You know those beautiful decks......

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by sjptak, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    ......on the mahogany power boats? The ones that sort of appear to be planked, but are more like filled in groves and then covered with nice shiny varnish? What is that called and is there a web demonstration on how it is done? I'd love to learn how to do that style of deck.

    Stan
     
  2. Lurvio
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    Lurvio Mad scientist

  3. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    Lurvio, I thank you for your reply. I've been to the GlenL site and have drooled over the decks pictured there. What I'm looking for is an online tutorial that I can learn how to do that. I'm not sure if I should just jig up my router and cut a bunch of grooves, fill with unstained putty, sand and finish or is there a more proper way to do this. If anyone had knowledge of an online tutorial, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

    Stan
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are a several skills and techniques necessary to get the traditional mahogany runabout deck look. There isn't an online step by step set of procedures that will cover all the processes involved. Also there are several ways to do it as well, each having different methods, techniques and wood working approaches to it, so the "Cliff's Notes" version just isn't going to be available, sorry.

    This said you're going to find plenty of online projects, that may at some point cover portions if not all of a runabout's decking process. You're just going to have to wade through blogs and web sites, until you find what you need.

    You see, these types of decks are what you get when master wood workers put some time into a project. Imparting the skills, jigs, techniques in a blog or through stills on a web site just isn't practical or reasonable. It's like learning to do a hip replacement surgery with 17 pictures on a web site. You'll get the highlights, but none of the tactual feed back to guide you hands.

    You could try a few books, which will cover the different methods (so you can pick one) and the usual wood working approaches. It's great that you want to do this, but remember it's also one of the harder aspects of a mahogany runabout (or what ever) build too, so pick your poison wisely.

    A reasonable wood worker could muddle through, though they'll likely have issues down the road without some research into the techniques. It's not as simple as routing a bunch of grooves. In fact, I've never seen it done this way. Most of these decks are what we call laid and caulked. There are three basic types; tongue and groove, strip planked and veneer. A fore and aft veneer deck would likely be the easiest for a novice to do, though will wear out the fastest if actually used as a deck.

    What boat are you looking to do this to? Will it be a sprung deck or a fore and aft deck?
     
  5. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I Dont know the tradional technique.

    The local technique is a plywood subdeck. Next Mahogany or teak is dimensioned to the chosen plank width and thickness. This stack of timber is laid out on the sub deck...edge to edge..no rebate..then screw clamped or vacuum bagged with epoxy onto the ply sub deck. Once the epoxy has cured, the deck is given a rough sand to knock off glue ridges. Once flat, the seams are cut with a circular saw with a blade shapened and set to cut a wide kerf, guided by a batten. This batten is a 1 x 4 nailed thru at plank joints and used as a guide for the saw blade kerf. If the seam style is not parallel to center line a flexible batten...again a 1 x4...with a thousand band saw kerfs cut 75 percent thru is used as a flexible saw guide.

    Let your decking planks overhand some disance to assuse a fair run out with the saw.

    Strike a fair curve with a batten to trim off the plank ends.

    Covering boards are added last... again edge to edge to deck planking...then once again the seam is cut.

    . Once the seams are cut white maple or another snow white timber , machined to the seam width, is glued in then cut flush.


    Routers can be used for some details but clog and bog down easy so are not as easy to handle for the straight or long cuts.

    When you edge to edge glue , then cut the seams, you are assured of perfectly even, fair seams.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Michael, you've just described the most difficult and ridiculous method to get a laid deck possible. I've done dozens of decks and never once did it approach that description of lunacy.

    Seams are predetermined and usually the planking is back cut or tongue and grooved, though square edge stock with spacers are also common. Cutting in place is outright absurd.

    Some use wood in the grooves, but hands down the most common material in the grooves is two part polysulfide caulk, not wood. In recent years Silflex 291 has gained commonality, but the pro's prefer the 2 part stuff, because it lasts longer.

    This is a sprung deck, using a spacer hold down and square edged planking.
    [​IMG]
    Naturally, the spacers will be removed when the goo cures and the seams then will be filled with polysulfide.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Sure...if you lack the ability you can lay decks as Par pictured.

    High class decks are laid differently.... full length.. 30 meter long ...teak planks are used to avoid butt joint end grain dis bonding .

    Dont worry Par, Ya' dont need to grab a machete , a pith helmet , rent an elephant and make a special trip to the jungle to cut down really long trees, just use slash scarfs and selected stock. .

    Locally, To handle these continuous planks they find it more precise to edge butt them, then cut the seam after they are laid. Straight ,square shouldered seams with clean virgin wood exposed for caulking.

    Perfectly even maple to mahogany glue lines are a Very important visual detail on varnished runabout decks

    Of course you could do a Par , get on your hands and knees , surrounded by one thousand clamps, cursing, sweat dripping off your nose, banging your fist against your forehead with mosquitoes swarming as you tediously work a chisel on miles of seams to remove the squeezed out bedding compound contaminating the virgin milled square shoulder seams.

    Your choice. .
     

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  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There is no online tutorial that will give you the years of hands on experience for laying a deck. What is your skill level in carpentry and joinery?
     
  10. sjptak
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    sjptak Junior Member

    Wow. Gonzo, it is not where what it would need to be to achieve the desired results. I'm just looking at options. I'm still not sure what I'm going to build, but I do have a short list. I'm new at all this and I'm still at that stage where I want to build every boat I see a picture of and am having a real hard time deciding. I do like those decks, though.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I understand, but your options are limited by your skills. I have done many decks and the big areas are easy and fast. The small details are what make the job look good or bad. Also they end up determining how long it lasts
     
  12. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    All that said fancy looking wooden decks are a PITA. much better with non-slipping 2K urethane deck paint... anyway if you want smth else than a pure looksey pier queen..
    That is off course MHO
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    On the other hand you can attempt Michael's methods and wrangle a circular saw around deck houses and other fixed obstructions. Gonzo's correct, it's the details that make the job and also take the most effort.
     
  14. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member


    Ya... Best surf a bit on the net. Many talented boat builders are not insecure with knowledge and share it freely.

    Dozens of websites documenting build progress and technique. Many or your questions can be answered by using your eyes.


    http://www.jwboatco.com/works/index.php?x=browse&category=

    Key words for a Google search like " vacuum bagged " " inlay" " template" "Veneer" should get you started.

    Furniture builders also do elegant inlay work and their techniques would be relevant to a runabout deck or detailing.
     

  15. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Here we go again, michael and his little jabs.
     
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