Friday, 28 November 2014

Lead keel pour

After hiding from it, procrastinating and being down right scared of it the time had come to pour the keel.  I had previously purchased some lead, and bought another couple of hundred kilograms of ingot and about 200kg of lead flashing, dive weights for a total of about 934kgs.

Mold calculation was for 800kg plus 20mm oversize on top (120kg) to allow for final finish of the keel.  This meant a total of about 920kg's in the mold.  I had a kind offer to borrow one from someone on the woodenboat forum (Thanks Peter, Coopers Pale Ale on the way!) and this would be the four or fifth keel melted in it.  Also bought some antimony to harden it a little bit, should end up about 3% of the total.

Got the Tradesman organised (my Dad), and it was on.  A few nights before I started having trouble sleeping.  The first dream was I was melting it in an old steel boat (don't ask me why) which had holes in it and all the lead just ran out on the ground.  Then the night before I woke up three hours early thinking about it.

My wife asked me what my confidence level was.  I said 80%.  I knew the melting pot could hold the amount of lead (about 77 litres when melted) as one of the previous keels was 1.2 or 1.4 tonne.  My 20% concern was sealing the outlet.  The outlet underneath was a 90 degree elbow, with the inside vertical entry blocked by an internal pipe with holes cut in the side, also with a metal cone like piece on steel reo that fitted into the pipe to block it.  This was to be sealed with clay.

In short it was my fault.  I was too worried about not getting the clay off and went too thin on the covering.  We lit the fire and Dad and I left to get some course sand to line the hole we had dug for the mold.  We did not put the mold in the ground the day before the melt as we didn't want it to get wet from rain or dew, or to absorb moisture from the ground.  Part way home I got a message from my wife, lead was leaking out of the elbow on the pot onto the metal u-channel used to transfer from the pot to the mold.

Mild panic attack on arrival, although the lead was not gushing out.  We didn't add any wood to the fire, got a palm sized ball of clay, a rounded off piece of wood and jammed them into the outlet of the elbow.  We then packed more clay all around it and prayed.  No more lead came out!

Stoked up the fire, put some sand in the bottom of the hole,stuck the mold into the ground and piled up the sand around it.  Then we got into our protective gear (overalls, respirators, hard boots and welding gloves) and the fun started.  Once the ingots were melted and the rubbish skimmed off we added the lead flashing keeping aside some dive weights and pieces for after the pour.

Once it was all melted we used a petrol powered leaf blower, via a long metal pipe, to force air into the fire.  Unbelievable how hot it got, we could only run the blower on idle!  Once the antimony was melted (around 640 degrees I believe) we let it go.

A picture paints a thousand words, hopefully a few more answered below.  Still have to take it out and clean it up but the beers we had after the pour never tasted better......

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Cabin sides and roof on

I have a cabin, and it is really starting to look like a boat!  At least the front two thirds anyway.....

Last post I had just put on the cabin front and the supports for the roof.  I continued with the air boxes/lockers each side putting the fronts in place, with generous epoxy fillets.  Below shows the fronts on, and the insides where it steps back for the mast tabernacle.

From overhead showing the insides of the vent boxes:

And a close up from the sides.  It is hard to make out but air comes in on the left where the round hole is, is forced down by the first ply (there is a gap underneath but it doesn't look like it), travels up over the top of the second ply and continues into the cabin through the right side second hole.

The cabin sides are two layers of 9mm ply, screwed on 100mm centres into the bottom and top carlines (I think they are called) and into the frames where extra wood has been added.  Sorry for the poor focus, this is the starboard side epoxied and screwed in place.  You can just make out the screws along the botttom.

The laminated curve beam needed a curved knee.  The plan called for making it out of laminated strips and cutting it to shape.  I decided that I would match the other existing knees which were two pieces of 20mm thick hoop pine.  I made the knee first, the forward one below and notched it into an existing space I had accidentally left (I had used a short piece of lamination on the bottom of the curved beam).  The knee sits underneath the beam supporting it.

I started to make a second identical knee which would continue up to the top of the beam and be epoxied to both,  As I was about to cut it out I decided it would make a perfect place for a grab point, and also match the ones near the galley.  So I cut out a hand hold and left it.  When I attached the sides I put three screws into each part of the knee from the outside of the cabin side and screwed the top down into it as well.

