Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Glass and yet more glass

Got the glass laid out on the starboard side. Forward looking aft. It's tight so hard to get a good pic.

Aft looking forward.

This mornings plan was to build a portable carrier for my vacuum generator.

And the mess of tools needed to built it! *lol*

Took about an hour to scrounge up the stuff and put it together. This will allow me to do spot infusions on the bubbles in the laminate. I'll drill two holes in each bubble. On one I'll apply the vacuum and the other I'll pour in some epoxy. The vacuum will draw the epoxy through the bubble filling it up. Well, that's the theory anyway! :-) Will give it a go this afternoon and see how it works. Standby.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

That's a lotta glass!

33' 8" long! SO BIG it takes two pics and you still can't see it all!

Looking forward

Looking aft
Looking down the side from the transom
Looks like it's going to be another sticky day in the ole' boat shed tomorrow! :-)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Freakin' Brrrrrrrrrr!

Ok Mother Nature. That's 'nuff foolin' around! Warm it up a lil' bit would you please?

I guess I wasn't kidding about the monsoon season having arrived. Cold too. Only 5 Deg C in the shed this morning. A degree or two colder and we could have expected snow! Yikes!

Anywho, too cold and damp for my ole' bones in the shed so I made a run to Canadian Tire for an el Cheapo grinder. I bought one of those flappy grinding discs at Lowes and was going to give it a try today except for two things:
  1. My grinder is a POS
  2. I can't find my grinder!
$30 later and a Timmies I have a new grinder. We'll give that a spin tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon I tinkered with an idea that's been rolling around in my head for awhile. It has to deal with fixing the bubbles in the laminate. You likely won't remember but way back when before the boat project I tinkered with resin infusion and have a full vacuum pump and setup in the basement.

Somewhere along the line I bought from eBay a Gast venturi vacuum generator. I think the original idea was to use it for infusing parts but the Robinair was cheap and likely more reliable. The Gast sat on the shelf gathering dust till today.

The vacuum generator is on the left. It uses air from the compressor to generate the vacuum. In the middle is a vacuum guage and the black thing on the right is an inline filter that I use as a resin trap. You don't want uncured epoxy getting into the vacuum generator.

"So what's it all for?" you ask. Well awhile back when I was fiberglassing the bottom of the boat I ran into a problem with some bubbles forming under the laminate. This isn't good and they can cause big problems down the road so they have to be fixed. I'm drawing on my experience with resin infusion and will use a vacuum to pull epoxy through the voids and fill them up completely. I'll use this slightly more portable setup in the boat shed. It's really a simple process actually. 

Here's a panel being infused.

The black loopy thing near the bottom is a split wire loom used to keep wires organized. In this application it's being used to deliver epoxy to the laminate which is compressed under a plastic film against a melamine table top. A plastic mesh and plastic film cover the laminate to allow the epoxy to easier flow into the material. At the top of the picture is the vacuum inlet. You can see the epoxy being pulled through the laminate towards the vacuum. When the part is about 3/4 done I stop the epoxy and the vacuum pulls it all the way through.

And these are the materials that get gashed when the process is complete! I'm not totally comfortable throwing it all out but it's pretty much useless now.

This is the finished part.

With any luck I'll be able to quickly and completely fill all the bubbles. I think just for my own peace of mind I need to do it right.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

He is the Master

and I am but the Grasshopper!

My friend, Peter Lenihan, came all the way from Montreal to help out in the boat shed today.

Here he is in his native habitat!

He couldn't even wait to switch into his work clothes before he grabbed hold of a sander and got right to work.

I think he became enamored with my air sander! 30 second video clip.

Plan A was to use the tail end of the 25 yard roll of fiberglass I bought to do the sides and transom. The roll was 1 1/2 yards short so we had to resort to Plan B which was to use some of the 22 oz Basalt fabric I've been saving.

Peter had never used a material like this before and was a little skeptical at first. Once we got it wetted out and the peel ply on it he started to think it might actually work! I knew better! *wink*

If it's one thing I learned today it's that preparation is everything. Mistakes that I let go at this stage will print through the cosmetic layer later. More time is needed on the sander to get everything right before we hang the cloth for the sides. We'll do that at a later date.

Again, here's the Master showing me the way to sanding nirvana!

Thank you Peter.

Your humble apprentice!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Prepping the sides for fiberglass

Almost 6 continuous hours on the sander today prepping the sides for fiberglass. Called it quits when the temps got to the high 20's C.

Sorry no pics.

Expecting Boat Building Royalty this week. Peter Lenihan (Aka Tenner) is coming from Montreal to help me fiberglass the sides. Peter launched his boat last year.

