Shantydock - (the Launch, she  Sails, the Details

shantydock3.jpg (80738 bytes) This is really a glorified 8'x16' swim platform. It's being built of Pressure Treated 2x8s for the frame. The 4x4 posts run long above the roof, and the 2x4 roof supports run long over the decks. The deck is 2x6. The barrels are 60 gallon plastic ones we bought from a feed store for $12 a piece. The half submerged floatation of the 10 barrels is about 2500 lbs. Should hold a mess of laughing, splashing kids!

shantydockframe5.jpg (74965 bytes) I'm assembling it with galvanized deck screws and PL premium glue. Not shown in this sketch, are spacers between the barrels that will hold the frame runners together. There will be galvanized strapping fastened corner to corner in a big X under the decking to triangulate. There are also X  braces of 2x4s shown in the photos below. The roof atop the 4x4 posts is made of 1/2" BC plywood bent over arched rafters. This is the part that will give me practice at shantyboat building. Rafter bending details below.

Rafters -

Click images to see larger ones. 

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First I used PVC pipe as a batten to nail to a 2x6 for the curve. I was going to band saw the 2x6 and use it as two mold halves to sandwich the slats together, but decided to go simpler and just use some large nails driven into the 2x6 and bend around them.

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I ripped a 2x4 into 1/2" strips and test bent them into the "mold." I only used 5 of the strips making the final rafter 1.5" x 2.5"

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I covered the mold board with plastic wrap, and put  Titebond 2 on the slats using a small paint roller. You can also see some small blocks of wood I've taped to some of the nails to help pull the slats into the curve. They have grooves in them to keep them from slipping off the nails.

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Then I used LOTS of clamps! Handling the glue covered slats was trickier than I thought it would be. I wasn't wearing gloves and was glad I was using Titebond and not epoxy or PL premium. I removed the center nail in order to get the whole stack of slats to bend into place then re-nailed it. (Not how I'd planned, but it worked.)


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I planed down the sides with a hand power plane. Feeding them through a little thickness planer would have made shorter work of it!

P6240001.jpg (70842 bytes) The platform (hull?) begins to take shape -

Sunday my friend John Moran arrived to help bang this vessel together.

P6240014.jpg (73713 bytes) By noon we had something beginning to resemble a shanty hull.

P6250062.jpg (71233 bytes) On Monday I got the spacers and the X bracing in bow and stern and worked on the 4x4 corner posts.

P6250071.jpg (74197 bytes) Here I've temporarily laid the deck and clamped the roof rafters to see how they feel. We really like the corner poles running long - "wild" and may use them for roof rope railings. It's got a great feel to it.

P6250073.jpg (71963 bytes) I weighted down the 1/2 inch ply across a prop to start them bending so the roofing will be easier. Not sure how much this helped, but it didn't hurt.

P6260092.jpg (71584 bytes) After trying to use one rafter as a template to cut the ends I found it wasn't  very accurate. Clamping them all together, angling the circular saw and cutting them all at once worked great. I also finished planing and sanding the rafters.

P6260091.jpg (73391 bytes) I know this looks similar to the photo above, however, I replaced the temporary rafter support with a 12' PT 2x4. I let it run wild both fore and aft, drilled a 1" hole in the ends (and used a router round over bit to make the hole smooth) this is for hanging things like citronella lanterns over the decks.

P6260097.jpg (68985 bytes) Drilled the dock line "bits" for 7/8" dowels. They were a slip fit so I pined them with a galvanized deck screw. 

 Next  we paint the rafters and glue the 1/2" ply to them.

P6270100.jpg (74967 bytes) I lowered the rafter supports to waist level for gluing down the ply roofing. Should make it much easier.

P6270104.jpg (70675 bytes) After filling and sanding the rafters I primed them with exterior latex primer. Then I positioned them with a 1x2 clamped down the center. I attached the end of each rafter with a dab of PL Premium and a galvanized deck screw.

P6270108.jpg (73618 bytes) I test clamped a ply sheet to check the fit. I also measured and marked where I would nail. I was prepared to use galvanized screws if necessary, but it turned out the bronze ring nails worked fine. They're #12  1 1/4" long spaced 6" apart.

P6270110.jpg (70711 bytes) I applied PL Premium on one half with the other side propped out of the way. After nailing that side I propped the other and glued and nailed it. It went amazingly smoothly. I crawled around underneath to scrape off glue squeeze out. Don't postpone this, as it VERY hard to get of once hardened.

P6270114.jpg (72813 bytes) I ran out of steam to nail the other sheet on, but I clamped it into place. Then I went for a much needed swim.

P6290121.jpg (67158 bytes) The top is nailed down. I glued and nailed pieces of 1x2 between the rafter ends to stiffen the ply. I filled the center crack and all ply flaws with Bondo body filler. I rounded the edges with a 3/8" round over router bit. I did a once over with the palm sander then rolled the Kool Cote on it. It's a very flexible, temperature and weather resistant roof coating made for motor homes.

P6290123.jpg (69962 bytes) This is the first coat. This is experimental, as is so much of what I do. The product doesn't list wood as one of the materials it covers, but then you don't see roofs made of bare wood, so that might be why. It seemed like a cheap experiment. A $12 gallon of roof coat. If it turns out not to work I may put some roll roofing on it. I think that will be a bit warm in the Florida sun, but we'll see. Decks used to be painted canvas, so who knows? Maybe it will work. (Maybe I should have glued down a canvas drop cloth with the stuff?

P6290128.jpg (70688 bytes) The much needed rains have required me to rig a tarp over the roof while the sealer dries. I have notched most of the deck boards around the posts for my test fit. They all come off to carry it to the beach. It would weigh too much to move otherwise.

P7010138.jpg (87824 bytes)  This shows the galvanized strap that I used for triangulation. It comes in a 35 ft. roll for about $8. It was predrilled and screwed at one end, stretched by a buddy while I screw down the other end. Then a screw went through where it crossed the inn rails.

Now we go to a separate page, because  it's time for The Launch!  

David Beede  simplicityboats

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