28 October 2010

The Magic of Power Tools and Epoxy

Allows you to turn simple planks of wood like this:

into useful things like this leeboard:

Actually if the truth is to be told, those top boards are for the rudder. I forgot to take a photo of the before when making the leeboard. This is as much because I was in a rush to get the laminating done before heading off to Helens’ place, as it was because of my apprehension towards this part of the project. Also it doesn’t show well in the photo but I used two strips of cedar wood to make the board lighter, and quite handsome.

I originally saw making the leeboard and rudder as a difficult job but I quickly discovered that power tools like belt sanders and jigsaws do a great job of breaking the project down into more manageable chunks. So Sunday was spent creating lots of sawdust.

Monday (go Labour weekend!) I attacked the problem of how getting the right shape on the top of the iako mounting blocks. Because the ends of the iako dip down the tops can’t be flat. But first off Nico and I made a trip to Bunnings to get some 28mm dowel and tomato plants for the vegetable garden (well truth be told Nico just went for the slide). Back at home and the tomatoes planted, how do we solve the problem of the mounting blocks? Out with the trusted belt sander again, clamp it on its side to the bench and like magic we have a bench sander.

Completed blocks:

Then it was time to glue them to the ama. I used epoxy glue, followed by fillet along the edges of an epoxy and sawdust mix then the front and back glassed with a piece of 300gm fibreglass cloth:

Other jobs completed were gluing the planks together for the rudder & boom jaws and sanding down the boom. Out of interest I laid out the sail and boom to measure the curvature of the boom against the foot of the sail, a perfect fit! I have to hand it to Gary, because the when you set up the jig for laminating the boom, there is a certain amount of spring-back from that needs to be taken into consideration and his measurements were perfect!

So at the end of week thirty seven we are soooooo close. All that remains to be done is to shape the rudder, make the boom jaw, attach the fittings like blocks & cleats and to get painting!

Stay tuned for water trials…..

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