Sunday, February 11, 2007

Progress this week

I made reasonable (but not outstanding) progress this week. I now have both of the fwd beam bulkheads bagged and ready to be traced & cut:

I had not been very happy at the thought of doing an open layup on the fwd bunk tops. At some point I had an eureka, and figured out a way to vacuum bag these long panels on my garage cabinet counter. I was worried about making a mess, so I layed down a plastic sheet beneath the laminate & foam so that the countertop wasn't directly impacted, and attached the bag film directly to the countertop. This approach actually worked out great; the bag held 25" easily and the pump only kicked on every hour or so:

In addition, I've been working on the float decks. I took three sheets of 1/2" plywood and covered my float form frames to make a super long "table"; this then gave me the space to make up each float deck as one single piece (changed my mind on that from before). I cut some foam blanks to a suitable width, glued them together, drew the outlines, and today I finished up by gluing in the high-density inserts:

(the Rube G. thing that's hanging is my homemade heat lamp fixture for assisting with curing epoxy. I threw that together a month or so ago, but was still too chicken to try to laminate the float half. However today's weather was quite mild, it got up to about 60 deg F -- if that keeps up, I may be in business pretty soon.)

That's pretty much where I left things for today. Next work items will be to cut out the fwd bulkhead beams and the fwd bunk tops, laminate the float deck bottoms and attach deck stiffeners, and continue progress on the bow web.

Lastly, something kinda funny (well, now it's funny) happened on Thursday while I was bagging a panel. I was pouring hardener into a mixing cup that was sitting on my scale. For some reason though, I couldn't quite get it topped off to the correct weight. Long story short, the measuring cup I was using had a crack near the bottom, and the crack just happened to be facing away from me. So the unmixed resin\hardener mixture was slowly pouring out this crack in the back, down the back of the scale, and onto (thankfully) the plastic sheeting I keep the counter covered with. Could have made a worse mess but still, what a waste that was -- I had to toss the whole thing since I couldn't be sure of how much resin\hardener was in the cup.

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