Thursday, May 28, 2009

Still making progress

Having had a busy Memorial Day weekend, and lots of other things going on at home, I have not make much progress on the XCR lately.  I have both sheer clamps installed now, I just need to finish cleaning up the glue drips. (I should have been more careful when installing them!!)  I got a pair of small stands built so I can take the strongback off the sawhorses and get the boat to a better working height.  Once that is done, I can start tacking the panels with epoxy, which is something I am kind of looking forward to.

Other than that, I have made some progress on the sailing rig.  I have been planning on rigging only one mast, with round-the-mast furling, similar to the Hobie Adventure Island.  Based on the suggestion of a fellow XCR builder, I got a great deal on a brand new Escape Rumba sail on eBay.  This sail was also designed for roller furling, but does not have much roach and is a little larger than I was intending.  So I am planning on modifying the sail to be more "Hobie AI like."  I am going to cut off the top few feet, and add a couple high angle batten pockets.  Here are some pics:

Escape Rumba sail:

My modified version, alongside a Hobie AI sail:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sheer clamp 1

I picked up the wood for the sheer clamps last night, some nice cedar.  It isn't totally clear, but the knots were pretty small.  I ripped 4 strips out a 10' long  by 6" wide board, cut some quick scarfs, and epoxied them them together to get 2 almost 20' x 1" strips.  The best part about working with cedar is the wonderful smell, every time you cut the stuff, it smells great!  Anyway, after letting the epoxy set for ~12 hours, I got the first one glued to the boat.  I can only do one at a time because I have a limited number of clamps.  I am using all of my spring clamps and a few G clamps and ratchet clamps too... and this is AFTER I bought 8 new spring clamps last night (all they had at Menards)!  As I have said many times before... you can never have too many clamps!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bulkheads and frames stitched

Quickly... panel 4 removed; bulkheads and frames removed, notched for sheer clamp, and re-stitched... pics:

Half step back, then forward!

After getting panel 4 stitched on last night, I am planning to remove it tonight.  Really the only reason I put it on was to make sure everything was still fitting together nicely before I permanently glue the panels together.  As you can see from my list of next steps above, I will be temporarily stitching in the bulkheads and frames and then "tacking" the panels together with thickened epoxy.  Once the tacks are in place, I can remove the stitches, which is great because working around the boat is kind of like working around a huge cactus; lots of sharp prickly points looking to grab at skin or clothes.  So far, only minor scratches... :)

I am also going to take the strongback + boat off the saw-horses.  The whole assembly is just too high; the sheer is about at my sholder level.  I have been getting by standing on a milk crate, but that just isn't going to cut it, especially one glassing starts.  I am going to throw some shorter supports together from the chip-board I have left from the scarfing table.  This should make working on the interior a lot easier.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quick pic update

Too lazy to write now, but here are some more pics from tonights work:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Panel 2 stitched

I took advantage of the kids taking a simultaneous nap and got panel 2 stitched.  This is the best part of stitch and glue construction, the boat takes shape very quickly.  Everything is fitting together nicely so far, at this rate, I'll be done in no time!

First Panel Stitched!

I made some real progress last night.  I finished pre-drilling stich holes, and cleaned up some of the glue "squeeze-out" around the scarf joints.  I figured it would be a lot easier to sand the joints flat on a table than while on the boat!  After the joints were squared away, I moved all the panels back under the table and removed the extra cross pieces I had added for scarfing and layout.  Then, I mounted the three building forms that I had previously cut out.  I took my time getting them mounted to the strongback, making sure they were square, centered, and properly spaced.  

At that point I almost called it a night, but I really wanted to see what the first pair of panels looked like sitting in the forms.  I pulled the panels out and arranged them on the forms, where they fit very nicely.  Then I thought, "maybe I'll put in a couple stitches, just to see what it looks like."  A couple stitches eventually turned into the whole centerline joint.  One tricky part was getting the stitches up through the holes.  After getting a foot or so in from the ends, I started having the stiches come from the bottom up, that would make it easier to tighten and adjust them.  I finally came up with the idea of using a flashlight to shine light through the stitch holes from above, then I could push the wire through the hole from below.  Once I got my little process down, the stiching went pretty quickly.  I can't wait to start adding more panels!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cut and Drilled

Several days worth of work summed up in only a few words. I how have all panels cut out, and panel 1 is pre-drilled. I made a nifty drilling jig that gives me stitch holes a consistent 6" apart, 1/4" in from the panel edge. I drill the first hole, then drop a wire through, rotate the gauge around the wire, drill another hole, move wire, repeat... alot... Anyway, here are some pictures:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ready to cut

Finally got the panels all layed out.  I was kind of tricky figuring out how to fit all 4 panels on a 4 ft. wide sheet of plywood, but Microsoft Excel came to my rescue.  I punchedthe panel offsets into Excel and plotted the points on a graph.  I could then shift and flip the panels as a whole and arrange them to my hearts content.  The added benefit was that I could now make all my measurements from a common baseline, the sheet edge.  Anyway, it is all done now, just need to cut them out!  I have included a picture of my son David sitting on the "new boat."  I can't wait to take him out in it!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Scarfs done

I now have 2 4' x 20' sheets of plywood in my garage.  After gluing everything up and clamping it down, I was have horrible visions of trying to take things apart the next day and finding everything permenantly glued to the table.  Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, and everything went off without a hitch.  Here are a couple of pics of the clamping setup and the the two finished panels.  On to the layout!