Monday, March 30, 2009

It's snowing epoxy...

The keel has been straightened and I was outside today sanding the bottom of the keel and rounding the edges with the router.  During the routering, for about 5 seconds,  I thought it was snowing again because there were big white flakes everywhere. Then I realized it was the router spitting out cured epoxy. Flakes of epoxy were flying all over and unlike real snowflakes they have a lot of static and stick to everything. I'm glad I'm no longer working in the basement; the mess even with a vacuum attached would have been horrendous.

The photo shows a nice straight keel all set to have lead poured into it. I found a 3 quart cast iron humidifier/kettle at the local home centre in their BBQ section. When I got home I found out it is exactly the same one shown being used in the Pocketship manual. Hopefully, that is a good omen for the lead pouring. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crooked Keel and What's in a Name

I finished the keel assembly and was all set to get organized for pouring the lead when I noticed the keel was not straight  from the centerboard back and curved left by almost an inch. Considering the entire hull is built around what should be a straight keel and keelson this was to say the least a little disappointing.  I assumed that the keel  blocking I had cut was not accurate and proceeded to cut it away from the keel sides. But there was still a curve. I then did some cutting at the butt joint of the keel sides and discovered that the vertical support for the butt joint was the culprit. I was now able to easily straighten the keel and block it with some lumber and clamps. I am now ready to replace the the keel blocking and crossing my fingers when the epoxy cures that the problem will be solved. A dry fit of the keelson now shows a nice straight keel so if my repair work is successful I can get back on schedule.

It looks like we are getting closer to having a name for the boat. "Forwindidaze" was briefly considered and then Abigale 2 (our dog's name is Abby and our powerboat is named Cay Sea 2 after our first dog Caisi). We want to stay away  from cutesy names and also would like to have something unique if possible. And the winner (well , the captain's choice so far) is ... 


Empresa is Spanish for Enterprise so I can indulge my fondness for Star Trek without being too obvious.  Any comments on the name would be greatly appreciated as the rest of the family is not yet convinced that we cannot find something better.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finally some boat BUILDING

The weather has finally warmed up enough ( 5 or 6 degrees celsius...don't laugh) that I can work in the garage.  It is much easier to do all the sawing and sanding outside but there is still a lot of sawdust in the garage to clean up each day. I have reached the stage where I can actually start some boat assembly. The photos show the centerboard trunk and the keel being assembled. The centerboard trunk gets glued to the part of the keel that does not have any clamps. In a couple of days I will be ready to pour lead into the keel. The local tire store has agreed to sell me their old lead wheel weights that they normally send to a metals recycler. I have to find a cast iron pot or kettle to melt the lead in over my turkey fryer propane burner.  I have checked some thrift stores but no luck so far. Maybe my former teaching buddy Ken, the hunter and fisherman, has something he has used to cast his own bullets and stuff.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How many more weeks of winter?

 Thursday, the temperature almost reached zero (32 for our American friends) so I decided to move my workshop from downstairs to the garage. Still too cool for epoxy work but at least I could do sawing and sanding without filling the house with sawdust. But winter returned with a vengeance with some days only reaching a high of -21 ( -6 American). I have not been impressed and my wife has been even less impressed since her car was now kicked out of the  garage and she hates scraping ice and snow off the car windows when she goes to work in the morning. 

Hopefully, temperatures return to seasonal normals soon.  I have now put 3 coats of epoxy on the inside of the centerboard trunk and glued the centerboard together. Used almost every spring clamp I have to make sure I have a solid centerboard.  I do not want to sand the epoxy until I can work in the garage without getting frostbite; should be this weekend if the forecast is accurate.
I am anxious to see if I filled the weave enough or if my second and third coats were too thin. I figured practicing on the inside of the centerboard trunk was a good idea since no one is ever going to see it.  61 total hours of construction so far.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fiberglass Virgin No More!

 A milestone day, did my first epoxy, fiberglass work ever. Fiberglassed the inside of the centerboard trunk and glued together blocks of wood for the noseblock and bowsprit. I can see why gloves are an absolute necessity unless you want to epoxy your fingers and other assorted body parts together.  The first photos show the trunk and bowsprit curing. The other photo is the tiller cut from a nice piece of cherry and the gallows from a 2x8 piece of nice fir that is part of a bunk bed/desk I made for my son 20 years ago. Sometimes it pays to be a packrat and save some of those old pieces of lumber. The noseblock and part of the keel will also be milled from salvaged parts of this timber that I just couldn't throw away on my clean up the workshop days.  The tiller and gallows are still just raw wood and have not been epoxied and varnished yet.