Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring to Action

I haven't been able to turn my full attention to the rudder build yet (22" of new snow and Mad River Glen was begging to be skied), but I'm starting to gather momentum.  Another 5" last night did not help with motivation for my more liquid pursuits, but now that it's officially spring I think it's time to put the skis away (well, mostly).

A few nights back I epoxied the 2 halves together.  I mixed up a batch of unthickened epoxy and coated both halves and the channels I cut for the drift bolts.  I let that soak in a bit and then mixed up a set 3/8" PEX tubing (waxed with butchers paste) into the channels on one of the halves.  Then I mixed up a slightly thickened batch (Aerosil) and troweled in on with a 1/8" notched spreader.  Carefully I stuck the 2 halves together and screwed it together with sheet rock screws and fender washers.   I pulled the tubing the next morning and then let the whole thing cure for a few days before pulling the sheet rock screws.

Next I set up the saw horses outside and took the belt sander to the trailing edge to get a bit of a foil shape. I'm really not performance oriented so I didn't go crazy with the shaping.  If I cared about eeking out every bit of speed I could, I would have gone all NACA on the rudder.  Of course, if speed really mattered to me I probably wouldn't be fixing up a beat up old Alberg.  The nice thing about plywood (especially good marine plywood) is that the plys act as a really nice visual fairing guide when trying to shape something.

Yesterday afternoon I had a bit of time so I bolted on the lower part of the shaft to the rudder and my son and I went over to the boat for a partial test fitting.  I say partial because I didn't fit the top half of the shaft but plan on doing that this weekend.  Yesterday was more of a sanity check to make sure I was on the right track. Fortunately, I was and didn't see any major adjustments in shape that will have to be made.  This weekend's full test fit will show me what final adjustments will need to be made before I glass the whole thing up.

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