When I ripped the strips for the bow stem I was not sure what the appropriate thickness would be so I played around with everything from 1/8″ to 3/16″ and up to 1/4″ most of my strips were 1/8″ thick.
Which meant that to create a 3″ thick stem I needed nineteen strips. Each strip needed to be buttered with epoxy and with so much surface area that turned out to be about 850ml of epoxy or nearly a whole can. If all my strips were thicker I would have used much less epoxy. The lesson that I learned is that when laminating use the thickest strips that the mould will bear.
Then Fortunately Patrice came out to help me with the laying out of the stem on the mould.
I started this morning with a borrowed thickness planer, which allowed me to get the apron down to the specified 2″ thickness and the stem down to 1 3/4″ width.
The challenge was to keep checking the length of each piece to make sure it was square. I had to use the hand planer a couple times to get it nice and square the whole length so that the thickness planer did not perpetuate the wrong angle.
Once I finished the getting the stern apron and stem to the right width, I started on the bow apron glued up with epoxy and microfibres for better gap filling in the lamination and strength.
I had planned to glue the laminate strips in one go on Wednesday evening. But as things go when doing something for the first time, things take longer than expected. It was a cold evening and the epoxy was more viscous than I expected so spreading it on each laminate took much longer than I anticipated.
To be able to get the 2″x 1/8″ thin strips needed to laminate the apron and stem I need nice clear (knot free) vertical grain wood. In my case that will be Douglas fir.
Last weekend I was able to find several 2×3 lengths that if ripped on its edge will give me 2.5″ wide strips that will give me the margin to plane down to the 2″ width specified. To do this you need to rip accurately, and the solution I found is to make a little jig that attaches to the table saw that should help yield consistent strips throughout the 8″ lenth. After each cut you move the fence over until the board stock rests against the jig guide wheel & repeat.
I also went back to the lumberyard to get western red cedar to build up my centerboard and rudder. I’m doing this while the strongback is free of the boat and I have a nice flat surface. That way I’ll get all my laminations done at the same time.
I’ve borrowed from the Gougeon Brothers and tu Gurit Embh. publications on wood foil construction. Ian Oughtred’s plans and instructions in “Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual” are good but basic and as water is so dense small improvements in execution should have dramatic impacts in performance.
Gurit’s guide also suggests that in testing stiffness western red cedar sheathed with three layers of unidirectional carbon fiber had a 67% gain in stiffness over just using mahogany.
This weekend I was able to get back up to speed on my Caledonia yawl project after missing a week. I glued one of the two scarfs on strake 2 and will leave the other to do when I’ve got the station molds up as there is the most twist in the forefoot of strake 2 and it will be easier apparently to glue it down first and then do the scarfs.
It was then time to tackle the apron and stems of this Caledonia Yawl. I’ve decided to try the method of laminating thin strips 1/8″ of Douglas fir with epoxy and West system 403 microfibre additive. The part I’ve been struggling with is that in Ian Oughtred’s plans the apron is 2″ wide. So I need to find a stock of wood that is at least 2.25 or 2.5 inches wide so that after it is laminated I have a little margin to plane it down and fair it.
But all the standar lumber jumps from 1.75″ to 3.5″ and it seems wasteful to rip down a 4×4 timber just to get something 2.5″ wide. After a visit to a couple lumber yards I decided to get a few vertical grain clear 2×3’s and rip them along the wide edge to get the width of strips I need.
The stems are only specified to be 1.75″ wide and so I am able to use rough fir 2x4s to cut the lamination strips and I’ll have 1/4 inch of material to plane off and to keep it true.
After using my full sized plans of the bow and stern apron and stem to punch through all the reference points onto my pattern board. I traced it all out again.
laying out the blocks I will use to clamp the laminated wood. Note that I’ve also put down packing tape to make sure the epoxy won’t stick to the pattern.
Things are progressing well on my Caledonia yawl project and I’m getting into a rhythm. My only question is that I hope that the scarf alignment guides will be good, as I won’t know until I place them on the molds.
After nearly a month of rotating colds, strep throat and mor colds affecting my family as well as a couple weekends with cross country running races at Jericho I finally found myself with a day in the boat shed to work on my Caledonia yawl project.
As Patrice has some wood in the shed from the house renovation in the way I spent half my time building shelving for the wood and for my glued strakes once they are done.
My plan then is to use the Strongback as a platform to glue up all the strake scarfs. Then i will tackle the bow and stern stem laminations.
Once I’ve completed those two jobs I’ll be ready to put up the station Molds.
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