April 29, 2005

a little backward progress ... and forward too.

well, even after I checked the bow stem laminations at 6 hrs of an ~8 hr cure, and found them fine and separable, and took steps to make sure they still didn't cure together (sanded off epoxy drools on the not-supposed-to-stick surfaces) before clamping them back on the form for the last bit of curing --- after this promising interaction the morning after creating them (I was afraid they'd stick together) --- I came back last night and found them impossible to separate. Both inner and outer came off the bow form just fine, clamps came off ok - with the exception of a few round bruises in the wood and a few of the clamps have their "sliding twister" at the end fixed (slides no more!).

I pried and pried, trying to be gentle and "linear", but at the top of my strength curve that's difficult... I used tools to pry (dangerous because of wood damage).... they started coming apart like I wanted, but then the line of separation split down into the inner stem. Well, not much to do now but keep pulling. Surprisingly, they came apart with the inner stem about... oh, 80% intact. if it had just been the split I couldl have 'poxied it back together, but pieces of the inner stem had fully split off and were still stuck to the bottom of the outer stem. sigh. So, the great news is that I still have enough wood to redo the an inner stem. but not outer - but outer was ok! lucky.

I got to use my new 1/4" chisel, taking off the splits of inner stem wood off the outer stem. then sanded it down nicely. That one's fine (and chisels are surprisngly easy to use!!).

Now I have to make the stern laminations perfectly, because I have no hardwood left. I made them last night, using a plethora of masking tape on all the not-supposed-to-stick surfaces, plus a doubled layer (neither side sticks) of duct tape between the inners and outers.

Put on my mask and gloves, mixed up some thickened and unthickened epoxy, painted all the stick-sides (oh yea, my brush from the previous night was one hard brush-looking solid- oops! Must not have used enough laquer thinner on it. good thing I bought a bunch of those, and they're only $.39), stacked them in the right order (it's impossible, just impossible, to keep the 'poxy from oozing out all over the tape surfaces - I give up!), and clamped them on top of each other onto the stern form. All very much easier said than done. The form, made of pressboard, is pretty heavy. 7 3" clamps are pretty darn heavy. The wood is extremely slippery after being glued (there are 10 pieces in all; 6 for the outer and 4 for the inner stem laminations). Epoxy squeezes out and goes EVERYWHERE. (I swear I am going to buy a haz mat suit, complete with shoe covers, for the glassing process. I've already found one that's $5, and ordered it.) The duct tape shield I made kept slipping out of place, but after I had clamped part of it too tight to move, so I had to undo the clamp again .... the whole affair is very unwieldy, made worse by the fact that I don't have much room in the basement and don't have a proper work bench. (complain, complain. :)

But, I finally got it done, set it up on its side to cure after wiping as much of the 'poxy sqeezeout and drools as I could. (with cut-up old underwear. I now have two avant-garde underwear statues.)

So then I slept, and this morning checked the setup, holding my breath.... the outer came off the inner stem easily. Hooray for the doubled-duct tape idea! But I should have used that between the pressboard form and the inner stems too. Even though there were 2 layers of masking tape (which had cured to each other in places), it was really hard (and an anxious job) to get those apart. you keep hearing cracking noises as the drooled-but-not-really-enough-to-permanently-glue bits of epoxy break, and you think it might be the wood. I think I did the equiv of 50 pushups working the round part of a screwdriver, mm by mm, between the form and those laminations. But it came off, and for the final few hours while it cures I put another duct tape layer there before I re-clamped. I also broke 2 clamps (had 2 cheap ones and 6 from Hardwick's; you can tell which are which.) Their feet came off.... hopefully not too permanently attached to the top of the outer stem!

Tonight I get to re-do the inner bow stem laminations.... then thankfully there should be no more epoxy jobs for a while, until I'm ready to glass the hull.

I know I seriously need pics here, maybe I can get steve over to use his camera.

Posted by mel at April 29, 2005 11:41 AM

Quite the odyssey! Good luck with the inner bow stem lamination!

Posted by: Andrew at April 29, 2005 03:13 PM
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