Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lower starboard hull half laminated

Another busy week gone by - man but the holidays are coming up fast. Temperatures are dropping too, woke up this morning and it was barely over freezing.

I didn't have much time to work on boat stuff earlier this week, but did manage to get the plank grooves bogged and the marine plywood for the keel strip mounted. Then today I laminated the lower hull half. As mentioned before, I am now pre-wetting the foam before I lay the glass down:

That looks like an awful lot on there, but I found that laying down a thick coat makes the glass wet-out much easier. Here it is all done:

I also joined my daggerboard case this weekend on Saturday morning. Here I'm just getting started:

End view:

First two layers in place on aft side:

Initially there was a little bit of looseness in the middle of the case join, because I couldn't clamp it right away. After I had all three layers in place, I peel plyed the middle section, held it together, and clamped it once and for all:

Here's the uni glass going on:

Now with everything all peel-plyed:

I brought the daggerboard case inside the house and put it in front of the basement gas fireplace to cure (and turned up the thermostat on the fireplace). Things cure nice and quick this way, although it does heat up the whole house quite a bit (I hope noone asks why the dog is drinking so much water now :)). This meant I had time to do the other side of the case in the same day. Unfortunately I ran out of peelply, which meant that Jay the manly boatbuilder had to accompany his wife to Joanne Fabrics in search of a substitute. The store had no exact replacement, but a light-weight rip-stop nylon seemed to come closest, so I got some of that.

Putting the third layer of glass on the fwd side of the case:

After finishing up the fwd side, I put it in the basement and was expecting to pour the keel insert today. Unfortunately, a huge section of uni and regular BD glass lifted up for some reason:

I don't understand how this happened - I know I smoothed everything down really good before quitting for the night. Nothing for it but to trim off the hanging, useless glass, and grind it all back down. Here's the area post-repair:

These pics are getting a bit redundant, but here's one more showing most of the joined case:

I also vacuum bagged the carbon fiber layers onto the gudgeons; unfortunately, the vacuum pressure caused the carbon to bunch up over the tube on both of them -- I checked with Ian, and he said that I needed to re-do both parts, and to not bag them because this is apparently hard to do without getting the bunch-ups. So on Saturday, I also did two new gudgeons in my mold. Today, I hand-laminated on the carbon fiber to the gudgeons and cured them in front of the fireplace:

Later I trimmed them...

...and trial-fit them on the rudder mount foam:

Didn't have time to glue them on though.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And the winner is....

Thanks everyone for the responses in the "What do you think of Jay's blog?" poll. Allow me to record the results here for posterity before I delete the poll itself:
  • "It's perfect keep it up" -- 26 responses (89%)
  • "Less talk, more pictures" -- 2 responses (6%)
  • "Less pictures, more talk" -- 0 responses (hey I can dream, right?)
  • "Shut up already and just build the darn thing!" -- 1 response (3%) (ok, who's the wise guy? :)
Taking a poll was a bit silly, but cheap fun. I'll do my best to keep up the level of detail, and even start adding more pictures to satisfy the two of you who marked "more pictures". These Blogger-based blogs come with a free gigabyte of photo storage, and I've only used a little more than half. So there's plenty of room for more! :-)

I've now finished planking the lower hull half and lower gunwale:

Next up of course will be dremeling the grooves between the planks, bogging them, and preparing for laminate.

Overall I think my gunwale lines are going to turn out much better this time; mainly because I followed the advice in other build blogs (and someone also sent me an email - thanks all) to run one side of the foam farther down, and then just butt the other edge into it. Much easier than scribing, and should make for less bog\lighter weight. Here's what I mean:

Last but far from least, I had a heart-stopping moment after getting home from work this afternoon. Looking outside from the kitchen window, I saw that the rearmost three or four sawhorses under my port hull half, had collapsed! Ack! My daughter went outside with me and helped me set it all back up. The aft 1/3 of the hull was basically holding itself up -- the hull is remarkably stiff. Not that I want to put it to the test anymore. If I was doing this again, I think I would try placing the hull half on concrete blocks sitting on the ground (levelled of course); the wind would have much less of a chance to get underneath that way.

And yes, I did have the hull tied down per the friendly advice I received -- we had a minor wind storm warning last Thursday, which made me get off my rear and get it done. Don't know why the sawhorses decided to slip now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Starboard planking progress

Made slow progress this week, due to work committments -- was getting home after dark most nights. So much for my boasting about hardly missing any days working on the boat. :) As of Saturday morning, I only had about three feet of lower hull planked. This is where I'm at now:

Only about one more foot to go on the lower hull. I'll keep working at it this week. My goal before I quit working outside for the winter is to at least get this hull half planked and laminated, move the port hull half back into the tent on top of the mold, and maybe start doing bulkheads. Getting the hull joined this year probably won't happen, I think.

