Sunday, August 6, 2017

Overthinking Things

When it comes to a project this size and with limited experience it's way too easy to overthink everything. That's my curse. If I just decide to do 'something' and go do it without a whole lotta thought, it manages to get done. That happened this morning.

Decided to get to work on my rudder. The rains seemed to have stopped and the shed has dried up enough to work in there. The idea is to fill the voids in the rudder with expanding foam. I've never worked with this stuff but it's pretty easy to use.
Rudder Armature

This is the armature for the rudder. You last saw me trying my hand at fusing stainless steel together with angry pixies (electricity). Laid out on plastic sheet with cardboard sides to contain the foam.
Two part foam laid out ready for mixing
I've only seen this two part foam used on the Web, YouTube & the forums etc. Seems pretty simple. Mix equal parts of A & B, stir and pour. It was a lil' coolish in the shed today so it didn't kick off as fast as I was expecting.

The foam doesn't take long to kick off and stiffen up. Thirty minutes maybe. You can see the part where I was mucking around in it compared to the second pour with much less mucking about!
I baked a cake!
Once it stiffened up I could begin cutting off the excess and roughing out the shape of the rudder.
Handsaw makes quick work of the excess foam
The foam cuts surprisingly well with a plain hand saw. Just follow the ribs of the rudder for the rough shape.
Flexi-Cat sander helps get it as smooth as possible
A little sanding and the shape came together nicely. Little messy but it's the easiest way I think.
First coat of QuickFair
QuickFair is epoxy putty. It's made for filling large (and small) areas that will be sanded smooth. This rudder will require a couple of applications before it gets good enough for fiberglass.
Lots of little bubbles
I didn't want to overwork the QuickFair and make a real mess but you can see lots of tiny bubbles. I think the foam may have still been off gassing. I'll pop these open tomorrow with the sander and do another coat.Adding the QuickFair now will hopefully stabilize the rudder so I don't screw it up by punching a hole in it or anything stupid like that.

Once this side is finished I'll flip it over and do the other, which should be in much better shape. A bit of sanding to form the leading and trailing edges etc. and we'll be ready for a resin infusion of the reinforcing layers of glass and carbon fiber.

Thanks for looking in and keeping the faith.

Standby...