Friday evening I laminated the fourth float half:
I thought everything went pretty well, but on Saturday morning I found a few minor layup bubbles here and there, and some massive bubbles around the perimeter of the chainplate pad laminate. Very aggravating. When I started sanding these out, the small bubbles went quick; the laminate over the chainplate pad was still a bit green however and when all was said and done, I had stripped both layers of "C" laminate off of the pad. Not much fun, but I did get it super nice and clean for re-lamination:
Saturday afternoon I joined the third and fourth float halves. The fit was pretty good except for the front beam bulkhead, that required some trimming. The upper float half was the first one I did, i.e. it's the one where I made lots of plank-to-keel join mistakes: not too surprising then that it would need a little help. All bulkheads were taped in -- including the #($#&*@# bow bulkhead which ended up looking like this:
I feel bad saying this but it could have been much worse, believe me. I'm hoping that this is the worst taping job on the whole boat (but I won't be too surprised to be disappointed).
The transom tape is not much fun either, but I was proud of how this one turned out:
I decided not to do the keel tapes other than two small pieces between the fwd beam and center, and center and aft beam bulkheads. I need to be more patient at times: I was trying to mix enough putty (using Fast hardener) to do two bulkheads at a time, and ended up losing the race to get the second bulkhead taped in before the fillet putty kicked. Trust me, the fillet tapes look wayyyy better when you lay them in place wet-on-wet. :)
Sunday morning I unmolded the float, and it looked good from the outside:
(Yep that's me; the wife came out to the tent for a status report and I got her to take a picture. I also took some of her inspecting the work, but I'm promised an early, slow death if those pics show up here on the blog.)
I really should have done the keel taping then, but the weather was chilly and so instead I stalled by dismantling my form frames.
I did some contact cement experiments on some scrap foam, and was not impressed. Either I'm expecting too much from contact cement, or I'm way spoiled by the gripping power of epoxy. I'm sure it doesn't matter, since Ian wouldn't recommend it if it was non-worthy, but I think I am going to use epoxy putty for my bow caps regardless. I had bought one two many sheets of 3/4" A500 -- was previously planning to sell it, but now I think I'll put it to use for the bow caps, which will minimize the number of join lines.
I also worked on preparing the bow compression struts. I'll probably break my arm patting myself on the back here, but they turned out really good. First step was shaping the struts and rounding the edges off:
Then I used my Raptor composite staple gun to staple one end of the glass to the struts:
The Raptor gun and staples worked really well - this was my first chance to use them. I was worried that the cloth would just tear through the staples but that didn't even come close to happening. It is a nice tool.
Then I wet out the glass, rolled it up as tightly as I could get it, and wrapped it in peel ply to help keep it tight: