Planking – One per Working Day

This post is about glueing and screwing pairs of planks from #5 to #9 (Sheerstrake).

The method is:

Mark 22mm line and plane off the chamfer, so that the next planks sits flush to the frames/bulkheads; temporarily fix the plank down with some clamps and mark the rabbet joint, sometimes called the gain or lap joint, this is done so the plank at the stem (bow), sits flush onto the stem – part of the backbone and hence seals the front; check that all of it fits correctly; use an icing bag full of mixed and thickened epoxy (mostly microfibres plus some rabbet filler and colloidal silica) and run a thickish bead where the glue is needed; place plank down (very carefully); screw down until the glue just starts to squeeze-out; clean up all squeeze-out, otherwise cleaning up when it’s set is very hard, in more ways than one! Finally, admire the handiwork.

Plank 4 Stbd Side – Over Halfway
Plank 4 Port Side – Over Halfway

The rest of the progress from Plank 5 to Plank 8 is in Menu item Photos. The final pair of photos are below:

Plank 9 Port
Plank 9 Stbd

Time for celebration ….

The jobs list is quite long before the boat is turned over!

 

More Planking

This is more of the same, so I’ve done a timelapse of the process of gluing plank No 4 to the Port side. Yes, I know it’s on the right of the boat at the moment, but it’s the port side of the boat (when it’s the right way up!).

 

Back in the Barn and Planking

I’ve gone back to work in the barn and parking well away from the owners, so everyone is socially distancing. I haven’t actually seen any of her family.

Just before the lockdown, S & I installed the garboard (1st plank), The preparation for the 2nd was planing the bevel on the #1 and using a rabbet plane to create a channel (or gain) at the stem end so the planks fit flush to the stem. However, I had a considerable fight to get the plank to both bend and twist, which needed substantial clamps and screws. I beat it into submission! I helped by installing blocks onto the mould nearest the bow (#9) into which I can put screws.

Blocks on Mould #9 for screws as MDF cannot take the pressure

These planks and sorting and tidying the barn took most of the day, so the next day I glued and screwed down the #2 planks. As I was single-handed, I made a couple of brackets to hold the planks away from the boat, which were held in place with clamps. When ready, I undid the clamps and placed the aligned plank onto the boat and glue, repeated with the other bracket and screwed the planks down onto the boat.

I used epoxy thickened to mayonnaise, scouped it into an icing bag, cut the end and used that as a dispenser. Works well. It took 8 pumps of epoxy per side. The excess on the outside was used to create a fillet and the inside was cleaned off. I also took the opportunity to start filleting the water ballast tank  with the excess epoxy.

Second Pair of Planks Fitted

I positioned the next two planks after I had planed off the bevel on #2 but I will leave planing the gain until the epoxy has set. I think that it takes a day to fit one pair of planks – 7 days to go.

Plank 3 Fitted on Starboard SIde
Plank 3 on Port Side Dry Fitted

 

Moulding the Outer Stem

This is the last job that I can do at home at the moment.

On the building frame, I had drawn out the profile of the inner stem as defined by the backbone onto the ply top. When I bought stuff back from the barn, I had cut the piece of ply off the whole sheet.

The blocks that made up the mould were slightly rounded to match the curve of the outer stem. They were screwed down onto the ply and into my workbench which really made sure that nothing was going to move. On the 1st dry fit, the blocks moved enough to change the curve, so everything was removed and the blocks under tension were then glued and screwed down! They didn’t move after that, however, I’m not sure how I’m going to remove them afterwards!

The Stem Mould with the Blocks About to be Screwed and Later Glued Down as Well

The next day, I painted the laminates with epoxy thickened to ketchup consistency, stacked them up, put them into a wide strip of polyethene and clamped them (it) into the mould. Easier said than done, as they put up quite a fight to bend them, but I got there in the end. One slight problem was one laminate was clearly slightly wedge-shaped and insisted on sliding up a little bit. Another clamp sorted that out!

The Oak Laminates for the Outer Stem in the Complete Mould

Well, that’s it. Lets hope I can start going back to the barn soon.

Mixing Epoxy with Protection

Working Under Covid 19 Cloud

This post has been moved from the previous post and has been added to with additional work completed at home.

