Monday, November 18, 2013

Chopping Block Cinderella

As I've said, it is good to have other pieces of the boat to offer relief when certain tasks lose some interest. After getting some work done early this morning, I went to inspect the latest plank glue up. They were solid, but I lacked motivation to take them on. Then a look at the rudder blank proved to egg me on. I took the blank with paper template spray mounted on to the Skil bandsaw. What a piece of junk. Even a new blade couldn't move through the 1" stock. Just not enough horsepower. The Bosch scroll saw wins again.

Blank and template.

Templates for a NACA 007 foil proved a right fit for the slab thickness of 31/32". These were paper outlines glued to 1/4" ply, saw cut and filed to the outline. Loads of jack planing approximated the shape well enough for a controlled sanding of 80 grit in the belt sander. The result: a tapered foil that is ready for final finish sanding and glass. I'm very happy with this. What a transformation. She is now a princess.

The day is gorgeous, 68 degrees, sunny and breezy. Being outdoors for a couple hours made for a nice break. Don't think sailing wasn't contemplated.

Now back to designing mundane buildings. Pay is still better!

Foil template testing.

Near done shaping. Some final sanding needed.

Another shot with mineral spirit rub.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

3 Planks Down, 3 To Go

A cold front has moved in and the garage temps were so low that Friday's scarfing hadn't quite set. So, I fired up the kerosene heater and began work on the rudder foil. I elected to make the bladed out of epoxy laminated douglas fir. No real reason other than I thought this plywood boat deserved something other than plywood foils. From a 5/4 x 3x 10' board I was just shy of completing the rudder's width. Since I had some cut offs from the spar staves, I slipped those in to complete the required width. End grain was altered to eliminate any warping of the final blade. I also am planning to glass the whole affair as added protection. My intention is to varnish the end result. since my planer is limited to 10" widths, two halves were glued up, planed and after a pass through the jointer, glued together. A full sized template helped in the layout.
Rudder half clamped.

Paper template on stock.
I've bought new blades for my 9" Skil bandsaw and I'll be curious to see how well it cuts. The blade that came with it was rot. It dulled after a few cuts in plywood. We'll see what Bosch blades do.

Otherwise the planking went on. I've got it down now. The laddered batten templates are very accurate. I cut 2 full planks at a time taking care to just skirt the penciled trace of the template. Judicious use of the jack plane and belt sander provides a gentle curve. The beveling and cutting of gains has now got a rhythm too. Waiting for the epoxy is what is holding back now, but I do glue both plank stocks at the same time.

Stock laid out and template set to confirm fit.

Nails in pilot holes confirm positions of scarfs.

wetting scarf before thickened epoxy.

Wax paper separates 2 planks for simultaneous clamping.

I dorked the corner of 2 scarfs. Luckily they are outside the final plank outline.

The Manning benches are awesome. At 36" they handily make a convenient work surface and can be easily maneuvered for planking operations. Perfect height. Slipping a block of wood under one plank panel helps register the joint with the nails mentioned above. There is also adequate room for slopping in the thickened epoxy after the initial wet-out. I've noted some don't bother with this step, but I want as deep a bond as possible.

I've now 1/2 a hull. 3 planks on, 3 to go, and number 4's stock is curing.

Went back to drywall screws.

3 planks on.

Epoxy distorts appearance, but boat is true so far.
Bow and template beyond.
Not pictured, but started are the centerboard case and the planing for the outer stem and keel. Again, I climbed up on the boat to work. She is sturdy. I expect to be done planking come Thanksgiving. I'd like to show her off to family then. Ah, one other thing to note. I gave up on washered screws to pull the planks together. The washers sometimes stuck in the epoxy taking bits of wood in their removal. Drywall screws leave a conical hole which I rationalize is easier to fill and offers more surface area for the epoxy to fill and stick to.  ... OK! its easier too. What's wrong with that?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Planking at 33%

Lesson number 1: make darn sure any planks are fully inside the garage before shutting the overhead. No sooner had I walked into the house after a good day of bat work did I hear a loud "crack!" The last 12" of my recent plank was effectively guillotined by the closing garage door. Since it was clamped to one of the manning benches, it had no place to go. Man, that hurt.
Alas, some heavy epoxy and glassing on the inside face seem to have mended the damage. We won't be bright finishing this area. I'm otherwise too embarrassed to show a pic of that.

