Sunday, December 30, 2007

Vacuum bagging the first lamination on the daggerboard.

Cutting the 6oz carbon cloth and fitting it on the daggerboard. My plan was to hold the board at one end and laminate it down from the leading edge to the trailing edge.

I was not very happy with my hand lay up of the cloth. The cloth stretches very easy. However in the end we get it all in the vacuum bag. I cannot imagine getting good adhesion on a part like this without the use of vacuum.

Here is the daggerboard straight out of the bag with the excess cloth very roughly cut away and presented to the family on the living room floor. Not a perfect job but I can work with it. It is now on to the uni-directional carbon fiber.

At this point the daggerboard weighs in at ~ 8-9 lbs.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

More daggerboard fairing and preparation for sheathing

I found the templates traced and cut out from the full sized plans to be very useful. I used hardboard from one of the boy's old school projects. Above you can see that I could actually get them to all stand up on their own. At this point I was getting close to final shape.
On each side of the trailing edge I cut the foam down to the fiberglass cloth that I had laid down when gluing the two foam pieces together. I then filled up the edge with fairing putty. Same process for the other side. I thought that this worked out very well.

The rotary tool showing at the top of the picture allows me to make rebates far easier. Santa was good to me this year. The above rebate is for the carbon cloth. My 50" wide cloth will not allow covering in one piece with the fibers at +- 45 degrees. You can also see the putty on the trailing edge, the larger rebate for the uni fiber and the core still showing, wrapped with the carbon fiber.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daggerboard fairing begins

I had to think about how to position the wrapped core and keep it properly centered in the foam block. I was struggling with this and then suddenly it occurred to me that I could re-use the scrap piece of foam that I had cut off to taper the core cut out to the correct thickness. This was a scrap piece and I had to recover it from the garbage heap.. My thought was that the piece could be used as a spacer to locate the laminated core in the centre of the foam block. There would be no need to create any new spacer or other method.

You can see how much foam is actually cut off one side the core to reduce the core thickness, below.
Remember that the daggerboard sections get thinner the farther you go down, and this is just one side.

Below you can see the core correctly located within the 2 inch thick foam block.

I used some polyurethane glue to lock the core into place and proceeded to machine the 4" wide rebate down the length of the core insert. I ended up using my Dremel tool with a router bit to cut the rebate. I used the inserted core as a guide to determine the correct depth of the rebate. I have since asked Santa for the proper tool.

Then the fairing begins. From the coarse we go to the fine. The initial fairing actually goes very quick. You can see above the templates of sections A-F lying on the work table. They are invaluable. With my experience of shaping the float bow caps I expect the fine touches to be interesting.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Daggerboard core lamination

I am continuing to learn that much of boat building, it seems, is in the preparation of an operation. Like a doctor one must surgically prepare the 6oz. twill carbon cloth at +-45 degrees, cut the peel ply and plastic, put on the blue gloves and mix the epoxy.

Above you can see the core foam with the high density insert in the centre.

I am not a fan of wrapping fiberglass around objects. This time I decided to use the plastic over the peel ply so that I could wrap the laminate tightly with packing tape.

Note the taper in the lower foam piece. I had to carefully reduce the thickness of the pieces to a) allow for the rebate for the uni carbon fiber and b) to accommodate the reduced thickness of the daggerboard sections as you go down.

The operation went well and here are the 3 sections of the core. I'm debating whether I need to join them before inserting them into the foam. Peeling the ply was quite difficult and next time I will make sure some ply does not get saturated, to give a reasonable location to start peeling without having to dig.
Here are the inserts back in the foam block. Next step is to glue/bond them into place, cut a rough perimeter and start the fairing.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Parts from McMaster-Carr

I have sourced the following parts from McMaster-Carr
Still have to do a double check on the parts and the quantities include spares.

Bow web bushing for bow pole Qnty 2

No-Lube Fiberglass Sleeve Bearing for 1/2" Shaft Diameter, 5/8" OD, 1" Length
In stock at $5.29 Each

Bow pole bushing Qnty 4

UHMW Bearing Flanged, for 1/2" Shaft Dia, 5/8" OD, 1/4" Length
In stock at $4.34 Each

Flanged bushings for Rudder pivot tube and gudgeon Qnty 7

PTFE Flanged Sleeve Bearing for 1/2" Shaft Dia, 5/8" OD, 1" O'all Length
In stock at $5.21 Each (see below update)

Plastic end strip for Rudder case

(Same as 8492K15)
Acetal Copolymer Sheet 1/2" Thick, 12" X 12", White
In stock at $34.10 Each

