Monday, March 12, 2007

Second float half unmolded; form frames reversed

We unmolded the second float half this evening; it was a piece of cake. My daughter was even out there helping me loosen screws, and once that was all done we had it out of the mold in five minutes flat. Pretty exciting.

This float half looks good; not quite as fair on the outside foam as I was expecting, but quite acceptable. The float half is now nestled against its twin, both waiting for me to finish their mates:

After that was put away, I got busy dismantling the form frames. The tear down process went quite fast. I marked each of the battens so I could get them all back into their original places:

When I had a bare strongback again, I took some time to re-check the level. Remember that my strongback is built on top of pierblocks, which are sitting on a sand\gravel base inside of holes dug about a foot down into the ground. So I was curious to see how things have held up, now that six months of our rainy winter have almost passed (sigh - has it really been that long?). I think though, that this will work:

It looked that good everywhere; the strongback essentially hasn't moved at all. Considering it's a wooden strongback built outside on essentially a dirt base, I'm quite pleased.

Remounting the form frames went pretty fast. My form frames are made of 3/4" construction plywood, but it turned out that form frame #1 actually had some minor warpage. I think this is because it is the frame that is closest to the door of the tent, so when it rains it gets a lot of semi-direct moisture. The warpage wasn't that bad though, and I decided to keep using it. All of the other frames were fine. (Thank goodness the boat itself is not made out of wood -- if so, I would not be building it under these conditions.)

Some of the battens were another story. I was planning on reusing all of them...

...but some of them had suffered from warping. They didn't seem warped when I was doing the first two float halves, but when I was trying to put them back a few were quite uncooperative (a few of the screw holes got kind of tired too) -- maybe they waited to be unscrewed, then took their chance to warp and ran with it. After some thought, I think I will just replace them; I've got plenty of extra battens laying around. But the majority of the battens are back in place, so I'm declaring success for tonight.

The screw guns got quite the workout this evening. I have two Dewalt guns, an old one and a new one. The old one died on me tonight (no kidding - wasn't a dead battery, as far as I can tell) while I was drilling new holes to screw the form frames to the strongback cross pieces. That slowed things down, having to switch screw bits for drill bits, etc, etc. I will be getting a new gun this week - life's too short to live with only one.

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