Sunday, May 27, 2007

Laminating 3rd float half

A rare picture of me on this blog hard at work spreading epoxy resin.

I did this float lamination a little different this time and I am very happy with the result.

Previously I have laid out the glass cloth 'dry' over the float length. Wetting out the 6781 s-glass cloth however has given me troubles with adhesion and air bubbles on the foam surface. I think the tightness of the 8HS weave has inhibited penetration of the epoxy sufficiently to wet the foam surface sufficiently for proper adhesion.

This time I used a wet technique and spread out a thin layer of resin on the foam before applying 38" wide strips of fiberglass across the float. Much better result with less work and frustration. The wet resin holds the cloth down and it wets out so much easier and the removal of air bubbles quite painless.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Glue for foam strips

I've actually gone no farther than my local Home Depot for the polyurethane glue that I use for all the foam strips. It is waterproof, stronger than the foam, and when cured it can be cut with a knife or sanded. I have used both types above and actually prefer the PL Premium adhesive. My one float survived the winter outside (dampness and cold) with only the inner laminate complete. I think this glue works fine. I also did a test to make sure that my epoxy had no issues with the glue. It expands as it cures and does some foaming.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Preparing for float lamination

Here is a good use of toothpicks. While the glue is hardening these toothpicks do a good job of holding the deck edge foam strip down and in place snug with the mold plate.

The inside surface of this 3rd float half has now been sanded smooth. I've used a long board this time to make sure the foam planks are pretty fair with no obvious places for air pockets to form. The long board (30" by 4.5") was put together with some scrap 1/4" thick starboard polymer sheet I had available. I use an adhesive spray to attach the sandpaper.

Friday, May 18, 2007

LED lighting link

Here is a link to a supplier for LED lighting arrays. We are using these arrays for control of ambient lighting in machine vision applications. Their use for marine applications is obvious. The cost now makes their use a no-brainer.

Luxeonstar LED lighting

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Third float half foam planked

I suspect this will be the starboard side outer half that I will be joining shortly with the first half I completed with the chain plate mounting (for an inner side float).

Again, planking was straight forward. It took two half days of work with the normal interruptions. The dogs, the phone, the kids! (nope, they are teenagers now) I started in the centre and worked down to the stern. Next day, I cut another sheet into planks and finished the job towards the bow. If you were really motivated you could do it all in one day. As with all work you develop a pace sequencing through the steps required to get each foam strip into place.

I do think it is easier to plank without the deck flange mold plate in place. There is some extra work remaining to trim on this side but it is all at once and with this technique there is no tendency to push and stress the foam into a space that is too small!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Float form frames reversed

A milestone of sorts, the form frames are now reversed and it only took 3 hours or so to complete the reversal. I just made sure that each batten was correctly marked and everything went back together using the same screws and hole locations.

I'm leaving the deck moulding plate off this time to see if the foam planking is even easier that way.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Port side outer float half is out of the form frames

Not much to say as the pictures tell it all. Second float is out of the form frames and I can now reverse the frames for the final two halves.

Second one looks just like the first one. They even weigh very similar to each other. Somewhere around 28 lbs each.

The first float wintered OK but the foam did turn a little green.