Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm still here

It has been a while since I posted last... things have been busy! The big news last weekend was the flooding we had here in Holland, MI. A thunderstorm decided to park on top of the city and dump about 8" of rain on us. I got off pretty easy with about a foot of water in the garage and about an inch in the basement. Getting everything cleaned up after that has occupied most of my time over the past week. The rest was getting ready for and celebrating my son David's first birthday. But, now all that is passed and I can get working on the XCR again. The interior taping is complete, everything smoothed out and cleaned up. Up next is the first section of interior fabric. I decided to use kevlar becuase it will give the boat excellent impact resistance and the price was not to high. The pictures below show the kevlar layed out in the boat. I will be cutting the "corners" off, keeping the fabric edge just below the second chine. I have already made a couple test cuts to verify that my scissors will in fact cut the kevlar fabric. So far, so good! Once cut, it will be time to break out the rollers, sqeegees (sp?), and big epoxy mixing tubs!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fillet and Tape, part 2

I FINALLY got around to the second round of fillets and tape. I almost had a disaster when the batch of epoxy I was wetting out the tape with started to kick. Fortunately I was able to finish the section I was working on and the worst that happened was I lost a brush. Next, I need to clean up the edges with the sander, then prep everything for the first layer of interior fabric.

In other news, check out my friend Dan's new kayak. I plan on using a similar style of construction for the amas of the XCR. (I will be using plastic cross sections and aluminum stringers, instead of wood everything.) I also plan on using the same fabric he used to cover his boat. It is a very cool fabric reinforced clear vinyl from Seattle Fabrics.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fillets and Tape - Part 1

I got three joints filleted and taped last night; the centerline joint, and the joint between panels 1 and 2.  All in all, it wasn't too difficult.  I first mixed up some epoxy thickened mostly with silica, but with some wood flour.  I used a plastic spoon to work the goo into the joint and do some initial shaping of the fillet.  Then I made a "custom" plastic squeege that did the final shaping and also scraped up the excess that wanted to squeeze out to the edges.  The centerline joint was even easier because it is almost flat.  After getting the 3 fillets done, I let the epoxy set up for a while, about 45 minutes.  Then I came back with un-thickened epoxy and painted it over the joint and the surrounding wood.  I then rolled out the biaxial fiberglass tape over the we epoxy and pressed it into the joint.  This gave me a very nice smooth fillet and no air bubbles.  I completed the wet-out of the tape, the moved on to the next one.  Only 2 more joints to fillet and tape, then I can move on to interior fiberglass!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Got the epoxy tacking finshed up last night, so tonight I took out all the stitches.  It was nice to see that things really didn't move around much when I took them out.  I decided to try and lift the canoe out of the forms and see if I could get some pictures outside.  With a temporary thwart clamped on, the boat was plenty stiff and I could lift it out of the forms and carry it outside by myself.  I snapped a couple pics and then put it back in the forms.  At this point, my 2 year old daughter decided she wanted to help, so she brought out her little hammer and went banging away.  Fortunately, she can't hit hard enough to do any damage!  Next steps are to clean up the epoxy tacks some with the sander, then time for fillets and tape.  A couple pics:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Epoxy "stitching" started

I got started on tacking the panels together with epoxy tonight.  I should have made a touch more epoxy, because I ran out a few feet from the end... oh well.  The frosting piping bag I used worked very well, but next time I might cut the tip a little smaller.  Tomorrow night, I plan to finish up the tacks.  I think I will try tacking the panels on the outside in the area around the bulkheads.  There isn't enough space to work on the inside, and I want to leave them it while tacking so that I am sure the correct hull shape is maintained.  Here are a couple quick pics:

Ramping back up

Good grief... what a busy week!  After the busy Memorial Day weekend, the whole following week continued to be very busy.  There were however two very positive outcomes of all the activity.  First, I managed to run a 5k in 19:35; which I think is my fastest 5k EVER.  Very exciting (to me).  Second, I bought a new car:

It is an 09 Subaru Forester, and is what I intend to haul the XCR around with.

Anyway, back to the build... I got a little work done on the sheer clamps again last night; got the outer edges planed down.  When I glued them on, I let them stick up above the plywood panel a little bit.  That way, after they are planed down, they will offer a larger gluing surface for the deck panel (panel 4).  I definatley feel like a "real" boatbuilder working with a plane... nice curly shavings everywhere... the smell of cedar... nice.

I also had my wife pick up some disposible frosting piping bags from the grocery store.  These are basically just a couple of plastic triangles that are welded together and open on one end.  I can stuff them full of thickened epoxy, cut the tip to whatever size I want, and squeeze epoxy exactly where I want it.  Well, at least that is the plan!  We'll see how it goes tonight!