Saturday, August 4, 2007

Wingnet rails attached and daggerboard case keel flanges

All week long I've been doing a little bit each day on the wingnet rails. As of today, all rail attachment points are glued and taped to the floats and I should be able to start fairing them tomorrow (albeit two days behind schedule, which is about right for me).

Here's a picture of the port rail deck attachments getting taped:

I did not take the time to mask off the faired surfaces of the rails, and I did get some epoxy here and there that will require sanding later.

For today I had to tape the starboard rail deck attachments, and the under-rail supports on both floats. Taping the under-rail supports requires especially small pieces of glass:

This next picture shows an under-rail support taped in place on both sides of the support. This was not a fun job, because of the small glass pieces (they want to come apart easily) and because of the cramped area between the main rail and the support rail. I did the best I could, but I predict several hours of tedious hand-sanding ahead of me:

I am amazed at the rigidity the rails now have after being attached. They went from being loose, floppy parts to tough, solid parts of the entire float structure - you shake the rail, and you shake the whole float. The only part that wiggles now even a little bit is the bitter ends of the rails that are hanging in mid-air.

My neighbor came over today for a peek at my progress, and when I told him that the rails would be part of the supporting structure for the nets which would support human beings (above the water, no less), he got this very skeptical look on his face. No faith, I swear. :)

I also worked on the daggerboard case some more. Here is the port case half, after unmolding:

Before I did any work on the case halves, I wanted to trim all of the jagged edges off left over the bagging process. The jigsaw on its side worked well to clean up the side glass:

That is not the final cut, of course, it was just a quick-and-dirty job to clean things up.

I also needed to trim the the top and bottom of each case half. In getting ready for this, I discovered that I have made another minor mistake. I now believe that you are initially supposed to leave the foam slightly longer than the final case length; then later when you trim the top and bottom (after bagging) you end up with a full thickness of foam exposed on those edges. I had initially trimmed the case foam to be exactly as long as the specified final case length, and then beveled each edge at 45 degrees. So after trimming to the final case length, there is very little if any foam exposed on the top and bottom, and there is a beveled edge where there should be none. Oops! Well, I don't think it's a big deal - it just means that I'll have to fill in the extra space with putty when I am finally ready to tape the case into the boat. Word to the wise for the rest of you.

Here are both case halves, after trimming top and bottom, and rough-trimming the sides:

I then spent some time sanding the insides of the case halves to a rough 150 grit, and scuffing up the rebated taping areas with 80 grit. Once primed and painted, the inside of the case should turn out glossy smooth.

After that, the next step was to form a keel flange at the bottom of each case half. This requires using a mold plate at the bottom of each half:

Here is the flanges being laminated:

I'll be blocked pretty soon on further daggerboard case progress, because I don't have the details for the cheekblock assembly. I don't think it's that complicated, based on this picture from Ian's web site, but I'd rather get the final plan sheet on this to be sure. So I emailed Ian asking about it.

My wife said something funny to me today. After watching me build stuff for the last several months, she knows by now the basic steps I go through when doing vacuum bagging or wet layups, and she also knows that when I'm in the middle of one these procedures I don't stop for anyone or anything, period. So today, she comes out to the garage to go somewhere, and tells me that I need to drive our daughter to work since she'll be gone. And then she says "So don't start basting anything, because she needs to leave in about a half hour!". Hahaha - "basting". Gotta love her.

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