Below is the port side of the cabin screwed, epoxied and filleted in place, with clamps as well looking aft.  If you look closely along the bottom edge, just back from the front you will see a drain hole from the deck locker/air vents to allow water to drain over the side.  The camber of the deck should assist nicely.

And looking forward a bit closer showing the screws and fillets.  Vertical screws at the rear are off set to they don't hit the ones on the rear of the cabin.  Part way down you can just make out the six screws into the knees, and all the way forward the vertical screw lines into the frames and deck box front supports.

Then it was time to close in the roof, for me a very exciting progression.  The roof is two layers of 6mm ply.  Below is the middle section of the first layer epoxied and screwed in place.  Clamps only at the rear, more on that later.

The cabin was too wide at the rear for a single sheet, so I decided to have the first layer in three pieces so the final layer I could have two larger pieces joined down the middle.  This means no overlapping joins, and I can fibreglass tape the join on the final layer as well.  It appears the designer has taught me something from the hull and deck as this seemed very familiar.

Once that was done, out came the trusty electric plane and belt sander for a "minor finesse" of the cabin sides to match the existing slope on the solid wood.  Below is looking forward on the starboard side.

Then I cut out, drilled and countersunk the pieces for each side and stuck them on.

I thought I'd taken a photo of the first layer in place but couldn't find it.  Looks the same as the ones of the second layer anyway.  Below is looking aft, the cut out at the rear is for an access hatch into the cabin  Note the join down the centreline which will be taped later.  All screw holes are also filled with left over epoxy.

A slightly closer look, forward space between the vent holes is where the mast tabernacle goes as I said before.

And a shot looking forward.  I put screws all around the hatch space on the final layer, I have to build the hatch so wanted to leave plenty of space between them for screwing into for that.  Had to move my fluorescent light inside, it's getting darker in there!

I've borrowed a pot to melt my lead in for the keel cast, while I sort out the remainder of the lead and psych up I will look at maybe taping the hull/deck, cabin/deck, cabin sides/top and cabin centreline joins.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Cabin front and cabins continue

The front cabin is all but done.  A few touch ups with paint and fitting of the PVC pipe from the deck into the chain locker still to go but all other pieces in place.

Below are the starboard side doors in place:

And open.  Lesson learnt, don't bend the front face of the overhead lockers just because the ply is flexible.  Make the front face straight, it will be much easier to get the doors to fit.  There is enough flex on the two bigger doors, but the top right one I had to put in spacers for it to close against.  Yet to paint them white which will make them disappear into the background.

The hinged berths in place, after a little bit of adjustment.  The theory is that you can access the storage underneath easily, but I should get some ventilation under the mattresses to allow them to breath:

And open on stb side:

Open on the port side, white access hatch forward is into the chain locker:

The 12mm front of the cabin also forms the rear of the deck storage boxes and air vents.  Below is waiting for epoxying together and then final placement.  The darker curved beam goes on the top and will have the cabin top attached to it, the lighter one is hardwood for the bottom, rectangles are 12mm doublers which go inside and out in the middle.  You can see the holes cut for the screw out ports that are the inside of the vents.  More on them later.

Before shot with the aft of the galley showing.

And in place, you can just make out the hardwood bottom beam on the inside of the 12mm ply.  The Uprights on the front, with the 12mm doubler between them are to support the side of the vents and also the edge of the deck box.

From the front:

And the inside.  Points to note are the 10mm gal bolts which have two vertically through the hardwood beam, deck, king plank and laminated beam underneath, and two horizontally through the hardwood beam, 12mm cabin front and 12mm exterior ply doubler.  Really stiffens it up.

Below are the interiors of the vents with two coats of epoxy to protect them from moisture.  Imagine you are looking from the side at the interior of the vent.  Air will come in on the right hand side near the top edge via a screw out port where it will strike the first ply forcing it down around the bottom striking the second ply.  This will force air upwards where it moves around the top and out on the top left into the cabin through the inside screw in vent.  Drain holes at the bottom will allow any water to drain into the deck box beside it and from there out of the side onto the deck.  Photo in place in the next update.

I have dry fit the front of the deck boxes, lap joined in the cabin roof supports and permanently attached them.  I have also now added vertical supports both sides on each end of the cabin to screw the sides into (not shown).

I've started on the overhead storage in the main cabin, this is the stb side with most of the shelving cut to shape.

