Saturday, 11 April 2015

11th April 2015

Wow, cannot its been so long since my last update, however the weather has stopped play and I have also been busy with other things at the Hooton Park Trust.

Now that the weather has improved I decided to start work on the new canopy, this time I have decided to use scaffolding, which will either be welded or bolted to the frame that she sits on so no matter how bad the winds are we will not have a repeat of January.

I bought about 500' of new poles, which arrived on Friday after drawing various options on paper.  What was interesting is that despite having a plan on paper when push came to shove I ended up adapting and changing as things didn't quite work out.

In fact after 2 days I have probably assembled it and disassembled it about 4 times.  You can see from the pictures that the standards (uprights are at an angle), these will be braced by some vertical standards once the whole structure is complete:

Next week I'll be ordering more scaffolding to I can do the middle and back sections, then once the pitched roof shape is in place I'll then wrap it in heat shrink polythene.

One thing that I am mindful of is that to the right of the boat is a 150 year old tree, that if it comes down in a storm will make a bit of a mess of 2552 so I'll probably go over kill in that side of her just in case.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

10th January 2015

24 hours of sustained winds, of anything up to 80 mile an hour finally took its toll last night.

Disaster struck last night, when the storms lifted the canopy off the boat and dropped it onto the ground next to the boat, after snapping most of the upright timbers.

It was sickening to see to be honest, all the hard work that went into building it, reduced to not much more than fire wood.

Not one piece of it is salvageable and due to the bad weather this time of year there is little I can do about it until the weather changes.

The only saving grace is that 2552 wasn't damaged.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

2nd November 2014

Apologies for the long delay in posting new content but we've been sorting out a shipping container that was onsite, waiting for it to become available so that we can convert it into a workshop.

The container only became available at the end of September, the first stage was to paint the inside, using gloss paint and an airless sprayer, that took a couple of days as its a 40' container, it then took over a week for the paint to go off.

Friday was spent assembling kitchen cupboards that will house the various tools that we will need, for example drill press, scroll saws etc, plus one as a work bench.  The long term plan is that some of these will go onto wheels so they can be moved around to create larger work spaces as needed.

Yesterday was spent assembling the monumental shelving unit I designed, it was somewhat heavier than I expected, I did look at buying units, but they would have cost over £300 so I decided to build something myself.  They are the size I want them, constructed using 18mm MDF and 3x2 CLS timber its a substantial unit.

The units are all down one side and have 18mm MDF tops, nice and substantial, everything is glued using polyurethane glue so they are very solid and there is no play in them, which will make them ideal when I install the various tools on top of them.

You can see the first fit electrics in the following photos, the plan is to have a similar setup to that on the boat, a generator outside secured to the container, feeding a small garage distribution panel, one circuit for lights, the other for the sockets.

Next week I'll have the electrics completed and should have most of the tools setup, I can then order the glue and first batch of timber that I will need.  While waiting for the timber and glue to arrive I'll be making a door as you can't close the doors to the container when you are in it and as I'll have some form of heating I won't want it to escape.

I'll also be sourcing and fitting some 12v LED flood lights and a PIR for security outside, plus a small area of decking so we don't drag mud into the container.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3rd August 2014

I spent a couple of hours yesterday sorting out the steps at the rear of the boat that we use to get on and off of her. Since the move they have been about 2' short, I raised their height but it wasn't right for various reasons, for example where I had to add the new steps the transition step although the same width as the others stuck out further than the others making the on below it feel like it was only 2" deep. I'd been mulling over the options and decided to put a platform in and a direction  change, as it will allow easier handling of things on and off the boat and also a more logical entrance.

I had a couple of free hours yesterday so did the needful, in the rain, absolutely lashing it down, but that is the advantage to her being completely under cover, I could cut the timber on board and glue/screw it together outside,  under the bit of shelter from the corner of the tarps.

Quite pleased with how they have turned out, I've said it before and I'll say it again the most important thing when repairing/restoring or refitting a boat is a good set of steps, using a ladder soon becomes tiresome!

Todays task was to reattach the front of the canopy after we had to cut it off for the move.  Easier said than done, especially in the wind, they are very large tarps that cover her and collect a large amount of wind.

I'd also forgotten how heavy the front piece was that we cut off was, we really over engineered it, but after a lot of man handling and changing of underwear I got it in place, I glued large battens either side of where we cut it and screwed it in place.  Two new front supports and a horizontal cross brace complete the grunting and groaning to get us back to where we were:

It was good, being in the "zone" today, radio blasting out Absolute 80s and getting on with the tasks and achieving what I set out to do.  Onwards and upwards as they say!

Monday, 28 July 2014

28th July 2014

I had to work a night today, so had an opportunity to finally upload the video of the recent move, its in my youtube channel and can be viewed here

Monday, 21 July 2014

21st July 2014

2552's new home is on a slope, as daft as that sounds its actually a good thing due to the shape of her hull, it means that her back end is higher as a result and as she is almost flat on the rear it means that its a better height to work on.

The draw back is that the steps no longer reach, they are about 2' too short so I have had to modify them, which is work in progress and there will be photos to follow.

The end of the hard standing that she was on is somewhat overgrown and although not really causing us too much of an issue would eventually encroach on the her so during one of my days off I decided to clear the area, the dark patch in the photo is where the leaves, compost and soil had spread:

In places it was nearly a foot deep and had blackberry roots growing through it so a real pain in the next to clear, but somewhat satisfying.

I had a couple of off cuts of scaffolding boards left over from the steps and it occurred to me that it would make a great bench as we could do with something to sit on outside her while eating our lunch or just having a chill, quite pleased with it as its just some off cuts of scaffolding boards and a piece of shuttering board:

Sunday, 29 June 2014

29th June 2014

Some work was being done on the roof of Hangar 1 (Building 18) North Annex and one of the guys took a photo of 2552 from the roof in her new position: