Making New Floor Timbers

Sept 07 – Sept 12, 2015: More Floor Timber Work – Part 04

More Floor Timber Work – Part 04

As I was building each floor timber, I kept track of “which one was which” by marking each one on its bottom side with an ink marker. However, once tipped upright, there were no markings for me to see. It was getting confusing to know which floor timber was which, and where it’s location was to be inside the hull! (I had already made TWO of the same floor timber because I got confused as to which ones I had already made!)

I didn’t want to use an ink marker on the visible surfaces of the timber for a couple of reasons. The first reason was, I have horrible handwriting! The second reason was, I knew that the ink would “smear and run” from the solvents that were present in the epoxy solution I was going to coat the floor timbers with.

I decided to “stamp” each floor timber with markings that would ensure their proper identification.

I purchased a set of 5/16 inch “Letter & Number” stamps through

Using the numbered stamps, I embossed a mark on top of each floor timber; right where a keel bolt would pass through it. These numbers matched up with the “mapping system” I had jotted down in the journal notebook entry I made for the floor timbers.

I also stamped the outboard ends of each floor timber as well. “P” stood for “Port” and “S” stood for “Starboard”. Doing this let me know which side of the floor timber was facing forward and which side was facing aft. I couldn’t “flip-flop” them by mistake with the timbers marked as such.

Once the floor timbers had been given two coats of epoxy sealer, and had been appropriately marked with their numbers and locations, I sanded down the surfaces of the timbers to prepare them for their first coat of regular epoxy.

Applying the first coat of System Three epoxy.

When the first coat of epoxy had cured, I drove the galvanized sill bolts down through the floor timbers.

They settled in quite nicely!

I added a washer and a nut, and I cinched up each fastener as tight as I could.

Using my “cutoff disc”, I removed the excess length of threads above each nut.

My next step was to flip each floor timber upside down to expose the bottom ends of the sill bolts.

I mixed up a thickened pot of epoxy, (Think of a very thick, but pourable pea soup!)…….

……..and, I filled each sill bolt hole with the glue; sealing up this area against water infiltration.

Once that epoxy had cured, I ground off the excess until the filler was flush with the surrounding surface.

Finally, I sanded down all of the surfaces one last time, and I gave each floor timber a second and final coat of System Three epoxy.

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | Leave a comment

Sept 07 to Sept 12, 2015: More Floor Timber Work – Part 03

More Floor Timber Work – Part 03

Once the first coat of CPES had cured, I prepared each timber for a second coat of epoxy sealer. I “scuffed” the surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper.

I decided that I also wanted to coat the galvanized anchor bolts with epoxy too. Using a piece of scrap wood, I drilled 7/16″ diameter holes through it. Then I threaded the bolts into the holes; so that they would stand upright.

Coating the bolts with CPES epoxy.

The second coat of CPES epoxy is complete!

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | 2 Comments

Sept 07 to Sept 12, 2015: More Floor Timber Work – Part 02

More Floor Timber Work – Part Two

Once the Floor Timbers had been fit to the hull, and drilled and routed for the anchor bolts, I decided to try a new product to seal them up against moisture contamination. Because I have been working with System Three materials, I wanted to continue with that manufacturer’s group of epoxy products. They have a product that falls under the acronym: CPES. The acronym of those four letters stand for: Clear, Penetrating, Epoxy, Sealer.

The stuff is amazing!

To prepare the Floor Timbers for sealing, using my palm-sander, (And 60 grit sandpaper.), I “scuffed” all of the surfaces to remove any contaminates and to provide “tooth” for the System Three CPES to bond to.

Knowing that I needed to “lift” each floor timber off of a work surface, ( While coating with CPES), I drove sheetrock screws into the base of each floor timber.

This is the product that I used to “seal” up each new floor timber that I had made. It is a “one-to-one” mix and the solution is just slightly more viscous than water.

Here I am applying System Three CPES.

One coat of sealer complete! This stuff really soaked deeply into the wood! I am very pleased with this product!

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | Leave a comment

Sept 07 to Sept 12, 2015: More Floor Timber Work – Part 01

With all eight loor timbers laminated and fit to the hull…

…I made the decision to add mechanical fastenings as well. The cheapest solution that I could find was to use galvanized “anchor bolts” that I purchased at my local Home Depot store.

The first thing that I did was to drill down through each floor timber, using a 1/2″ auger bit.

Then, using my “laminate trimmer” router, with a 1/2″ diameter bit tightened in its chuck, I carved a slot for the “heads” of the anchor bolts into each floor timber.

Using a chisel, I “chopped” a slight radius into the floor timber where the drilled hole, and the routed slot, met with each other. This allowed the anchor bolt to nestle down “tight” against the surfaces I drilled, and machined.

I did a “dry run” of tightening up one of the anchor bolts just to see how everything worked and fit together.

Here are all of the current batch of floor timbers all routed for the anchor bolts.

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | Leave a comment

New Sawhorses – Fitting 2nd Floor Timber – Laminating 3rd Floor Timber


I started out the morning by knocking together two sawhorses out of scrap lumber I had lying underneath the boat.

Not great but they will have to do for now!

Using a heat gun and a paint scraper, I softened and removed the excess epoxy from the floor timber.

Then I used my 8″ grinder with a 36 grit disc (3m “Green Corp”) to get the rest of the excess epoxy off of the timber, and to fair the faces out a little bit. (This is why I wanted the new sawhorses!)

