This week’s progress building our beloved MV (Motor Vessel) Möbius and XPM78-01 here at Naval Yachts reached another exciting milestone with the cutting of the first wood being used to build our interior cabinetry and furniture. We are VERY excited about this and as per the title we think “You Wood Too!” Not that the work on all things metal and mechanical aren’t exciting as they continue to progress very well too, but this most recent deep dive into designing and now starting to build the interior of our new home and boat has us particularly excited and wanting to share it with you so please join us as we dive into the latest progress in designing and building mv Möbius.
As you may recall if you read the previous post “Miss Mobius World Wood Pageant” we have chosen to use Rosewood for all our interior woodwork and so it was a very exciting day when the first truckload of solid and veneer arrived from the lumberyard near Istanbul.
With different languages and species all this wood is from the Dalbergia family and goes by several names including Santos, Palisander, Pelesenk, African/Burmese Blackwood and (your choice) Madagascar/Brazilian/Indian/Honduran/Yucatan/Amazon/Burmese Rosewood. You may be interested to know that these woods are called Rosewood because they give off a rose like scent when being cut and worked so I will borrow from the bard’s astute observation that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, add my own “and be as beautiful” and from here on in I will simply refer to this as Rosewood.
The photo above was taken as the protective wrap was first pulled back to unveil the stacks of hundreds of flitches of Rosewood veneer quickly followed by the same reveal of these planks of our solid Rosewood. While we had spent a LOT of time searching for and choosing this wood it still took our breath away with the reality and beauty of this wildly varied colours and swirling grain patterns.
Christine and I were still in Florida being Gramma and Grampa so Dincer had flew up to Istanbul to personally select the specific batches of veneer and solid Rosewood for us and as usual he did a masterful job of choosing the just right Rosewood for us.
My dear friend Eileen Clegg once called me an “extremophile” which I took as a compliment, and with Möbius being the first of Naval’s XPM eXtreme eXpedition Passage Maker series of boats it seemed only fitting that we would have sought out a wood with such eXtreme ranges of colour and grain. The only thing more eXtreme than the beauty of Rosewood is its price but Christine and I may well spend the rest of our lives living aboard Möbius and want to be surrounded by beauty every one of those days so this was an easy decision to make given the infinite amount of joy it will provide for us and others who join us aboard.
This photo shows how the cabinetmakers have unpacked the first four of that stack of wide strips of veneer known as flitches shown above into matching layers after cutting off any splits or damage at their ends.
Is this Beauty in the eXtreme or what???
As with most other facets of boat building Naval does all their cabinetmaking in house which includes doing all their plywood lamination so these Rosewood flitches will soon be matched up on either side of marine birch plywood and be pressed and heated in this large hydraulic laminating press to create the finished veneer panels. You will see this fabulous bit of kit in action in the upcoming weekly updates.
As beautiful as the veneer is the solid Rosewood more than shared the spotlight as you can see here with these first four 25mm / 1” planks to emerge from their own stacks off the truck.
The very large staff of professional cabinetmakers, which I will be introducing to you over the coming weeks, seemed to be equally as excited and impressed by the opportunity to start transforming this Rosewood into furniture and cabinets for Möbius.
You Wood too right?
Those first planks were soon coming out of the table saw and shaper as these T shaped strips which will next be glued to all exposed edges of the veneered panels. This solid Rosewood edging is at least a 10mm / 3/8” thick which enables further shaping and ensures that none of the veneer edges are exposed to any wear and tear over the years.
Panels which will have all four sides exposed when finished on things like drawer fronts have these solid Rosewood T’s glued on all four edges with mitred corners such as the one on the far left here. All the outer corners of these T edges will be rounded over with a 3-5mm radius to make them very easy on your hands and very luxurious in their looks.
Another technique for creating the large 50mm/2” Radius external corners and reducing the amount of Rosewood required on things like vertical cabinet edges, corners of the bed frame, etc. begins with gluing these triangular shaped lengths of solid Beech, the white wood here, to lengths of solid Rosewood.
Why? might be a common question so I grabbed a piece of scrap wood with a 50mm Radius on the bottom side and made that horizontal pencil line to show how the Rosewood portion of the glued up piece on the bottom left will be machined with that large radius surface being all Rosewood and the inner triangle of Beech providing the a large surface area for the adjoining panels to be glued in place and be hidden in the joinery on the inside.
Once the glue has cured the next day and operation is to machine these laminated lengths of Rosewood and Beech …….
…… into this shape and you can now hopefully see how this creates the two wide flats at 90 degrees to each other to form the large vertical corners on cabinets and corners and then have the full 25-30mm thickness of Rosewood to form the rounded outer corner.
I’ll be able to show you this in much more detail in the coming weeks as the cabinetry progressed so let’s leave the cabinetmakers alone for a bit and go back aboard Möbius to see how things are progressing there.
The “Sparkies” as our brilliant Kiwi (New Zealand) designer Dennis would call the team of electricians who are growing in number aboard Möbius, are now busy running literally nautical miles of wiring throughout the conduits and wire trays and have setup shop in the SuperSalon to do the cutting and labeling of all the individual runs of wire.
