Monday, April 28, 2014

Big Chicken

So I ended up chickening out on making my own 16" bolt.  I ordered 3/8" silicon bronze round bar from online metals and instead of threading it and pounding a head on, I took it to a local machine shop where they did it for me.  They ended up brazing a head on which made it more expensive but they said it would be far stronger than forging it on a die.  Needless to say, I spent way more than I wanted to but it was cheaper than tooling up to do the job myself; nuff said.

I've taken the week off work to get the rudder finished up and with any luck, installed and ready to go.  Unfortunately, the weather isn't exactly cooperating and the temperatures are going to be a bit sketchy for epoxy
work, but today worked out well and I got quite a bit done.

This weekend I only had time to set the last 16" bolt and fill the pocket with 3M 5200 (fast cure this time).  It had hardened up nicely by last night, so I glassed a layer of biaxial cloth over the pocket.  I wish I could bolt and fill the last (upper) bolt pocket that connects the top shaft, but since I have to install the rudder in 2 pieces, it will have to be filled, glassed, and faired once the rudder is installed on the boat.

First thing this morning I started with a layer of QuickFair on rudder to smooth things out for the final layer of 6oz cloth.  While letting that set, I moved onto the rudder tube.  Ever since I first started building the new extended rudder tube (here), I wasn't quite sure how I would create a good solid connection between the old rudder tube which has a 2.5" outer diameter and the new tube which has a 3" outer diameter.  I knew I would be wrapping the whole concoction with several layers of cloth and epoxy, but stepping down from 3" to 2.5" doesn't make for a good epoxy/cloth interface.

I decided that the best course would be to take a second, short section of 3" tube, ream it out so it fits over the old tube and glass that lower down, like a collar.  Then the new section of rudder tube will slide down and butt against the collar and a few wraps of cloth will make a nice, solid connection.  The photos below will probably explain it better than I can. Tomorrow I'll epoxy in the collar and get the area cleaned up a bit.  If the temps. hold I also get another layer of glass on the cockpit sole and do some more fairing on the rudder.  .

Collar fitted
 Not a great shot, but the new rudder tube is butted against the fitted collar. 

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