Yesterday I snuck back to the boat shed with my little apprentice.
We found that the epoxy had set nicely. So far I’ve yet to have had a problem with the West system epoxy even when skirting the edges on the temperature limits of the 205 fast hardener. But it is always a nice relief to find the laminated Wood solidly bonded.
So we started the process of removing the multitude of clamps holding the laminated frame for 24 hours. I then put it in the hull at the appropriate location.
The epoxy squeeze out still needs to be cleaned up and the whole frame will be planed down to 1″ thick. The outer frame will be bevelled to match the angle of the hull and the ends will be cut down to mate with the completed inwhales.
I also flipped the frame upside down and found that it looked like a great shape to mimic for an eventual canvas cover for camping… But that is a project for much later. First I need to finish the inwhale laminations and continue to fit out the interior of the boat.
The last two strakes, are called the sheerstrakes as they mark the sheer line of the boat’s profile. The month of December has been colder than usual and so the progress has been arrested a little as I waited for the weather windows when the temperature is above 5°C or close enough so that the epoxy will set.
I was able to get the starboard sheerstrake glued early in December, but the port Sheerstrake had to wait for the Christmas break.
Starboard strake no. 7
Once the glue set for the port side I was able to declare the hull complete. Tradition has it that the occasion is celebrated with with a little whiskey.
Next up is the planing of the bow and stern stems so that I can glue the outer stem pieces I made earlier.
Today I tackled something new, cutting the gains on the garboard so that the second strake appears to taper nicely to meet the profile of the garboard as it gets to the bow and stern stem.
To accomplish this I needed a rebate or a shoulder plane, which I don’t yet have in my tool kit. So I got a membership to the Vancouver Tool Library to allow me to access the tools I don’t yet have. As you might imagine shoulder planes or rebate planes are not super common tools, but they are precisely what makes the tool library such a wonderful service. I can easily imagine some kind of franchise where clusters of a few blocks have something similar.
Today I helped my friend get a new fridge in a house where the widest door was 28″ wide. We had to take apart the sliding door.
This evening I managed to get a couple hours and I put the unidirectional carbon fibre on one side of the centreboard. I wet the surface with epoxy and the layed it down and squeegeed more epoxy onto the surface.
It’s not perfectly smooth, but I’m happy with the result. I’ll be covering it with graphite epoxy soon and that will be sanded smooth.
I also started laminating the knees that will connect the thwart to the gunnels.
This probably lies somewhere between overkill and preventative engineering. I decided to lay some Kevlar fiber on the rudder and centreboard leading edges to deal with the wear and tear of a beach boat that will regularly come in contact with the shoreline and may at times bump up against the sand, gravel or rocks on the shoreline. In our part of the world floating or partially submerged logs and driftwood are also a concern.
The apron and stems took much more expoxy than I had anticipated. This time I splurged and bought the gallon of resin and hope that I won’t have to make a trip back here soon. Note that the 15′ 2×6 douglas fir on the Larry vs. Harry handled fine.
Having access to a thickness planer makes this activity much easier and more precise. I was able with relative ease to plane the whole length of both the apron and stem down to the specified thickness on my own. I did spend some time fretting about keeping the angles square and not ending up with a weird parallelogram that would give the bow a weird twist. fortunately the thickness planer coupled with a square and some judicious hand planing kept everything progressing smoothly. When planing the apron down to the right 2″ thickness i was sure to keep checking that it was square.
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.