10/195 June 18-23/2008 Leeboard

The pieces of 1/4″ plywood that I laminated together…weren’t. I had gaps and I had to consign the piece to the scrap heap. That will teach me for trying to stretch the epoxy and not screw/clamp it together properly as I only weighted it down with a toolbox and bucket full of clamps.

I spent a lot of time figuring out how to line up the edges of the two leeboard guards so that they are parallel to the centre line of the boat and also how to fabricate them. I used a 2×4 to line up with the centre line marks on the bulkheads, stretched a string from front to back to make sure that the 2×4 was lined up and then used my drywall t-square and a square to align the edge of the leeboard guard with the centre. I used the 2×4 to find the line 39 1/2″ back from the 4.5 bulkhead for the leeboard bolt hole.

I made a template for the upper leeboard guard from 1/4″ plywood and lined it all up. I cut the scribing line for the fit to the hull with the jigsaw and then filed and sanded to the line. It fit perfectly.

I then epoxied up another lamination using plywood that was cut to be just a bit larger than the template. I Did the lamination one layer at a time and I really put on a lot of thickened epoxy AND I screwed the layers together using about 12 screws to ensure that there were no gaps. I used the template as the top layer of the laminate. I made sure to remove excess epoxy around its lower edge. After that was cured, I scraped it to remove the stray bits of epoxy, clamped it to the sawhorse, fired up the router and used the template straight bit to shape all the layers to the top layer.

I then clamped it to the gunwale again and rechecked the line I had marked out as being parallel to the centre line. I made a small adjustment of about 1/16″. I took the support off the gunwale and clamped a piece of 1/4 ply along the inner line I had just marked. Then I ripped a piece of mahogany scrap to 1 1/8″ wide and placed it against the edge of the 1/4″ ply and clamped another piece of 1/4″ ply against that. This was done to make sure that the gap was 1 1/8″ from one end to the other and that the two “fences” were parallel. Once the fences were secure I removed the mahogany.

Then, it was time to make some sawdust! I clamped the guard like a bridge between two sawhorses and started making lots of passes, gradually increasing the depth of each pass until I had gone through the bottom layer of the guard. This was done freehand, just being very careful not to bump into the fences. Once I had reached through and the upper ballbearing guide was against the fences I slowly removed the excess from the sides of the slot. Carefully removed material at the ends where there was no fence to stop the bit and I was finished. Routers sure allow you to do an amazing job! It looked great!

And that is about it…I am going to level the boat and use a plumb bob to find the edge for the lower leeboard guard in the next day or two and get that cut out. I’l take it to a friend that has a drill press to drill the bolt hole and then it will be time to raise the boat up on the sawhorses so that I can make sure that the leeboard goes up and down properly before epoxying and screwing everything together permanently.

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Filed under Assembly, Cutting and shaping, Glassing, Layout, Tools

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