David Jost's Micro Page
I am currently in the beginning stages of building my micro. Check back frequently for tales and pictures concerning the building of this Bolger Boat.
I decided that given the weather in the Northeast of
the United States from November through March, and that I have an unheated
garage and limited basement space, that I would start with the spars.
January 30, 2000
I am now trying to find the 1/4 inch fir ply that I will need to build the bulkheads indoors during the winter. (If I build anything larger than these, I won't get them out of my basement door.)
April 10, 2000
I cannot believe
that I am still involved in making the masts for this boat.
Carl's micro has sails that he made himself from Sailrite Kits. He told me that he is very happy with them. I bought a used set of Taylor sails from Stan Muller (of the Micro "Snow Goose") they look quite good as well. I lucked out on this one.
At long last I have started on the hull. I am using 1/4" marine ply for most of the hull, and will use double ply to form a 1/2" bottom. The layout of the sides was fairly easy as I have built a few boats already. I start by laying out a grid of 1' intervals on the ply to strike a curve and use a 1/2" 16' long fir batten to strike a curve. It becomes fairly obvious if you missed a point as the batten will not make a fair curve. After I cut out the first side I got into a bit of trouble as I forgot to glue all of the batten and had to disassemble the batten and clench nails after I had glued it up. I got it right on the third try. Clench nails are incredibly strong. I got mine from Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth New Hampshire.
After the glue dried I noticed that I had accidentally introduced a large 1" curve into the side. Oops! I thought I was going to be able to spring it out using a long piece of oak flooring, clamps and wedges. Guess again.
trusty Makita Power Plane, I removed the entire butt strap in less than 30
minutes and installed another butt strap and then clamped the whole thing to
a straight edge while the glue set. It is now straight as an arrow, no
damage done. The second side was uneventful. I am currently glad
I chose Marine Ply because I don't have to stop and think about what is the
inside and what is the outside!
I ordered more
bronze ring nails from Jamestown Marine on the web. They arrived within
48 hours. $12.75 for two pounds of #12 1" bronze ring nails.
May 17, 2000
So far the bulkheads have been pretty straightforward. I have built the bow transom, bulkhead A, Bulkhead B, and cut out all of the bulkheads C and D plus the stern transom. I have been using 3/4" fir decking for the framing due to its availability and the ease in which it cuts and glues. I am hoping that it will be more rot resistant than pine. It will be coated inside and out with epoxy and paint in any case. This is kind of a belt and suspenders approach.
I am hoping to go three dimensional and get the
bottom and keel constructed (not installed) by the end of June. I am
hoping that Carl lends me his foundry for that long!
June 9, 2000
Ok, all the
frames are built, with the exception of the exterior motor board and the
board that the boomkin goes through on the transom. I think that this
will be easier to do once the transom is fastened to the boat.
read the following with a smile: All potential Micro builders should be forewarned that the bow transom is a little tricky.
ok, here is another entry into David Letterman's "Stupid
Today I made the second large mistake on Micro. I had been saving the bow
transom bevels and freeing ports until the last part prior to going 3
dimensional, since I knew that I had a reverse bevel on the bow transom to
deal with. I deliberately saved this morning for the job since I knew that I
had plenty of open time with no supervision of children necessary, no
impending musical performances (just a rehearsal at 1400) and great weather.
I forgot one key item. SLEEP!
June 10, 2000
I finally beveled the second bow transom successfully. I used the Makita power plane for 90% of the work. I roughed out the side cuts with the circular saw. I had a bit of trouble with the last cut, with some large divots resulting from an improperly aligned rip fence, but it is nothing that a little fairing compound can't fix. WEST system micro fibers do wonders! The other frames were relatively easy since they were thinned in dimension than the bow transom.
Here are all of the panels. Ready to go 3 dimensional.
Here is an idea of the size.
Katie is standing in the cockpit looking aft.
