Edge treatments

So yesterday I cut out cockpit locker pans and hatches which leaves a nice sharp edge.  If it is wood or fiberglass, that cut edge is sharp and needs to be broken so that it feels soft and is also strengthened.  A sharp edge will break easily if hit by something and does not feel good when your arm comes into contact with it.

On fiberglass I just use a piece of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper and run it over the edge at a 45degree creating a small chamfer.  This only takes a few strokes and I run my hand over it to feel that it is soft.

breaking cut edge with sandpaper

breaking cut edge with sandpaper

Wood usually needs something a bit nicer and so roundover bits were created.  I’ll use a 1/8, 3/16, or 1/4″ roundover bit in a trim router to round the edges on the teak parts.  You can just use sandpaper but that is a different look and not as strong as a roundover.

roundover bits for trim router

roundover bits for trim router

If you are wondering, a trim router is a smaller, hand held router used for small things like roundovers and flush trimming.  Less power than a full size router and only uses 1/4″ shank bits.

Edge treatments are for edges that are exposed and you may come into contact with.  If I make a part out of teak and the edge is making contact with the boat when mounted, I will leave that edge sharp.  This creates a nice intersection between the wood part and the fiberglass and you cannot touch that sharp edge.  More on this later when I make some parts.

One thought on “Edge treatments

  1. John Farnham says:

    The detailed craftsmanship you put into the boat is not always obvious, especially to us non-builders but it creates the overall quality feel of the Sage. A longtime fan of cockpit grates (looks traditional and hides dirt), I was very impressed with your version one cockpit-well grate. It was elegant but unfortunately fragile under my size thirteen feet. Version 2, which Dave kindly supplied, is more hardy (though not quite as pretty IMHO). A full cockpit grate version would be a great accessory for the boat.
    Nature’s Girl, Sage 17-23


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