Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wheels and an oven

Epoxy cure times are quite lengthy based on a shop temperature of 60 degrees. Getting into winter here in Maine the shop is rarely at 60 and usually well below 45 when not in use. Epoxy will take days (if at all) to cure at these temperatures.

Clogging the sandpaper up with three swipes is frustrating at best so a solution was needed.

As an alternative to heating up a sieve-like 3200 cubic foot shop I built a 5' x 10' x 1' box out of 1x3's and some styrofoam we recycled from some work done to the house. The R value is a mere 5 on the foam so we lined the inside of the box withthe radiant heat insulating bubble wrap to bring the R value up to 15. With a small heater and an unsealed (at this point) box (oven) we still got her cooked up to 90 degrees with a whimpy Walmart heater in about 20 minutes. This should cook the epoxy in 4-5 hours according to the specs.

Also applied the first layer of epoxy box. First time I've bogged anything. Quite nice. I say this now but I can imagine it becoming less romantic after a while. I tried the West System 407 which is #2 (behind 410) on the light and easy to fair scale. It's off the charts expensive but I thought I'd try a small bit as something to compare my own mixtures to. We're going to try the SM Fair and a concoction of 3 parts microballoons and 1 part aerosil (cabosil). Since fairing is going to be like a step parent it seems like one should learn to get along with it and make the best out of it.

Hard to imagine a baker not thoroughly enjoying himself on a bogging project.

A bit of school of hard knocks today as the E-glass decided that a strong relationship with the plywood spokes was not in it's best interest. One could say that the relationship was doomed from the beginning with the plywood not getting nearly enough of what it needed to form the strong bond. Enough epoxy. Laminating 101 was forgotten as I rolled out the glass on the table and layed it directly on the spokes without wetting the spokes out first.

I thought about it in bed last night thinking there would be a problem and sho 'nuff. Peeling the glass off the plywood you could see dry glass where the plywood sucked the resin out of it. A minor screw up so no sleep lost on this one.

I imagine there will be many such 'learning endeavors' along the way. The goal will be to mitigate the losses and keep the errors under control.

Layed the goal out for December to finish two rudders and two wheels. This would be a good first month in my book..


grant said...

Hi Tony!

Looking good! Where's the current post? Also, bail on 410 for below the waterline, use 407 instead.

Julie's got my email, what's yours?


Anonymous said...

What ever happened to this boat? Why did you stop construction?