Wednesday, January 31, 2007
A few weeks ago the tasks seemed endless. I couldn't see any improvement with the fairing work I was trying to accomplish and I was thinking there is no way I'll ever see the end of this project. WOW! was I going to end up with one of those partly finished boats in my backyard? I still have a long way to go but I am re-energized and I'm building like a fiend. Seeing pictures of Scott Williams out on his Tiki 21 sailing and reading about Rory McDougall's trip in Cooking Fat a Tiki 21 got me stoked. So now I too want to be out sailing. My goal stands, by the end of June tsunamichaser will be one with the wave and wind. Today was a short day, that is I have to pick up my daughter by 1515. So from 0900 to 1515 I crank slurping hot coffee and downing lunch as the day goes. I did more work on the beams first. I cleaned up the epoxy work I did yesterday with the belt sander. FYI if you are building one of these, Wharram shows the butt block on the beam webs in the wrong spot. It doesn't go flush to the bottom of the beam but up 6mm to clear the beam bottom butt block. I did this right on the front beam but wrong on the other two. Easily fixed with a circular saw set to the right depth. Once these were cleaned up, I layed the four pieces out, cut cloth and spread on the resin. I've added cloth to the beams even though Wharram doesn't do it this way. Another "custom" feature! As the resin on the one side of the hull was curing along well, I flipped the boat back upside down then Sanded the otherside. Smoooooth! First 40 grit on the random orbital then the faring board and finally 100 grit. I rehung the boat by the straps, vacummed the hull and the shed ready for resin. I also took time to run the doug fir strips for the beams through the planer. They need a little more work but for now they are ready to be glued up. That will be a task for tomorrow. All this got me 1500. A quick call to Dennis at Edensaw to schedule a monday delivery of more wood and I grabbed a pack of gummybears for me and my daughter to eat on the way home and I was running up to school. Once back, it was time to mix resin. A quart batch with some white pigment and Rachel doing quality control I poured it out, hit it with my favorite 6" rubber window washers squeegee and got it distributed, rolled out and then tipped with a china brush. WEW! what a day and it still isn't over, I have a 2210 yes 10pm soccer game tonight!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The hull is a shine'in! All the work fairing and sanding seems to have paid off. Note the long fairing board hanging off to the left in the first photo. Not resting on my laurel's I launched into cutting strips of doug fir for the beams immediately after a well deserved cup of joe. I'll run them through the planer tomorrow and then round off the corners as needed. I'll be glueing and screwing these once I've glassed the plywood bits.
I was busy today! Despite the cool morning temperatures I ploughed on. First I worked on the main and aft beams making all the knees and butt blocks. I've shown my way of drilling the limber holes. I trimed the over hanging cloth from the glassed fairing for the front beam. I glassed it before I install it. This will be my technique for the other beams too but in this case I will do all three parts, web, bottom and fairing. Once I had the beam knees and butt blocks cut I glued up the web and bottom for both beams. I had a little lunch then launched into final coat on the one side of the hull. I got it on its side and mixed up a near quart of white pigmented mix. This I spread out and then back rolled. It looked pretty good but once I tipped it out with a brush it was mirror like. I think I've got this side where I want it. A light sand with 220 cloth and then a sprayed coat of two part primer and I'll be on my way!
