So, here you are, happily putting in your final ceiling planks. You have space above that next to last plank to insert a clamp to hold that plank in place… just barely. You bang the tapered end of the plank down into the thin little slot at one end, and start screwing your plank in. Everything is good and happy.
Here’s exactly such a plank. It’s the 2nd one above the painted plank. Nice little taper there, don’t you think?
So, you’re done screwing this plank in, and it’s time to remove the clamp.
The space that allowed the clamp in behind the ceiling has closed up just a little bit as you screwed the plank down. Now the clamp wants to stay. Forever. It simply won’t be levered out. Oy, what to do?
- remove the plank… can’t do it because the taper is tightly wedged in between the planks above and below it. That sucker is permanent, short of destroying it.
- leave the clamp there…. now, come on, you can’t be serious. First of all, the next plank goes in the space where the clamp is sticking out. Second of all, who is going to buy the argument that it’s a useful feature, handy for a thousand uses?
- take the clamp apart. Now you’re talkin‘.
You could take the clamp apart by cutting the horizontal bar, but why destroy a perfectly good F clamp? No, the task is to drill out the pin that holds the orange end onto the bar and then drive what’s left of the pin out. You can see it barely there in the photo above (sorry for the crappy quality… camera phone). Drill that thing out, whang the pin through, and the bar should pull out of the end. Then the end will fall down behind the ceiling into … where else? … the bilge, where it can be retrieved.
Here you can see that the the pin’s been drilled out. The other clamp on the left is used to hold the first clamp steady while I drill it and force out the pin with a punch.
Whew. Now, back to actual work. That’s a morning I’ll never get back.
The shutter plank for the ceiling is a little tricky, because there’s no way to get a clamp on it. With a little head scratching, however, I remembered a suggestion that Walt had a while ago. He thought that one could screw a ring into the ceiling below the shutter plank, drop a board into the ring and fasten the board to the deck beams above. This would create a vertical surface that you can now wedge against.
I went to the metal shop, and Scott whipped me something up in no time that allowed me to do what Walt was thinking about, but without having to put a new hole in the ceilings. He welded a U-shaped chunk of steel to a small plate (at an angle… you’ll see why in a sec) and then we drilled a hole in the plate. Here’s the deal:
The hole is sized so that I can simply remove one of the ceiling screws and use the same screw and hole to fasten this sucker onto the ceiling. No new holes! Note how the U-shaped iron is angled slightly down.
That’s so when you insert a board, it can lean back and out a bit. Like so:
You need it to angle back so that you can fit it up against the sheer clamp and the deck beam above. See? Next, we clamp this board both outboard and to the deck beam to hold it in place. Now we’ve got a solid, vertical thingy.
Next, I made a wedge with grooves that allow it slide along the board.
And then added a couple of wedges between that and the plank I need to force down. Voila! The plank can now be pressed down into place with a huge amount of force. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of that actually happening. I was kind of busy actually wrestling that dog into place.
So, now we’re down to the final shutters. I didn’t exactly spile mine, but I did have to map out the taper along its length since it wasn’t consistent. Here you can see a segment of the plank with the taper lines drawn on it.
What I did was to put a tapered piece of scrap from a previous cut into the space where the shutter goes, and then measured up at various locations to see how much wider the actual taper was than the scrap at various locations. I then traced the outline of the scrap onto a new plank, added in the measurements I took, faired it out, and voila… a tapered ceiling plank. This only works if one of your surfaces is more or less flat. If both edges of the your plank had odd tapers on them it wouldn’t work and you’d need to spile.
Here’s a pan shot looking aft from the stem.
I put in my last shutter (the one on the left) this morning, and Shawn will finish his tomorrow.
I’ve started working on the mast step with a new guy, Jeff from CA while Shawn finishes up. Next, we’ll remove the staging, work out where the sole will go, install the sole, and then finish installing the ceilings that go down between the stringers (the gray boards) and the sole.
There’s a lot of stopping to think at this stage. You have to think out every operation a few (or more than a few) steps ahead to see if what you’re doing now will cause trouble for a future operation. 10 minutes of thought is worth hours of pulling something up and re-doing it just because you buried a screw behind that piece you just installed.