With the start of the Covid-19 Lockdown, I made a final visit to the barn, and collected tools, locked stuff away, covered the boat and other stuff in a tarp.

At home, I set about laminating the gaff jaws: I built the mould on a ply sheet that I last used for the tiller mould, rounded off the blocks to improve the curve and wetted out the laminates with a thin layer of neat epoxy, followed by a coating of mayo thickened epoxy with micorfibres, applied to the mould inside a poly sheet and pressed into shape with 10 clamps. There was lots of squeeze-out. The other side of the gaff jaws was not cut as well, so I joined up pieces and glued up as above. The joins are not very noticeable!

Gaff Jaw in the Mould and I Needed ALL Those Clamps!

From the drawings, I made up a full-size pattern and marked out the shape needed, cut with with a jigsaw, electric and hand and roughly smoothed with spokeshaves. Anyone have any idea why my convex spokeshave judders? Please PM if you have any ideas; I’ve used plenty of hard candle wax to reduce friction.

Gaff Jaws out of the Mould and Awaiting to be Cut to Shape

I also brought the rudder back to work on and encapusulated the lower half with 125gm S-glass.

Rudder Encapusulated with Glass

The line under the glass is the waterline (I hope). I cut the glass to an approximate shape and laid one side down with epoxy and a roller (which worked this time!) rolling the glass over to the other side. Then I turned the rudder over and did the same but messed up the overlap. I should have done a good-sized overlap around the edges and covered that with glass cut to be under size for the rudder shape and have the overlap on one side and not over the edge. There is some rectification work to do! The straight line of the glass was done with 3 layers of masking tape under the glass which was used as a straight-edge for cutting when the epoxy was beginning to go off. It worked well and I was lucky to time it just right, when it was not longer sticky when touched after about 3 hours using slow hardener.

A few days later after cleaning off the amine wax, I started painting coats of epoxy paint (Hemple) and filling a few hollows with thickened epoxy between coats. The warm weather ensured that the coats went off very quickly and I needed a good quantity of thinners.

The tiller was moulded some time ago:

Tiller Awaiting Shaping: laminates of ash and utile

The far end (above) will be inserted into the rudder, in due course, was a little over size and after the rudder had received all its coats of eopxy and paint. the tiller end was planed down to just fit. The remaining part of the tiller was rounded down to about 30mm diameter from a 42mm square. This was followed by a few hours of sanding with 80 grit (coarse) to 180 grit (fine-ish) to get to the fine finish. I added a stop at the aft end of the tiller.

A question: Does the tiller need a pin to ensure that it doesn’t get pulled out?

Rudder and Tiller Complete awaiting final coats of paint/epoxy & varnish

Next jobs at home is moulding the outer stem, after that I’ve run out of jobs at home!

Work Under Lockdown

The Coronavirus had just begun after we turned the boat over, but I hoped that I would be able to continue ….

I double-checked the squareness etc of the frames & moulds are all seemed good, esp after they were fixed to the building frame. For the time being, I fixed mould #1 to the bulkhead and added some extra bracing between #8 and #9, in addition to other bracing.

It took me a few minutes toremember the name of the 1st plank – it’s the Garboard! I spent quite a bit of time dry-fitting it, which included some easing around frames #8 & #9. Despite the clamping during assembly, frames # 8 & 9 were 2 – 3 mm short, but apart from that all seemed well. Maybe a sash clamp would have helped when the frames were fitted to the backbone.

Substantial clamping and screws were needed on the garboard at the stem where there was considerable twisting of the ply plank. The frame positions were marked on the backbone to position the plank; I’ll do that for every frame so I know exactly the screws need to go. I also discovered that planking is a 2-person job, if only to keep the plank off the glue line.

Stbd Garboard Glued and Screwed in Place
Port Garboard Glued and Screwed in place as well!

A friend, S, came along to help with the garboards. I eventually used 8 pumps of West epoxy each side, mixed to mayo consistancy and put into an icing bag for dispensing. It’s a thoroughly recommended method that I got from “Off Centre Harbour” (http://www.offcenterharbor.com). Even with slow hardener, the 1st batch went off in the unseasonably warm weather. S was invaluable holding the plank up at his end until the plank was positioned correctly and placed down. Starting in the middle, the plank was screwed down to the frames (2ea), plus a couple on the top edge. All squeeze-out was removed and all appeared good. The above does not show the “to me, no to me a bit ….” and the struggle to clamp and screw the plank to the stem as the last bit, taking about 5 screws in 15cm. For others making this boat, ensure that the plank is hard up against the keel before fixing down!

