With the decks back on I invited some friends from the space program to come help sand things smooth. The balmy fall weather has made for nice working conditions.

Bill made it up to the shop for another weekend of grunt work on his boat. He brought along his daughter Taylor, heir apparent to Peace River, to help put some love in her legacy. We decided the boat had earned some fine bronze work, so we fired up the foundry. Time to pound sand.

And get stuff really hot.

Taylor making gunwale stars:

Bill clearing slag out of the crucible.

Bill’s friend Drew brought his son Marcus by to see what was going on. They just meant to do a drive-by, but we Tom Sawyered them into polishing bronze.

They finally escaped after forty stars.

We are forming up the pattern for the breasthook here–the showy piece that holds the bow of the boat together.

Taylor is tooling the leather on the breasthook pattern.

Not a bad day’s haul.

It’s dirty work.

The next day we put on the gunwales, using up our mountain of shiny bronze gunwale stars.

It was a delight to spend the weekend with these two, bonding with each other and the Peace River.

The trouble with this boat work is that the longer you spend with the boat, the more you realize you really ought to do to it. Janek is grinding out rusted bolts to replace the stem cap. The old one just isn’t right.

Gotta have an oar slot.

And now for the persnickety job of making custom lipped hatch lids. First we milled out ash strips for the lips, rabbeting each one to catch the plywood lid.  These we glued together in place with five-minute epoxy, then gingerly lifted them out of the boat and traced the lid shape onto the plywood.

Then cut the plywood to fit.

Then glued the plywood into the frames.

We had a bit of extra epoxy in the pastry bag so of course, we had to make stuff.

It is so rewarding when the finished lids actually fit.

Next we put a thin layer of fiberglass on them to protect them from the upcoming decades of foot traffic.

The decks are getting a coat of glass as well.

With the glasswork all hardened and sanded, we installed the shiny new brass hinges. And here we are laminating a stiffening layer of 1/4″ plywood inside the hatch lid. While the epoxy is still kicking, we pre-spring some camber into the lid so that the latch will pull the entire lid tightly closed.

Tomorrow: non-skid texturing and paint. and a million tiny details.