Currently browsing Posts Published March 2012

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Received Some New Things Today!

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Preparation

I just got home and saw a box in my driveway.  My sailing kit had arrived.  I also ordered some top mount oarlock sockets, additional wood stock for custom rails, and plastic inspection ports for the two stem tanks.  I inventoried everything and it all looks good. I have been sick the past few days so haven’t been working on the boat. When I feel better I’ll get back to it.

Sanding the Whole Boat, Part 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Sanding, Tools

I started sanding the exterior of the hull today in preparation for fiberglass.  I was happy to learn that my idea to mound thickened epoxy around the exposed stitches worked. The copper sanded out nice and easy… well, about as easy as epoxy sands away.  I have been using a bunch of different tools: Sand paper wrapped around a pencil for the strake edges, hard and soft hand block sanders, and my random orbit sander.  It is time consuming work.  I am super glad I worked outside today.  I would have had one messy garage had I not.  I didn’t take any pictures, but I completed about 25% of the exterior of the boat and managed to sand the epoxied seats in preparation for another coat.

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 36.0 Hours

Filling the Stitch Holes and Epoxying the Seats

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Epoxy, Sanding, Stitching, Tools

This afternoon I removed the stitches from the bow, stern, and frames. I wasn’t able to remove all of them as they were stuck in the epoxy.  I cut them as close as I could to hull.  They still stuck out a little and I found them very difficult to file but they did sand down a little… until the sand paper ripped.  Knowing this I decided to mound some thickened epoxy around them.  When this cures I should be able to sand them smooth because there will be no sharp edges to tear the sand paper. I don’t know if it will work, but I will know in a future post.

I also decided to fill the holes left in the hull by the wire stitches.  I used thickened epoxy to do this.  This was out of sequence with the manual which has me filling holes after epoxying the entire hull.  I think this makes more sense.

After filling the interior holes, I pulled the boat out of the garage to vacuum the floor and lay down some plastic so that I could start epoxying the seats and the daggerboard trunk.  I used a foam roller and unthickened epoxy to do this.  This also provided an opportunity to take a picture of the boat beside my door so you can get an idea of the size.

After I finished epoxying the seats, I put the boat back in the garage, inverted and on the sawhorses. I then filled the holes in the exterior of the hull and mounded epoxy around the exposed stitches like I mentioned in the first paragraph.

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 33.5 Hours

Filleting and Fiberglassing the Stems

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass

I just finished putting some fillets (pronounced “fill-its”) in the bow and stern.  These are made of an epoxy / wood flour / silica mixture of peanut butter consistency.  I laid down some tape to prevent spillage passed where I want the fillet to lay.  I used a rounded over piece of wood to keep the fillet uniform.

After the fillets were complete. I cut fiberglass tape to size and laid it over the fillets.  I then saturated the fiberglass with unthickened epoxy until the fiberglass became clear. When this cures, I should be able to sand the bow and stern to shape.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 31.0 Hours

Seams Completely Filled

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Tools

As promised in my last post, I just revisted the seams to top off any settling of the epoxy.  This was done with an epoxy / wood flour / silica mixture.  I used a squeegee to try my best to make the filling level with the edge of the seam.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 29.5 Hours

Take a Deep Breath and Cut the Stitches… Gluing, Take 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy

So It has been over 24 hours since I first glued the hull.  Time to remove the stitches!  You would think this would be a little scary, but having spent a good amount of time working with this epoxy, I have developed a good amount of faith in it.

I climbed under the boat and started cutting stitches with no problems at all.  The shape of the hull did not budge one bit.  Once all the stitches were cut, I pulled them out with vice grips.

After I had pulled out all the stitches, I taped the inside of the hull to protect again from running epoxy and filled all the seams with more seam epoxy.  In about 4 hours, I will come back and use an epoxy thickened with food flour and silica to fill in the seams in the spots where they have settled.  These seems need to be completely filled as seen in the diagram below.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 28.0 Hours


Gluing the Hull, Take 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Tools

Today I glued together the hull of the Skerry.  I started with the seam between the bottom panel and the number #1 panels. CLC calls this the garboard.  For this seam I mixed some wood flour in with the silica and epoxy.  I dabbed in on with my fingers, ensuring it was deep in the seam.