Nylon nuts, bolts and washers - rudder case

Nylon Hex Head Cap Screw 3/8"-16 Thread, 1-1/2" Length
In stock at $6.67 per Pack
This product is sold in Packs of 25

Off-White Nylon 6/6 Hex Nut 3/8"-16 Screw Size, 9/16" Width, 11/32" Height
In stock at $14.32 per Pack
This product is sold in Packs of 100

Nylon 6/6 Flat Washer 3/8" Screw Size, .390" ID,.750" OD,.057"-.067" Thk
In stock at $6.81 per Pack
This product is sold in Packs of 100

I've been reminded that the McMaster
PTFE Flanged Sleeve Bearing is not equivalent to Ian Farrier's custom PETP bushing. PTFE is not strong enough for the rudder. I will not be ordering these. I can source raw stock PET-P locally from Johnston Industrial Plastics.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Starting to glue the high density inserts into place.

I did my best to nest the required number of pieces. A1200 Core-Cell is not cheap!

I'm using the polyurethane glue to glue in the high density inserts. The foaming of this glue is quite amazing, it expands to fill in all the voids.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Daggerboard high density and core cut outs.

I had to get a longer blade for the jigsaw but the areas for cutting out went very quick. On the left is the core piece that was cut out. I will reuse most of it except for the 16 in that need to be high density. Next step is to cut out all the pieces of high density material (I need to stack 5 layers of the 10mm thick a1200 high density foam) and fill up the holes that I have created.

The MDF on the left is soon to become the molds for the wingnet rails and supports.

I had a pleasant but short visit today from Jim and Doug MacKenzie who are building their F22 in London Ontario. They let me know that planking the main hull goes very fast. Comforting, if I can ever finish the floats and get to that point.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Daggerboard profile transferred to foam block

I got to work on the living room floor tonight tracing the profile information that is available . I traced the information using carbon paper where possible and a long ruler for marking measured lengths where required.

Note that I first made a positioning error on the lower daggerboard profile.

The high density insert areas are marked out and I guess the next step is to cut them out.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Daggerboard construction starts with the construction of the basic foam block.

It's too cold to work in the garage so I decided to build up the daggerboard from two layers of 25mm thick corecell A450 offcuts from Noahsmarine in the basement. The offcuts are in 46 in lengths so joining the foam sheets was the first task to complete. If you look closely below you can see that I use sharp little tooth picks to help keep the foam sheets in line while the polyurethane glue cures.

Once the foam sheets are together I've used an weak epoxy resin cabosil mixture to glue the two sheets together to get to the required 50 mm thickness for the daggerboard. You will note that I have laid down a sheet of 9 oz glass cloth down what will be the trailing edge of the board. This will be to provide extra strength in this thin section.

Then they are clamped together.

Next is the transfer of the daggerboard profile to the foam, and the areas that require high density inserts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First float half lamination complete, hull re-oriented and quickly weighed

The first float half outer hull sheathing is now complete.

And the float frames have been reversed and the float re-oriented for the next half.

We did a quick weigh with the two bathroom scales, with two people with and without holding the float. It looks like the float weighs about 90lbs with the other half and the deck still to be laminated. There is still a chance I can meet Ian's theoretical weight of 112lbs for a float ready for painting.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Laminate quality part 2

Well I guess practice does make you better. I removed the peel ply tonight on section 2 for inspection and it is even better than the first section. The white peel ply and the plastic sheet really allow you to 'have at' all the problem areas. It is a combination of visibility and the freedom to work the whetted cloth without damaging it.

In terms of cloth to resin ratio I can report the following

  1. Each layer of the 8.9 oz/sq yd cut to an area of 50" x 35" weighs about 12 oz. So with the two layers I am applying there is ~ 24 oz of cloth involved.
  2. I mixed up about 29-30 oz of resin and there was a little left over, that I did not weigh. I am assuming I applied about 27-28 oz of resin onto the surface of the float foam and the cloth. I also suspect that with this wet technique there is alot of foam surface roughness that has to be filled up to get good adhesion.
  3. I weighed the peel ply after removing it tonight and compared it to a similar unused sheet of the white peel ply. Unused the 3 oz peel ply weighs 4.95 oz. After peeling it with the epoxy saturating the material it weighed 7.25 oz. So there is about 2.25 oz of epoxy in the peel ply.
I can conclude that I am approaching a 1:1 resin to cloth ratio. Perhaps with vacuum bagging you can do better, but after looking at this latest result I am very very happy with what I am achieving.

