Sunday, March 11, 2007

Second float half laminated and bulkheads mounted

I've been making steady progress on the second float half. I puttied between the planks and filled holes on Friday night, then laminated the inner skin on Saturday, and today I mounted the bulkheads and laminated the chainplate pad. Doesn't sound like much when I say it like that, but the time sure seemed to fly by. I considered trying to unmold the float half late tonight (Sunday night), but considering the cool temperatures and rainy weather, I'm going to play it safe and let it cure overnight. This is good progress though, and I'm looking forward to joining my first float half.

One big improvement I saw with this float half over the first one, is that all of the bulkheads fit with near-millimetric precision. I am 100% convinced that this is due to the improved plank-to-keel foam fitting. It was very cool seeing these parts fit so well. Only wish I could have done so well on the first float half.

I also made myself a cheap little fillet tool out of a small piece of plastic. At first I was going to make a handle for it, then said hell with it, it's going to get all gunked up anyway. Amazing what a few square inches of plastic can do; the resulting fillets were great: smoother and sized more consistent than the ones I did by hand before. One weirdness that happened while doing the fillets, is that some of the fillets turned yellow on me (obviously due to heat generated during curing, although I didn't think the putty was that close to 'kicking'). The fillets that experienced this did not appear to malform (no catastrophic meltdowns), but it certainly looks a bit odd. I'm hoping that this is not a fatal condition, but I sent a question to S3's support line about it just in case.

By the way, did I mention how awesome Thalco rubber squeegees are for laminating? I used one for the first time on this float half. A bit expensive, but you can easily drag them around the cloth and get the excess resin out.

Another pic of tape cutting central:

Here is a pic of the bulkheads all taped in:

(You can see the rain dripping from the door of my tent. I was dodging raindrops every time I carried a wetted-out tape from the garage. Temperatures got up to over 60 deg F though so I'm not complaining about a little rain with it.)

And here is the chainplate pad laminated to the hull side:

I tried to be extra careful with the chainplate pad...I'd hate to be sailing along some day and see that chainplate come ripping out of the float deck. (Do other builders have daytime nightmares like this?) Also, careful readers will note that since the chainplate pad went into this float half, that means this is going to be the starboard inner half. I know I said my first half was going to be the starboard inner, but changed my mind earlier this week when I couldn't wait to unmold the first float half.

[Edit: System Three responded to my query already (on a weekend, no less!) with the following response:

Hot epoxy will turn yellowish in color. So long as it is not brown you are fine.

Phew, good thing -- I'd hate to have all that work wasted.]

No comments: