Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dust and Illusions

Finally the stars aligned, the rain stopped, and I had time to sand. To my surprise it was not so painful. After almost 2 hours I can't say it was enjoyable, but it was rewarding. The boat is looking great. The Makita ROS does relatively quick work of the task. 1st sanding used 60 grit disks. The technique is to keep the sander moving over the hull in 6-8" circular motions. I won't belabor the issue, but moving in a line will only reinforce any flat areas left by the planer. There is a good sanding descriptive on Laughing Loon's Shop Tips. So, here are some pics showing the hull both sanded and wetted out (with water). The kayak really starts to show its color.

Hull on gangrenous deck.

inner stem prior to inside sanding. I'll add an epoxy fillet.

sanded close up
wet close up. Nail holes look fine.

port bow

Illusions of the final color. Wet port bow.

Well, we are getting somewhere now. Progress is measurable. A final sanding with 120 grit will be done after she dries. The temperatures are not likely to reach 70 degrees any time soon, so I'll have to devise some sort of tent over the hull once back in the garage. Space heaters under the hull will hopefully get the temp to epoxy range. I'd like to glass the hull prior to building the deck.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Toggles and the Blue Ridge

Not much to report on I'm afraid. We took last weekend off to enjoy a trip to the mountains. Here are a few photos to get the idea of the place.
Before the afternoon snow.
Very effective fireplace. Oak left hardly any ash.
Old cabin window

Old porch.

Marriage of old & new cabins. Well done.

Kept the fireplace going non-stop. Did some target practice. Ate too much and had a morning hike (too short to offset the good food).

House chores have slowed progress this weekend. I did manage to carve out a pair of toggles for lifting the boat bow & stern. I had laminated scraps from the build thus far with carpenters glue.
Toggles blocked out for planing.

Laminations are of Mahogany, Yellow Pine and western Red Cedar. Holes were drilled on the press prior to any shaping. I've become a great fan of planes. They make quick work, no dust and eliminate sanding for the most part.

Filed recess for the line.

After a slot was chiseled, the round file got us close for a slight recess. Sandpaper wrapped around the file did the rest.

Shaped and ready for varnish.

These are no great design, but are an evolution from the 2 previous sets I did for the SOF yaks. Simple, handy, and functional.

with 2 coats of varnish

These will be the colors in the kayak. Used Petit's Z-Spar gloss varnish. I don't know if it is still true, but I've always thought gloss is harder than satin. I'll let this 2nd coat harden and put a final coat on later.
Otherwise, I hope to try some epoxy & glass on the 2 bulkheads I glued up previously. the temps are not likely to be warm enough for glassing the hull anytime soon. I may consider making some sort of plastic tent over the boat to trap heat from an oil filled radiator heater. I want to get on with this project. Spring and sailing is coming!

PS: yes that is apencil line across one toggle. I don't mind a bit of the hand left in the construction. Like the nail holes, I see it as "character". I'm not looking to have a piece of furniture though I'm sure that 1st scratch will hurt.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reason for a Toast

 This evening I spent about an hour shaping the outer bow stem. I had hoped to have done so yesterday prior to the Superbowl, but the epoxy between the laminations was not setting. Oddly enough it wasn't until I took this shot tonight that I realized ... I HAVE A BOAT! So, with a little help I popped the hull off the forms. Nothing cracked. She weighs 18 lbs 8 oz. This is prior to any scraping of the interior or sanding at all. I expect to lose a few pounds still (from the boat that is).

I am absolutely thrilled. This is cause for celebration. The last pic speaks for itself. Cheers!

Starboard bow

Interior looking aft

Port stern quarter

Port bow. A beauty.

It's a  Blue Moon!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fairing, Stems & Promise

Bulkhead #11
It is good to have different parts of the boat to work on as a diversion. The making of the selected bulkheads was quick and simple. Over waxed paper that protected a full scale form outline the varying strips were glued, clamped, and held with hot melt. While that sets another strip is cut and edge glued. Repeat until form outline is covered. Finally the clamps are removed and the whole is weighted on a flat surface for carpenters glue to cure.
Bulkheads 6 & 11 trimmed & scraped.

Bow with top cheater strip glued & clamped.
Once cured the hot melt is scraped off and the entire surface is planed smooth. Then the paper form is spray mounted to the bulkhead, trimmed close with a hand saw and finally hand planed to the paper outline. Yesterday I ordered 3 gallons of epoxy (Raka's UV Inhibited). It claims to be " second to none in its ability to resist blushing, UV breakdown, color change< white clouding and water spotting". We will see. " Also purchased was 32 yards of 4oz cloth and 50 yds of 2" tape. While 2 gallons should be adequate, I did not want to be caught short ... and at a 2:1 ratio of epoxy to hardener, smaller quantities were almost the same price (surprise).

 These 2 bulkheads will serve as practice for glassing. Some use foam instead of hard
bulkheads. The theory being that a hard landing on a rock will be more forgiving as opposed to a potential shear point with a hard bulkhead. More people tend to use hard bulkheads and I do not intend to go white water kayaking in this touring boat.

Sometimes 1 clamp won't do.  Last cheater in!


Added the 6 cheater strips to the bow. I now have the technique down. The 1st one on the stern took over 2 hrs and was poor at best. The last here took maybe 20 minutes and filled the taper quite well. The trick? Cut a strip a couple inches longer than the wedge to be filled. Make sure the grain is smooth and runs across and away from the pointy end. This eliminates the chance of cracking off part of the cheater (guess how I know. Twice!) Since the wedge is curved in reality you must take a half dozen measurements of the gap at roughly 3-4" intervals and make them on the trim piece. Use a wood batten to connect these dots. Grab your sharp sturdy pocket knife to trim close to the line and finish with the plane. Test fit and plane some more. I left a slight bevel toward the inside of the hull. I think this allowed for some error in a spot no one is likely to ever see. Ah! one more thing: having a smooth board nearby and a chair to sit in as you address the work area makes all this more pleasant than arduous, well, at least eventually. It is all about learning.

Stern stem laminating.

Now for the outer stems. I chiseled a "chin" off the keel to accept two 1/8" strips of mahogany and cherry laminations. Why both woods? Because that is what was in my scrap pile in the shed. The heat gun will allow for these strips to bend along the stem easily. Once the stem is planed and sanded square to the keel, thicken some epoxy and slather it on. Masking tape helps hold the strips in position for clamping. You must get good epoxy squeeze out, but don't clamp so hard as to make the joint dry. Make sure the clamps remain in place. I left the garage for an hour and returned to see a clamp on the ground. This resulted in the joint opening in that one location. Fortunately it is small enough to be filled with dust & epoxy later.

Stem ready for shaping.

Shaped stem with hit of color.

After 3 laminations on the stem, I shaped with a plane while being careful to reference a pencilled center line so as not to remove too much wood. I had to spread a little mineral spirits on the result to get an idea of the final look. Fantastic! even with the nail holes, which again, I think I'll leave.

Chin detail.

Nice saw joint on the chin. While I hate working with the yellow pine, it does look good here against the mahogany.
On to the bow stem ... the lines don't have this chin, so it should be easier. I'll post a final pic on that. Now at the 80 hr mark and almost ready to sand. Snowing this morning so we'll wait for better weather as I want to keep the dust outside.

Wide angle close up
I bought a $5 wide angle & macro lens for my iPhone and have played a little with it. Here is a wide angle shot followed by a macro and then a macro of a mini fish souvenir from sailing in Maine. Lens works well I'd say.

Macro: closer still
Macro: glass fish. 1/4" tall.