After I completed the garboard, I mixed some seam epoxy (epoxy and silica) for the seams between the #1/2 and #2/3 panels.  I used plastic syringes to inject the mixture between stitches.  The syringes made quick work of the gluing.  I must wait 24 hours, but hopefully the hull will hold its shape when I remove the stitches tomorrow.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 26.0 Hours

Prepping For Glue

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Stitching, Tools

This morning I flipped the hull of the boat to prepare to glue the seams.  Before doing that, I made the decision to place painter’s tape over the seams on the interior of the hull.  My hope is that this will stop any epoxy from running too far if it makes it through a seam.

I was able to flip the hull by myself using a couple of tiedowns wrapped around the hull for leverage.  I checked that the saw horses were level and took a good look at the hull.  Thankfully it looked nice and true, so I used my trusty vice grips to tighten up all the stitches.  I will start gluing tomorrow.

Oh and one more thing.  I drew first blood on my left thumb which I punctured on a copper stitch while rolling the hull.  It was very minor, but it had to happen sometime!

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 24.0 Hours

It Looks Like a Boat! Hull Stitching Complete!

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Mishaps, Sanding, Stitching, Tools, Woodworking

Neighbors are starting to peek in the garage, joggers are stopping as they run by, and I can’t help but go into the garage every hour or so to look at my creation.  Today I finished stitching the hull and it actually looks like I have a boat sitting in the garage!  It is really exciting.

I am going to keep the post short since I am tired.  I will let the pictures do the talking but I want to speak to a little mishap that scared me and a couple things I learned.

  • The first panel I installed today was the port #2.  When I did, it was about 1/2″ shorter than the number #1 at the stern.  I went ahead and installed the starboard panel and saw the same problem.  I recalled a few other blogs where this had happened, so I wasn’t too shocked.  What I elected to do was use my bonsai saw to remove 1/2″ off the #1 panels and generate a fair curve with the #2s using a hand sanding block.  It looks good to me, so I am happy.
  • My thumbs and index fingers are raw!  Feeding and twisting copper wire for hours with bare wire takes its toll!  I tried using gloves but they proved nearly impossible to use.  With them I wasn’t able to pick up new wires nor  initiate a twist with the desired tension.
  • I ran out of the 18 gauge copper wire that was supplied with the kit,  This is due to wasting a ton of it by removing my incorrectly installed #1 panels.  I have also been cutting my pieces to 3.5″ rather than the suggested 3″.  I couldn’t find replacement 18 gauge wire locally, but I did find 20 gauge at Michael’s craft store.  I think I may actually like this gauge better.  It is easier to work with and seams to bare nearly the same load.
  • The vice grips are an essential tool when stitching, especially in the completion of the frame stitching.  Due to the sharp angles and tight working area, the vice grips helped me pull wire through rather than feed it through with my fingers.  They also work great for tightening up hand twisted wire.

Enjoy the pictures!  You will notice that when I finished the stitching I dry fit the daggerboard trunk, breasthooks, and seats.  They are not attached and will be removed before inverting the boat for the next step.

Time Spent: 5.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 22.5 Hours

Completing the Daggerboard Trunk

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Sanding, Tools

Two days ago I sanded down two coats of epoxy that I had put on the interior faces of the daggerboard trunk.  I did this because I wanted to see what is like to sand unthickened epoxy prior to doing it somewhere that matters.  It sure does produce a lot of dust!  I think when it comes time to sand the hull I will have to move the boat outside, even with the vacuum attached to the sander.  When I finished sanding I put one more final coat of epoxy of the interior faces.

Yesterday the epoxy was all cured so I assembled the daggerboard trunk using silica thickened epoxy to glue it today.  This was a pretty quick and easy chore.  I clamped it an waited for it to cure.

Today I removed the excess wood from the daggerboard trunk spacers.  The Japanese saw and a hand sanding block made quick work of this.  When it was finished, I dry fitted it in the boat.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 17.5 Hours

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