On a side note I have had someone come around to sort out the drive train, I really need to sort out the lead keel and get it in place ASAP.  That could be a bit scary.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Interior work and main cabin roof supports

The final touches on the forward cabin are almost complete.  I've finished painting, below shows the first coat on the cupboard doors:

And the final coat on the inside:

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I continued in the main cabin, cutting out the access holes through the seat/berth tops.

Before shot after clean up:

And after with two coats on:

I also re-enforced them where the lids sit, then tipped them upside down and painted the areas where the glue would not touch and the underside of the lids.

I have glued in most of the cockpit supports, the hardwood king plank I have left out at this stage so I can access the keel bolt holes and also put the fuel tank in place prior to putting down the floor.  I will fill in the storage each side at some stage.

I've also commence the supports for the main cabin sides and top.  Supports are 40mm x 20mm clear hoop pine, half lap joined into the laminated cabin beams.  The side ones follow the angle of the sides, the others follow the curve of the beam.  The middle ones have a vertical face planed on the them at the cockpit end for the access hatch, there is also another laminated beam to be placed in the middle to support the end of the access from the cockpit.

Below are the first ones in place:

With the cabin front and hardwood lower beam dry fit, forward storage locker port side dry fit and all beams in place.

Same shot looking aft showing the storage locker front.  Both the cabin front and the storage locker fronts are 12mm ply, the cabin front will have 12mm doublers inside and out as well in the middle.

Starboard side showing the deck and 20mm supports in place already, laminated beam and front sitting to the left:

And an overhead shot of the storage.  I am thinking about using this for LPG storage as the galley is directly below it and it will have drains on the deck edge side.  To the right will be an air vent, more on that later.  The space between the air vents each side is where the mast tabernacle sits and is through bolted.

Next steps are put the forward cabin doors, berth supports and sliding door back on and it should be almost done.  Then concentrate on the main cabin sides and roof.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Front and main cabins continue

Before I start a warm welcome to Mr Charlie Wipple (pen name Chuck Tyrell) who has stopped in for a look.  It is partly his fault I find myself on this happy journey.   He commissioned and built the first Sundowner which was detailed on his blog and the John Welsford design site.  I have spent hours going through the details of the build he kindly shared, if you are here researching the Sundowner design click the links on the top right of the blog for more info.

The fit out of the forward and main cabins has been the goal over the last few weeks while I contemplate the keel casting and wait for a quote from a foundry.

In the forward cabin it was time to put on some dressing to cover up screws and also give edges a nice clean finish.  Once I had attached the ply fronts I covered the corners and joins with pine.  Below is clamped and glued in place:

And a shot looking forward at the open top storage.  I didn't want to cover it all the way up because I thought it may make the cabin feel too small.

Also some small fiddly bits to cover the cupboard/roof joins:

Once they were all cleaned up I put tape over the beams and king planks I wanted to leave just clear epoxy and slapped on some paint (three coats).

This is the finished result, I like the way it ended up, the locker doors are clear epoxy finished with dress wood around the sides (photo to come).  Looking forward.

From a bit further back.  Need to wipe down the earlier paint, it is not dirty just dusty:

Looking up with king plank on the left and hatch opening:

Same area looking aft to where the sliding door is:

Then I worked backwards, this is laminating the hardwood beam that the cabin front attaches to. Silver ash in 8mm strips, four or five from memory.  This will be bolted to the deck and beam underneath through the king plank, and also bolted to 12mm doublers on the 12mm cabin front inside and out :

The 20mm x 20mm pieces are the bottom supports for the deck storage boxes and vents.  They are screwed through the deck into a laminated beam underneath.  This will make more sense in a future post.

Then I started the seats/berths in the main cabins.  After putting a few more doublers on the existing supports I marked where the top meets the hull and screwed in some supports for the hull side.  Had to cut/shape the angle to suit, most were close to 45 degrees so not too hard.

Then the tops were fit to the curve of the hull:

And then cut off flush with a curve down the rear which will no doubt be used to step up onto the engine box and out into the cockpit.

One side is finished all the was to the bulkhead at frame 8 with the side closed in as well up to meet the cockpit.  Still all dry fit and access to be cut out yet prior to paint and glue/screwing into place.

And to finish a shot looking down into the cabin from the rear standing in the cockpit.

I will continue with the front cabin doors and main cabin fit out so should have some final shots of the front storage in the next few weeks.