I had intended to do all of the timber work in one go. So much for that idea: all sorts of things have resulted in a break of nearly six weeks since I started work on this project. However – the last few days of autumn sunshine have enabled me to almost complete the cap rail replacement.
Shaping the cap timber
Each board was laid along the top of the bulwark and temporarily fixed in position using a drill and small screwdriver. The curve of the longitudinal was simply scribed on to the underside of the timber using a pencil fixed in a small block of wood, some 15mm proud of the longitudinal. These were then cut with a jigsaw. (Be warned – iroko blunts cutting bits quickly!)
Here’s the end result of the scribing and cutting: a complete set of square-edged boards which provide some idea of how the finished cap rail will look. I used 25mm thick boards as opposed to the approx 18mm on the original (which I suspect had been reduced by repeated sanding).
Now – even the best jig-saw cut has a wobble or two, so the cut edges were first planed (a bit tricky on the inside curves) and then the corners radiused using a router…
Installing the boards:
In an effort to ensure the cap rail would remain watertight in the future, I bedded the top boards onto 15mm x 3mm butyl rubber sealant tape. You can just see how this has been compressed in the larger picture above.
Boards were secured using No 12 screws, 45mm long, countersunk using the same drill bit as for the longitudinals. Spacing was at 15omm intervals – as per the original.
It’s not perfect (I know where the flaws are) – but it’s a whole let better than patching up the original teak would have been. As ever, it took longer than I expected, and I still have to fit all of the furniture: stanchions, pulpit, pushpit, genoa track and so forth. Ideally I’d like to varnish it before I do this, but temperature and weather may prevent that. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks 🙂