With the start of the Covid-19 Lockdown, I made a final visit to the barn, and collected tools, locked stuff away, covered the boat and other stuff in a tarp.

At home, I set about laminating the gaff jaws: I built the mould on a ply sheet that I last used for the tiller mould, rounded off the blocks to improve the curve and wetted out the laminates with a thin layer of neat epoxy, followed by a coating of mayo thickened epoxy with micorfibres, applied to the mould inside a poly sheet and pressed into shape with 10 clamps. There was lots of squeeze-out. The other side of the gaff jaws was not cut as well, so I joined up pieces and glued up as above. The joins are not very noticeable!

Gaff Jaw in the Mould and I Needed ALL Those Clamps!

From the drawings, I made up a full-size pattern and marked out the shape needed, cut with with a jigsaw, electric and hand and roughly smoothed with spokeshaves. Anyone have any idea why my convex spokeshave judders? Please PM if you have any ideas; I’ve used plenty of hard candle wax to reduce friction.

Gaff Jaws out of the Mould and Awaiting to be Cut to Shape

I also brought the rudder back to work on and encapusulated the lower half with 125gm S-glass.

Rudder Encapusulated with Glass

The line under the glass is the waterline (I hope). I cut the glass to an approximate shape and laid one side down with epoxy and a roller (which worked this time!) rolling the glass over to the other side. Then I turned the rudder over and did the same but messed up the overlap. I should have done a good-sized overlap around the edges and covered that with glass cut to be under size for the rudder shape and have the overlap on one side and not over the edge. There is some rectification work to do! The straight line of the glass was done with 3 layers of masking tape under the glass which was used as a straight-edge for cutting when the epoxy was beginning to go off. It worked well and I was lucky to time it just right, when it was not longer sticky when touched after about 3 hours using slow hardener.

Covid-19 jobs still to do at home include moulding the outer stem, completing the rudder and gaff jaws. After that I’ll have to start doing the garden again!

 

Boat Turned Over!

Boat Now Upside Down for Planking

Before we got here, I painted most of what I could get to with neat epoxy to protect the ply. However, the foam on the rollers kept coming off and leaving little bits of yellow foam all over the place! EC Fibreglass replaced them very quickly; it probably helped that I sent them images of the failed rollers. Many thanks to  https://www.ecfibreglasssupplies.co.uk/. Thoroughly recommended.

I made two outsized clamps from which to suspend the boat whilst it is turned over:

Stern Clamp – used more clamps that shown here!
Bow Clamp

To make the boat stiffer for the turn-over, I added the cockpit locker shelves and the bow locker base and a diagonal screwed across the spans and a thin plank along the fkoorboards.

For the turning-over, friends, S, R, M, H, S joined us. The boat was pulled up on the pulleys and turned over by hand and then lowered. My guess with the positioning of the clamps was about right and it only took about 90 secs! All a bit of an anti-climax!

After the friends had gone after their cup of tea, I spent a little time checking the line-up of the frames, which were OK and the two moulds, which needed some adjustment and will be fixed in place. Mould 9 at the bow needed a “spanish windlass” to tighten it against the backbone, gravity was holding it away and it was not parallel to Bulkhead 8 either. I may add a brace later to ensure it stays in place.

At the point where the garboard (1st plank) meets the backbone, three of the  frames do not quite align with the backbone, so a little adjustment with the rebate plane has sorted most of that out. I have made sure that both sides are symmetrical. A bit of cleaning up of epoxy drips was needed here and there and I added some small fillets to the ballast tank limber holes and the cockpit locker seat supports. The notches for the planks needed squaring off because they were cut with a router; it took about 10 mins with a chisel.

Planking here we come!

Boat Structure Complete!

I suppose this week is a little bit of a milestone as I have started a new 6Kg tin of epoxy. I hope the next 6Kg lasts the build!

