Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Preparing float and deck joining

Before fitting the decks, I had a few things to finish on the floats; tread a rope through the tubes in the cargo area, and drill holes for air pressure alignment in bulkheads. The rope shown here:

I also had to cut slots for the deck stringers in the flange and cut a hole in the deck for the chain plate. Alignment dowels to be correctly set up on the beam bulkhead tops. This photo shows the starboard float and deck prepared for joining (all except peeling off...). It is sitting on supports made ad modem Jay. In the middle the resin trap with a removable bucket inside. To the right the finished port deck laminate.

The starboard float is now joined, I forgot to bring the camera, and the next time it was out of batteries. I will tell the story along with the port float joining.

Finally made the float decks

Ten days since the latest posting, and I don't have many pictures from that period. But I'm progressing again after that minor unfortunate happening on May 14.

The second infusion went on without any major problems during preparation or infusion, forgot to take pictures until finished:

However, the following day, when unpacking the bag, it turned out that I had forgotten the layer of release film between the peel ply and the RDM. This meant another hour of punishment labour peeling off everything. Two release issues making one part! The part was OK though. The picture is showing starboard float and deck (before the peeling) and port front deck and foam is on the table:

The making of the port deck went on uneventfully. I managed to reuse the bag, though. Saved me perhaps one hour. I have now proceeded the stage where I glued the deck to the table:-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Float decks, part x?

I have been lucky to have my parents with us the last few days due to my crew's 4th birthday. I took advantage of this situation to get an extra hand in the workshop and my father and I made some progress on the "making float deck again" work.

First we cut out the remaining foam pieces for the deck. Then we waxed the table thoroughly with "Norslipp". Spreaded out a sheet of release film on top of the wax. Then the new foam with all the HD inserts. Then laid down the fabric and marked the cutting edge before we had to leave for the night. It is not much work left until I can infuse again, but continuously long days at work is slowing me down....

Here is my father and the float deck as we left it today:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back to start on starboard float deck

When I left the workshop yesterday afternoon I stopped by to buy some more vinyl floor. 6m by 60 cm (20' x 2'). It had to be two 3m pieces. Then I went back to the workshop after dinner and sanded down all the remnants on the table with a random orbital sander. Then adapted the floor and made holes for the alignment dowels. Will glue it to the table and do something clever in the connection between the two pieces and around the dowels:

Then I started making new pieces from foam and fabric. Shaped 5 new stringers, cut all the fabric for those. Then started on the deck foam, cut the foremost 243,5 cm (new standard from Divinycell? Used to be 244). All the HD inserts are undamaged and reusable from the last attemt on making a deck. The next few days we will be celebrating the birthdays of Norways constitution and that of my son's and I will not be building again for a few days.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Quite depressing...

(Text added May 15): Even though the infusion of the deck went just as planned and the laminate looked perfect when the vacuum bag and the infusion consumables were removed, there are obviously a lot more to learn. And I have always been happy to learn new things. And I am happy to share my new knowledge. So here is what happened:

This infusion was only one side. The foam was covered only on the top side with fabric, peel ply, RDM etc and the spiral tubes ran approx 1 cm from the end. Loose bag so the fit was tight along the sides of the foam. The table was made out of IKEA furniture quality fibre board. Quite smooth and slippery surface. I did not direct my thoughts to the fact that much of the point with this vacuum technique is that every single little spot where there were ever air is filled with resin. Hence, bubbles is not a problem. But there are obviously others.

On the regular vacuum table I have a layer of vinyl floor. And I waxed it thoroughly the first times. And there were always a layer of fabric down to the table, not bare foam. Never had any issues with release. Figured this table was OK as well, and I was not supposed to infuse the underside anyway!