I am starting to get into winter "small project mode". Earlier this week I was puttering around in the garage trying to put together a rudder gudgeon mold. Not that I need it right now, it just looked kinda cool and easy to do. Yesterday I finished the mold; here it is with the G10 tube and inner foam piece in place:

I left the inner foam piece somewhat high, about 1 1/4" instead of 1". My mold is 1 1/2" high (two 3/4" layers), but this isn't a big deal. The foam piece is held securely by a screw through the backside of the mold. My neighbor helped out with his drill press again to do the hole for the G10 tubing (thx Bill).

Here is the first gudgeon, partway through laying down the multiple layers of A glass:

During the unmolding:

After unmolding:

Obviously it needs to be trimmed and cleaned up, before the carbon lamination can be done.

My second gudgeon broke loose from the tube during unmolding... me the opportunity to do another one - but once you have the mold, you can do one of these in about ten minutes. The third one came out out of the mold just fine, and I now have two gudgeon blanks ready to go.

I probably shouldn't be playing with this rudder stuff, when I have other jobs left undone (like joining my daggerboard case). But it was quick, easy, and fun, so oh well.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

About ready for starboard planking to begin

Not a lot of progress today - was hampered by a fit of laziness, induced by the fact that it is my birthday today and my wife was baking goodies for me :-).

Here's the reversed frames after mounting, but before battens:

And this is where I left off:

As I've mentioned before, my form frames are plywood because I was worried about water absorption if I used MDF instead. I've found that although plywood does not swell up and disintegrate like particle board or MDF would, it will still take on a warp under moist conditions. I was fighting this today by screwing stiffeners onto my frames to try to remove some of the warps. This is a big deal, since virtually every single measurement you do will be taken off of a form frame. If I had to build outside under these conditions again, I think I would try MDF, but would seal every inch of the outside surface of the frames with epoxy (after cutting them to the FSPs) before use. Might get the best of both worlds that way.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Port hull half unmolded

Wasn't able to do anything on the boat after work yesterday, so first job today was to finish removing all of the foam screws. When it was all done, I had two large buckets of screws and washers:

I then started working on getting the hull half popped loose. I don't remember exactly how long this took me, but it feels like it was at least an hour, maybe two. I had initially thought that I could run some lines from the peak pole of the tent, and use them to pull it out:

But this didn't work -- just couldn't get enough grip on the line I guess, and it was nylon so it was stretchy. (Probably if I had tied the line to a ratchet it would have worked.) I went back to the trial-and-error way, pushing and pulling here and here, looking for spots that were still stuck. The access hole by the transom makes a great pulling spot, and this was the area that popped loose first:

Next I put my sawhorses in the back yard, layed 2'x4' pieces of wood across them:

This is about the flattest part of my yard (except for where the boat tent is). I did my best to get everything level, using shims under the sawhorse legs; it's not perfect, but I think it will be good enough. Especially since I plan to get the starboard half done as quick as possible.

Now I was ready to completely unmold the hull half, and lay it on the sawhorses. Fortunately all of the neighbors were around today and willing to help. Sean\Bill\Scott\Jim -- thanks a ton guys! I couldn't have done this without you! Unfortunately, no one was available to take pictures of the moving process. Too bad, there would have been some good shots.

We didn't have much of a strategy -- we just pulled the hull half straight up as far as we could get it, then turned it over almost inside the mold, with the deck rotating under. This was all done by hand - no lines or tackle or gantries. Once we had it turned over, we headed out the back of the tent. Here there were some minor difficulties -- scraping the top of the hull half against the tent door flap, then scraping against the oak tree that's right behind my tent -- but in less than five minutes it was all done.

Grant asked me about how stiff the hull was. I thought it was very stiff, and during the move I never saw any serious deflection of the hull shape. I had lots of help on hand and was glad I had them due to the constrained space I had to work in. I'm not sure two people would be enough unless you had lots of space to move around in, and overhead lines to hoist the hull half where possible.

Anyway, here she sits:

(Yeah, I need to throw some more support under the transom area.)



Me underneath the hull half (feeling very excited:) ):

Then I tarped over the hull, using bungie cords to tie it off underneath:

The only thing I'm worried about is that if we get a good wind storm it might get under the boat and blow it off the sawhorses. I could tie it down with some stakes in the ground (or use the stairs and the apple tree :), but we're not really into the windy season yet - so for now I'll just keep an eye on the weather and work as fast as I can on the other hull half.

