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Date Posted: - Monday - 01/28/08 - 2:06am
Author: Randall ()
Subject: REPORT #2: Bulkhead Out
In reply to: Randall, M31, Murre 's message, "Aft Cabin Bulkhead Replacement" on - Monday - 01/21/08 - 9:56pm

Yes Mark, the interior grab handles have fasteners that extend into tomorrow. They're #14 x 3 1/2", bronze. The three on the port side came out clean, though they barked a lot and required I go slow, slow. The ones on the starboard broke. I went just as slow and with as much care, but they said not a word and sheared off at the base.

(Note: as it turns out these grab handles did not need to be removed. Their fasteners seat into the companionway hatch frame only and do not pierce the bulkhead ply.)

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Having got the handles off, I went back to thwacking. Per recommendation, resisted trying to pop the companionway frames out by pushing them toward each other, but instead pushed the whole bulkhead out and astern. This was the right approach (more on that later). Here you see some of how the assembly comes apart. Note that of the two fasteners on the fore and aft "flashing", only the lower needs to be removed (hard to explain, but see the one fastener I've removed below the slide...there's one more just above it and a touch forward that does NOT need to come out).

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Though both frames did eventually push free, it was clear there was some other fastener that had failed to announce its presence. As it turns out, this was what looks to be a #14 of 3+" sunk at a 45* angle from the top frames into the horizontal frames. There is no plug or any other hint on the top frames that suggests this fastener exists. Reason says it was laid in through the deck before the top companionway frames were placed.

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Having got both upper joints on the companionway hatch to pop, I went back to the upper joint along the breadth of the bulkhead. The fasteners were easy to find once the one layer of glass was pealed back and were all bronze #10 x 1 1/2" spaced 4 1/2" apart. Every single one broke coming out.

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Then I worked outboard and down. There were three fasteners in the vertical here, the last and lower about an inch below the splashboard shoulder. These three were #12 x 1 3/4", and they all come out cleanly.

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Next was to move back inside and free up the base of the bulkhead. On the starboard side, this meant removing the navigation table slider. The plug holes were evident without sanding away the white paint. There were seven total--the least obvious being the vertical at the outboard edge. The uppers were #10 x 1 1/2" and the lowers were #10 x 1 3/4". The vertical fastener was #12 x 2".

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I puzzled for quite a while over this piece because it just wouldn't budge, and given the joint at the doors, there wasn't much option. Finally figured to lower the outboard edge from its joint...raise the inboard...and the rest was easy.

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The ring nails were next. They were spaced about every 5" along the base of the bulkhead and had to be pried out after chiseling a base from which to attack the nail head. Don't mind the blood splatter. I'd skinned my knuckle on something is all. I'm not a big fan of ring nails.

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There is plenty more bloodshed between the above and this shot. Essentially having loosed the bulkhead at every point save its extreme outboard ends inside the splashboard shoulder, I took a jig saw to that area to the right of the companion way hatch and the area just below the port window and pried this large piece out. Then came the tedious task of the splashboard shoulder. This took a lot of patient chiseling. There were two more bulkhead fasteners here--one could be got at without worry about the shoulder; the other (pictured) was at the base of the interior grab rail and had to be cut, then backed a little, then cut again. It came out just fine.

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Having got the big piece of bulkhead out, I set to prying the companionway hatch pieces off the bulkhead. They felt as if there was some other fastener holding them at the corners because they refused to pop. When I did get them apart, there was a largish fastener that was set up from the bottom horizontal frame and into the vertical. Pictured here is the extreme bottom of the port horizontal frame; down and to the right in the photo is the bottom frame. I rocked there frames back and forth and knew there was something in here, but there was no hint until it was totally apart. The bottom frame sustained some damage, but this will be easily repaired when the time comes.

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What will be more fun by far (I've not totally cleaned up the companionway frames, yet) will be getting the small ring nails out. Greg, I think this is what you predicted. These nails are driven through the bulkhead and into the frame from the inside, and are nearly all buried. I get that ring nails are strong, easy to work with, and quick to deploy, but for Christ's sake--when you are building the boat new and if it is of wood, remember the poor sod who will be rebuilding it 30 years hence.

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Here a shot of the yellow (bless me!) coach roof frame, which is instructive for the geographic lines apparent. You can see the stainless ring nails coming through vertically from the coach roof (just like we encountered in the cabin side rebuild); the small brass spots are the bulkhead fasteners that broke off--every one; the darker fastener holes are for the teak trim that was removed the first day, and the dark, regular vertical lines mark where the interior paneling popped off.

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And that's the weekend--a couple of half days, really. And about that idea of "point of no return"?--definitely past it!

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Last edited by author: Mon April 14, 2008 01:43:33   Edited 4 times.

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Replies:

[> Bulkhead -- Mark(AEOLUS), - Saturday - 02/ 2/08 - 3:27pm

Nice job Randall, I think you should bind your restoration write-ups and print a "how-to" book. What kinda shape was the main support beam in? I know there are variations to these 31's, when I replace my bulkhead I added some storage outboard of the frig box (just below the main support frame). Also moved the electic panel thats above the frig. Justa thought.
Mark


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[> [> Interesting -- Randall, - Monday - 02/ 4/08 - 12:21am

Thanks Mark. Do you mean the mizzen support? Lots of shots coming up of the deck beam, but I've supported the mizzen (some years ago--check out the cockpit job write-up for shots of that ) with vertical supports that drop into the hull on either side of Old Blue.

I like the idea of extra storage--I'll check that out.

Where'd you move the switch board to?

RR


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[> [> Bulkhead -- Mark, - Tuesday - 02/ 5/08 - 4:21pm

Randall, the support beam I questioned was the deck-beam you showed. Surprised to see it already spliced. Surely no one had been there before you? I moved the switch board to the starboard side below the shelf (on the 31's w/a quarter-berth). Previous owner had installed some electric components there. Looking Good!


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[> [> Storage -- Randall, - Tuesday - 02/12/08 - 1:19pm

I too was surprised by the scarf joint. I hesitate to call it a splice, mind you. :) Wonder what the rationale was. One would think that that supporting structure and others would have been first in. Maybe mahogany trees didn't grow that tall in Japan.

Hey, about that storage outboard of the ice box, I like that. On Murre the food locker outboard of the galley counter top is two levels deep. Did you follow the same for this extra storate space? Does the storage area access from the food locker in the galley or from the settee hatch ... or both?

RR


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