3237Hrs – A Thoroughly Satisfying Day
Well I had to get to them eventually, I’d put them off long enough. Today was the day to tackle the hinge points on the rudders. I should have learned by now, it’s something that applies across life in general, what you put off grows scarier and yet when you eventually get it done you wonder what you were worrying about! First job was to set up the router and make 6mm indents at the 16 faces where the lashings go, after that I re-set it and took 4mm off the edges. That left them looking like this:
Next I sanded all the edges smooth:
Next up was perhaps the most difficult part of the job, drilling the holes, all 40 of them. Accuracy is important, the holes need to be lined up and spaced equally and of course drilled exactly square through the thickness of the rudder. I first made up a marking jig from a scrap piece of alloy which allowed me to punch accurate marks for the hole positions, I then set my electric drill into my router base plate so that I could use it to keep everything square. I fitted a cut down 19mm wood bit to drill the holes.
This is what I ended up with:
The holes actually need to be 7mm but to prevent rot I deliberately drilled them oversize so that I could fill them with epoxy before drilling the correct size. That way I know with certainty that no water can get into the ply.
The challenge filling the holes with epoxy is getting them sealed so that the epoxy doesn’t all run out before it cures! My solution was to use some modelling wax and a heat gun to get a really good seal.
Once that was done I was able to flip the rudders over, mix up my epoxy, and pour it into the holes:
All seemed well when I’d filled them all, I topped up as necessary but I fully expect that I’ll have to pour in a second mix tomorrow. Neat epoxy will find every nook and cranny, it’ll soak into the wood and fill any void it can find. I know that when I go back tomorrow the levels in each hole will have fallen. That’s fine, it’s exactly what I want to happen, better epoxy in the wood than water.
A thoroughly satisfying day and another big job ticked off.