Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The natural attraction to working in wood

One of the reasons I wanted to build a wooden boat was because I love woodworking. Little did I know that with this method of building I would spend as much time finishing the wood with epoxy resin, paint and hours of sanding. As a shipwright I passed the boat over to the 'finishers' to ...'er, finish!

So when it came time to sand all the inside of the boat again, for weeks, my heart sank. Then it dawned on me that I could mix carpentry and sanding ... do them in parallel.

I thought I would start with the Inwales: which are strips that run inside the top plank (inside the gunwales). Before I could do that, I needed to clean up the mess the fibre glass blanket makes when it laps over the top plank - see picture below.

Rather than rip lots of sanding-disks to pieces on the glass, I decided to take my Japanese rasp 'thing' and file off the lumps of glass.

This was very successful and I got all around the gunwale in just over an hour. I then cramped on the inwale, or rather the first part of the inwale as it has to be made from two pieces of Douglas Fir, which I will have to laminate in place.

You can see, in the picture above, the piece of Douglas Fir clamped on at the top edge isn't quite long enough to reach the bow so I will need do add a smaller piece using a scarf-joint - which we will deal with when I get to that stage. 

The Douglas Fir is 2 x 0.5 inch (45 x 11 mm) - the reason for using this type of timber is it is straight grained, knot free and strong.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

The last piece of fibre glass blanket has been put in place and epoxy resined onto the inside of the transom

The next step is to sandpaper all of the inside of the hull (excuse sideways photo below).

You may recall the monster job sandpapering the outside was, so I have invested in a top of the range sanding system from Mirka. The sander is high performance and very quiet, it is also dust free as it is attached to its own extraction system (Vacuum). 

The extraction systems takes its power from the domestic supply and the sander is plugged directly into extraction unit. The switch (picture below) on the unit is set to Auto, so that each time the sander is used it switches on/off the extraction unit.

My only reservation is whether or not the sanding disks will be strong enough to withstand the harshness of the fibre glass. We will see.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Just as you thought I deserted the project

My wife is disabled at the moment and is awaiting surgery in a month's time, that should solve her problem. Taking care of her  has kept me from boat-building. 

Now, with a bit of time management, I am able to get two or three hours a week on the boat which has changed the way I'm fibre glassing. 

It takes hours to epoxy resin longitudinally, time I don't have, and so I am doing it transversely so that I can get one piece done per session. As the boat is over 15 feet long there are 6 pieces to fit on each side - 12 total.

Below is a picture of the latest; it's piece 9 and I have 3 more pieces to go. As you can see this is a more tricky (they're all tricky) piece than most: it has to fit into the stem and traverse a multi-angled shape.

Fibreglass Blanket hung in place prior to Epoxy Resin application

After mixing up a few small batches of epoxy resin you can see from the picture below, the fibre glass becomes transparent. As the resin goes 'off' in 20 - 30 minutes, I mix small batches at a time.

Same area after Epoxy Resin has been applied.