Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bottom trimmed, centerboard trunk, and bat house!

Today was a productive day, the boat went upside down and back again.

My friend Peter ambled over with his router. This, combined with a flush-trim bit for the router, is a fabulous tool at dissolving the extra overlap left over from the over-sized bottom. It was either going to be a hackfest at sawing/planing it off, or this. The router was mucho easy to use, I cleaned up the enter boat in mere minutes. It left a little lip, which was cleaned up by my handplanes. Long strokes parallel to the boat to get it close, and then the smaller block plane held at an angle to the hull to get it finally flush. This took longer but was enjoyable work. The boat got dropped once, and it was not any worse for the wear.

The centerboard trunk components are also all glued up, but in two pieces. They will not be glued together until the daggerboard is complete, and then I can appropriately take the down the spacers inside (made from daggerboard jetsam, hence same width pre-finishing) to match the daggerboard, plus 2mm for a cozy fit. The daggerboard is being worked on on the side... I think I have a tempestuous relationship with the board and I'm taking it slowly.

Peter, while he was over, made a three chambered bat house for his own house. He's hoping to attract a small colony of bats to summer with him in his moist woods. One brown bat will eat 500-1000 mosquitoes an hour (yes, read that again) and a large bat house could contain tens upon tens of bats if not well over a hundred. That's a lot of mosquitoes that are going to bite the dust. Additionally, bats eat truckloads of insects that attack farmed crops, help in seed dispersal and some species can be key in plant pollination. Bats do not equal gross, bats equal important. In New England (and spreading south!) we are afflicted with "White nose syndrome" which is hacking away at our bat population. The more bats we get, the better off we all are.

Each chamber is 3/4 of an inch. There will be a plastic grated landing zone below the chambers. The box will be painted a dark brown, and affixed on his house. They like it hot, and hot it will get. Bring on the bats!

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