Saturday, May 10, 2014

Steam bent 'glovebox' shelves installed

A while ago I saw on the Scamp forum an idea another builder had to include some shelves under the seats to store little things like car keys, wallet, etc.

I decided I wanted to do the same, and I realized the time to do that was now, since it's almost time to install the seat tops.

I first contemplated and measured and picked a size for the shelves.  They are about 1 foot long and 5 inches wide.  I cut stock to rough size and fit it to the hull.  The edge that joins the hull needed to curve front to back, and bevel top to bottom.  This was pretty easy to do with the 12" disc sander.  I decided I wanted rounded corners, so I cut and sanded those, too.

I determined I wanted an edge to the shelf about 2" high, and fit around the curves of the corner. A little steam bending seemed to be in order.  I glued up some scrap for a form and traced the profile of the shelf, then cut it out with the bandsaw:

Look for my earlier post on steam bending to see the steam generator/plastic bag 'steam box' that I used.  Same technique here.  After each piece cooled a bit I clamped them against the shelves to dry out and fully cure overnight.

I then coated the inside of the sides with unthickened epoxy to seal the grain, and let that cure.  Then used thickened epoxy to glue the edges on and glue on some little bracket supports.  I used the 23-gauge pin nailer to hold the parts in place while the epoxy cured.

I then ran a fillet around the inside, and trimmed the overhanging ends of the side pieces to fit the hull.  

To install the shelves in the boat I placed them against the inside of the hull and traced around them.  I then shot pin nails through the hull from the inside near the ends of the shelf and bracket outlines. I then connected the pins with lines, showing me where the centerline of the shelf pieces would be.

I then coated the mating surfaces of the shelf with thickened epoxy and held it against the hull, while a helper shot pin nails from the outside of the hull into the edge of the shelf and the bracket.  We were able to hit the target with each of the three nails we used per side.  No further clamping was needed.

Here's a view of the starboard shelf looking through the access hatch in B4.  After this photo was taken I also added a fillet between the shelf and the hull to reinforce the shelf and finish off the inside.

And here's the reverse view of the shelf with the first coat of paint.  It's a bit tricky painting the bottom surfaces upside down and backward using a mirror to see what's happening.

This little project took some time, but I'm pleased with how it turned out, and I think these shelves will be really handy.


  1. Really nice glove boxes, Dave! I wish I'd slowed down and put something like that in, I was just in too much of a hurry at that point of the build...

  2. Thanks, Dale, and congratulations on the splash of Luna! I'm anxious to be done with the build so I can get out sailing, but I'm trying to ensure I get everything done that I can think of on the inside before those spaces get closed off.