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  #1  
Old 11-14-2013
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Cabin Sole Replacement

Argyle is getting a long overdue cabin sole replacement. When I bought her she had recently had some standing water fill up the bilge and eventually it got up over the lowest part of the sole, delaminating the cosmetic teak and holly plywood. The rest of the sole is fairly shot as well being nearly 40 years old.

I'm going to bring home the panels to use as a template to cut the new ones. I've heard that cutting the hatch boards can be tricky. Does anyone have any advice or tricks that you have used in making sure you have a good looking, and snug fitting hatch boards? I am going to have five hatches to cut and make all together.

Thanks!

-Argyle
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

Argyle,

How precise do you need to be?

For generally replacement the best way is to take the old boards and use them as full size templates on the new wood. First trace the old boards onto the new and rough cut them out with a jig saw, leaving ~1/2" all the way around. Take the new boards bad side up, and place the old on top. Then using a brad nailer and brads sized to not go all the way thru the new ones nail them together (It only takes 3-4 brads). Now take the whole rig and put it on a router table with a flush trim bit, and trim off everything that isn't the shape of the old boards.

If the old boards are so damaged they no longer are the proper shape, then still start with them, but build them up where necessary using cheap wood filler. Lay them out on the boat and fill and trim until they fit the way you want. Remembering that unless encapsulated there will be some wood movement over time.

The tack holes can be filled (wood filler), or if you are going to encapsulate the boards then doesn't do anything to them, the epoxy will seal them later.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

Are you planning to use a 'teak and holly' material again? If so I'd go for the 1/2 inch sheets.. but time you buy the 1/4" and some other substrate you're about the same price. I think pull/lift out panels look best if they are 'framed', but that's tough to do with that material.

Are you planning to use lift rings? or finger holes?. .. the latter are much easier, of course, and cheaper.. If you don't mind the finger holes, and can live with them on the cutout seam you can use them as starting points and carefully cut the liftouts with a thin kerf blade and drop them back in place for a guaranteed fit. Using a sabre saw your hatches could have radiused corners... might work if no framing is planned.

A friend did a nice looking job with a bamboo plank flooring on a substrate, framing the liftouts in contrasting wood, very tidy and clean looking.. has several years on it now and it still looks great.

Anyhow, big job but worth doing in a way you'll be happy to look at after the fact.
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

Use a plunge cut to remove the hatch area - don't sweat the 'thin' kerf blades because to do it right you SHOULD be edging the sides of the hatches - with holly.
Take your hatch boards to the table saw and reduce the dimensions on all sides by the thickness of the edging plus 1/8 for the kerf and it should fit in perfectly.
Doing it that way keeps the holly lines in alignment.
Fasten the edging with finish nails and glue and it's easy.

The edging is more professional - beats the crap out of raw plywood and provides a bit of protection.
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

First you are going to have to address the moister content and temperature of the wood you are installing. If you build this in a dry cold winter, in moist hot summer you may not be able to open hatches and worst scenario the hole floor buckles when it expands. Without a moisture meter you will need to stabilize the wood in the environment it will be installed in for at least 48 hrs. I would also make a template of the area to be installed. Tracing out using the existing wood would be very rough at best. Templates are easy to make. I can give you an explanation if you want.

I would also not use a jig saw if it can be avoided, getting a straight cut is next to impossible. There will be much sanding. You may need to use a jig saw in spots...you can get a down cutting blade that will not chip the surface. Table saw and band saws both are down cutting. If you use a skill saw cut from the back. If you are going to use a plunge cut for hatch cut outs, cut from the back side, won't chip finish side and allows you you get the blade lined up before making the through cut. Errors on underside.

Another trick is to a clean cut of the surface of the veneer is to apply painters tape over the area to be cut then with a utility knife first score the finish through the veneer.
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

I replaced the ½" teak & holly veneer plywood on my cabin soule last spring. I used a combination of ½" teak & holly veneer plywood, and beefed up the bilge area to 3/4" plywood. The original ½" flooring over the bilge was driving me nuts as it sagged when I stepped on it.

I pulled the original flooring out, and used it as a template. I traced the template on the new panels, and cut the replacement panels ¼" larger than the original on each side. I made the cuts with a circular saw with a fine tooth plywood blade. I did all of the work with the panels upside down, so that I did not mar the veneer. I then used a router with a flush cut bit to trim the new panels to exactly the same dimensions as the original.

I noticed that the original panels had also been feathered to fit in some corners. To check this, I brought the new panels to the boat, and trial fit them. Where needed, I feathered the bottom of the panel with a sander and 80 grit sand paper. Once I was happy with the fit, I brought the panels back home again.

Rather than edging with some exotic wood, I bought aluminum "L" stock at the local big box store. I trimmed the edges where the bilge covers would go to allow for the thickness of the aluminum.

I then painted on 2 coats of low viscosity epoxy on the bottom and sides of the panels (the original panels were not sealed in this way. A week later, I applied 4 coats of Minwax satin polyurethane on the top, thereby sealing the wood completely.

I brought the new panels back to the boat to verify fit. All was good. Rather than applying 4200 and then screwing the panels to the fiberglass floor pan, as had originally been done, I simply used a tube of 4200, and placed weights to hold the new soule in place while the 4200 set.

Finally, I brought the aluminum "L" stock, and fitted it to the edges of the bilge covers, and the soule, where it met the bilge covers (so it would be aluminum against aluminum) with the horizontal surface of the "L" underneath the panel (so you cannot see the aluminum).

I messed up on the alignment of the Teak & Holly between two panels (near the mast step) that required some complex cutting. Actually, I realized that the alignment was off on the old panels too, so I don't get too upset over this detail.

Other than that detail, I was happy with the result - until two weeks later when my laptop fell on the floor, and gave it its first bit of... "character." I now have the laptop secured to the chart table with a piece of shock cord.
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

I did this project on my 1985 Ericson 35-3 a few years back. Here is a link with some tips and techniques that may help you.

Cabin Sole Replacement - TKRonaBoat
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
I did this project on my 1985 Ericson 35-3 a few years back. Here is a link with some tips and techniques that may help you.

Cabin Sole Replacement - TKRonaBoat
I like the way you used the lauan plywood as a router guide! Nice. Finish job looks great!
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

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Originally Posted by Delta-T View Post
I like the way you used the lauan plywood as a router guide! Nice. Finish job looks great!
Actually I did not use the luan as a router guide. I simply traced the luan onto the plywood and cut. The perimeter of the sole is covered with a strip of teak trim so cutting it exact was not necessary except for the butt joints and hatches where I used an offset straight edge as a router guide.
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Actually I did not use the luan as a router guide. I simply traced the luan onto the plywood and cut. The perimeter of the sole is covered with a strip of teak trim so cutting it exact was not necessary except for the butt joints and hatches where I used an offset straight edge as a router guide.
I misunderstood what you did, but it is a great idea.
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