It is really a huge thing for me. I was very concerned about my ability to produce a high quality outer hull laminate.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Laminate quality

I'm posting a couple of pictures that show the surface features of the laminate. It is not easy to get the camera to focus at this distance. I'm interested in getting some comments on the quality of laminate that I am producing and the 'dry' or 'air bubble' features that I am seeing.

Above is a good area.

Do I need to repair an area like this? The glass is hard, well adhered to the foam and there is no obvious bubble dome. Comments?

Here is the next section with peel ply and plastic on the glass.
I've purchased some white peel ply and I have to admit I like it a lot better than than the black. Visibility as the peel ply goes transparent is obviously much better. I'm just doing one more 50" length section on the hull until I have a better handle on the technique.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Carbon fiber mast poll

I've removed the poll as it was clear that there is definite interest in a group purchase of the 35' F22R carbon fiber mast. Ian Farrier has also made a comment on Nov. 10th in the yahoo F-boat forum regarding a group purchase of F22-R masts and a special Al extrusion specifically for the F22.

"If you don't need your F-22 mast immediately then I would advise holding off for a while. I will be getting to mast options soon, and with so many boats in the pipeline it may be possible to do a bulk buy on F-22R carbon masts for the benefit of all builders.

I will also be looking at designing and extruding a specific aluminum mast for the F-22, one that has the optimum properties and least amount of weight for that purpose. The numbers could be such that a container load of masts can then be shipped to major population areas keeping prices to a minimum.

I used to arrange mast group buys in Brisbane for the Trailertri series, and at that time was able to supply mast sections for around $150 each. Will not get even close to that now, but I think it will be possible to do a lot better than builders buying individually."
I for one will wait and see what he will come up with.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Starting float outside laminations

It is time to start the propane heater if I am going to do any laminating in November.

The float has been sanded, filled,sanded, much as I can. It is as prepared as I can make it.

I have decided to follow the following strategy for laminating the float exteriors.

  1. Lay the first layer of the 8.9 oz 7781 cloth down. The bolt is 50 inches wide so I will be running a number of widths down the length of the hull. This allows the finished edges to run vertically up the hull.
  2. I require to lay two layers of the cloth to make the specification of 16-18oz fiberglass weight. This gives me an opportunity to offset each layer 3" down the length of the hull and have only two layers of cloth everywhere. No need for rebates to compensate for extra layers of fiberglass.

Getting the two layers of cloth wetted out and lying smooth is always the hardest work. Here I have just laid out the second layer of style 7781 e-glass cloth.

After smoothing out the plastic on the peel ply I used masking tape to hold the edges of the plastic over the gunwale, keel and bow tight curves.

The temperature is about zero outside but on the plastic it looks like it is almost 15 degrees celcius. Warm enough for epoxy to cure.

Seven hours later the resin has cured sufficiently to relese the plastic. It just lifts off , no pulling or peeling, leaving a very smooth glossy peel ply and laminate. This technique certainly saturates the peel ply with excess resin.
I'll update when the peel ply comes off. I had planned to go farther down the hull in this work session. But as the fates have it I ran out of peel ply. So, if it looks as good with the peel ply off I'll be full speed ahead when I get more supplies.

Pictures with the peel ply off. Superb adhesion with no air bubbles causing the cloth to lift. There are still areas that are a bit dry. I am not expert enough to know if this is a problem.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Floats repositioned for hull lamination.

I realized that the hulls should laminated before the decks so it was suddenly time to rearrange the floats in the garage. One float needs to hoisted up close to the garage ceiling and the other needs to be presented on its side. Like other builders I'm using form frames 5 and 9 to hold a float in this position.
To get the form frames into position one float had to take a break outside for an hour or so. Here is a shot of the float from above.
And from the side.
And with the new form frames in place, here is the new orientation.

This was also a good chance to give the garage a good sweep and clean up.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Further comments on the 'plastic on peel ply' technique

I've covered the other bow cap now using this technique and I am noticing in some areas the plastic lifts during curing. The resulting laminate in these areas is dry. It is curious because I am sure I have the cloth and peel ply well saturated. I suspect these are areas where I have been too aggressive with pressure on the plastic. It is a powerful technique and overall I am extremely happy with the results. Wonderful adhesion with zero air bubbles. Just a few areas that I believe I can re wet out.

I am now moving on to the larger job of laminating the decks.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Results of plastic on peel ply

Here is the bow cap with the plastic and peel ply off. The 2 layers of my B spec. 9 oz s-glass fiberglass cloth cannot really be seen. Only the little goatee at the keel bow curve indicates the presence of the cloth. I am actually very impressed. I will carry on with this technique. The addition of the plastic and the extra squeezing appears to really enhance the laminate quality.

