Thursday, April 7, 2011

Progress on the folder

Over the past few days, I have almost completed the frame.  The stem took longer than expected because I ended up trying a couple of different methods.  My first attempt used a section of HDPE cut to fit the inside curve of the stem and screwed on.  I ended up abandoning this because the HDPE didn't fit well and didn't feel very secure when installed.  I decided to give the bent aluminum brackets a try.  These ended up being pretty easily manufactured using thin aluminum bar bent around a mandrel with my bench vice.  These were riveted in place, and the stringers were attached with nuts and bolts.

The stem / gunwale / deck stringer attachment was a little trickier, and I thought long and hard about how best to accomplish it.  I ended up making a slightly different version of the bracket where it was molded into a "U" shape.  The deck stringer went on the inside of the "U" and the gunwales are on either side.  See the pic below:

I am hoping that I will be able to leave the smaller diameter inserts bolted on permanently to the stem and stern, but I'm not sure I will be able to get the tubes assembled without unbolting at least one side.  We'll see...

After I got everything assembled, I took the frame off of the temporary supports and could not resist trying it on for size.  Feels great so far!


  1. Try it like that...almost like walking on water :)

  2. Looking good Ben; Is there a pattern for the PVC skin or do you have to custom fit it. If so are you making a pattern then transfering it to the PVC material?

  3. Captn,

    The PVC skin is custom fit. The hull is one piece, the deck is made of 2 or 3 sections in order to conform nicely around the cockpit. I will probably be putting on the skin this week sometime, so stay tuned!