Slow But Steady
I have made some good progress today, I finished fixing the 9mm ply butt straps joining the major backbone pieces together and glued the lower stern and stem sections prior to bonding and strengthening with glass cloth. This means I now have a complete backbone stuck together! Again I took things really slowly, making sure everything was perfectly lined up before fixing the butt straps with stainless steel screws to hold everything in place whilst the epoxy goes off. Photo below left shows me putting some epoxy over the screwheads of a just fixed butt strap.
The other photo shows the lower stem joint. Here I am using a heavily filled epoxy as a structural gap filling adhesive to rescue some less than accurate cutting I made. The polythene top and bottom will keep it smooth and the bricks are to hold down a corner that was kicking up a bit. This joint will also be covered in glass cloth to reinforce it.
So as I said that’s one backbone pieced together. I will now let it all cure off for a few days whilst I am away working for the chancellor. Later in the week I will fix the hullside flange and bulkhead guides and then give the whole thing two coats of epoxy. Up to now I have only been mixing very small batches of epoxy partly to learn the process but also because I only have small scales. I have bought a new set off e-bay which measure up to 7Kg so I will be getting serious soon. As I’ve mentioned progress has been slow this last few weeks for all sorts of reasons. I am very aware that at this rate I would be looking at a 10 year build! That said I’m cool with it, I’m learning all the time, it’s the worst time of the year for weather and I have been setting up and tweaking the build space. I know things will pick up pace soon, not least because I’ve carried over holiday from last year which means I have two 4 day weekends plus a two week holiday to take in February and March. I’m really looking forward to it.