Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bowtop Ribs in Place

Finally, the ribs and braces are installed for the roof support. This proved difficult and demanding. After failing to make them by steaming oak, and then failing to make them by laminating strips of hemlock, I settled on joining sections cut with a router/compass jig. This method, although wasteful (to some degree) and very time-consuming, produced very accurate results once all the bugs were worked out. I used clear Douglass fir for its strength and beautiful grain even though that effectively wiped out any karma I built up using using salvage wood for the floor and walls. Two of the ribs don't go all the way down to the ledge. The rib behind the seat is shortened to allow for the possible installation of side windows later on. Shortening the rib at the upper bunk saved four valuable inches of sleeping space. There are certainly unique challenges to making a small space work.

The ribs also incorporate a side cabinet. This cabinet is fitted with a roll-top door--a necessary space-saving device as there just isn't room for doors that swing out. I have also begun finishing the seats and lower bunk since the work space is going to get pretty tight once the roof goes on.


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