Jeff Margush & The Keel line

I don’t remember the first time I met Jeff Margush, but it wasn’t long before the formal founding of the Car, Boat and General Design Club. We met for about 15 minutes, between first and second services at River Oaks Church, but since they did not recognize or promote the club as a ministry, it did not grow very quickly.

The fact that design was not such a popular Sunday school topic may have contributed to its slow kick off. But, maybe a decade ago, we picked up a third member, Bob Herrold, who is a strong contributor when he is not in Florida or other wise busy. We are not super magnetic, as the club is only slightly less popular than this blog.

One Sunday at a clandestine meeting right beside the offering cabinet in the lobby, I mentioned I was thinking about building a boat. Jeff said, “If you want to come over, we can sketch it up on the computer.” He listens better than most anyone and doesn’t do much horn tooting, so I didn’t know how well prepared he was to pull off the idea. Below is a collage of the kind of concept drawing he does.

I asked Jeff for some comments about line/drawing and he gave these thoughts, noting influence from his design mentor, Jim Orr:

“Design is the beginning of the thought process, the genesis of an idea. Drawing is the language of line that puts it in visual form. Generally, the first lines are drawn to create shapes that appear two dimensional. With the addition of more lines, like section lines or perspective views, form or volume can start to become visible.

Particularly when designing moving objects, these lines should be dynamic with movement and emotion. Tone or value really drive home what the form is doing, helping to communicate the design.” Here is a drawing he eventually did, summarizing most of the ideas we put into the first boat.

Below is how the first boat turned out. Did I mention Jeff also took the photo? He knows what he is doing.

Since then, I found out that he graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Industrial Design. Then, he went to work at Paramount Plastics, developing interior systems for RV and specialty vehicles. Next on the journey was Newmar Corporation, where he designed exteriors and cockpits for High End Class A Motorhomes.

Most lately, he has been working on exterior and cockpit design for Tiffin Motorhomes High End Class A, C and B Rv’s. His initial concept sketches in 3d files are used to cut patterns for fiberglass tooling. If you know anything about the constant conflict between designers and the producers, there are few people who can cross that line better than Jeff Margush.

And here is an example of promotional material that he did for Tiffin:

Line is also an important element in the review of 3D shapes. Below, Jeff is checking the fairing of the sheer line on the first boat, formed where the hull side meets the deck surface.

On the hobby side, Jeff likes pretty much anything with wheels but in particular sports cars and a special passion for auto crossing his 914  Porsche. When the Porsche club needed a poster, well, Jeff managed to put out an “acceptable” design.

Meanwhile, back in the basement on the new boat, a piece of cherry wood was planed thin enough to bend comfortably on the line from the bow to the flat part of the keel at the back. When I first placed the board across the top, I had to do some adjustment of the frames until it formed a visually fair curve.

Next, I scarf-joined the bent piece to the straight piece forming the keel to the back.

The free standing cross frames of the new boat are now connected and epoxied together.

What’s in a line?

A time line, out line, red line, fine line, yellow line, dotted line, fast line, slow line. Line up, line out. Color inside the lines, walk the fine line, and find the silver lining.


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