If you look in the background of the picture above (click to enlarge any photo) or in this close up shot you can see some of the runs of flexible conduit going up the inside of the vertical SuperSalon window mullions which are soon filled up with the wires for devices up in the ceiling of the SuperSalon and the SkyBridge.
Each length of wire is labeled with the temporary tubular yellow labels you see here. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of wire end connections to make, this labeling is key to making it faster and clearer for the Sparkies to know that the right wire is going to the right switch, light or circuit breaker.
Before the final wiring of each connection is done each wire will be cut to the just right length and additional labels will be heat shrunk to each end of all wires for future reference whenever someone, aka ME! is doing any modifications or maintenance of any of the eXtensive electrical systems aboard Möbius.
Down in the Basement we see that the “Poopsmiths’ ** aka plumbers in Kiwi speak, have been busy starting to install the runs of Vetus Sanitary hose for all the Grey (shower & sink) Water and Black (toilets) Water tanks, pumps, drains, etc.
** Full list of such wonderful Kiwi slang words here for those of you interested in “dropping your gear’ and go “full tit” to be fully “home and hosed” when it comes to speaking like a native down under. I hope this doesn’t’ come across as rarking you up or pack a sad for too many of you and if so the next drink is my shout but this offer is only good at sparrow fart.
Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile will recognise this and for the rest of you this is one of the hatches which I’ve designed and Naval is is now building in house. The little army of aluminium boxes on the right are the hinge boxes which provide the support for the SS hinge pins that slide through the 8mm / 5/16” holes in their sides.
Turning these boxes transparent in the 3D model of these hatches (click to enlarge) will show you better how they work. Everything but the Rosewood inner liner is all aluminium but I have coloured the Lid Blue and the Frame in Red he blue for added clarity and you can see how the Blue Hinge Arms which are welded to the Lid, extends into the Hinge Boxes under the deck and rotate on the white SS 8mm diameter hinge pins.
I used one of my favorite CAD tools, Autodesk Fusion 360 to design these hatches and here is a little animation Fusion enables me to create which I hope will show you how the hatch works.
One of the most rewarding aspects of designing and building your own stuff is when your designs are transformed into reality and here is my most recent example. This is what the Hinge Arm you’ve seen above looks like as a component within the Fusion 360 model.
And here I am holding that very same Hinge Arm after Uğur has cut it from a solid block of aluminium.
We decided to create a few prototypes of these hatches to fully test out my design in the real world and here is one of the prototype assemblies of the Hinge Arm assembled within the Hinge Box on a temporary threaded hinge pin.
Hinge Arms tacked to the Lid and Hinge Boxes tacked to the outer Frame.
A quiet ”Open Sésame” and Voila! it works! The hatch opens fully to the 120 degree angle I wanted as the Hinge Arms come into contact with the inner edge of the cut-out in the outer Frame where the Hinge Boxes attach.
After a few tweaks with the prototype hatches to get these hinges working and positioned just right we were ready for the critical step of welding the Hinge Boxes to the actual Hatch Frames that have been welded into the decks on Möbius.
As you can see from the photos and models above, the two Hinge Pins have to have their centerlines precisely aligned in order for the Lid to open smoothly so Yiğit and I designed up a jig that Uğur and Nihat could use to hold each pair of Hinge Boxes in just the right position under the deck plates and up tight against the outer Frame surfaces and tack the Hinge Boxes in place. You can see the aluminium plate part of this positioning jig in Ugur’s right hand here and It worked just as we hoped.
I forgot to take a picture of the jig itself so what you can’t see but can hopefully imagine is that there are two arms welded to the edge of that aluminium plate which exactly replicate the Hinge Arm positions and have matching pipes for the Hinge Pins to go through. So Uğur slides these two arms on the jig into the rectangular openings you saw above in the outer Hatch Frame and then holds each Hinge Box in his left hand and slides it over the arms of the jig and inserts an 8mm pin through the holes in the Hatch Box and the jig.
Takes longer for me to type this than it did for Uğur and Nihat to tack the Hinge Boxes in place and hope this all makes some sense to most of you?
While Uğur and Nihat were busy working up on deck, our awesome Master Welder Sezgin was busy down on the shop floor under Möbius finishing up the welding of the Hatch Lids.
And the pile of finish welded Lids piled up quickly. In case you are wondering, he tacked two lids together to help hold each Hatch Lid assembly in alignment and prevent them from warping or moving as they were welded up. Then the tacks are ground off to separate each Lid and the Lids are cleaned up and prepped for the last bit of welding the Hinge Arms to the Lids which is perhaps the trickiest and most important step to ensuring that the Hatches open, shut and seal just right.
Once the Lids have their Hinge Arms welded on they will be sent off to the glass supplier to cut and install the 15mm tempered glass to complete the Lids and I’ll cover that as it happens in the next few weeks.
And as Porky the Pig used to say “Th-th-th-th That’s All Folks!” At least for this week. Hope you are continuing to enjoy and possibly even get some value from these weekly progress updates and I look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions you leave in the “Join the Discussion” box below.