Saturday April 12, 2008 – Bunch of Firsts

Today was a glorious day…nice and sunny and warm. I decided to go ahead with some epoxy work. I figured that with the warmer weather I should have faster cure times and the epoxy should be easier to mix and work with.

First, I decided to laminate the cheek pieces for the rudder. I covered the tablesaw with garbage bags so that I’d be ableto use this nice surface and the fence to ensure the pieces were lined up on the bottom edge. I decided to try some cabosil and wood flour combined – something I read about on Sam Devlin’s website. So, I mixed some in about a 50/50 mix, stirred it up until it was nice and uniform. Then, I lined up the pieces to be laminated and screwed them together using three screws. I backed out the screws and then mixed up the epoxy. After stirring for my 2 1/2 to 3 minutes I mixed in some of the cabosil/wood flour mixture and stirred that up real good.

Then, I poured it onto both faces to be joined and spread it around using the stirstick. I slapped the pieces together, rubbed them back and forth, lines them up with the heavy lines I had drawn and then used a couple of nails to line things up so that I could put in the first screw. Then, I took out another nail and screwed it as well. Everything lined up great. I put in some more screws so that I got squeezeout all around the edges, and put a toolbox on top and left it.

Then, I decided to trace out the other side pieces and bilge panel. I hauled the pieces already cut out downstairs, lined up the two sheets of 1/4 inch ply, laid the “master” pieces on the ply and traced around them. I hauled them upstairs and into the garage and cut them out…leaving about half an inch around the edges. My plan is to butt join the masters and the ones just cut out and then screw the masters to the oversize ones and use my router with an edge trimming bit to cut out the final panels.

Then, I decided to go for it with the first side panel. So I got everything ready. I laid the first piece of tape on the waxed paper, saturated it with epoxy, laid the next piece down, slightly offset, saturated it and then laid the first piece of plywood on it. Nailed the ply to my table to keep it from moving and then picked up the over piece, carefully lined it up, laid it down and then nailed it to the table as well.

Cut out two more pieces, mixed another batch of epoxy….very nivce to have the epoxy liquid and easy to pump out of the jugs….and laid these pieces of tape on top of the pieces, saturated them with epoxy, laid the wax paper, a piece of plywood and a toolbox on top. So, my sandwich sits and waits to cure.

S, I took some photos, cleaned up, did a few other things and then noticed some vapor coming from the mixing pot the excess epoxy was sitting in…my first exothermic reaction! I poured the liquid epoxy onto a flat surface covered with plastic and then levered the solid chunk of epoxy out of the pot…it was pretty darn hot. I figured it was going to melt the plastiic and mess up my tablesaw so I dumped the nails out of an old can and flipped the chunk into that. I didn’t have a lot of epoxy left but I sure learned that it will go off in a hurry unless poured into a flat container.

Put together a little shelter over the curing joint with Patty’s thermostat controlled heater inside to keep the temperature around 20 C or 68 degrees F all night.

I decided to try using my 1/4 ” roundover bit on the inside edges of the bulkhead frames. I practiced on the temporary form and then prepared the first bulkhead. Rounded it over, sanded the framing and then the surfaces of the plywood and I think it is ready to be coated with epoxy.

Sat outside drinking a coffee for the first time in a long time. Beautiful evening!

Some photos….

Beautiful day

Side panel laid out



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Filed under Cutting and shaping, Glassing, Materials

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