June 24, 2000
The boat is finally three dimensional! The amazing thing is how light and strong the structure really is. The other noticeable thing is how much room there is for a 16 footer. This boat is shorter than the O'Day daysailor, and a Herreshoff 12.5, but it easily can accommodate a family of 4 in relative comfort for a daysail, or two overnight. If I can convince one other member of my family of the merits of sleeping on the deck in good weather, we could all go cruising. I hope to have the bottom well under way by July 1st. Check for pictures soon (they are still in the camera.)
Alignment of the frames was relatively easy. I started out with a taut string between the bow and the transom, and then used plywood with the straight edges lined up with all of the frames. Frame D was 1" off, and was easy to "persuade" into place. After the hull was shored up fore and aft, and beam to beam it was relatively easy for me to move around on skids and flip over onto the gravel driveway. The boat is now living upside down next to the raspberries on blocks to keep it above any ground water that may drip down from the driveway. (I also dug a trench around the boat, just like a campsite).
On to the chines and bottom
June 28, 2000
I just put in
the chines. Well actually only one because I cracked the other one
putting it in. I had trouble getting real good wood for this and
settled for a few small knots. The break was about 6" before the
biggest knot. Oh well, another pile of spruce to rip. They
go in fine if one does not try to rush through the process, I used
plenty of clamps, temporary sheet rock screws, and plenty of bronze boat
nails and glue. We will see how it comes out in the end. Will try
the other chine tomorrow.
July 3, 2000
Chines are in and the bottom is going on! I am going with double 1/4" marine ply with single butt straps to finish 3/4" at the butt strap. That should provide plenty of backing for the keel batten bolts. This is what the 450 lb keel will be hanging on, so I really want to get it right. I have the only 5 year old in the world who can clench nail! :-). Doing the butt straps is not that big a deal if you have help. I already have plenty of extra copper nails from the original batch I bought from Strawberry Bank. The second layer of marine ply will be temporarily screwed down with galvanized sheet rock screws. This should provide a way for air to escape between the layers, and to hold until the glue dries. Then I plan to fill the holes with WEST 505 fairing filler, and then epoxy and glass the whole boat to attain water tightness and protection from the elements. I might not get the keel on this summer! :-(
July 9, 2000
I still have not got the pictures out of the camera to scan in. The first course is glued and nailed to the bottom with the help of my son Chris (9). He is another clench nail expert now! I need to purchase three more sheets of 1/4" ply to finish to bottom. I took the curve off with a straight edge with battens clamped in place. It was a little tricky figuring out exactly where the keel goes on the bottom in relation to the fore and aft stations since the curve comes off the bottom where not station or frame lines have been drawn. I think that I am within 1/2" of the actual location. Tomorrow I will begin to lay out the keel molds and actively pursue the lead to melt. I have plenty of clench nails and plenty of help so I guess the second layer of ply will be clenched to the first with one nail every 6" or so. It is pretty easy.
A Three Dimensional Micro!!!
fitting the curve to the bottom.
It has about 1/4" more rocker than Bolger's plans. I have no idea why. (Yes, that is the seldom used Diablo in the background.)
Micro side view
Three layers of 1/2" ply ready for fairing and assembly. The mold will be backed up by another layer of ply and then stiffened by 2X6 framing material. this should help keep the mold flat.
July 25, 2000
I should have taken one more picture. I attached a sheet of 1/2" ply to the bottom of the mold, and then screwed a frame of 2X4 lumber to the bottom of it in conventional form with studs every 16" on center. It is quite strong and inflexible.
I gave up on trying to collect and melt lead. I took the mold to I.M. Broomfield in Providence RI. They make keels for many shipbuilding companies. They will charge 80 cents per pound, putting the total for the pouring at about $330 US. This is about $90 more than pouring it oneself. This is a no-brainer for me. it is worth the $90 t0 have this hot, messy job done in someone else's backyard! The keel should be done by August 1st.
In the meantime, I have been ordering more ply for the double bottom, epoxy, and bronze ring nails. The boat won't be a gold-plater, but will be at least in the silver category.