largely be dictated by space available under the cockpit.

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