The Mas epoxy seems to work OK. Curing time is shorter compared to the Aeropoxy resin and it is very clear. They advertise Mas as a good moisture barrier, which is why it is going on the outside. The Aeropoxy resin has amazing high temperature and mechanical properties which is why I have used it on the interior and structural parts of the floats.

I've been making extra efforts these days to do a little bit every day on the floats in the garage. So far a wee bit of heat from the infra red heaters is all I need. Last year I could work outside till Christmas time. I hope the weather this year is similar. I dearly want to get the outside of the floats laminated and start thinking about the main hull.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plastic on Peel Ply

Final check on the bow cap shape. The picture shows how tightly the final shape fit the template cut into plywood.

As far as the fairing and shaping goes it got to the point where I just said - enough! So I cut the cloth, peel ply and this time a 'heavy' plastic sheet from home depot.

A comment that Biol made on Jay's site led me to investigate a technique called 'poor mans vacuum bagging'. This really just consists of applying a plastic sheet over the peel ply and using the seal to push air bubbles and excess resin out of the area with a plastic squeegee. I started a discussion on this on the F22 builders group site.

Here is my first attempt. There is a shiny clear plastic sheet over the black peel ply. In application it was not such a revelation. The plastic sheet does help to hold the laminate to the foam. However, the application of the two layers of my b spec. s-glass cloth applied so smooth and bubble free that I am not sure if the plastic really is doing much. There was one area where I did note excess resin getting worked out.

I also complicated the experiment by using a different resin. Now that I am laminating the outside of these parts I used a resin that

  1. Advertises good moisture resistance.
  2. Was on sale at Noah's.
The epoxy is MAS low viscosity resin with the slow hardener.

First complaint. The resin and hardener are the same colour. It is not so easy to tell when it is fully mixed. If anyone has any comments or experience with this resin. Comment away please.

My work place has moved and it happens (life is strange) that I am now about a 3 minute drive to Noah's Toronto main warehouse. Very handy indeed for quick lunch break supply runs.

U-Spar estimate on the F22 carbon fiber mast

I received a response from U-Spar at regarding my
inquiry for a carbon fiber mast for the F-22. They do not have a

section small enough for the F-22 although they would consider making
a mold for an order for 3 or more masts. They state that "Our masts
are made with alternating layers of uni-directional pre-preg,
typically with 65 - 75% of the fibres in the 0 axis, and the remainder
at + & - 45 deg. This combination gives by far the highest
longitudinal stiffiness to weight ratio, combined with high torsional
strength. Point-load areas, such as tangs, winch pads etc., and cut-
outs for halyard exits etc. are all substantially reinforced." But
they admit for a small mast they are probably not price competitive.
They estimate the price for a complete mast, including the rotator
cup, painted and ready to go, would be in the region of $8,750 Cdn,
with a 10% discount for 3 or more masts.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Full Monty on the bow shapes

I'm sure I've related in earlier blogs that I have seen issues in the resulting bow sections after I joined the float halves. I addressed some of this as best I could earlier with light filler, as seen above, but it is time to pay the piper when your trying to get the bow caps shaped correctly. Root cause of the problem? I suspect there was an issue in how I laid up the foam in the frames and/or the halves twisted in storage outside.

So, how do I know I am shaping the cap correctly? Well first I used the two beam locating dowels to verify that the bow cap radius is dead ahead. Then I used a plumb bob to verify the position of the keel - bow radius. Then I used a straight edge to fair the bow cap to the shape of the float hull. This is where the use of filler comes in.

I ended up fairing the keel bow thickness down to something close to 3/8" thickness. This could be a bit sharp. At deck level the thickness at the bow is ~ 1 3/8".

Gunwales are close to finished. I found the use of the rigid long board helpful here. You can also see that my access hatches have arrived. I am actually pretty close to covering the bow caps, transoms and decks with the A spec. fiberglass. Yup, time to get the heaters out again.

Putty and cloth around the chain plates. I apply the cloth when the putty is still wet. Actually I saturate the cloth with the putty before applying it against the wet putty build. I'll clean it up when it's hard and cured.

Google group for F22 builders

I've created a google group for F22 builders.

I want to get this blog back on focus as a personal build diary. The group site can be the place where questions and discussions amongst the builder community can take place.

I've made the core group of the F22 build bloggers managers of this site so that there should be no delays associated with approvals and other administrative activities. I'm listed as the owner (I am the creator - sorry a joke from work) but the site belongs to all of us. If it works for everyone - fantastic. If it doesn't, well, as a wise man once said, 'not every effort can be a cracker-jack'.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Interest in the carbon fiber mast

I thought I'd be leaving the poll up for awhile before acting, but with the interest growing in the carbon mast -'me thinks'- I need to create the RFQ emails and send the mast assembly drawing out to Forte and U-Spar

I'm still spending 12 hours at work every day, so if someone else is eager to contact Forte for price and delivery information for a group purchase, please let me know. On the other hand, more requests from more people might get more attention.

