Friday, April 11, 2014

Rudder, Part X

In this never ending saga, I am still plugging away on the rudder, but I haven't had too much time this week to do much (again).  However, I was reminded at how nice it is to work with the 6 ounce cloth when glassing areas with tight radius as well as the general wet-out properties (when compared with biaxial 1708).

The week started off well and I had the time to glass up other side of the rudder with the 1708 bixial fabric but I had to cut out areas for the bolt pockets that will be filled and glassed over once the shafts and drift pins are assembled.
1708 fabric cut to shape, now I have to cut out the bolt pocket holes.

After letting it cure for a few days I sanded both sides down with 80 grit paper (5" random orbit) to smooth all the edges in preparation for the next step.  I had previously ordered a few rolls of 6 ounce cloth in 4" width and put those to work by first glassing up the trailing edge of the rudder.

As I said before, it is really nice to work with cloth that wets out quickly and holds to tight radius' without complaint.  Once I had everything in place I put a thin sheet of plastic over it and smoothed it all out.  The result was a mirror finish that just looked cool.

The new epoxy I'm using (Jamestown Distributors TotalBoat) seems pretty good so far except for the blush.  I'm not sure if this is a characteristic of 5:1 formulas or that I'm used to 'no-blush' formulas, but it is no joke.  It is so waxy on the cured surface that you really have to wash it down with soap and water and a scotch brite pad.

Anyway, after the first layer of trailing edge was done, I flipped the rudder over and did the cove on the leading edge where the shaft(s) will sit.  I'm not sure that it was really necessary because once the shaft is in place, there won't be anything abrasive that could potentially allow water ingress, but what the hell, it can't hurt.

This section went about the same; the 6 ounce cloth really takes curves nicely, but I ended up just wetting out the cove section of the cloth and let the unwetted (is that a word?) sections hang free until I got a green cure and then trimmed the excess (the photo explains it better).

Finally, once the coves were all cured up, I laid in 3 thick beads of 3M 5200 sealant into the cove and installed the lower shaft (for good).  Then I gathered up all the bolts (2 -16", 1 - 12", and 1 - 5") when I realized that one of the 16" bolts was on back order and I only had one.... Doh!  I bolted the other 3 and snugged them down and called the company (Top Notch Fasteners).  He said that he didn't know when they would come in and informed me that "it could be a while".  It had already been a month so I decided to take my chances elsewhere figuring I could just order from someone else.  It wasn't that Top Notch Fasteners didn't have good service or mislead me in any way (I don't want to knock them, because it wasn't their fault); I just need the bolt NOW!

So I called around and googled till my eyes bled and I couldn't find anyone who had 16" in stock... Damn!  I sent an email off to a friend of mine who is in the boat restoration business and he responded with the following:
I would make it.  Buy the rod, thread one end, make a die and heat the other end and pound a head on it.
Hmmm, easy, right?  Ok, so after thinking about it a bit and emailing him back with the standard "are you sh*!@ting me" line and after getting a slightly more detailed explanation, I ended up ordering a 2 foot length of silicon bronze round bar which I now have to cobble into something resembling a 3/8" - 16 x 16" bolt.

In the meantime, since I had already set the shaft into 5200 and bolted it down, there was nothing to do but move forward (3M 5200 is not something you simply take apart cured or otherwise), so I filled the bolt pockets (the 3 that actually had bolts in them) with the remaining 5200 I had on hand and set the rudder on a nice level surface so the sealant would cure flat.

A lonely, empty bolt pocket.

That's it for now.  Once the 5200 starts to cure and gets tack free, I need to tap the through holes for the welded straps on the upper shaft.  Hopefully my bronze round bar will arrive in the next few days and I can get that taken care of as well.

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