Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scarfing Strips

I made this jig for scarfing the deck strips together. The ratio is about 6:1. I have it arranged so I can cut both pieces through at once, with a pullsaw.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Deck Forms And Shear Clamp

This is a part of the project where it pays to follow the instructions explicitly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had trouble getting the shear clamp to conform to the curve of the side panel, and overlap the correct amount. I should have tried harder! The instructions also say that "more overlap is better than not enough", or something to that effect. The thing is, that those notches on the inside corners of the temporary deck forms are almost exactly the width of the shear clamp, and if the shear clamp wanders, so do the forms. If I had done a Perfect Job, I'd simply have to put the forms in, and plane the clamp to match the angle of the forms. As I did, I left much too much overlap in the stern, where the angle is low, and not enough near the cockpit, where the angle is high. I had to plane a lot away at the low-angle areas, and glue another piece onto the steep areas. I also had to reduce the height of two of the forms, to make everything line up right.
Finally got it done, and hope it works.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Glassing The Hull

Went about the same as the last time, including taking twice as long as I thought it would. This time, I skipped the second layer of glass that covers the bottom panels, commonly known as "The Football".  I did  use two reinforcing strips at the bow & sternLast summer, I only tapped ground lightly, a few times, resulting in a few scratches in only the varnish. I think the 'standard" instructions are intended to make the boat suitable for bouncing off rocks. I try never to touch the boat with anything but soft surfaces, and water.
This time, I took extra care to remove excess epoxy. I used a hair dryer to bring up air-it also reduced the viscosity, making it easier to remove excess.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Interior Hull Work

I fiber glassed the cockpit interior today. While it was much easier the second time, it was still kind of a fussy job. I believe that the last time, I definitely left too much epoxy on, so this time, I made sure to use the minimum for the 1st coat. I'm also glad that I left that 9oz. tape off the bottom puzzle joint. 
After reading a lot about the "Pastry Bag Method" of distributing the thickened epoxy in the seams, I tried it last build-and had the same problems-bag breaks, wastage, epoxy goes off early, etc. So I used-are you ready for this-a pastry bag! Actually,  it was a cake decorator. I got a bunch of disposable bags (which don't break), and a couple of nozzles. Total cost: $4, and works great.

I had originally wanted to use end blocks instead of end pours, but the intersection of the shear clamps would have made it complicated. I went to West Marine, and got a container of "microbaloons". $12 for a can of tiny plastic bubbles. I mixed them into the epoxy to a "toothpaste consistency", and used scraps of mini cell foam wrapped in saran as dams.
The stuff got decidedly warm as it cured, and expanded  visibly.

I painted the interior of the forward compartment, the location of the lone hatch. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tack Welding The Hull

I guess that was a "radical" curve in the shear panel, near the stern, because a section of it managed to pop free, while I was wiring. I re-glued it back into place, with a bit less curve, figuring that I can always plane off more material.
This time, I took a little more care in aligning the panels, even using a few steel wires in the stubborn spots. There is still about a 1mm gap for about 1 foot near the bow, but I can deal with it. I had the bright idea of using a cake decorator to apply the epoxy, but "ketchup consistency" was too runny. I used a small paintbrush instead.

Friday, March 2, 2012


About the same as the last build. It may have gone a little easier, while I remembered all the persnickety details.
As usual, the parts I thought would be difficult are easy, and vice versa. This time, I managed to bring the shape of the bottom together more easily, by getting the bottoms of the bulkheads and temp forms centered to the bottom panels  first . However, gluing on the shear clamps was a pain-they take a pretty radical curve near the stern. I made my own shear clamps of cedar, instead of using the supplied cypress parts, for a weight savings of about one pound. Hmm.