Saturday, October 13, 2018

Springing the chine

With the starboard fairing being — somewhat — close to workable, I decided to start fitting the chine.

This involves beveling the notches in the frames, in order to maintain a fair curve of the chine and provide a solid fit.

Drawing the angle needed for a beveled cut in Frame #4.

I clamped a metal ruler in place to use as a guide for the cut.

Making the cut in Frame #4.

Chine fitting at Frame #4.

Notch in Frame #5-1/2 enlarged and beveled.

Forward fitting in Frame #5-1/2.

Aft fitting in Frame #5-1/2. It looks like I'll need to deepen the bevel on the forward side to allow the chine to seat fully into the notch.

The bend of the chine taking its basic shape.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Scarf Is Born

My boy, who was all of 9 years old when I first became interested in boatbuilding, is now on the verge of turning 16. It's crazy, the way time just seems to rocket by faster and faster every year. As Ferris Beuller says, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

A few days ago, he & I went to see "A Star Is Born," directed by Bradley Cooper, and starring himself and Lady Gaga. Great movie.

And thus concludes my brilliant segue from my corny title to a messy scarf joint. 

Here we go:

Here are the two boards, each clamped firmly to the construction form so they won't move. In addition to that, I've used two large clamps, reversed as spreader bars, to maintain downward pressure on the boards to keep the joint aligned with the floor. Waxed paper is underneath the joint to minimize the mess.

The scarf joint is only 6 inches long (1/2" thick boards with a 1:12 ratio scarf). I clamped the whole thing together as firmly as possible with 5 bar clamps.

The squeeze-out of thickened epoxy made a heck of a mess. However, the joint is strong.

Here is the resultant 15' 6" board, loosely clamped in place. (Well, sort of.)

Here is the scarf joint, cleaned up a little bit, with some of the epoxy sanded away.

In Other News

Fairing. The process seems to never end. Currently, I'm close to flattening out the high spots along the inner batten on the starboard side (zones 1 and 2 on the graphic).

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Keel progress & chine prep

It's the end of September, and fallen leaves are slowly beginning to blanket my yard. I wonder which week will be fall this year. 

Week. That's right.

Fall in Georgia kinda goes like this: Temperature drops on Monday. Colors begin to change on Tuesday. Peak colors on Wednesday. Most of the trees are bare by Thursday. Winter rains start on Friday — and then it's mud until February.

No. It ain't Maine, that's for sure.

I have spent most early mornings this week, slowly trying to flatten out the keel on the starboard side. In the last post, the keel still had something of a "bowl" to it, with the low point at Frame #2, and high points at Frame #4 and the transom:

After a good bit of work, now it looks like this:

There are still a few bumps and waves in it, but it has flattened out a lot.

Today I decided to take a break from the keel, and start preparing the chines. The Zip Bill of Materials calls for 1" x 2", 16-foot long boards for the chines. I am planning to laminate the chines, as I did with the keel, for ease of bending and twisting.

Yesterday, my son and I ripped the last 8-foot mahogany board I had into two 2" strips. Then I ran them across my planer/jointer until they were about 1/2" thick. 

After some thought, I decided to joint the two with a scarf joint. From what I've read, the ideal scarf joint has a ratio of about 1:12. If I did my math correctly, that roughly comes out to about a 5° angle.

I made a very simplistic sled for my table saw by simply cutting a 2x4 at a 5° angle with my mitre saw. I simply clamped the cut piece of 2x4 to the sled that came with the saw.

No, it's not perfect. There's not a way to safely clamp the board I'm cutting to the sled, so I have to simply hold it in position and proceed with extreme caution. With a little more help from my son, who supported the weight of the 8-foot board, the cuts went fairly smoothly.

I haven't yet glued the joint together. Here's the plan:

For the sake of alignment, I'm going to glue the joint while the boards are laying on the floor.... yes, vertically, like in the picture. Why vertically?

I wanted to be able to lock the boards into position, so that the scarf joint didn't slide apart when pressure is applied to the joint. To me, it seemed the easiest thing to to would be to clamp the boards to my construction form, like this:

That's it for now. Let's see what October may bring!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A not-so-even keel

Fairing progress continues on the longitudinals. As you probably surmised from the title, this post will primarily focus on the keel.

Let me take a moment to thank my worldwide readership — all 3 of you — for reading my blog!

Moving on, I updated my graphic for the fairing zones for those who may be less familiar with the frame nomenclature. The graphic helps me explain what I'm working on.

I have primarily been working on the 1 2 3 4 side of the boat. Currently, the closest to accurate fairing is on the 3 floor battens and the keel where these all intersect Frame #2.

Most of the major waves and bumps are gone, and the fairing has become more nuanced. The keel is closest to being finished, at least on that side of the boat. However, looking down the length of it, it's still kind of a "bowl" with the low point being at Frame #2. I am slowly flattening that out, and creating a lot of wood dust in the process.

Long way to go, still.

Current state of the boat.

Looking down the length of the keel, you can see the long, shallow "bowl."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fairing progress

Fairing progress on the Zip has been, well... "fairly" slow.

I made this little chart to help explain what I've been working on.

In a nutshell, I have mostly been working in "zone 1." The floor battens are basically fair with Frame #2 (located between the "1" and the "2" on the chart). This has created a low spot in the 3 floor battens on that side of the keel, as well as the keel itself.

The battens are basically even with the transom, but everything from the transom forward to Frame #2 needs to be lowered to meet Frame #2. I'm doing this mostly by hand sanding, now that the rough work has been done with the belt sander.

Transom, floor battens, and keel.
I have also been doing some rough work in the areas of zones 2, 5, and 6, as well as some preliminary fairing at the front of the keel at zones 3 and 4.

Initial tapering at the front of the keel.
Still a long, long way to go.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Utility: What's Next

So, what's in store for "Percy" next?

She's getting a new battery tray. This is part of moving the battery from the front of the boat to underneath the rear thwart.

The reason for THAT is for easier / faster access to the battery in general, as well as to make it more convenient to hook up my electric trolling motor.

The battery tray will be enclosed on 3 sides to allow the battery box to slide in & out. The 4th side will be removable and will be locked into place to hold the battery box in position. 

I have the basic parts of the tray made. I just need to epoxy it all together & glue it into place.

I have more planned improvements for the boat beyond that — namely cosmetic improvements and the addition of a floor.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

How to bury yourself in wood dust

I'm "pleased to announce" 🙄 that the fairing process has begun in earnest.

"Fairing." The mere word conjures up the mental anguish of back pain, the ceaseless whir of my cheap belt sander, and enough wood dust to fulfill an old testament prophecy of plague and pestilence.

But, it has to be done.
"but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." 
— The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, chapter 5 verse 3. 

Or, to quote the classic Pink Floyd album, The Wall:

"The show must go on." 

So far, so good... but there's a LONG way to go.
(For an actual description of the fairing process, click here.)