Bluebird days here with not a cloud in the sky. It's nice to see the sun but it's cold so epoxy needs a little push to cure. I'm letting it get tack free on it's own then I throw an electric blanket over it with insulation on top of that. It works pretty good. As the cooler temps are to stay with us I cintinue to make bits. Today I'm starting on the aft and main beam.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I have been head down with the sander running hard! I finished up my go of sanding around lunch today after putting about 3 hours of sanding in per side. Like I said, Faring is turning out to be something of an experiment for me. After a good clean up of the shed, I flipped the hull on its side so the one go cover everything faired side was up. I wiped it clean of dust and washed it with denatured alcohol. Once this had evaporated I mixed up a large batch of resin and layed it on with a squeegee and then back rolled it with a foam roller. It took 715 grams of resin to cover the side. Most likely I'll leave it to cure until Monday then I'll work on the other side. The serrated fairing side is turning out to be something of a challenge. The bond between the new fairing material and the original hasn't been perfect so some of it has come off. My plan is to comeplete sanding of the side and then coat it with resin. I'll then come back with more fairing compound as necessary to finish up the fairing and then give it a final resin coat. I hope this works!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Not much pysical progress on the boat today - exactly none. I'm helping out on a project with deliverables due on Thursday. Then I'll get back into it. I did place an order for more plywood, and lumber for the mast, gaff boom and tillers. I also picked up an orbital sander so I can continue fairing the hull. I'll use it with a soft foam disc. Hopefully it does the trick.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Well I didn't get to do any work on the boat yesterday. I had a small consulting gig that I'm "fitting" in. I can do much of the work in the off hours but I had a meeting yesterday and have an out of town trip on Monday. The epoxy I mixed up to fair the hull with on Thursday hasn't totally set up. It's been cold and I used a batch of slow hardener so I'm not worried that I made a bad mix ...YET! I'll give it a day or so before I start worrying.
Today I'm continuing on the forward beam. I like the way it is turning out. After I drink the cup of coffee I'm having as I write this, I'll coat the inside surfaces of the fairing area and set the angle brackets.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I worked like mad today. I made blocking for the forward beam, aft side, dry fitted all the pieces drilled holes for screws, glued the blocks and lower half of the upper flange on and as I almost forgot added a fillet at the juncture of the flange and web on the forward side. I also got back to the hull. I the first round of filling on one side and started filling low areas noted in earlier posts on the serrated side and started filling the gaps left bu the serrated trowel. I'm going to let all this work set up before I push on.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Today was a day for celebration, my sails arrived! Although I haven't completely unfolded them, they look good. I had Jeckells make up a main and jib. Now all I need is a boat to bend them to.
The weather cooperated somewhat today. Though it was icy first thing, the temperature quickly got up to 40 F. I continued work on the forward beam this morning and then got back to hull sanding in the afternoon. The beam web is now joined to the beam bottom. Next I'll add the top flanges and angle braces and then the forward fairing.
I've finished the first go of sanding on this hull using 40 grit paper and a random orbital sander. I'll give the whole thing a good go over with a long flexible fairing board and re-mark any divots that need filling on the smooth side. The key will be giving the whole thing a good cleaning to get all the dust taken care off. I've been saving my sanding dust so I can make more fairing compound. Even though the sander picks up a great deal of the sanding debris, there is still dust everywhere. I'll need to give the shed a good cleaning before I spray the primer coat. But I get ahead of myself. I need to fill any low spots on the one side and the 'ruts' on serrated side and give the whole thing atleast one more good sanding if not two or three. There is still plenty of detailing to do at the stem and stern, at the skeg and along the fillet where the upper and lower hull panels join. So even though I'm looking forward to getting this hull back upright, I've got a ways to go. After all the inside needs detailing and then the ends need to be filled with foam and the deck needs to be assembled.
Plenty of work to keep me out of trouble!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I could use some more clamps! Not that I want to tighten the pieces I'm gluing to the point of crush but it takes a lot of clamps to hold everything in the right position. The snow and cold are still with me so I'm wimping out to work in the mudroom instead of the shed. One key pointer, always dryfit your pieces first. I discovered a mis-measure wowee in the 6mm plywood piece that makes up the bottom of the front beam. Luckily it was on the big side so I scribed the true arc and glued the Doug Fir pieces to the correct line. This is where all the clamps come in handy. I've been using a few screws too; just enough to fix the critical points.
