Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm Still Sanding

Still hard at work sanding. Not a whole lot exciting to say about it. I just put a very thin coat of thickened epoxy on, let it cure, then sand it smooth. Then repeat. There is a lot of surface area here but I'm making progress. It is nice to see the cloth weave, lines, and bumps, all disappear and get replaced by smooth surface. I also found another bag of old tapes from college so have even more great tunes to listen to during sanding. I'm mostly using my hand sander because I can hear the music and get an upper body workout at the same time. I am also trying out a pneumatic longboard sander which is also fun because it's annoyingly loud and creates an amazing dust cloud! Rock on!

Future Naval Architects

Andrew (6) and Thomas (4) came to the conclusions that dad's progress was way too slow and decided to build their own boats. Last night when I was sanding, they found left over foam and shaped it with a hand saw and sand paper and then used other scraps to build the rigs and sails. It's fun having these guys working out in the shop with me. I'm always amazed at their creativity and skill :) (Note Tommy's canting mast--he's so cutting edge!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Girl holding my rudder

Ok guys, got a picture of a girl here now and have gone a week without another picture of me sanding the hull --so is that better? (Denise is gonna kick my butt when she sees this) Anyway, I was busy today resurecting "Magic Juan" my dear SJ24. Today I finally got the mast back up and she should be sailing tomorrow. We had a bit of bad luck while sailing in a gale a couple weeks ago--long story but involved being knocked down by an 8' wave, losing outboard, breaking off tiller, losing boom, eventually losing forestay--and we were soo close to winning the race!! So I did more sanding on the hull this evening. I also formed the top of the rudder. This is a cassette type rudder and the top part will fit into the rudder holder thingy (what is that thing called?) Should be a pretty slick system--will allow us to pull the rudder up easily to inspect or remove seaweed between races. I've gotten the first coat of fairing compound on and it is pretty sweet. Just a little more sanding and one more light coat of fairing and it should be ready to glass.
I heard from Scott who sails a b-25 and he's going to let me borrow an old rudder of theirs. This will allow me to compare it to the one I've just made. Hopefully, I won't find any fatal errors in the way I've shaped mine but if it is way off, I can always use theirs as a pattern and build a new one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Yeah-- the rudder is pink ok--got a problem with that?? I finally got a chance to do some work this afternoon. To get a break from just sanding and to be able to actually see some progress, I decided to start on the rudder. Today I was able to rough out the foam core. I decided to go with a NACA 0012 foil which is a good compromise between high lift/ low drag, and forgiving stall characteristics. The rudder will be mostly constant chord for ease of construction but with an elliptical tip to minimize drag caused by water flowing spanwise. I made a template and drew out the foil shape on the end of the foam stock. The I just ran the stock through the table saw 200 times as I adjusted the blade depth each time. Took a couple hours but I was quite happy with how true the core turned out. Now (like every part of this project) I will do some fairing, sanding, and repeat... Once it is totally shaped, I'll rip it in half and put in a strip or two of 5mm okume ply to act as a stiffening stringer (like a surfboard) This will add little weight and will allow for a lighter lamination schedule (I hope)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Progress continues (slowly)

Busy week at work, followed by crazy week at home with Dental and Doctor visits, and 3 soccer games has meant not so much time on Vertigo. I have managed to fill the weave on the top (actually I guess it would be the bottom) of the hull. I have done lots of sanding and it's fun to see how the tape lines and weave dissappear and things start getting smooth and fair. (Yes, I'm actually enjoying sanding) I'd post pictures but nothing really looks any different unless you look real close. The big difference is when you run your hands over the surface. Gone is the cheese grater like texture of the cloth and bumps of tape lines. Its now smooth like glass (still slightly bumpy glass but improving rapidly). I'm thinking that to keep the blog interesting, I will start a side project of working on the rudder since this is sort of a tedious stage with the hull. (someone also suggested the blog could use some pics of hot women to hold interest...yeah, I'll talk to Denise...) That's all for now!

