3221Hrs – Rudder Sculptures
I spent four hours in close company with a belt sander and an electric plane today with the intention of turning some big lumps of roughly shaped epoxy covered plywood into something resembling shapely rudders.
After I’d got the edges all faired off I steeled myself to start removing some substantial amounts of ply in order to create a nice tapering profile to the trailing edges of each rudder.
The building instructions simply state, ‘sand the trailing edges down to approximately 12mm to improve water flow’. Makes it sound easy doesn’t it?
Before I started I set up a marking gauge and drew in some lines so that I could see how much wood I was removing and to ensure that I took even amounts off each side, after that there was no choice but to dive in and start planing.
There is one big advantage to doing this with thick plywood though and that’s the fact that the different laminations appear as it’s planed in a similar way to layers of an onion. Once you start these layers act as a bit of a guide making life a lot easier.
Anyway a couple of hours and a big pile of sawdust later I had the job pretty much completed. I’m pleased with the results and once I’ve rounded all the rudder edges I’ll be able to move onto the rudder mounts. Yes it’s true, I bottled doing those today!
I’m surprised at the weight and bulk of these rudders now they’re assembled. I know the Wharram ‘lashing hinges’ work, but I still can’t help wondering how they survive.
I got one of the lads to take a photo of me standing with the rudders to give you some sense of scale.
When I put them back on the bench it struck me that I’d actually created something quite arty!