It's nice making actual progress now instead of just worrying about it. Should be flipping it over in late August or early September. That'll be a chore!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Many hands make light work

My buddy Andrew N came over and gave me a hand glassing the second bottom panel. Start to finish took 6 hrs. I spent more time fairing the tape lines which prevented bubbles from forming as the heavy fabric bridged over the bumps etc.

The differences between my first bottom panel and this one are;

1. Extra hands mixing epoxy meant I didn't have to sprint up and down the ladder all day
2. Warmer. 70 Degs F is ideal for this type of work. It was 10 degs colder the first time
3. I was able to spend some more time on details and bust bubbles as I went
3. I wasn't rushed to get it done before I collapsed

I'll have to check my inventory but I'm pretty sure we used the same amount of epoxy. I stuck with the smaller roller this time and it was easier to control and get epoxy exactly where I wanted it. It busts bubbles as it goes as well. There's three more layers to put on the keel then I'll have a layer of 10 oz cloth to put on the bottom. That'll likely be the last step before prepping for paint. My buddy Peter is coming from Montreal next week and is hot to trot to help me fiberglass the sides. If we have enough epoxy left we just might be able to do that!

Shower time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Doesn't look like much

but it was 4 hrs of sanding and wiping to prep the surface for fiberglass.

I'll likely get to the epoxy work on Thursday or Friday. Hopefully it'll be a bit warmer. I'm not over enthusiastic about the results of the previous fiberglass/epoxy job. I think it might have been too cool in the shed.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Well, that didn't go as planned

But I got it done. All by myself. That wasn't smart. I figure this was a 3 person job.

11 yards of 33 oz fiberglass is a bugger to wet out. It takes a good 10 mins for the epoxy to soak it through. It was only about 60 degs F in the shed today. Another 10 degs would have made life easier.

It took me almost 11 hours to do the job from start to finish. This included fairing some areas I knew I was going to have some bridging issues. It went well till about midway when I ran out of room between the shelves and the boat for the step ladder. Had to do a fair size section from the top of the boat which meant a lot more ladder climbing. Not necessarily a bad thing, my blood sugar was in the normal range all day but boy am I tired and sore.

Onto prepping the other side for the same treatment. Should be easier to do there's more room to work around the boat on that side.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

As far as the eye can see

Fiberglass! Hope to get this side glued down today then prep the other side for this week.

That's about 10 yds of 33 oz Quadaxial fabric. It'll suck up over 3 gallons of epoxy. The quadaxial fabric replaces two separate layers specified by the designer. Saves a lot of sanding or peel ply.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Every little bit helps!

I had some carbon fiber (Saertex) kicking around with nothing actually planned for it. I used a couple of yards of it on the forward section of the hull around the waterline and bow thruster holes. Looking at the hull I can see where there are some areas that can benefit from a little extra reinforcement. Here I've covered the back of the keel and the area where the rudder port will be with the Saertex. I'll mirror this on the inside when the hull is flipped. It should make for a really strong hull section where there's two penetrations, the prop shaft and the rudder shaft.

The Saertex is really heavy stuff. It's 4 layers of carbon fiber stitched (Quadraxial) together. It's the same stuff they used to make the liquid propellant tanks for the space shuttle.

You can see the Saertex here (black area) on the bow section.

Should provide some good protection if we hit anything, not that I've done that before! ;-) There's a lot of submerged junk in the river and I'd prefer not to put a hole in my nice new boat.

Update: It's stinkin' hot in the sed. 28.5 down below and 37 on top of the boat!

Lori and I traced out one of the bottom panels two years ago when we had the long table setup in the shed. For the love of mercy I don't know why we didn't do both bottom panels. *sigh* So, we'll have to transfer this one as a template to another roll of fiberglass.

That panel is almost 11 yds long and about 55 lbs. Half is still rolled up at the far end of the table (16' long) It's quadaxial 30 oz fabric. It'll replace two layers originally specified by the designer. It wets out nicely. We've used it on some of the bulkheads and cabin roof so we know how it goes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Movin' right along now!

2 hrs sanding with the 6" pneumatic RO vs 6 hrs with the 5" electric RO. Hmmmm? Used up about the same number of discs.

The operation was a success but the patient died! :lol:

The larger air compressor and RO sanders were a good investment. I've got a couple hours sanding on the other side then I'll be laying down the glass for the bottom. I'd like to be able to work wet on wet but it's just not possible doing it myself even with a helper. I can live with it.

It's about 80 degs in the shed now. Time for a siesta then back at it.