Monday, January 15, 2007
With the weather remaining cold, I have moved on to smaller projects that I can do in my mud room. I've started work on the forward beam cutting the necessary Doug Fir pieces and plywood butt blocks. I've started gluing these together. It looks like the colder weather will hold for a few more days with a threat of snow for tonight. After it departs and we return to normal temperatures, I'll return to the hull. Meanwhile I have to be satisfied with making bits and pieces.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Sunday morning. Where am I freak'in living? It is -4 c with snow on the ground and this snow doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon. This is suppose to be lotus land where the snow stays in the mountains and maybe shows up for an afternoon just so the kiddies here don't get freaked out when they finally encounter it elsewhere and so they can build the obligatory snow dirt grass man. Without heat in the shed I am stuck until the temperature climbs so I can continue doing epoxy. Yesterday I thought I'd get started on making tillers but couldn't find a suitable source of White Oak so I will need to look farther away. Speaking of white oak, I dreamed about trees and about where this boat comes from. A part of me wishes that I was able to go out into my own forest to select the wood and that the boat came from lumber all locally gathered. The dream was complicated in that I visited not only the place where the tree came from but the time when it was a sapling. Something of a spirit walk. As I can't work of the hull, I'm looking for smaller projects so I will pick up on the beams. I have cut some of the major plywood pieces which I can start assembling in my basement. I'll just have to create a protected gluing area and see how it goes.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Last night's snow turned into a frozen bluebird day. I spent a couple of hours in the shed sanding the completely faired side of the hull. This went much slower than the serrated side. After a couple of hours I noticed that I wasn't feeling my fingers anymore. I went in for tea to warm up and inadvertantly had a nap! The next couple of days are suppose to be on the frozen side of the thermometer so I'm not sure how much work I'll be able to get done. I certainly won't be doing any epoxy work unless I move it into the house. Maybe I'll dig out as much old clothes as I can find tomorrow and a pair of old ski gloves and see what I can get done on the sanding front. I'd like to get the hull turned right side up again.
Despite blowing off the "day's work" to go skiing, I still managed to get some work done yesterday. I live less than a hour away from a mountain pass that offers excellent skiing. Excellent skiing was certainly the case yesterday. With about 12 inches of powder on the runs and knee deep powder in the trees and off-piste, my skiing partner, Sarah, and I whooped it up for three plus hours. The added bonus was that there was next to no one there, less than 100 cars in the parking lots. As Sarah needed to get back to town to take her kids to piano lessons, I returned too. I picked up some 40 grit sanding discs for my random orbital on the way home and then after a well deserved mug of joe spent two hours sanding the side of the hull that I applied the serrated fairing compound to. I now realise that I applied it with too deep of a serrated knife. This means I'm wasting some material but hey, I said I was experimenting. One thing I've discovered, which I will be able to correct, is that the hull has dips at bulkheads 2 and 4 at the upper hull panels. I'll fill these with fairing compound. I will also check dimensions on the other set of bulkheads and see if I mis-measured when I made the bulkheads originally. Today is cold with a good coating of snow and ice on everything. Too cold to do epoxy work but I'll spend the day sanding the hull more. The key there will be not sanding all the way through to the fiberglass cloth.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
I have entered unknown territory - the fine art of perectly fairing the hull so that it is smooth and fair in all directions. If you don't take risks you will never know so I am trying two methods. One where you use a serrated spreader to create a series of ridges. Once cured, these ridges are sanded so that the peaks are knocked off to a common plane. This is the final surface. Know the theory says that you fill in the valleys in between the sanded peaks bringing it all to one height and hopefully a perfect surface. The other method involves applying the fairing compound over the whole surface and then sanding the whole surface until it is smooth. We will see, in the next few days, how it all turns out. Hopefully both sides will look great. Fairing isn't taking the whole day so I am continuing the work on the rudders. They are now glassed on both sides. Wharram doesn't mention glassing them but it makes sense. I glassed the full blades both sides. The next step will be to cut out and glue on the thickening cheeks for the upper end of the rudders and then adding the resting cheeks for the tiller.
I have sent a email to my boat lumber supplier to get a quote for additional plywood (I can get 5x10 sheets so I can do the foward decks in one piece) and lumber for the mast and boom which will be of Sitka Spruce. I had considered building the mast out of aluminum but haven't found a reasonably priced 5" OD tube locally. After much searching, I have commited to the wood spars.
