Friday, December 6, 2019

Updating the Dodger - Making the Front Window

Making the Dodger Front Window

Obvious from the previous post, I took the Top down to the boat Tuesday and installed it, fit great, and I added the Buttons to the lower edge of the side strips.

Buttons on Lower Edge of Side Strips

I was concerned that there would not be enough material to pull down in order to set the buttons to the studs, I added a 2" extension on either side. I certainly helped.

On the old dodger, the side strips were the method of keeping the frame in place along with tensioning lines attached to the back of the frame and to a strap on the outside of the combing. The new rear support struts replace the tension lines, but they also fix the frame in place, so the front side strips do not have to hold the frame in place, but they do still have to hold the Side windows and the Front Window in place.

I was concerned about the accuracy of the front and side window templates, so I took them back to the boat.

Dodger Front Window Template

Here the blue painters tape holds the template material to the deck. There's a ridge on the Catalina 34 just aft of the (White box) Traveller Mounting blocks. There's a ridge across the companion way cover too.

With the template held down at the front, taped to the top of the Dodger along the top edge and the sides with pony clips, I was able to establish the boundaries of the window, along the top, the sides, and along the ridges at the bottom.

To make the Front Window, I used the template to mark the Sunbrella for the lower edge of the window panel and used the cutout to mark the Shelter-rite vinyl fabric liner.

I marked and cut out the two Leather patches that will cover the area where the lines lead through the lower part of the window panel and basted those into place on the outside of the Sunbrella

Next I added binding to the outside top edge of the lower edge.

Now the big step - Markup the Strataglass for the window. I measured it several times against the template, marking it with a grease pencil, it cuts easily with scissors.

After applying two rows of basting tape to the outside edge of the Strataglass, I basted the glass to the Sunbrella and secured it in place with my roller.

Next it was time to apply binding tape as facing tape to the inside edge of the Stratglass, again double rows of basting tape and pressed in place with my roller.

Then I sewed the two pieces together along each edge of the binding tape. They're now one piece!

Mistake: I should have sewn the Leather in place before attaching the Strataglass to the Sunbrella - it would be a lot easier to manipulate the small lower section of the window panel through the sewing machine compared to manipulating the huge piece of Strataglass joined with the Sunbrella lower section. Next time (Ha!)

So then I sewed the Leather patches in place, Peggy helped manipulate the whole thing as I steered it through the sewing machine.

With that done, I applied binding, flat, to the sides and top of the outside of the strataglass, some method, double rows of basting tape. Flipping the whole thing over, I did the same to the other side.
Now the Strataglass has a nicely finished edge near the glass. A long piece of binding was added to the outside edge all the way around. The Sailrite binding attachment works great and made the part easy. Just have to take it slow and ensure the work piece is pushed in to the exit end of the binding attachment.

The only thing left to do is add the two zippers. They were quickly basted in place and 10 minutes later they were sewn.

At this point the Window panel is finished. It only took a few minutes to test zip the window into the Top panel. Looked great! Phew!

Time for a glass of wine, or two.

I did take videos of all of this process, but somehow I screwed up with my new action camera and deleted them en bulk. Grrrrr.

I'll take video of doing one of the side windows, it's the same process.

Time to take a break until Sunday morning.

Back soon!

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