As I mentioned earlier, the laminate looked just perfect. I started to release it from the table in the bow section, and quite soon it seemed to be stuck to the table. It turned out the whole mid 2/3 of the deck was totally stuck. Tried to cut it loose, tried to get thin instruments in between in many ways. I finally realized that this part was lost. Had to rip off the fabric, had to use a lot of force, that's a good thing. I guess about 1/4 of the foam followed the laminate, the rest was stuck on the table. If it was all high density foam I think it would have been possible to get it off. It was not a very pretty sight:

Then I had to use a large 'chisel' (is that what it is called?) to get off the rest of the foam. It came off in quite small pieces. Quite a mess before everything was picked up. Allmost filled a big black plastic garbage bag.

Infusion of the starboard float deck

(Text added May 15) I fit the rest of the bag and made ready for infusion. No significant leaks. The most of the area is covered with two layers of the blue RDM. The closest area of this picture is covered with one layer. This picture is taken just about a minute after the resin inlet was opened:

This next picture is taken less than one minute later. It is already obvious that the resin flows faster in two layers of RDM:

The resin front after 4 minutes. The fastest RDM is the stringer actually. Wich means I can make the grooves even smaller. The resin was about 25 deg Celcius, I guess. The two layer area has now passed the mid line:

10 minutes and the one layer area is almost half way:

16 minutes and everything but the one layer area is finished wetted out:

Except this little spot in the "resin brake" area at the transom transition. Anyway, I locked the resin inlet and went to work my sunday night nightshift. Lesson learned: Two layers of RDM more than doubles the resin front velocity. Nice to know :-)

In the morning everything looked nice and the resin was gelled. I turned off the vacuum pump and went home to sleep:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

More preparing

One of the most important things about building a boat that I should have learned by now, but obviously haven't, is that when you plan what to do in one day, you should divide it by two, subtract a bit and work a bit harder, Then you might not be disappointed about what was actually done that day. Well, the intention was to infuse the starboard float deck, but as time went by I decided instead to go home and spend the rest of this beautiful (but cold) Saturday evening with my wife.
When I arrived the workshop the heater was out of diesel and I had to fill it up and start cranking heat into the concrete walls, the epoxy and everything. It takes hours and several litres of diesel. I envy those whose problem is it is a bit hot to work, here it is too cold to even think about using epoxy without being in an insulated heated room 24-7 for at least 8 months a year, and the rest of the year it is maybe hot enough for a few hours half of the remaining days. I spend a lot of money on diesel....

First I lay out the fabric. In the foreground my Kevlar scissors, special model with micro serrations from Solingen, Germany. Insanely expensive. Now starting to show signs of weakness... (Kevlar is used for bullet proof wests, among other things):

Then I cut it 3 cm from the edge. Most of these 3 cm will be removed during the shaping of the deck to hull side radius. I placed the stringers according to plans. :

Then I placed pieces of 500g 0-90 carbon over the stringers and rolled out the peel ply, being careful to leave enough over the stringers to get a tight fit in the "corners":

Then I cut the peel ply, and applied release film and Resin Distribution Medium. Most of the surface is covered with two layers of RDM. This is due to an experiment on how two vs one layer of RDM affects the velocity of which the resin front moves during infusion. Temperature has a significant effect as the viscosity of the epoxy doubles from 30 to 20 deg Celsius. You can see the spiral tubing is started laying out (sold as a product to organize electrical chords at a reasonable price at Biltema.

Then I spread the vacuum film (nylon film specially made for this purpose, flexible and rough) over the deck and cut a piece (two really, I make two of everything as there are two floats) much bigger than one would believe is necessary. It is important to make the bag roomy, with lots of pleas. The bag will never be too large but it can easily be too small and make a tight corner somewhere and hence not distribute an even pressure to the part you are making:

Started attaching the bag to the table with tape made out of natural rubber with some kind of sticky additive. You can see I left a few cm of fabric not covered with RDM at the end of the deck. This is to reduce the risk of "race tracking". For those interested in infusion I really would recommend Henny's starter kit on infusion. The kit comes with a very instructive CD-manual and all you need except foam and epoxy to make a small panel. I think everyone who intend to vacuum bag flat panels should consider infusing instead. I find it easy, clean and with prime quality panels as a result. Infusing the hull is however a lot more work and is somehow reserved for those with a special interest in the building process.

