Monday, October 08, 2007

Float decks all fitted - bonding begins

It took a little time to get these deck 'noodles' ready for gluing. They certainly handle like noodles. In the long dimension these structures have hardly any stiffness at all. You can see that I did make the correction and added the high density foam where indicated for the beam side bolts. In the above picture the decks are sunning themselves outside to get some extra heat into their resin..

As a final step in preparation for gluing I gave an extra coat of epoxy resin in the float interiors, especially along the keel and in the central storage areas.

Having the floats side by side gives me the opportunity to visually check their similarity. Here I am using a long level to compare the straightness of the two floats.

Convinced that everything is good enough I started mixing up the epoxy with cabosil and micro-balloons.
I was a little worried that I would run out of time doing this. It's Thanksgiving Monday here and it is a hot 30 degrees celcius. The epoxy will harden pretty darn quick even with the slow cure hardener. Another bad thought, my family had left me alone to this work this afternoon, leaving me to ponder how to get the deck 'noodle' on without making a terrible mess. It worked out somehow, phew!, and the deck slipped into place over the dowels and the side stay chain plate.

It looks like eight straps are just barely enough to get a uniform clamping force along the full float length.

Late in the day update:

The straps are off and everything looks fine. We did a quick weigh with two people, two bathroom scales and it looks like the float now weighs around 75 lbs. I still have hope that my choice of the fine weave areospace fiberglass cloth will pay off with light hulls.

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