I figured out today that I have 170 days until my planned launch date. So far I have put 63 days into the project. All of these 170 days won't be available for building but I will make the best of them. I think I have about 110 days of building available. At this point it still looks like I'll be done as planned. Not that it really matters other than that I'd love to spend the summer sailing.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Skimcoat - a thin layer of material applied over the underlying surface to give it a smooth finish. I have started this process though I only got one side done before I had to attend to other things. This is fine as the temperature was dropping fast as a new cold front moved it. The weather is suppose to be on the cold side for the next few days so I may not get much done. Skimcoating with epoxy is a new task for me. What I did today was lay on a thin smooth coat to fill in glass transitions, wows, low spots and other small irregularities. I presanded with a sanding board with a beltsander belt on it to help identify the high spots and to knock them off. The next step will be to sand this when it has cured and then using a 1/6" serrated trowel lay down a serrated layer of filler. This will get sanded so that the ridges are in plane and then I will fill in the gaps to hopefully arrive at the final smooth surface. Such a smooth surface will not only be aestetically pleasing but will also mean a faster hull.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Today I set the hull back on saw horses in the upside down position. I hope the next time I flip it, it will be the last time. I added a strip of 12 oz biaxial cloth the whole length of the keel today. It starts at the deck level on the stem, just below the handle, and ends at the skeg. I ran it up the skeg and along the bottom too. Biaxial cloth is great when you need cloth to lay down on various angled surfaces. It even does well on sharp corners. I helped it along at points by tacking a sheet of plastic over it to hold in down.
One of the guys who I went kayaking with on Orcas, Pete, came by and checked out the progress I'm making. He use to do glass work building snowboards for Lib Technology and worked repairing boats for awhile too. He gave my glass work a thumbs up. As it didn't take long to get the keel glassed with the final strip of cloth, I switched to other tasks. I went to work on shaping the rudders and figuring out what material I need to order for the mast. I've decided that I need to get started on other projects while I work on the hulls so that I can meet my launch date.
I've been weighing the options of wood or aluminum for the mast. I've talked to suppliers of both materials to get comparative costs. I was leaning towards aluminum but Scott Williams, who sails a Tiki 21 and plans on building a Tiki 26 has convinced me wood is the way to go. You can see his Tiki 21 at tiki21element.blogspot.com/ Though there are advantages of aluminum, the problem with it comes down to availability and cost. I haven't been able to find a suitable annodized tube that is 5" OD and has a wall thickness of .125" that I don't have to ship across the country. Schedule 40 or 80 pipe, which is readily available locally, is too heavy as they both have wall thicknesses greater than required and is also not available in a 5" OD. The other factor, cost, has to be considered. By the time you get all the bits and pieces fabricated and the tubing welded together to make a 26 foot long mast, you have a big project at a cost greater than what the materials for a wood mast will come to. So wood it is - easier to fix in the self-sufficiency mode anyway and it won't stain the sail pocket black.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The glass on the first side was cured enough to trim it and scrape/sand runs on the otherside this morning. I did what needed to be done on the glassed side and flipped the boat over. This isgetting more and more difficult as it gets heavier. It took an hour to flip it and get it settled on the makeshift supports I'm using which includes adjustable sawhorses, toolboxes, cribbing and a basketball (spring cushion) The hull wasn't sitting as flat as yesterday but this ended up being an advantage. Once situated, I precoated the entire hull with resin then had lunch. After lunch, I rolled out the cloth which draped very nicely. It had less wrinkles today for some reason. This took next to no time so thinking all was going smoothly I mixed up a large batch of resin and starting from 1/4 forward from the stern I wetted out the stern first. Two more batches of resin and one hour or so later I had most of the glass wetted out. Today I concentrated on using a 6 inch rubber squeegee with a wedge-shaped edge. I got great results with only a couple of spots that I had to go back and fix dry areas and resin rich areas. Though it has turned cold this evening, I think I'll be able to turn the hull back to the upside down position so I can detail the glass tomorrow and add a final strip along the keel.
I'm pleased with how the 6 oz cloth has been going down on the outside of the hull. I think the key has been careful detailing. I joined the pieces carefully, sanded the areas smooth and in plane and faired and filled hoes and transitions. I've included a number of photos of how I finished the transitions from upper hull panel to lower panel, panels to stem and stern and the diagonal joint I used on the upper panel when I shifted the panel forward because I wasn't comfortable with how close the butt joints were falling. Hopefully these detail shots will be of interest.