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.

1 comment:

bucko00014 said...

Hi Tor , sounds as though you are trying to bend the foam on the job . Much easier to set up a box ( cardboard will do ) open top and bottom . Set up an ordinary bar heater in the bottom facing up then lie your strip of foam across the top and throw a bit of bubble wrap or similar over it to keep the heat in . We find that a minute each side then turn back over for 1/2 min on the first side gives great results with no scorching . For foam with a double bend do them one at a time . Regards , Jim Buckland .