Archive for the ‘vintage wood boats’ Category


What we have here, boys and girls, is what we call an “Oh S#!t” moment. You see, normally the bow of a boat, below the waterline, would NOT have a hole in that one could put ones finger in.

This new fenestration is the result of the telephone pole sea-wall at the state park at Gun Lake (who hits a telephone pole with a boat, anyway?), a slight miscalculation of water depth and speed, and 60 year old bottom planks.

We were able to use the boat, even leaving it in the water all week, but this is a clear message that we will be starting a major woodworking project. We’ve been putting off putting a new bottom under the Chris Craft for the past several years, but now there are no more excuses. At least until summer is over, and the 3M 5200 I plan caulking up the hole with, lets go…




That’s exactly what we decided to do last weekend.   Kim had made reservations at the state park at Gun Lake, and while we couldn’t get a site on the channel, this one looked pretty nice.    Thursday afternoon we hitched up the trailer, the boat, loaded up the fridge with steaks, burger, and fall treats, filled the wine rack with good stuff, put some Bombay Sapphire in the freezer (gee, do we have a problem, or just good taste?) and headed out.  Kim pulled boat, I herded the Spartan, and we were all settled in and having a cocktail by 5:30.   I love staying here when there’s no crowds.

Is there anything prettier than this?

I had to work on Friday, but Saturday, we were up at the crack of dawn (nice thing about the shorter days, don’t have to get up so early to see the crack of dawn!) and taking pictures of the beautiful fall day.  If there’s anything cooler than this, I don’t know what it would be…
No spotter, so no skiing, but the good part of that is I didn’t hurt myself!
No problem this time of year finding a space to moor the boat up in the channel.  The colors are peaked right now here, the sun shone every day all weekend, temps were near 70, it was just perfect.  We had the lake, as well as the campground, all to ourselves the whole time.  Doesn’t get any better than this.
Actually, there were over 130 units in the campground Saturday, but it was still very quiet in the campground.  We had fun giving tours of the trailer.  For some reason, we attract a lot of attention with our camper and tow vehicles.
Today, it’s all coming to a screeching halt.  I’m dodging rain showers, and winterizing the trailer and the boat.  The cars of course stay out untill snow flies, but these have to be taken care of now.  Usually, I wait untill November, thinking we’ll get “one more time”, and end up freezing my fingers off in a windstorm draining everything and getting antifreeze in, this year, we actually DID use them and I’m not in a mad rush. 
So, that’s it for now.  The sun is out again, sky is blue, so I’ll pull the boat out and finish up.  Maybe I can get the shop cleaned up this afternoon, and get something done on the Diamond T tommorow! 

It’s not like I’m not working on it, it’s just that I haven’t been able to stop having fun doing other things!  As you can see, the box is back on the truck, the rear fenders, ’35 Auburn speedster, are glued on with bondo, and the mounting lip is now curing under the fender.  I’d taped some tinfoil to the box sides, waxed it, and layed up several layers of mat to the underside of the fender/box to make the lip.  Now that it’s all layed up, when it’s cured I’ll drill mounting holes from the inside of the box, pop the fender off and trim up the raggedy edge. 

The fenders will still need a couple of layers of cloth/mat over the entire inner surface as they’re SO thin, but, it’s coming.  I did glass up the cracks in both beads, so they’re not broken.  It does look like crap with the glass reinforced filler/glue holding the fenders to the box sides, but it worked.

The tools for this messy work, fiberglassing, are simple.  A plastic paint tray to mix up the resin, some nitrile exam gloves, and cheapo paint brushes to spread resin and tap out air bubbles.  It is however frustrating and messy.  I have trouble getting the proper mix of resin and hardener, and have thrown out several batches of resin which immediately turn to gelatinous glop.   Odd, since I am weighing the resin and counting the supposed correct number of drops of hardener.   It’s tricky, or else I’m not as exact as I think I am…   I did have to trim some hardened resin from my hair today too.  Glenn Plake should try that on his Mohawk!

We’ve been camping the past two weeks at Gun Lake, at the state park, and both worked during that time,  so we’ve been busy having fun as well as working.  Craig came home for the Labor Day weekend, and we really had fun, despite a pretty chilly/windy Saturday.

We managed to get all of our toys to the campground, as the picture shows, including the Chris Craft, which, while it didn’t sink, did leave us stranded in the middle of the lake with a dead battery.  When I thought about it, I realized the battery is (was) at least 14 years old, so, other than being inconvieniant, and having to be towed in, it wasn’t a big deal.  A new battery and cleaning all the contacts and connections fixed it right up.

I went up to Kirk Brown’s (Crafty B) shop on Friday for coffee and doughnuts, the first time I’d been up there.  Great time, met some nice people,  and of course, spent some $$.  I’d been thinking about what kind of gas filler cap for the Diamond T, and ended up buying one of Crafty’s really cool locking gas caps for it, and an aluminum Auburn (’35, like the fenders) hood ornament.  It was fun.

