I almost lost the boat

I have my "Skerry in progress" on a couple of saw horses with a piece of plywood beneath acting as a shelf for boxes of brushes, paint etc.  Today I have it turned over and routed out the daggerboard slot.  As I was finishing the routing there were some sparks, from what I don't know, I think the bearing on the router bit went bad.  I put on a fan to blow the dust out of the garage and went into the house for a few minutes.  When I went back out to the garage it was full of smoke.  The box of brushes and a plastic bin with my filet tools had a pile of sawdust on them and they were both smoldering with small flames on the cardboard brush box. 

It had obviously been smoldering the whole time and the plywood shelf had a burn spot .  I was able to brush everything, boxes and sawdust, into a bucket and take it out to the hose.  If I had waited that box of brushes and the resin covered filet tools would have made nice kindling for the boat.

This is a lesson I almost learned the very hard way and I hope any of you who read this will be very careful with sawdust and tool bits which generate a lot of heat when used.  I always clean my mess at the end of the day but will change that to "right after every job."

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RE: I almost lost the boat

After a lot of use, some of my router bits quit cutting without a lot of 'burning' (heat charring at the cut).  I had to either replace the bit or sharpen it.  Googling around I ran across a comment that you know you need to sharpen a plane after a bit of use, so you should sharpen the router bits and not just rely on power to do the cutting. 

I have tried sharpening some bits, and have not really developed the knack, but they do cut better.  At this point the expression "Easier said than done" comes to mind.  But even sharpening a plane takes know-how & experience. 

Embarrasingly, the idea that a router bit needed sharpening had never crossed my mind.  Throw away items, I thought.  Also, I would never have thought of the obvious fact that it is possible that in the creation of 'char' on the wood, something might ignite. 

Lets see, as a Boy Scout, did I ever create fire by friction?  Ahh . . . Duh!

I think the key is to keep all cutting tools razor sharp.

And congratulations on dodging the bullet !!!

Malcolm  (Chester Yawl)


RE: I almost lost the boat

I hope you will post some photos of your build.  I built an MC 16.5 nearly two years ago and just recently finished a Glen-L powerboat.  I really want to build a sailboat next and I really love the lines of the Skerry.

RE: I almost lost the boat


Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CLC_Skerry/ and join the Skerry group.  I have photos posted under "Henry's Skerry in Progress' and there are a lot of other pictures.  You don't have to own one or be building one to join and it's a great place to talk with builders and users to get opinions and hints.  Also Christine Demerchant built one from plans and has a great blog at http://www.christinedemerchant.com/skerry.html . Her blog should be visited by anyone contemplating a Skerry.

RE: I almost lost the boat

Thanks for the links.  After building the big boat, I really started to appreciate the stich and glue boat.  I also have my eye on a stich and glue boat powered by a jetski engine.

Here is my MC which I finished in April, 2010

My Glen-L Malahini which I finished in September 2011

RE: I almost lost the boat


OK, so I have forgotten how to insert images.

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