Friday, August 08, 2008

MDF battens. Started planking.

I received a comment on my own comment on battens the other day. This was from the previously unknown Swiss builder of the F-22 Trifun. This builder reported on his successfull use of battens cut from an MDF-sheet. I praised the Internet and ran off to buy a new saw, as my old Bosch has seen the junk yard closing in for a while now (worn out bearings etc). With this really nice piece of Japanese tool I cut a bunch of battens in no time and ran off to test them in my form:

The MDF-battens are really nice to work with when there is a lot of twisting and bending, like it tends to be in a hull. My only worry is how strong they are, I will have to walk on the gunwale area in order to plank the cabin top.

One lesson learned is that high density X-linked PVC will not easily thermo form. I was afraid the battens would catch fire before it was possible to bend it at any degree. I finally got it shaped, but also discolored from the intense heating process. No wonder why builders using plywood choose to taper the insert.

I cut one plank 30 cm wide (about one foot). There were no problems at all shaping this plank along the battens without preheating and thermo forming. Still a lot of taping and drilling to do before planking can start.

I also profited on re-reading Menno's notes on batten work a few days ago, as I discovered the same phenomenon as him around form frame 5 in the gunwale area. He already sorted this out with Ian as published in his blog on September 11th last year. I agree on his conclusion; you need different battens fore and aft of frame 5.

At last I'd like to present a portrait of my Diesel-propelled heater. It's very effective, quite reliable given the fuel filter is changed every now and then and it is equipped with a remote thermostat assisting in providing stable working or hardening temperatures during the Nordic winter.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Today I braced up the form frames so everything seemed stable and then started with the battens. First I recycled the battens from the floats, then I had to start using the extra one I got made (not standard dimensions, had to order them specially made), but I ran out of screws before I got the chance to fit them all. I will run out of battens quite soon so I'll have to go to the shop tomorrow.
Started out at the keel line, extra batten to support the HD insert along keel:

Twisting a batten at the bow:

I'm done up to the water line:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rebuilding form frames for aft cabin

When I first started this project Ian Farrier had not yet published the aft cabin version and I cut the form frames to the standard cabin aft cockpit model. So I had to modify two of the form frames to get the aft cabin in. I just made an extra piece of MDF and fixed it to the original form frame with another piece of MDF and screws.

Then mounted it as the others:

And here both modified form frames (and all the other ones) on the strong back:

I need to brace up several more of the form frames in addition to the two already braced in order to get everything perfectly straight and steady.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Main hull

Despite a lot of work, and wind in the twenties the last few days and hence some nice afternoons sailing Frimann (Telstar 26) , I've been able to start the preparations for the main hull building.