Spent some time today making some windlace for the interior of the ’36, I want to go to the Nat’s North in Kazoo on Friday, and this has been bothering me.   So, that’s done. 

Of course, none of this answers the original question, why isn’t the truck done?   I guess it DOES answer the question, if I think about it.  The truck doesn’t NEED to be done, in fact, what it really needs is to not be finished hurriedly after this much time and effort.  I’ve spent a year working on it in earnest, and collecting the “right’ parts, no point rushing in now.

There are also a garage full of other toys that ARE finished, and we enjoy using them, so I don’t really want to spend every free moment working on the truck.  It’s supposed to be fun, after all.  I’m still enthused about it, sticking with the plan, have most of the pieces I need to get it together, and funds to do it the way I want.

Why rush a good thing?

Really, that’s the name of the show, “Red Barns Spectacular”,  it’s not just me bragging.  I got everything that runs cleaned and shined, and hitched, driven, and hauled to the Gilmore Museum on Thursday for the Saturday show.  It’s the first time we’ve had the ’36, the ’48, and the ’51 out together, not to mention the Chris Craft (revarnished the day before!) and the Spartan all together.  So I guess it was pretty “Spectacular!”

The first thing we had to do was not very spectacular, which was dragging the two Port-O-Johns away from the electric pole.  The ’51 was pressed in to service for the ignoble task, and proved that a trailer doesn’t always have to have wheels to be towed.  It smelled much better around the trailers after the move!  Thanks to the museum for providing the “whizzies”, we appreciated them much better in their new location.   Although, the “Cars for Sale” area maybe not so much…

The second annual “TCT motorized bicycle and goofy old man” award was again won by yours truly, pictured here blistering the Gilmore paved quarter-mile on “The Howler”!  Notice the wind cheating riding position!  The peaked fender does limit the time spent seated like this, although it is stable in the turns.  Ken Evenson, the annual loser in this spectacle, has a winter of fine tuning to do.

Mark brought his Manor so there were three Spartans in the group with us and the Bergmans, so we represented Spartan Aircraft well!

I didn’t count precisely, but we must have ended up with about 25 rigs this year, many new folks, and the spectators and exhibitors alike really seem to like the trailer display.  We all enjoyed the open house, although the Evansons may tape their toilet lid down next time, and we will have to watch the small items, as a neat little rubber car was AWOL after the show.  (that’s the trouble with the general public, they let anyone in).

Several new folks this year, and several non TCT’rs showed too, so word is getting out!

Dan Piper brought one of his trailers up to showcase his restoration work,  shown here.  Nice job Dan, hope you had a good time!

I spent some time with the boats as we had the Chris Craft there, sporting it’s still fresh smelling varnish.  Kim encouraged me to apply another coat, and I have to admit it was worth the effort, as the boat looked really good behind the wagon.  Speaking of wagons, ours and an in progress ’48 Chev were the ONLY woodies there in the “featured car” section, which we’d hoped would be full, but I guess I’m one of the few out there who’ve got wood.

Sunday Kim and I toured the barns and had a leisurely afternoon.  We had a great weekend with our TCT friends, and our hot rod friends too, it really was a “Spectacular” weekend!DSC02094 (1024x768)

You how when you want something in the worst kind of  way, that’s how you usually get it?  Well, the other day, I was wishing I had a new air compressor to replace the little Craftsman 5 hp one I bought (used)  30 years ago.  Well, today, my wish came true.

I went out to the shop bright and early to finish DA’ing the Chris Craft to do a LONG overdue re-varnish job, turned on the compressor and was greeted with ” Whirrr…CLANK… CLANK…SCHREEECHHHHH…”.  I shut the breaker off, and sure enough, the pump had seized.  This is pump #2, motor #2, and I’ve brazed several rusty holes in the bottom of the 35 gal. tank full already.  Enough is enough. 

We’d gotten a 10% off any purchase at Tractor Supply yesterday, so I dug thru the garbage, brushed off the coffee grounds, called Kim to OK the purchase, and headed out with the wagon and trailer to pick up a new one.  Turns out, they were on sale, so I got a pretty nice one with a two stage pump and 80 gal. tank for under a thousand, half my estimate. 

Dad had to help me unload it and get the old compressor down, but I had it going buy 2 pm, finished sanding the boat and got a nice shiny new coat of varnish and bottom paint on.  The boat looks FANTASTIC, I should have done this several years ago.  I’d put the job off for so long I’d gotten used to it looking ratty.  It’s surprising the difference a coat of paint and varnish makes.  Now, I just have to put the trim back on and put the seat covers on the new bases I made yesterday.

The rush was that we’re going to Gun Lake for two weeks commencing on Saturday, and it’s gotta be done by the weekend.  As usual, it turned into a crunch, but it’s all (almost) done, AND I now have a big enough compressor to do all the things I need to do.  If this one lasts 30 years, like the little one it replaced, I’m all done buying compressors!