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's just not Fair

Actually, it's fairly fair but a few areas needed some work. So this morning I mixed up some fairing compound. First I mixed up the epoxy, then added microballons for easier sandability and lightness, then some silica to stiffen it up so it doesn't ooze down. In my white coveralls, gloves, and respirator, I feel like some sort of mad scientist as I'm stiring up these concoctions. (which is cool because I always wanted to be a mad scientist) The areas that needed the most attention were where the panels were scarffed together. I made a really wide scraper out of plywood which seemed to work well. Now I just have to let it all cure and then do some sanding--actually, a lot of sanding. Last night I bought a new tool that I have a feeling I will get to know very intimately by the end of this project--my longboard sander.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Filling the weave

After a few nights of flying, I'm back on the island until Sunday night. The hull is covered in glassed out cloth. The texture of the cloth is sort of like a cheese grater right now. Plus along the chines, there are little ridges caused by the tape edges and some of the scarf joints of the panels aren't quite fair. I now have the job of filling and sanding until the surface of the boat is smooth and fair. This morning, I put my first filler coat of epoxy on the bottom of the boat. I used unthickened epoxy that I squeegeed on and then used a roller to get a nice even coat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Last of the Glass (for now)

This morning, I was able to finish glassing the hull. Much of the time was spent grinding out little imperfections in the keel joint and filling and fairing with thickened epoxy. Once that was semi-cured, I glassed over with 6" tape. I also put a nice rounded edge on the hull's transom trailing edge and glassed it. This should be the last of the glass layup on the outside of the hull for now. I will now be spending lots of time fairing the hull and filling the weave of the cloth. This probably means lots and lots of sanding--so probably not a lot of real exciting pictures--just me (and everything else in the shop) covered in dust. Since I had to let the epoxy cure, took advantage of the wind and took my boys out sailing on the SJ-24 (good times!)

Ok, just looked at the pics. Maybe it was the dust in my eyes, but at the time, it sure seemed my tape over the keel was in a much straighter line than appears in these photos. You'd think a pilot would know that a straight line is the quickest way between two points--but hey maybe that's how I fly too. Anyway, no worries, it all gets faired out in the end anyway.

Tomorrow and Sunday, we race "Magic Juan" as we remember our friend and fellow sailor Scott Cline at the Scott Cline Memorial Regatta here in Oak Harbor. As I type this, the barometer is falling rapidly which should mean lots of wind giving us an exciting weekend. So between racing, church, and family stuff this weekend, I probably won't get to do much with Vertigo. I also have to go work a few allnighters starting Sunday night too. Oh well, got some more time off next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bumpin' and Grindin'

Today I'm grinding away tape lines and bumps and voids along the keel joint. I will now fill the voids along the keel joint with thickened epoxy and once it is fair I will add one more layer of fiberglass tape. That will make 4 layers of glass on the keel joint. Enough for today as it's time to watch my boys play soccer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Laminating the port side

Today I laminated the boats port side. Once again I used fairly small batches that I would brush on and then squeegee out. My friend Rollie told me that by using paper towels, I could get an even more consistent layup. So after doing a section, I lay some heavy duty Costco paper towels on the squeegeed glass. Then I went over it with my laminating roller and let the towels soak up any extra resin. After doing the next section, I'd go back and peel off the towels. I really like how it came out. Very few shiny spots, just a nice even lamination. This is probably as close to vacuum bagging as I'll get on this project.

Yes I know I look like a dork wearing hearing protection while wetting out the glass. I had just been sanding and had my mp3 headphones under the earmuffs and it was all just so comfortable and the tunes so great, I got half way through the lamination before I realized I probably didn't need hearing protection anymore.

Speaking of music, I really enjoy listening to tunes while I'm out working. Just makes the mindless things like sanding go so much easier. While sanding I use my mp3 player under my earmuffs but while I'm doing quieter things I'm now listening to tapes. Yes tapes. While cleaning the shop, I found the box of all my old tapes from high school and college days that my wife had told me we had no room for in the house. She said I'd never listen to them but I just couldn't throw those treasures away. So now I can finally listen to all those glorious songs of my youth...sweet!