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.


Mark A. Taff said...


How would you characterize the fumes produced by the epoxy during gluing and sealing?

I've begun purchasing clamps and other tools needed for my own boat building projects in the future. Would you please be kind enough to share any insights you might have about quantity, quality, or style of clamps to be preferred, or perhaps to be avoided?



Dave C. said...

Well, the fumes haven't killed the dog yet! Joking aside, the epoxy is odorlesss, no complaints from the family at all. The newer epoxies from what I have read are also much safer than the older ones. The vapors basically are not flammable because of an extremely low vapor pressure. I have seen lots of pictures of people building and working with epoxy in their houses; my wife was not so keen on me using the dining room as a workshop. I am however doing all my epoxy and fiberglass sanding outside using a respirator and vacuum attachment for my orbital sander.

I bought several bags of plastic spring clamps that you can see in some of my photos. They were about $10 for an assortment of more than 20 clamps but the smallest ones have not been that useful yet. I did not realize that epoxy surfaces when you are gluing tend to slide around easily so I wish I had more c-clamps which hold the two surfaces together better. With the c-clamps you do need to use clamping blocks to avoid damaging the wood. I have also purchased about 10 bar clamps of various sizes when I have seen them on sale. As has been said before , you can never have too many clamps.


Hendrik said...

Good to see your progress.
In Australia we do not know the cold only know the Heat.
My progress on the pocketship is a little ahead of your, I have finished the Keel, centerboard 80% complete and rudder 75% complete.I am only purchasing five sheets of ply to date and will need to get some more.
To melt the lead I cut up an old 9Kg LPG cylinder and made a spout on it.


Dave C. said...

I experienced your heat and humidity for my son's wedding in January when we spent a month in Surfers Paradise. Your epoxy must set up really fast in that weather.

Not that it's a race but our progress on our boats could actually be comparable. I have been doing most things out of order since I was stuck working inside. All my plywood parts are cut out except for the hull panels which I will need to scarf in the garage. My centerboard is shaped but not fiberglassed and I have milled the bowsprit, boom and gaff. Today I will do final assembly of the keel and be ready for lead pouring. I will keep the propane cylinder idea in mind in case I cannot find a cheap cast iron kettle or pot.

Maybe I will get to see your pocketship on my next trip to Australia.


Hendrik said...

When your in Sydney let me know and I will make some time to get together or may be meet halfway on our pocketships.

Dave C. said...

To be fair I would have to meet you more than halfway on our pocketships since I would be sailing downwind with the prevailing winds and you would have the more difficult west to east sailing :-)

Our next trip to Australia is at least a year away but I would certainly like to spend some time in Sydney this time rather than just passing though the airport.