Boat Project

I bought this boat about two years ago. I didn’t have it out at all last year due to time constraints. I thought that I’d restore this boat and add some things to make it nice.

Here are the goals.

1) Rip out all old hardware, include chairs since they’re fairly weathered.
2) Rebuild the transom section.
3) Add floors to the back (between the back seat and transom) and to the front for storage/standing places.
4) Repair the back corner that lacks a reinforcing aluminum corner.
5) Add wiring for lights, trolling motor, and bilge pump. Install a switch box/distribution center for it. Add an “outlet” for charging the battery in place (e.g., connect the battery charger to the boat so I don’t have to remove the battery.)
6) Paint it nice and perdy.
7) Add a drain plug and properly weld some holes that are now filled with silicone.
8.) Replace necessary items on the trailer (tires, jack, etc.)

Up first: Ripping out the hardware, seats, and stuff.

Head and weapon

So I obtained a garbage can lid (and can) for the dome. Much easier than constructing a dome out of styrofoam to make a mold to then pour a dome. Add some paper for the sides, and bingo, one usable dome. Kudos to my wife for the idea.

I also took out the guts of a laser gun toy my older son donated to the cause. I eventually decided to use the gun handle as part of the blaster since it would be hidden and allow Daniel to hold on to something. The Dalek now has a working weapon that flashes red/blue and makes a laser sound. I wonder if he’ll get suspended during the Halloween parade for bringing a firearm to school.

I also started on the eyestalk as you can see.

Finally, I know I should have waited, but I got excited and started painting it. Looks very cool, and Daniel was most impressed.

Stuck in the middle again

So I started work on the middle section. I had to build a skeleton to hold up the ringed top part and provide something to which the shroud could attach. This skeleton also holds the boxes from which the plunger and probe will stick out.

This was a bit of a challenge, as I had to make it big enough to allow Daniel to fit, but light enough as to not make the whole thing top heavy. I used some square dowel rods, the same size as for the ringed top part.

I ended up using poster board for the shroud. I tried some rigid wrap, but I didn’t like the look or strength of it. I stapled the paper to the lower ring and trimmed as necessary. I haven’t taped the seams, so it looks a little rough. It’s hard going from a circle to straight lines.

I still have to find a way to stabilize the top part when it sits on the bottom. (They are separate for ease in getting into/out of the costume.)

Up next is the top dome. My wife had the most excellent idea of using a round garbage can lid. That should also provide some rigidity for the gun. Hopefully, in the near future, I can start painting.

But I’ve still got to work out a harness, and the clock is ticking.

This Dalek’s Got Balls

28 of them, to be exact. Got ’em from Toys-R-Us. They’re ball pit balls. I had to cut them in half then glue them with 5 min epoxy. That’s 56 domes. Note to self for rest of construction: Skip that wood glue crap and go with epoxy. Glue one time, and you’re done.

You can see some paint tests I was doing on a few parts. My wife commented that it reminded her of the gingerbread man in Shrek (No! Not the gumdrop button!)

Head Construction

I decided to skip the shoulder construction and work on the head. The reason for this is that that the shoulder has an odd shape to it. I figured that if I could construct the head and dome, I could then jury-rig the shoulder into place.

I cut out the circular pieces and used square dowel rods for the supports. I nailed the rods into the bottom circle and then glued on the top two circles. Overall, I’m happy with it.

Unfortunately, the dome will be a challenge. I can’t seem to find a cheap and easy solution. I did get hold of a large Halloween candy bowl, but it’s too small. I need something light and easy to cut in order to put in the lights/gun.

Exterminate or Treat

So my wife has gotten our two boys hooked on Dr. Who. Daniel, my younger son, asked to be a Dalek for Halloween. Seeing as there are no easily available costumes out there (and the ones that do exist are goofy), I decided to build one myself.

The design criteria are the following:

1) It must be lightweight. A 7 year old is going to be schlepping around in this.

2) It must allow travel over uneven terrain. We’re in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, so I can’t use casters. Kind of makes getting up stairs a pain.

3) It must be awesome.

First, I had to get some plans. If you’re interested, sign up at this most awesome place. But, be warned. The full build guide is no longer available on line. You have to order it on paper. (I understand their complaint that others were selling it.) Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to get the plans, so I had to go off a specific model and work my way around issues.

So I selected Sandeply as the base material for most of the “rigid” construction. It’s lightweight, has relatively good strength, and is easy to work with. However, the only problem is that it cuts rough. I didn’t want to spend the money (or time) on fine-toothed blades. Just had to sand down the ripped up parts.

Note that I am not building the skirt.

Here’s the completed bottom section. I used foam posterboard for the panels. It’s lighter and easier to cut. I used finishing nails and glue to secure it in place.