The good news is that we are done with 1/3 of the planking. Four planks on and 8 to go. She's taking shape and, aside from self inflicted wounds, the technique is evolving.

To back up, here are a couple shots of the scarfing marking, stacking, and trimming. The jack plane makes fairly quick work and the last touch of the belt sander makes it all right.

marked at 2" for 8:1 scarf.

stacked for planing

near done.

The trussed templates continue to be accurate. After cutting the 2 opposite planks together I set template again on the planks to confirm shape and either sand or plane the edges true to the template as a last check. No adjustments have been necessary on the moulds so far.

hot glued truss template.

another view of same.
rabbet plane with wood strut for beveling.
After much fussing with the "clothes pin" clamps (several broke and some were short), I resorted to using screws and fender washers (drywall screws bit too far into the planks). The resulting holes will require filling, but this will be nothing after all the nail holes I fixed on my strip kayak. Holes bored in the moulds under the other plank edges provided for positive clamping there. I see the epoxy stains distort the lines, but they are fair.

drywall screw method was discarded.

3/4" #8 screws and fender washers. 
1/3 planking done.

And so, we've 1/3 a hull.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cherry Cleats

The pieces and parts of this boat provide some interesting tasks offering some diversion from what may seem at times routine in the construction. Or, they can be just the right sized project completed while waiting for epoxy to cure. One such time filler was a pair of wooden cleats I decided to manufacture from that cherry I have hauled around ever since living in Houston years ago.  Combine that with the discovery of a good article from Harry Bryan called, imagine this, "Making Wooden Cleats".

From WoodenBoat No. 192 (Sept/Oct 2006)

They are easy to do. This instruction makes it simple. I made 2 for now using the chart he provides for specific dimensions based on the line to be used.
  • From cut offs discarded from the rudder head, 3/4" cherry was cut to 1" height in my case and then cut to 5" lengths. These cleats will be fastened to the 2 masts for halyards ( or halliards per an Englishman).
Cherry blanks.
  • a 9" bandsaw (with a dull blade) eventually made it through the stock to give a rough shape.
  • flat and tail files, the belt sander and final hand sanding delivered the product. 45 minutes a piece?
Rough cut lines.
A pair with stock for 2.

One of two with added turpentine for effect.
There still remains some slight "perfection sanding", but they look suitable for the task.

Garboard Planks (or Shadows of the Whiskey Plank)

Until I made the first plank, I felt I was dancing around the idea of building a boat. Most of the spars have been made. Pieces like the rudder head have been cut. Aprons and stems have been created. Even the backbone with its moulds and fretted battens (I've moved them countless times) hadn't mentally convinced me I was building this boat.

Before shear batten was adjusted.

That all changed yesterday when the garboard planks were lain on the moulds for a test fit. I am pleased with the result and the technique. Those steps are as follows:

  • 2 sheets of the 6mm okoume ply were ripped down the length to 12" wide panels. The finished plank was almost 10" at its widest and this width worked (by happenstance?).
  • These were stacked and tapered to a 8:1 scarf for joining.
Scarfing of 2 stern ends. Previously had done 4 for middle joints.

  • With wax paper on my Black & Decker Workmate, the panels were joined. "Wet" epoxy on the scarfs were followed by thickened epoxy.

  • I used a small nail through the panels to prevent epoxy slide in the joint. Small wedges under the clamped joint batten help snug it all down uniformly.
  • 24 hrs later one panel was ready. A heat gun and scraper readily removed the excess. (Thanks Ross Lillistone).
Stacked planks with tracings from the spiling truss.

  • Since I let the bow end run wild for final shaping, I was not convinced I had enough panel once joined so I added 8" from what was to be cut off at the stern end.
Added 8".

  • The trussed batten ladder from the moulds worked like a charm. The finer ends do need extra cross pieces to hold the joined battens in place.
I regret I didn't take more photos, but I was wrapped up in the process. I'll take more detail pics in subsequent planks. Here are the planks resting on the moulds.

Garboard planks resting.

Planks landed on their marks.
Some slight trimming of a couple moulds will be required.
All in all the work went fine and much better than expected. There will be some twist in the fine ends to the planks, but that is expected. I likely could have done without the 8" scabbed piece. This part will be painted and nobody will know. I've heard some complain about wielding the long planks, but I had no problems and thankfully ... they fit!
At this point we have 105 hrs in the build. Most Americans have probably 4 times that in television viewing over the same period, but that is a sad discussion I'll save for another day. Later-