I did the final smoothing with my electric palm sander and 80 grit sandpaper.

Finally, I used my little laminate trim router to cut a 1/4″ radius along the top edges of the floor timber.

Next, I used the old floor timber as a template to mark out the shape of the new timber.

And, I cut the floor timber to shape.

As with the previous floor timber, I leveled this one up and scribed it down into place for final fitment.

And, I “tuned” the high spots with my 4″ grinder and ended up with a decent fit!

The last step was to cut the new limber holes.

Next, I raced about going through all of the steps again to layup another floor timber.

Ripping the radius off of each edge.

Wetting out the surfaces with epoxy resin.

“Number Three” all clamped up!

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | 1 Comment

August 22, 2015 – Fitting The First New Floor Timber

August 22, 2015

After an overnight curing of the epoxy, I unclamped the floor timber and I proceeded to remove the excess glue from its surfaces.

Once that was done, using a “Sharpie”, I traced out the perimeter of the original floor timber on to the new floor timber blank.

Using my Shopsmith bandsaw, I “rough cut” the new timber to shape.

Before I could fit the new floor timber into the hull, I had to level up the boat. I did this by adjusting the “jackstands” on the port and starboard side of the hull and also underneath the stem as well.

I held my four foot level against the original head bulkhead that I left inside the hull. Doing this gave me references in the athwartship plane, along with fore and aft too; as I adjusted the “jackstands”.

I also double checked other surfaces as well. Here is one of the original floor timbers that I left in the hull.

I “split the difference” between everything that I checked. Here is the same floor timber again.

Once the boat was leveled in both axis, I could then fit the new floor timber in place. I used a level and a pair of scribes to do this.

When I had my marks on the new timber, I used the old timber to set the angle of the bandsaw. (Why reinvent the wheel?).

I knew that I needed to “tune” the end cuts of the floor timber. Lacking a piece of chalk, I grabbed a piece of Kingsford Charcoal out of the bag I keep near my BBQ grill.

I rubbed the charcoal on to the interior surface of the hull…….

…….then I “rubbed” the floor timber into the charcoal.

The coal left “black marks” on the ends of the floor timber. I needed to remove these “high spots” so that the timber would sit “tight” against the skin of the hull.

I removed the “high spots” with my grinder.

Not too bad a fit!

I decided that I wanted slightly larger limber holes in these new floor timbers. So, using my bandsaw and my grinder, I cut larger limber holes.

Next, I used my router to put a 1/4″ radius on the fore and aft top edges of the timber.

Finally, I glued up a second timber using the same process that I did on the first floor timber!

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | 2 Comments

August 21, 2015 – Laminating The First New Floor Timber

August 21, 2015
The state of Maine, where I live, is known for its vast forest areas of timber. for fine furniture makers and yacht builders. The majority of the wood is felled and trucked off to area mills that produce paper. Largely, what wood I have available to me locally is, “pulp wood”; which isn’t anything that I want to put into my boat!

There aren’t many wooden boatbuilders left here in the Northeast. Nearly every type of watercraft is manufactured out of FRP, (Fiber Reinforced Plastic; aka “Fiberglass”), or some kind of cross-linked plastic. Consequently, the need for individuals to mill logs into timbers for wooden boatbuilding has dropped to nearly nothing.

I found one source about a one hour drive away from me that occasionally carried White Oak. I had a phone conversation with this fellow, and he was pretty sure that he would not have enough stock to fulfill my needs. His milling business had become a “part time” occupation due to the lack of volume.

After much thought, I made the decision to carry on with this project with whatever useful species of lumber that I could find “locally”. That meant a trip to my local lumber yard!

Ellsworth Builders Supply, located in Town Hill, Maine.

However, the wood that is harvested from these large tracts of land isn’t destined
EBS has some stock of kiln dried “one – by – four” Douglas Fir that I thought would work as a substitute to White Oak; if handled in an “alternative” way.

I selected random lengths of out of this pile. I made sure that I chose pieces that were of the tightest, vertical grain that I could find out of the stock.

Here is what I purchased for today.

I loaded it up on my trailer and made my way back home to my garage.

After I offloaded the lumber on to sawhorses in my garage……..

……..I assembled some “pipe clamps” that I had purchased parts for earlier in the day. I bought the Jorgensen 3/4″ clamp fixtures at my local Home Depot, as well as a, ten foot length of 3/4″ black pipe too. The sales associate cut the pipe into five 2′ lengths and also threaded each piece to accept the “head” of the clamp; all for free!

To test out my idea of how I wanted to solve “new floor timbers”, I selected one of the forward, shorter timbers to recreate out of the Douglas Fir I had just purchased.

I cut 8 pieces of Douglas Fir to pre-determined lengths.

Using my Shopsmith tablesaw, I ripped the radius off of the edges.

Then, I marked the centerline of each piece.

These marks will help me keep the pieces of wood aligned correctly as they “slip and slide” around, due to wet epoxy, as I clamp them up.

Here is an image of one of the forward floor timbers laying on top of what is to be a “laminated Douglas Fir” floor timber.

I mixed up a batch of System Three epoxy and wet out all of the faces that “mated” with each other.

Here is the first new floor timber laminated and clamped up!

I let this cure overnight before moving on to the next step.

Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at