Preparing infusion of float deck contd

This is how I prefer to prepare the stringers for infusion. May be a better way to just perforate, leave the top of the stringer without RDM and attach a vacuum outlet on top of the stringer.
Anyway, when doing like this with approx 1x1mm channels under the stringers and 1,5 mm perforations in the grooves this provides resin distribution to the fabric layer(s) between the deck and the stringer, and I use RDM on top of the stringer to provide distribution there. It has worked excellent for the bow stringers and also the stringers on the front part of the deck. The advantage is I can manage with four less vacuum outlets for this infusion which means less use of consumables and less resin to throw away.

The high density inserts with bog in the joins to minimize resin distribution to the other side of the deck foam. Starting to lay out fabric in reinforced areas:

I everything goes as I hope, the first deck will be infused later today....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Small update on my progress

Finished fairing the keel shape of the starboard float:

Here is a picture of the carbon tube for the starboard float storage compartment net attachment:

And here is a picture of the wonderful parcel I got from Korea!

And here is some of todays snow in the back of my truck after driving over to the workshop! The global warming doesn't seem to do much for us yet....

Then I made a 6m long vacuum table on the strongback for infusion of the float decks. Cut all the foam and placed the HD inserts.

Then made the foam for the deck stringers. Have to perforate them and make "channels" underneath for resin distribution.

I placed alignment dowels in the table to make sure that the three parts of the float are correctly aligned:

And I'm ready to tape in the last tube in the starboard float. The port float is finished with holes every 10 cm /4" in the tube (forgot to take a picture of that)

Next is taping in that tube and infusing the starboard float deck. Then I have to make the port deck, cut a hole in the table to make room for the chainplate and glue the float on top, strapping it firmly to the strongback to get a tight fit. Not sure when I can find the time for that...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Got the stuff

I got all the merchandise I was supposed to pick up in Oslo, don't know how much I have to pay yet though. Here is some of it, epoxy for infusion and for hand lay up and a few buckets of fairing compound:
I also picked up a roll of 200 g carbon twill 2x2 (100 m^2), RDM, foam core for the main hull, hatches and inspection hatches.

The second carbon tube turned out close to perfect, by the way. It was very easy to pull it off the PVC tube. It will make two perfect "half pipes" for net attachment. The lay out was like I have tried to show in this scetch:
I will be working a lot the next couple of weeks (including week ends) and I am not sure I will be able to do much, but I hope I will be able to infuse hull outsides by the end of the month. I will then use one layer of 200g carbon covered by one layer 240g carbon/kevlar.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Even closer..

Forgot to bring my camera today, hence no shots "under way". I started out with glueing in the two carbon half pipes under a layer of tape . I didn't vacuum this as I was afraid that the procedure might have deformed the tubes and not left enough room inside to tread the rope:

Here is a close up of the two half tubes attached to the sides. There will be a net between these in order to keep the cargo relatively dry. A positive side effect is that these profiles will make the hull side stiffer in this area, which is the lower part of the float and the part immersed most of the time. Hopefully this will restrain "pumping" and underpressure in this compartment which will lead to it being less susceptible to water penetration (via hatch):

At the same time I set up for a new infusion of carbon tube for the other float. This time I dropped the wax (which prooved to have no effect on the first tube) and instead I laid a layer of release film closest to the mold tube. Here you see (from inner to outer) release film - bi ax carbon (500g) - peel ply - release film - RDM - vacuum bag. The resin has been infused, inlet closed, still tweaking out excess resin from each side:

Time will show wether this set up works......

Then I started shaping the keel on the starboard float. I made MDF-board patterns with different radiii (one of wich is shown down right) and shape the hull at several locations with grinding paper. When all these locations are done I will use the long board to "fuse" these radii.

Tomorrow morning I will start a two day road trip to our capitol Oslo. The purpose is to bring home a lot of epoxy, carbon, foam, RDM, microbaloons etc etc. And maybe have a sail on "Frimann" if the wind is up (not worth while until mid teens).