Sunday, March 4, 2007

Bow web and float work

I wasn't looking forward to this weekend. Weather was predicted to be rainy and in the 40-50's (deg F), and we actually had a few inches of snow the previous Wednesday. So on Saturday I spent the early afternoon working in the garage on my bow web. I had been puttering with it off and on for a month, but now I've got the last of the carbon reinforcements on:

I actually tried to work on the bow web last Tuesday (2/27) but for some reason found that I had ordered 3" carbon uni instead of 2". So I spent an hour cutting up all of this 3" carbon into 2" carbon, only to find that when it was time to wet the stuff out and apply it to the web, it was just too darn fragile -- tows were falling out like flies. I gave up after five minutes, it was obviously either not going to work or would end up in a really messy result. I put in a 2nd day shipment order for some 2" carbon uni, and that's what I used on Saturday. Unfortunately I was unable to locate 2" carbon uni in the specified weight, or even close to it. I ended up working with 5.8oz (plans call for 13oz carbon uni). I played it safe and laminated three layers of 5.8oz for each layer specified by the plans -- my bow web is going to be beefy! (and heavier, but let's not talk about that). Here's how it looked when done:

After working on the bow web, I went out to look at my float half. It wasn't very warm but at least it wasn't raining; in a spurt of optimism I decided to go ahead and putty between my float panels. I am using System Three's general purpose resin for these kind of tasks, and I figured it wouldn't take too long to cure given that I was using Fast hardener, and I could use my heat lamp fixture. So I got busy working and before too long, I had all of the panel edges puttied, and also had the form pieces for the flange support glued in as well:

(in the above picture you can also see my float decks hanging in the background for safe-keeping.)

This is the first time I've tried to use the heat lamps for any serious purpose, and I was pleased with their performance. Temperature was ~40-45deg F and even with Fast hardener putty can take awhile to cure at that temp. I ran the heat lamps until about 9:30pm and when I went out to turn them off for the night, the putty was pretty tacky, so that was good.

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