Monday, November 2, 2009

4. Negotiating the curves

In this posting;

1. Negotiating the curves
2.Steaming Ash
3. Mistakes I made thus far
4. In closing

1. Negotiating the curves

I was naive to think that the glueing of the strips to the bottom would be completed over the week-end.
When I started fitting the strips around the tight curves on the aft section, progress slowed down to a crawling pace.
Imagine a plastic ruler. Twist it lengthwise through almost 90 degrees. Now bend it slightly sideways. Now bend one end downwards in a vertical plane. This is the shape of the strip near the aft section. Sounds easy enough but the bottom edge of the strip also needs to fit snugly on top of the strip previously fitted.
This means that the bottom edge of the strip needs to be planed in a spiral shape. I really need a spoke-planer that the old folks used to plane the inside edges of ox-wagon wheels.

When planing the edges and continiously test-fitting them, my language was far from prestine until I started marking the edge to be planed with white chalk to see what part of the edge still needed to planed.

Due to the awkward shape of the strips additional "dummy bulkheads" had to be made to keep the stips in place.

With each strip to be glued, I had to "dry-fit" the strips by determining which clamp to use where, numbering the clamps and marking the exact position of each clamp on the hull. A tedious process. Only managed to fix four strips the week-end.

2. Steaming Ash

While waiting for the epoxy to set, I started on the external stems. Having played around with steaming wood previously, I quickly built a steaming box and set up a steaming "plant"

After steaming the 6mm thick Ash for 30 minutes, it was quickly clamped to the jig.

It never ceases to amaze me how certain types of wood can be manipulted when steamed. And I love the smell of wood being steamed. Yes, I should have made the curve on the jig more pronounced to lessen the effect of spring-back, but the wood is still flexible enough to be clamped to the right curve with a little pressure.

As an experiment I tried to steam and bend Cedar and this was the result.

3. Mistakes I made thus far:

I should have had twice the number of temporary stations near the aft and fore sections.

I should have concentrated more on utilising the prettier grained wood on the sides of the hull. Now that I'm reaching the bottom of the hull, I notice that the strips that are being used are more colourful than the strips glued to the sides.

Should have bought epoxy solvent to clean off the runs of epoxy after clamping. Unfortunately AMT is closed on Saturdays.

4. In closing:

Obviously the Evolution was never intended or designed to be built in this manner but it does seem feasable provided one is patient and treats the wood and the shape of the Evolution with the respect it deserves.

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