Alright, this is a piece of cake, nothing to it. I am not much of a carpenter, but I was able to piece this together for about 50$ and a few hours of mucking about with saws and varnish. Inspiration for this project came from Don Casey's classic book, This Old Boat.
|My finished project: weather treated birch companionway doors|
You just pencil out the dimensions and get cracking with a circular line saw.
You just replicate the dimensions and angle of cut from the old set of doors. It is pretty intuitive. But you have to put in this staggered cut in each - so as to keep rain from entering through the cracks between each piece. So, I cut in half the depth of the Birch at about 1/2 inch in distance into each board. So each piece slide together like puzzle pieces. Check the arrows, the complimentary cuts.
Trim the height to get it just right. So the hatch slides over properly. You can power sand the bottom piece to get it right. Or re-cut if the correction is large.
Then give it a light sand and she's ready for varnish.
|Sikkens Cetol Marine Natural Teak|
I know there are a lot of varnish aficionados out there- I am not one of them. But I was advised to go with Sikkens Cetol Natural Teak. The prep work is minimal. I lay 2 heavy coats of this stuff down and I am good for many years. When it is time to re-coat, it just requires a light sand, then apply the Cetol. Whether you want Cetol, or another brand of varnish, you can order it online at the West Marine Store. Orders over 50$ will ship free to your home - that's pretty good incentive not to drive out to the shop...
And here she is all finished - the new doors give a cool, two-tone effect of Birch with Teak trim on the door.
If you are about to build companionway doors or are considering embarking on a similar type sailboat project, I recommend you pick the classic, well-respected bible of old boat maintenance. Don Casey's 'This Old Boat'.