Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010

New clamp boards are in place on the port side. Upper and lower with staggered scarfs about 20 feet long spanning from the lazarette to the engine room. Epoxied and screwed in place.

Bulkhead sanded and primed. The tank pad was made to bring the forward end of the tank up a 3/4 to allow the tank to run dry when empty. (The fittings are on the inboard face of the tank so it can be slid around.) The tanks are set outboard of the shaft alleys so they can be inspected and serviced.

Battery boxes are in place, engine room bulkhead is primed.

New absorbed glass mat 8D batteries. These are heavier than wet cell 8D's. Fun to tote around!

New roof beams for cabin roof overhang. We laminated full 16 foot 1 x4 pine, C and better... cherry picked for no knots and straight grain. We make the form out of 2x8's and skin the top with plywood. Then stick packing tape to the forms top, and align the first beam to the outside edge, and use blocks of the same dimensions to space them. Each layer is screwed in a staggered pattern, with epoxy and cabosil mixed to ketchup consistency. The beam is kept square by pushing or pulling the twist out of each layer until the face is smooth. On narrower pieces, we rip them all without changing the setting on the table saw so they are identical width. The boards are sanded on both faces, and set on the jig with one end butted to the jig. The jig is marked for centerline, and the beams are marked afterward. We are making 16 foot beams, but only need around 14 so we can cut off the excess, and make certain the ends of the finished beams have tight glue lines. The ends of laminations often fight you when pulling them down.

Tight working conditions, but we make it work... We are making 8 total, so that we can clear span the overhang and put a decent sized dinghy on top without springing the beams. The sawn ones in the old roof were doubled 2x material, this will be much stronger as several of the sawn beams had cracked at the grain run out in the ends.

We'll be be working on the starboard side clamp boards, and tank platforms after Christmas. The port fuel tank will be filled with fuel, to give an average weight to the aft end of the boat. Together when full the tanks will weigh just under 10k pounds, which means the aft end of the boat is going to go down in the water quite a bit. Since we are doing all of this floating, we have to do a good bit of weight shifting and forward thinking to make sure things look right. All this fuel talk is so that we can build the aft wall of the cabin, and build it plumb.

Thats all for now,


Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17 2010... Pictures

New ribs in the lazarette.  New bulkhead framing, as right at the hull it was in sorry shape...
Paint missing, as the planks of the hull were sanded and the ribs epoxied to them.  Hopefully I won't be the guy in 20 years reworking the planking on the port side...  The ribs are made of 1/4 inch thick pine, 3 1/4 wide.  Built up to a thickness of 2 1/4.  This picture is missing the middle clamp board.  The lower one is in place, and epoxied in.  

 New Lazarette bulkhead...  Epoxy coated, sanded to 80 grit and ready for primer.  Starboard side is much the same.

New frames in engine room.  Middle floor timbers (what would be floor joists in a house) ran at a funny angle.  You can see the bare wood where the original frames ran.  We compromised between the two runs of where it is, and where it should be...  68 year old boats.

The new wood on the floors is a pad to flatten out the run where the fuel tank is going.  We added 3/4 of an inch to the forward side to make certain that when both tanks are empty you'll be able to run the tanks dry, which means less sediment in the tanks.

The clamp is holding the scarf of the new clamp board running from the engine room to the lazarette...  It is easier to through bolt a scarf joint, after you can take out the screws and bore the holes and everything stays put. 
We made more curved corners...  For the aft wall of the cabin.  

The fiberglass work continues on days that seem suitable...  added infusion of technology to make things work.  Wind chill doesn't effect fiberglass...  Infrared thermometer makes it easy to balance out the cold spots between the light from 250 watt heat lamps.

New ladder...  So we can run stuff on the table saw and not have to move our surplus stainless yacht rail around.

We also made a pedestal for the new generator, two layers of 3/4 plywood epoxied together.  Rounded over, and fiberglassed, microballooned and puttied.  Ready for primer.