I then spent some time doing cleanup work in the tent. This is partway through the cleanup, which is why stuff is sitting or hanging on the mold; you can get a feel from this picture how much clearance we had to work with between the top of the mold and the tent door flap (and the oak tree branch):

Last job for the day was taking down the form frames. I thought this job would last into tomorrow, but I was able to surprise myself:

Tomorrow morning I'll start setting up for the starboard hull half.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cheekblock plate studs mounted

Last night I put a small amount of fairing compound around the cheekblock hole in the daggerboard case. This was so that I could sand it down today to produce a (reasonably) flat surface for trial-fitting the cheekblock plate and its studs.

The plans say to "tap" the studs into the case side, and since I always take things very literally I actually went and borrowed a tap from my neighbor and experimented with it on some scrap glass. Well, it didn't work so well. But when I drilled a simple, slightly-undersized hole and just screwed the stud into it, that worked pretty good. I don't think it's a real robust tap, but it should be okay so long as you don't screw the studs in and out too often.

So then I marked the holes, drilled them by hand, and mounted the studs:

This was not quite the best way to do it, since trying to drill a perfectly perpendicular hole by eyeball is futile - I ended up having to relieve some of the holes in the plate to get it to fit. Eventually I got it all working, and had everything trial-fitted:

Each stud in the picture above has a nylon washer, flat washer, lock washer, then the acorn nut -- all done per the building manual. The metal parts are all 316 stainless steel. (Can you tell I've been busy shopping at McMaster?)

Here's what it looks like from the inside:

I'm happy with the results - it looks good and feels very strong.

Finally, here are the studs mounted for the last time, bedded in sealant:

I used 3M 5200 Fast Cure. I used only about 1/300th of the tube, but the instructions warn that the entire tube will go hard within days after opening, even with the cap on -- if true, what a gyp! :-)

I think I am now completely ready for joining the two case halves.

I also spent around two hours this afternoon removing screws from the battens to get ready to unmold the port hull - got more than halfway done. Unmolding could happen possibly as soon as Saturday, but by Sunday for sure. I hope my neighbors are all planning to stay home this weekend, and not doing anything too terribly important. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Beam mounts arrive and cheekblock plate progress

Beam mounts came in the mail today. Woo-hoo! Now I just need a joined and laminated hull to go with them.

They came nicely packed:

Here are the fwd mounts:

Another view where you can (kinda) see the slot:

Here are the aft mounts:

And another:

The pictures above didn't turn out as good as I hoped -- there's so many interesting angles to these things, that there's really no substitute for touching and handling them in person. They feel nice and solid -- lots and lots of glass in these things!

I was excited last night thinking that I'd be able to start joining the daggerboard case halves today. However I forgot about doing the studs for the cheekblock plate -- can't skip that step :). After drawing out the outline of the plates and marking the location of the holes, I asked my neighbor (thanks Bill!) for some help drilling the holes on his drill press. Here we've punched the hole locations and are about to start drilling:

The small block-shaped outline to the left, is a spacer that will go between the block and the cheekblock plate. Probably by coincidence, the glass in this area of the daggerboard case turned out almost exactly 1/8" thick, so I can use the same aluminum sheet for the spacer.

After we drilled the holes, I brought the blank back to my house. Here I'm jigsawing the parts out of the blank:

Many jigsaw blades gave their lives for this part. After cutting and whittling away at the metal for awhile, then some sanding to clean it up, it looked like this:

It's not quite done - needs more rounding-over on the edges, plus buffing and polishing - but this is good enough that I can use it as a template to mount the screws\studs inside the case. The plans say to "tap" the glass for the studs, but I'm doubtful that the glass will tap that well - I will practice on some scrap glass first.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Daggerboard case anti-fouling

After work tonight, I put two coats of anti-fouling on my daggerboard case halves.

This stuff is 50% solid by volume (75% by weight). I'm always amazed at how a seeming liquid can separate so thoroughly:

The picture above only shows the tip of the iceberg. After a minute or so, I gave up trying to re-mix it in the original can, and dumped it into a plastic bucket -- had to scrape the sides and bottom of the can to get most of the copper sludge out. Once it was all in the bigger bucket, it was much easier to mix it all back together.

So...would your wife let you apply anti-fouling in the living room? Mine does - guess I'm lucky -- though it does have a bit of a stink to it. She also lets me store boat parts here, as you can see:

After the first coat:

Then I cranked up the thermostat on the gas fireplace, to assist in drying this coat. I'll have to stay up late in order to get the second coat on, but it'll be worth it: tomorrow night I should be ready to start joining the two halves into a daggerboard case.