Friday, December 01, 2006


Wheels seemed like a good 'small shop' project so we've begun tackling them over the past few days. The plans called for laminating 8 strips of 1/8" plywood over a male mold for the rim however the yard was out of 1/8" so we're going to use more of the corecell. I've added and extra 1/4" to the diameter of the rim since my meat puppets always got tired on the weenie 1" diameter wheels.

Since the foam rim is going to be flimsier than the laminated plywood we'll need to add a bit more glass. Probably getting too clever here in using the foam but this is part of the fun. Until my noodle rim becomes useless that is.

The hub is a 7" diameter of 3/4" ply with a groove in the edge that the spokes will fit into.

The router is starting to meet it's maker as it is falling apart at the seams. The switch broke yesterday so it was removed from the equation and the 'Z' adjuster is starting to wear out. The locking mechanism also died. At some point a router is nothing more than a spindle. I think I'm there. I've had this router for several years so it's time for a replacement. The Ryobi stuff seems to be a good brand to learn with and then move on to something a bit more robust and with a dust port. It's amazing how much dust a router can spew!

Also filled the slot in the trailing edge of the rudder with some chopped fiber and and epoxy. A bit of a deviation from the plans here that called for glass in the slot but I liked the idea of having the slot be void free and I'm not sure I could have done that with the glass.

Lastly, got the spokes crackin' today. The jigsaw had a lovely time trying to get through 1 1/2 inches of plywood for the spokes. Everything is taking a bit longer than I'd imagine since everything is a learning process at this point.

So far boat building has been 80% jig building. Getting the router sorted out to cut rounds took a while as did sorting out a way to get the groove in the side of the hub.

Very rewarding stuff when the jig is set up and the part comes out as planned.

If I were to start over with the wheels I might try simply cutting and shaping the wheel core out of plywood or foam, glassing over it, adding bog and then painting. Building the wheel by building up a rim, hub and spokes is an effort. However, I liked the idea of having the hub be offset from the rim and this seemed like the only way to do it and the plans were as such. Once more, the Harryproa boys have already built it this way so it seemed like re-inventing the wheel (how often does that fit literally) would have been a road with more 'learning opportunities".

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