Today I managed to get my neighbour’s table saw and have enough time to cut the centreboard slot.
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.
On Saturday my assistant and I went to the lumber yard to get one more 2×3 to rip for the bow apron lamination and a couple 2×4’s that may end up being used for the floor timbers.
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.
The process of cutting thin strips for laminations is a reductive one. As I don’t have a band saw, I’m using a table saw with a blade that is just shy of 1/8 thick. So for every 1/8″ thick strip I cut, I loose as much in sawdust.
I have just two more 2×3 boards to rip and I’ll have everything I need to glue up the bow and stern apron and stem.
I’m finally making headway and ripping the VG douglas fir into 1/8″ by 2 1/2″ strips for the apron and 1/8″ by 2″ strips for the stem of the stern.
I’ll have to repeat the whole process for the bow apron and stem.
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.