1946 Chris Craft Brightside U22 Framing Milestone (part I)

Our 1946 Chris-Craft bright U22 preservation project crossed a major milestone overnight when John finished fabricating and temporally installing the replacement transom and starboard chine framing, and the keel.

Anticipating this moment, I applied Sandusky Paint Company’s Chris-Craft Mahogany Bilge Paint to the existing bottom frames, and all surfaces of elements like the bilge stringers that are most easily accessed while the hull is flipped.

John also fabricated two ¾” plywood gussets for the hull’s aft corners that the previous “restorer” simply omitted. Combined with the fact that both the bevel angles and radii change continuously along the gusset’s edges and that he had no pattern to go by, John was presented with a particularly vexing set of challenges. John pivoted to his go-to solution, construction paper with which he fabricated a template.

Had the hull been true, that template should fit perfectly in both corners. It did not, as the hull was racked slightly, forcing us to gently coax it back into square.

All is fine now. Armed with the gussets, John fabricated the balance of the framing we could not save.

He also temporarily installed the keel, which allowed him to reposition the many existing – savable – bottom frames that our erstwhile predecessor installed a quarter- to three-eighths-inch low. As is visible at the close of this clip, the hogs we discovered are no more, and her keel is as true as it was the day she left Algonac.

Once we have sealed and installed these components bedded in 3M5200, and have glued the two scarf joints using epoxy, John will turn his attention to the port chine frame. Following that, and in what will involve all three of us, comes fabricating, fitting sealing and bilge painting the remaining frames.

Installing the new True 5200 bottom is peaking over the horizon! Yes!

We have received multiple requests lamenting the fact that, all too often, we offer videos of completed work. We have heard you, and Part II of this video follows John deconstructing the new frame members, piece by piece, and explaining the how and why of what he did in the process.

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