Today was a rare day with moments of sunshine. This year’s rainy season has been ferocious, with many downpours, and few sunny days, so it has been hard to squeeze in work on the deck.
Paul took advantage of the weather and taught Cynara’s crew members how to fair in the screws that hold the brass strips so that there are no sharp edges for the ropes to snag on.
Sometimes it seems like the painting will never end. A sponge brush is used for the final coat so the paint will go on evenly.
Some of the cupboard doors are so thin and weak that just handling them can result in their falling apart. The frames are all usable, but Tatsumi is restoring the glazing bars and replacing when necessary. There are no drawings for these pieces, but even when there are, the dimensions can be different for each fixture, so its necessary to measure and reassemble everything to get to the final stage.
Monday, July 20, 2020
NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, featured the Cynara restoration project on one of its most popular daytime shows this morning. It brought home how much has been done with the boat and all the time and energy that has gone into this project.
More brushwork, this time varnishing the ceiling of the deckhouse.
Toshi is working on restoring the display cabinets that go in the main saloon.
Masa is making new panels that will help make up the hanging locker interior in the guest cabins. These are all made of Canadian cedar using traditional joinery. No glue. No nails. No screws.
Kawashima is making the panels that will close off the hull from the cabin and hide the wiring and cables.
Toshi is repairing the glazed display cabinet door frames for the main saloon. Because water from previous deck leaks damaged the frame ends, he is having to make new pieces from the original mahogany pieces that were discarded and grafting them in. The original mahogany is a closer color match, and the repair will be less visible after being shellacked.
We’re using a mortice machine to cut the mortices for the panels.
Kawashima is laying out one of the panels on his bench. These are very complicated: they’re not always square and they have port holes and other pieces that affect their shape.
Above: Tatsumi is repairing the doors of the cupboards in the main saloon, so that they can be assembled following the original design. These cupboards are all original, but the delicate glazing bars were damaged, and need repairing.
A sudden downpour caught us by surprise with the skylight open, and Wada had to get to work drying the interior.
Makoto has finished varnishing the interior cabin windows and is now doing the other side and the deckhouse floor.
The main companionway stairs have been fully restored and are receiving several coats of varnish.
July 18, 2020
Paul is repairing the base of the Main Saloon table. The legs and the weight box have been restored, polished and are ready to go. Paul and the team have been thinking of ways to salvage the top, but it may be damaged beyond repair. It had a Formica surface glued to it, (probably a remnant of sixties’ “style”) which also hid some deep scars. Can we justify the amount of work that would have to go into it? Tough call.
Literally every part is being made by hand.
Murata is varnishing some of the glazed doors.
Shingo is sanding the deck house interior, preparing for varnishing.
Masa is fitting the top of a clothes locker in the midship starboard cabin. The air conditioning has now been installed and is cooling the ship, though the vents have yet to be added. You can see an electrical panel at the back of the locker.
Today, we had a quick meeting to go over the upcoming schedule. Priorities are made, but we have to juggle jobs depending on the weather and other conditions.
Today, the weather was sunny for the first time in a while, and Kawashima, Saito and Paul worked on the deck, installing more of the chafe strips and rub rails. There are quite a few of these to do.
The old drawers were placed under the bunk in the midship starboard cabin to check the fit before restoration.
Today’s interior decoration situation. This cabinet has been installed and is awaiting the drawers which are being worked on in the tent. The weather forecast calls for more rain tomorrow. Ugh.
July 14, 2020
Pattresses (wooden boards for mounting fittings) for the many cabin lights are being cut and sanded.
It was raining again today, so Paul and three other carpenters were stuck in the tent. It’s looking empty and quiet compared to two weeks ago, when the whole team was still here and it was a beehive of activity.
Makoto is varnishing the interior windows in the aft starboard cabin. These look out onto the deckhouse floor, and will have translucent glass installed for privacy, while letting much appreciated daylight into the cabin.
Most of the non-Japanese team members left Japan at the end of last month. The team now consists of Paul leading the Japanese carpenters and Chuck leading the crew in a sail training program.
These drawers have come out of storage after being selected for restoration. Others have stayed in storage and will not be used. Now we are working out which ones go where, and there may be some of these that end up not being used as well.
These bronze “chafe strips” or “rub strips” are installed on the stanchions that have a naval brass bar through them for securing ropes. They’re fitted where the rope rubs against the stanchion which would bite into the teak over time. They had to be installed even while sail training was taking place because it has been raining so much this year.
Toshi is fitting drawer slides and divisions under the bunk in the midship port cabin.
The entire interior is covered in translucent plastic sheets as the painting continues before doing all the finish work on the furniture. A second coat is being painted on the deck beams in the crew quarters, on top of the chain locker. The pipes in the foreground are the chain pipes.
July 7, 2020
Japanese carpenters are working on the interior following Paul’s direction. The precipitation during this rainy season has been heavier than most years, and the work schedule often has to be changed because of the weather situation.
Another painting scene, this one of the galley ceiling.
The air conditioning pipes are being installed and it’s just in time. The rainy season is coming to a hesitant end and temperatures are starting to rise with clearer skies. There’s still a lot to do on the interior and it would be stifling work without the air conditioning.
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