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....
I need to put something at the aft end of the cover to keep it tighter so it looks nicer...
Nice work... just add some ties to stretch the sail cover back to the (taut) topping lift..eezy peezy lemon squeezy... (as my granddaughter would say ;))
 
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A couple recent low-bucks projects:

I was tired of tying a tarp over the pedestal. The pedestal cover project used about 3/4 yard of Sunbrella I had left over. It was just barely enough for the top piece. For the under side I bought some cheapo outdoor canvas at the local fabric store. The color match isn't perfect, but it's close enough. Cost: about $10.

Last season I removed the suede wheel cover that was disintegrating in a couple places. My daughter and I wrapped the wheel in 300' of paracord. I think the navy coordinates well with the rest of the canvas, and I hope it will stay cleaner than white would. Cost: about $25.

This spring the top of the pedestal cover was beginning to wear through where we grab it. Enter the pieces of suede from the wheel cover that were too good to throw away. It was already perfectly shaped to fit, and the holes made it very easy to sew. Cost: free.



 

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No more curry buffets
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After months of spending too-damn-much money on projects to post them here, I finally have a low-buck project I can offer.

Among the many upgrades I wished to make to my old Endeavour 32 was a cockpit table. Being even cheaper than BLJones, there was no way I could justify the cost of an Edson or Lewmar teak table, and those starboard plastic ones just don't do it for me. I had read all the threads here about finishing a table with varnish, and here's what I came up with:







Here's a shot of its very early life.



Edit to add: whoops, I just realized that's another piece I made up for stern rail seats. The method is exactly the same, however.

As wide planks of full dimension teak are now worth a kings ransom, I epoxy laminated the table together out of strips of 1x3. The epoxy adhesive was thickened with two parts teak sanding flour to one part colloidal silica, this made a strong glue that comes out just about the right colour. For alignment purposes the strips are joined with biscuits as well. I made one main piece per evening over several evenings. The three main pieces were then sent through a planer, the knives of which they made short order of. Then the main pieces were sanded, and the rest of the detail pieces were epoxied on afterwards using similar methods.

What follows is an awful lot of sanding, filleting joints, more sanding, then 14 or 15 coats of Minwax Spar Urethane, tempered with an awful lot more sanding between coats. The final couple of coats were completely wet sanded to achieve the truest flattest finish I could manage. The wet sanding alone was probably four or five hours. The last coat provides the gloss, with just the lightest wet sand with 2000 grit to knock off any tiny and inevitable dust pimples.

If you look carefully, there are many flaws in the finished product, but most of them will never be noticed by anybody but me. I figure these flaws make it real. I also learned a great deal about this kind of woodworking, something I had never done before.

I started this project in January, and have worked on it as I have had time between my other boat projects this spring. I finished it just an hour ago, and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome, so quickly logged in here to show it off.

So the tally?

About $50 or 60 in teak, a few bucks worth of epoxy and thickener, maybe 15 bucks in various sandpapers, $15 in varnish, $10 in foam brushes, maybe $18 in hardware. I guess I slipped over the $100 threshold.

Well nevermind then. Move along.

So the real cost? If you took my hours invested at my regular billing rate, the table is worth somewhere in the neighbourhood of $6000. Perhaps I should have just bought the damned thing after all. I wouldn't be as proud of a store-bought table, but am I $6000 proud?
 

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Ritchard, how can you even keep such a POS on your boat? I'll tell you what...since I'm such a nice guy, I'll let you send that one to me, and I'll make sure it stays well out of sight so you don't ever have to see it again. I even promise that, in any pictures I post here, I'll be sure to hide it with charts, plates, and other stuff, too.
 

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Richard. I have a friend that works at West Marine and he tought me something about finishing wood projects. He is also a master cabinet maker but retired from that and sold his company. (I think he works at WM for the discounts so he can maintain his 50' motor-sailer, but that is another story.)

Anyway, I always admired his wood finishes and one day asked him how he achieved the look. He also uses the MinWax Spar Urethane instead of Varnish. After finishing his piece with several coats (I think he said 7-8 coats) of gloss product he switches to satin product for the final coat. It knocks down the hard shine but does not effect the "depth" of the finish. The results are amazing.
 

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No more curry buffets
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RHR,

Having carefully studied Tim Lackey's site, I had been considering a last satin coat, but I think I am going to stick with the high gloss for now. I can always do another coat in the winter. I worked on this so much, I have to call it done for now. I want it installed for the Canadian Long Weekend.
 

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I think high gloss looks a lot better on deck than satin. Satin looks better belowdecks than high gloss in most cases.

If you're willing to do the work the best of all below is real hand rubbed - wet sanded high gloss then polished back by hand - it ends up somewhere between high gloss & satin - like a piano.

It's a lot of work.
 

