Removing all the deck planks from my 1948 Speed Liner left screw holes in the underlying frames and deck supports. So as to provide for fresh wood into which to insert the new screws when I mount the new deck boards, covering boards, and hull side planks I had to fill all the screw holes. I started out trying to pound 1/8″ dowels into the holes, but the dowels were slightly larger than the screw holes. My friend Jay Emerson from Emerson Bay Boatworks in Lake Texoma suggested I use either bamboo skewers, like what you might use for grilling shish-kabobs, or wooden match sticks. The bamboo skewers turned out to be exactly the same diameter as the dowels I had already attempted to use, but the wooden match sticks fit perfectly.
The match sticks were approximately 2-1/4″ in length, so I snipped off the sulfurous fire-producing tips and then cut the remaining sticks into thirds, which left me with approximately 1/2″ to 3/4″ pegs with which to fill the holes. I dipped the tip of each peg in Gorilla Glue and then inserted them into the holes. I carefully tapped each peg into the holes with a lightweight hammer to fill the voids made by the screws. After they dried, I snipped them off as close to flush as I could with a pair of wire snips. Afterwards I will trim them as close as possible with my Dremel Multi-Max tool and then sand them smooth. After a while, Master Boatress Patrice took pity on me and assumed the responsibility of snipping the match sticks for me, thus saving me that much effort.
Wherever I found cracks or splits in the frames around the screw holes I poured a bit of Gorilla Glue and allowed it to soak into the cracks. Considering that there are several thousand screw holes to fill, this is mind-numbing, slow and tedious work at best. I still have the hull sides to do, but my back is aching now and I think I’m going to save that task for tomorrow. Slow and steady wins the race. Not only is the work tedious, as are the vast majority of the tasks involved with restoring these old wooden boats, but the combination of the Jack Daniels I was drinking and the Rocky Patel Sun Grown cigar I was smoking while doing this seemingly endless task has left me feeling a bit nauseous. Relaxed, of course, but a bit queasy. Thus, tedium ad nauseum.
So, the next day when I felt better, I filled all the holes and then shaved off all the pegs with my Multimax Dremel tool saw, which cut through the match sticks like a hot knife through butter. Did I mention that the Dremel tool saw is one of the most valuable tools in my arsenal? Then I sanded all the pegs flush with the frames. The next step will be to flip the boat and remove the plywood hull bottom. Making progress. It’s all good.
Double Jack Rocks!