Archive for July, 2008

31
Jul
08

Our Thompson Brothers Runabout Part 3

Well…when we last left you waiting breathlessly for the next chapter in our restoration saga, we were ready to flip the vessel over on her keel to do the rest of the “brightwork”…eh…varnishing to you landlubbers.

I used Epiphanes high gloss varnish which sagged on one side, but not the other.  Go figure!?!?  I have no idea why this occured only on one side, but everytime I tried to fix it…it got worse.

Finally I waited about 3 days and sanded the varnish by hand, used steel wool to hand rub the sags and varnished again.  Next day…SAGS!!!  I was being taunted in my dreams about this oddity.  Then one Sunday morning, the dream came to me again…what to do about the sags.  When I awoke, it was clear!  I should try starting the varnish from the bottom up…not the top down, this way and extra varnish will have no where to go but onto blue making tape protecting the white spray rail.

After giving this a whirl…it worked!

 

This is the first of 5 coats of varnish on the sides of the hull.  The reproduction Thompson decals can be seen on the flanks of the stern.  the blue masking tape is protectiing the white spray rail from any varnish run-off.

This is the first of 5 coats of varnish on the sides of the hull. The reproduction Thompson decals can be seen on the flanks of the stern. the blue masking tape is protectiing the white spray rail from any varnish run-off.

 

Here is the other side of the vessel.  She shines up pretty nicely.
Here is the other side of the vessel. She shines up pretty nicely.

 
The fellow who is working on my 1957 Johnson 18hp Sea Horse wanted to bring his brother by to see the boat, despite not having ever seen it himself.  Seems he and his brother had a Thompson cedar strip fishing boat as children, so the brother was dying to see one in the flesh.  He was thrilled.  I could see a flood of memories coming to his mind.  He told several stories of their boat and the differences between the two. I took him in the house and showed him the Thompson Brothers brochure that was given to us as part of the purchase.  He poured over it like a child with a new Sears catologue.  He was nearly beside himself.

Then tonight, the fellow who sold the boat to us stopped in.  He’s a great guy, who has done his share of reworking both power and sail boats…even though he is a musician and teacher by trade.  Well he walked in the garage and was visibly moved.  What an honor!  I feel like we’re making his dreams come true for what he had wanted to do with this vessel.  He shook my hand and congratulated me.  Again…a real thrill for me!  I respect him a great deal.  He a fine trombonist and has been kind enough to teach me a few things about the horn for my own playing.  A sweet guy.  Really grand!

Anyway…back to the boat.  “To caulk or not to caulk”…that was the question a page or so ago.  So I caulked.  The seams were never caulked before, so this again falls under “artistic license” by the owners.

Caulking of the seams at the transom.

Caulking of the seams at the transom.

I'm glad I caulked.  Very nice feature for this boat.  We decided to use tan...bot white which is so common.

I'm glad I caulked. Very nice feature for this boat. We decided to use tan...not white which is so common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing left is to let the varnish really set up and cure.  I have to work two jobs next week, my regular job and work for the railroad, so I don’t imagine much will get done.  So a good time to releax and let things settle.

Today epoxy was used to fill all screw holes and voids or “chip-out” on the seat planks.  The old varnish and stain was sanded, and new stainless fasteners will be used to reassemble the seats, along with new hinges and seat back locks for the front seat.

All the seat planks are disasembled and have been filled with epoxy.  They will be sanded, stained, and varnished as time permits.

All the seat planks are disasembled and have been filled with epoxy. They will be sanded, stained, and varnished as time permits.

We’re down to 23 days before her “Coming Out Party” for the antique boat show in NW Ohio.  Will we make it?  I don’t know.  Might be a photo finish.

The fuel tanks are a 3 gallon and 6 gallon Johnson/Evinrude type steel fuel tank.  They have been disassembled and are being cleaned out at a radiator shop.  I hope to get them back tomorrow so I can drop them off to be bead-blasted and primed and painted in the original red.  The company doing the painting is going to treat the inside with the same paint used in aircraft refueling trucks tanks.  This should keep corrosion to a minimum and allow more years of good service.  Yes decals were ordered to make them original too.

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27
Jul
08

Our Thompson Brothers Runabout Part 2

Well we have owned this little vessel for a shade more than one month.  My wife and I have stripped it and rid it of all the old paint, replaced the paint above the spray rail that runs the length of the boat with walnut stain, followed by many coats of Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) to cure any issues with rot and/or stengthen the old wood.  I found some rot at the transom and chiseled out the old wood and filled the area back in with epoxy filler.  Then I used fairing compound to re-seal all the fastener holes and and other voids, scratches, and dings in the hull.

My wife was a bit put out at first by use of the respirator, which was a must for this project!  She had trouble breathing at first, as anyone who has worn one knows, they take a bit of effort to keep air moving.  She did a fine job a cleaning up the bow with a sander and following behind me as I stripped the boat and she would get the little bits left behind using her putty knife.

 

Here’s me in all my bibbed splendor scraping the old paint away from the hull.  Very messy work this!

The various Michigan registration numbers were challenging to remove. But we found some surprises under the paint too. The letters "CC" which seemed to be orignal to the vessel, but no idea what they mean.

 

 

We also found the original "Thompson" decal remained under the paint.

We also found the original "Thompson" decal remained under the paint.

Along with the “Thompson” logo we also found the awful spearment green paint that Thompson called “Sea Mist Green”.  YUCK!  We knew right away we were not repainting this boat this color.

The internet being a place to find every thing, I found reproductions decals for our boat to replace the originals.  More on that later.

The boat is stripped down to the cedar planks in the above photo.  The wood was in fine shape with no signs of rot.  In fact most who visited during this phase seemed shocked that the boat was so “tight” and solid for a nearly 60 year old boat.

I knew that we were going to be able to “make this happen”.  A life long dream of restoring an old wooden boat was actually happening!

This photo shows the rot that was removed.

This photo shows the epoxy filler has been applied and will be sanded later.

 

 

 

The Walnut stain has been applied to the sides above the spray rail and fairing compound applied to all the fastener holes and seams as needed.

Since the area above the spray rail was to be varnished, I needed to drill out every fastener hole with a Forstner bit to create a small round area over the screw and then fill each hole with walnut colored putty.  The holes were not deep enough to use wooden bungs, so putty was the only option since the area would be varnished.  It turns out to be a very effective answer to a minor dilema.

Each hole for everyscrew above the "spray rail" had to be drilled out with an 1/8" Forstner bit.

 

Some local boat restoration guys suggested using walnut plastic wood putty to fill the holes.

The bottom was repainted with red antifouling paint.  One of us rolled it on while the othe rused a brush to "tip" the pain and even it out.

The bottom was repainted with red antifouling paint. One of us rolled it on while the other used a brush to "tip" the paint and even it out.

Well that’s enough for now, but there is still much work to be done to finish the outside “brightwork” and “fitting”.  But we’ll move on to the question of “To caulk or not to caulk?” in the next edition.