Jim Buckland who is building in Australia has reported that the mast can ship in two pieces from Forte . See comments in the "More details on the Forte carbon fiber mast" blog entry. Very interesting.

Just read my email
Ed Walker is already in communication with Forte and reports an estimated cost of $6383 with all the goodies except the mast step. Shipping costs is not an issue for Ed with Forte.
Roger Bonnot is also in communication with Forte and has reported the same price without shipping and mast step.

It's all good, although I'm not sure how to share the information in my fellow builders emails to me. It would help if the blog comments were more actively used. I know they are awkward in blogger and I hate the comments 'rigor mortise' more than anyone. But, does anyone have any ideas how to more effectively share information on questions like this? Use the public Farrier forum? - ... yuk!

I like the way we are starting to organize independently.

One thing for sure, all this bodes well for a healthy evolving F22 community.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carbon fiber mast poll

I'm still sanding and filling the deck, bow and stern areas on both of the floats. I'm also noticing that the light filler is taking longer to cure with the lower temperatures. But I am getting close and soon I should have another picture or two to publish.

In the meantime I have added a poll in the right side column. I am willing to search out the best supplier and organize a group purchase for the F22R carbon fiber mast assembly. Is there interest? Certainly there should be a discount for quantity and I am prepared to purchase the mast sooner than I need it if the price and quality is right.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feast or Famine

Well, I've seen other F22 bloggers lament the time spent on their day job. Guess it is my turn. Hard to get work done on the boat when you're spending 12 hrs a day away from the house. It always seems to be this way, feast or famine, for a small engineering automation company. Tomorrow I get to say hello to the floats and finish off the bow cap shapes and gunwale sanding.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More details on the Forte carbon fiber mast

Here is the wing mast section identified on the Forte site for Ian Farrier designs up to 31' in length, and good up to a mast height of 40'. It is ~1.3lbs/ft and is listed at $92USD per foot. Another $8/ft for sail track.

I'm not sure yet if $3500 is a good value for a carbon mast. It's still early in my investigation. Any comments from anyone?

The builders of another boat design, the resurrection of Gary Mull's 'Pocket Rocket', the Rocket 22 has offered a testimonial for Forte spars. This is a good recommendation for their product.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gunwale radii

I'm not sure if the idea originated with Jay or Henny's build sites but I have found the sand board made from a section of tubing to work very well indeed. I can't remember where I first saw it used. I showed the tool to Monica and she thinks that the originator is very clever. I agree. It allows me to mindlessly sand away without fear of screwing up a 1.5" radius on the gunwale.

First I used the sander to put a chamfer on the edge. I scribed a line on the deck ~ 18 mm in from the edge to use as a guide to make this a uniform chamfer. Once this hard work is done with the power tool, it doesn't take too much to manually sand in the final radius. I admit that I am finding areas on the gunwale where there are voids in visible surface of the join that will have to be filled.

I'm about 3/4's done and then I have to finish off the bow cap shape. That all done I can think about laminating the deck. I would like to keep a promise to myself and start the vacuum bagging again for the highest quality on the outside laminations.

This will require a greater effort in preparation and a purchase of more bagging materials.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interesting links for mast and hot wire cutting

Where to source my wing section carbon fiber mast?
Now that I have the mast plan I've taken some time to source suppliers for this carbon fiber wing section mast.
I've found a local supplier here in Ontario.
U-Spar (Canada ltd)
And a larger enterprise in the U.S.
Forte Carbon Fiber Products
Tor has indicated where he is sourcing this spar. How about the builders in North America? Any other options? Comments and emails always welcome.

I'm also planning my winter projects
1) Finish the dagger board case
2) Make the rudder and dagger board
Will I hot wire the sections?
Here is a link to the equipment at Aerospace composite products

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Port side float deck glued on

Another long day at work, but this evening after voting in our provincial election, I decided to make the effort to glue the port side float deck on. It is also cooler today, maybe only 12 degrees celcius tonight. I'll be leaving the straps on overnight this time.

I have noticed with a great deal of pleasure how much stiffer the whole starboard side hull is, now that the deck is in place.

I'm already thinking about getting the radius on the gunwales and getting the outer decks laminated. I have some 3" diameter ABS pipe and I will try to make a sanding board with curvature at a 1.5" radius.