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RHR,

Having carefully studied Tim Lackey's site, I had been considering a last satin coat, but I think I am going to stick with the high gloss for now. I can always do another coat in the winter. I worked on this so much, I have to call it done for now. I want it installed for the Canadian Long Weekend.
Ritchard,
I hope it didn't sound like I was saying your high-gloss finish was wrong. Heavens no...it looks great. I've always used high gloss varnish until recently switching to spar urethane. I have yet to use my friends technique, but I will in the future. I really like the thick depth look of multiple coats. I always thought the high gloss was the ideal finish but now I'm digging the satin final coat. I'm going to re-finish my grab rails soon. I'll post up pics when done. Your table looks awesome though. Good job.
RHR
 

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No more curry buffets
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Ritchard,
I hope it didn't sound like I was saying your high-gloss finish was wrong. Heavens no...it looks great. I've always used high gloss varnish until recently switching to spar urethane. I have yet to use my friends technique, but I will in the future. I really like the thick depth look of multiple coats. I always thought the high gloss was the ideal finish but now I'm digging the satin final coat. I'm going to re-finish my grab rails soon. I'll post up pics when done. Your table looks awesome though. Good job.
RHR
No worries, I didn't read it as criticism, it was in fact something I had been considering. But I just have to call it done sometime. These pieces have been hanging around underfoot for months, and literally hanging around from the beams in my garage for weeks.
 

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No worries, I didn't read it as criticism, it was in fact something I had been considering. But I just have to call it done sometime. These pieces have been hanging around underfoot for months, and literally hanging around from the beams in my garage for weeks.
Ha...I know how that goes. Funny thing though-I can always find what I'm looking for until my wife decides to "straighten things up". She thinks if things are out of sight the shop looks better. She puts things away in dedicated storage bins by category. As an example "electrical" might include black tape, batteries, remote for shop TV, pull chain for ceiling fans, my skil saw, DeWalt battery charger, light bulbs...good thing she is pretty and can cook;)
 

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No kidding, great job. Can you show us the knotting techniques?
Ritchard -- Great job on the table!

The knotting technique for the wheel couldn't be simpler. As you can see from the photos, a series of slip knots creates the braided look. We pulled each knot as tightly as we could (a sailing glove is key) then pushed the wraps together as we went along. When we wrapped the wheel, placing the "braid" along the outside allowed us to put more wraps between each spoke. Later we turned the braid to the front where it is more comfortable for steering.

I played with lots of options, some that I found in books, some that I made up. The great plus with this version that I made up is the spool of cord never has to go around the wheel or be strung through anything. Note that the cord hangs in the same spot in both photos. I hung the spool from the pedestal so the cord would roll off the spool. When the spool was standing on end on the floor, the cord twisted as it came off the spool. The wrap looks much better when the cord doesn't twist.





 

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Ha...I know how that goes. Funny thing though-I can always find what I'm looking for until my wife decides to "straighten things up". She thinks if things are out of sight the shop looks better. She puts things away in dedicated storage bins by category. As an example "electrical" might include black tape, batteries, remote for shop TV, pull chain for ceiling fans, my skil saw, DeWalt battery charger, light bulbs...good thing she is pretty and can cook;)
It's an even better thing that she isn't a file clerk. :)
 

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Ho, ho, just what I've been looking for. No round and round and round.... And looks better to boot.
Thanks!
Ritchard -- Great job on the table!

The knotting technique for the wheel couldn't be simpler. As you can see from the photos, a series of slip knots creates the braided look. We pulled each knot as tightly as we could (a sailing glove is key) then pushed the wraps together as we went along. When we wrapped the wheel, placing the "braid" along the outside allowed us to put more wraps between each spoke. Later we turned the braid to the front where it is more comfortable for steering.

I played with lots of options, some that I found in books, some that I made up. The great plus with this version that I made up is the spool of cord never has to go around the wheel or be strung through anything. Note that the cord hangs in the same spot in both photos. I hung the spool from the pedestal so the cord would roll off the spool. When the spool was standing on end on the floor, the cord twisted as it came off the spool. The wrap looks much better when the cord doesn't twist.





 

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I hate to be a spoil sport, but is there any chance of crevice corrosion under that? I used to lock my wheel with a bungee loop in the slip, and found some signs of crevice corrosion under it after a week or so - and I am in a freshwater river.

I'm sure you're not the first person who has done this, so maybe someone else can chime in.
 

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I have to crib this a bit in order to qualify for the low buck category. I'm only going to show 10% of the total project. I got ten of these solid bronze opening ports for $60 each. I had to scavenge them from a derelict old cruiser to get them for that price and by the time I was done I already wondered if I had paid too much. :)

The boat I recently bought has plastic deadlights with brass trim rings outside and teak rings inside. I wanted metal opening ports but even brass ones would have cost several boat bucks - bronze ones like these would have been almost as much as I paid for the whole boat plus they would have to come from New Zealand.

It's taken about a full days work each to remove, clean & polish them. That adds up when there are 10 of them to do. I had to start with 220 sandpaper and go up through 320, 400, 600, 800 & 1200 before I could begin buffing but I'm pretty happy with how they came out and especially the deal I got.

They won't go in until next fall or winter.

Before & after pics below.
 

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