Next up:
Get the fuel tanks sitting on rubber strips, and wedged in place.
Set the generator, plumb for fuel, water, and exhaust.
Fill the fuel tanks half full.
Hang a plumb bob and define the angle of the aft wall of the cabin.  (Half full tanks splits the difference of empty and full.)

Build the back wall of the cabin, and rework the overhang.  The old roof was cut back to get the fuel tanks in with a straight shot from the crane.

Thats all for now,


Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 10 2010

Today we continued replacing frames on the port side of the boat from the tank room to the lazarette.   13 will be replaced, we are alternating every other frame so that Noel doesn't loose her shape.  We are using 3 1/4 inch wide x 3/8s inch thick kiln dried pine strips and epoxy, slid up under the shear clamp and notched into her sawn knees at the bottom end.

Since it hit a high of 55 degrees, we fiberglassed the rear deck.  We laid two strips 4 feet by 20 down the middle before calling it started getting cold.  It is a slow process to work with glass in the winter outdoors.  The resin flows like honey, and takes its time wetting out the cloth.  You have to heat up the resin and hardener to make them viscous enough to mix, as even sitting in the sun all day 5 gallons of resin doesn't flow very well after a 30 degree night.  The deck being 55 degrees, means it turns the resin back into honey.  That means it puddles under the glass when you wet the plywood on deck requiring you to squeedgee the excess from under the cloth, as it is now to thick to wet through the cloth.  If you leave the puddles, when you come back to fair the surface all the fiberglass gets sanded off, as the puddles are high spots.

Since we had a high of only 55, we were using fast hardener.  Things get interesting doing large surfaces with fast hardener.  We mixed 3 liter batches, only because my latest batch of mixing buckets liters is easier to see.  Grin.  West Systems epoxy works with 5 parts resin, 1 part hardener.

Once heated up the resin and hardener are mixed, after which you have a limited time window to spread out the resin on the cloth, before it cools back off and gels... or if you leave it in the mixing pot, the fast hardener has a pot life at 72 degrees of only 9-12 minutes.

With two people it isn't that bad, but both have to be in constant motion of rolling on the epoxy on the deck, the underside of the cloth.  Then the cloth is laid down, the top layer of cloth is then rolled with epoxy.  The cloth is then unrolled moving forward, while one goes back to squeedgee the excess out from under and off the top of the cloth, followed by air rolling with a ribbed roller...  Sometime between these acts, more epoxy is mixed and the process is restarted as it takes 2-3 minutes to mix a pot of resin of this size thoroughly enough that there are no spots that never harden.

It can be frustrating, wasteful, and risky doing glass work in winter... the show must go on.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8th 2010

Today we had a high temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit...

We put the final touches on the lazarette bulkhead, after having stripped (laminated thin wood strips together with epoxy) the frame in place.

We ground down the rest of the fasteners along the port side in the tank room, which awaits 6 new frames tomorrow.

I spent spent most of the day out on deck removing the screws and fender washers from the deck, and grinding off the glue blobs.  I have a bit of shaping to do to the rear deck.  The stern at the transom runs on a slightly different camber than the rest of the boat, from last falls repair.  We are getting ready for fiberglass on Friday.  Friday is supposed to be in the 50's, and with a heater down below deck we should have no problems fiberglassing the deck...  Though by no means a cake walk, as we'll be using fast hardener!

All for now,


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday December 4th

This week we finished locking the deck beams in place. We tied the beams together with a 2x8. We had to put a jack post under the front two to bring them up to an even line with the deck.

We had to cut out a 3 foot section of deck the width of the engine hatch, to strengthen the repair. Lest their be a section of the deck with 3 foot deck boards. Noel has a hatch built into her deck between two massive timbers to make it easy to repower her.

The boards were #1 kiln dried pine decking boards as they are the clearest of knots and sap pockets. They also come planed to 1 inch. The boards on Noels deck were 1 1/8th red fir. We picked up the pace by not having to run all 35 1x6's through a planer to bring 2x material down to size.

