S&B’s theory of Extended Deckhead Bashing.
Recently we’ve been engaging in the process of using stuff up.
Turns out the white pine floorboards that got re-milled into deckhead planks have gone a bit further than I thought. They now line the bedroom, forward accommodation and lately this part of the engine room around the skylight, even if this meant that halfway through the job we had to naff off to the workshop and plane up the very last bits of stock that I had left to exactly the same profile as what was already installed.
The chevron thing was inspired by my musing ‘hmm, there’s an awful lot of short bits in this pile’ and deciding as a result that it might go further if nailed up sort of artfully sideways. Now it’s there it was obviously worth doing, but during the process I couldn’t help wondering just why I’d voluntarily gone in for having to measure and cut all sorts of weird angles on more or less every bit. Here’s some more musings on the subject, dreamt up whilst massaging the blood back into my neck:
Gaps around the edges are good, telling your assistant that this is an expansion gap and will be disappeared by a beading helps cover your tracks and makes you seem clever, but they’re really there to enable an overall measurement to be a couple of mil(es) off while you do an overhead impression of a very bad samurai with a long steel rule; and also to give some valuable wriggle room to your attempts to get the plank into place when it’s cut. This is extra necessary when going around those circular shapes, who’s stupid idea were they anyway? This is because the piece has to ‘thunk’ sideways into the groove on it’s predecessor and that circular thing is in the bloody way again.
After your assistant, the bevel gauge is your best friend, don’t make the mistake of thinking that angle you need to transfer is exactly perpendicular to the one you’ve just cut, chances are it’s not and whoops, there’s another bit for the woodburner.
Likewise, even though the overall shape to cover looks parallel to itself, don’t believe for a second that the angle cut on one end will be the same 22.5° as the other and therefore use the chopsaw to cut it. This approach, combined with a slightly got-to-finish-it-before-midnight mindset leads to dogtoothing, which now has to be disappeared under beading too. Clearly I did the piece on the right of the centreline in this photo first...
...as on the other side I'd learned to use the bevel gauge and a handsaw for everything.
Learning to think backwards, the wrong way around and upside down all at the same time does get easier, eventually, and it may even ward off dementia and be good for the brain. But while your own brain is doing somersaults you’ve managed to mark and cut the whole of one end with the tongue on the wrong edge again, and whoops, there goes another bit for the woodburner.
Being distracted whilst attempting to fit the last triangular piece into a corner is a Bad Idea and will lead to an interesting variation on this theme. Why isn’t clouting the fuck out of it with it with a hammer helping to drive the piece home? because the tongue is on the wrong side and now it’s stuck you dummy. Arse. get a chisel to split the piece out and you’ve got it, another two bits for the woodburner.
Pine done, we’ve moved onto cedar for the other end of this deckhead, which is made up of a series of awkward recesses around the big steel knees behind wendy’s funnel. Oh goddd. Having just begun this area I have decided to add the following musings now:
Secret nailing+corners overhead=no fun. But at these points there’s a deep joy to be had in engaging your assistant to pass you all the things that you wish you’d remembered to pick up before finding yourself standing with both arms over your head. It’s a bonus if the assistant can somehow magically remember where you hid the nail punch not ten seconds ago before the time it takes your arms go numb and fall off elapses.
Also, cedar turns out to be a not very nice wood to carve across the endgrain. This is all about dealing with the intersection of the ceiling, which is now too thick, with the oversized porthole liner, which is now too big. So after a dummy run with added pencilling out come the gouging chisels. Pray that you’ve still got some time left in the day, because this is going to take you a little while longer than you thought...