After I had removed the clamps, supports and posts from Frames #8, #7, #6, #4, #3 and admiring my work, I spent the rest of the morning setting up the transom and bulkhead #2 and the longitudinal bulkheads (fronts) of the cockpit lockers/seats to be in line, plumb etc! Frame #5 took 10 mins!

Lunch and glueing and filleting all the joints, including the vertical battens for the cockpit locker front took up the rest of the day .

Supporting the Transom and Bulkhead #2 While Glueing

This was when I discovered that I was missing two pieces, the longitudinal bulkheads for the water ballast tank, they’re about 1.8m long x 200mm wide. I need them now to strengthen the hull before the boat gets turned over. I searched the barn, twice and decided to eMail Jordan Boats – the supplier of the cut plywood. He found that these peices had been left of the cutting files! However, he is seeking the designer’s permission to cut the pieces from an previous CNC file.

The cockpit seats had two shaped rails each side that fit into the locker front and I glued them in place with clamps and glued and screwed the battens to support the locker base.

Battens for the Cockpit Locker

While I was having lunch with the view – see post on 14 Nov 19, when I looked behind me I realised that I would have to shorten the building frame that I had spent several hours building. I added a new cross rail where I wanted to shorten it, installed two new legs and cut the end off. Easier than I thought!

Shortened Building Frame

Time for celebration! The next thing to happen is organising a party to turn the boat over and start the planking! I have to find some pulleys and fittings to lift and rotate the boat. I guess that it weights about 200Kg.

The Frame is Now Complete!

 

Completing the Boat’s Structure

The frames and bulkheads needed to be vertical, at right-angles to the backbone and level, so, I clamped a spirit-level vertically onto the frame, clamped another across the span and clamped to my roofing square to it and the backbone. I then clamped a 75 x 50 timber to the frame and also made sure it was clamped to the building frame. None of this worked without a lot of adjustments to everything, some of which improved the setup, others didn’t! Eventually, they go there!

Clamps Everywhere to Adjust Frame to Right Place

I played around with all the frames until I got it right, screwed up the timber to the building frame and marked the timber’s position on the bulkhead, unclamped it and applied peanut thick epoxy to the joint and added a large fillet, reclamped everything, double-checked everything and left it to set.

I set up an alignment check at the end to the build frame to double check the frame position.

Lining Up all the Frames – not yet complete

I set up the transom (and bulkhead #2) onto the backbone, using a timber and rachet-straps to adjust position. It will be glued in position when the epoxy on the other frames has set.

Temporary Support for the Transom Before Fixing

Now we almost have a boat frame.

Boat Frame Nearing Completion with Transom and Frame #5 to complete

Building the Boat Frame

I sanded most ply surfaces before anything was glued together when it becomes more difficult to sand, particularily in the corners.

The rest of this day was spent cutting support battens for shelves and floorboards, which were glued and screwed onto bulkheads #7 & #8.  I cut  3mm thick trim that were glued and clamped onto stuck onto frames #5 & #6 and promptly ran out of clamps, so I couldn’t do much else!

Glueing Trim onto Frames #5 & #6 and Running out of Clamps Very Quickly

The transom (2 pieces already glued together) and bulkhead #2 were glued together between two longitudinal bulkheads. I used an plastic icing bag with a small hole cut in the end and filled with mixed epoxy (peanut butter thickness) to create the 20mm diameter fillet around the joints. It worked brilliantly! It dispensed just the right quantity. The whole arrangement was held together with a could of ratchet straps and a roofing square was clamped to the longitudinal bulkheads to ensure the whole arrangement was square.

Gluing the Transom, with a Little Help from Rachet-Straps

The backbone was checked for level and then braced with 100mm x 50mm planks and screwed into the stem and the aft end of the centreboard. I started to bolt the temporary spans onto frames #3 & #4. Fairly soon, I will be checking that everything is straight, so the centreline of all the bulkheads and the spans on the frames were marked.

Spans Added to Frames to Ensure Correct Spacing

I was very keen to see the full size of the boat, so I put a temporary support for the transom section. While I was at it I test fitted the under-seat longitudinal bulkheads that fit into Bulkhead #2 to Frame #4.

Test Fitting of the Transom Assembly to See Full Size of Boat

There is a little easing to do on the various joints.