Noel was planked by popping a string down the center of her frames, and laying a board to each side of the centerline, working out on each side to a distance around 8 inches from the edge of the deck where she had cover boards that were cut with notches to allow each board on her deck run out square into the cover board instead of tapering to nothing. This is called a gunstock, which looks like... well, a gunstock. This may be a local term, haven't seen it in a book.

This is the fastest way to deck a boat, as you don't have to fit all the deck planks to the curve of the outboard edges of her deck. Since her deck planks don't curve, they don't need a king plank in the center to allow them all to notch in full width rather than running into nothing, or alternating sides in a herringbone pattern. Just lay the cover board on top of the beams and scribe it from the inside, and the outside... flip it over and cut it.

We spread epoxy on the beams with an empty caulk gun tube.

We screwed down the 1x6's which we ripped to 1x5 so they would lay in Noels existing spacing without having to notch anything. All told we used closed to a thousand 2 1/2 inch stainless screws.

That concluded Wednesday...

Thursday we sanded 7 sheets of 1/2 inch marine grade plywood and started fitting them. We had some grinding and fitting work that took most of the morning so that the plywood overlapped and tied new wood to old. I ground an 1/8th inch off the existing boards to make everything kosher so that the plywood would lay to it.

We then ground off the heads of any buggered up screws, sanded the deck to take off any high spots in the planks and laid down and fitted our plywood.

I wanted to try drilling air relief holes in the plywood to see that the board was making contact with the glue as it pulled down. Normally we mix up epoxy with cabosil to peanut butter consistency and squeeze everything together with 1 5/8 square drive screws. The thick epoxy and lack of relief for the air means that the plywood doesn't always lay perfectly on the surface of the deck. On a side deck, or the tapering bow it doesn't make much of a difference when fairing for paint.

The stern deck is a wide and doesn't taper out much, I wanted to make certain that the plywood was pulled down to the deck boards so that the crown remained consistent everywhere. I slipped the same square drive screws through some 3/16ths stainless fender washers. (Stainless works better with epoxy, as it doesn't adhere quite as tenacious as it does to steel.)

This is how we laminate transoms, and did the section of the back deck last year.

I spread thickened epoxy on the deck, and the plywood with a notched spreader.

It took a little more than 40 ounces of mixed epoxy per 4x8 sheet of plywood. I mix out of 5 quart mixing buckets on projects this scale. It took 48 ounces of cabosil per bucket to make a mix that just would stay up in peaks after it I spread it, but no thicker. To thick and it makes it hard to get the panels to fit in place. I lay one side of the plywood going down against the sheet that is already glued, and kick it into place with the cleated heel of my boot. If it is to tight, or won't go... a block of wood and a hammer. Don't hammer on the end grain of plywood it splinters.

We fit each of the plywood sheets in its home, and put black marker lines across each of the seams taking up one row at a time to glue, leaving all the rest in place. You get some glue on the next row that is currently dry, but everything goes together perfectly without having to sand or cut off pieces that no longer fit. We staggered the joints so that there were no straight lines across the width of the boat, which is much stronger than just laying the sheets where 4 corners come together.

From there it was a matter of screwing everything down. Fender washers make life easy... Lay them all as pictured in the photo stacking up with a width just wider than your fingers. With your hand palm down swoop in and grab 5 or 6. Flip your hand palm up, and start your screws between your fingers. This is the easiest way to do the job. (see pictures)

I put a screw about every 10 inches square, and added one here and there along the edges to pull it where the seams are smooth.

Since it was 44 degrees today, I was using Fast hardener. I had a big kerosene wick heater under the deck cooking for an hour or two, until the deck started to warm up. It took two heat lamps to bring my resin up to normal consistency... 60-65 degrees. To much hotter than that and fast goes atomic before you can work with it. I used 4 mixing pots, just for resin so I didn't have to heat all my resin, just what I was about to use. Boat projects don't feel wind chill... but it did make for a long Saturday for me!

Thats all for now...