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Walt S.

Spindrift 12 build log

201 posts in this topic

Hi all!

 

My name is Walt and I received my pre-cut Spindrift 12 kit from Alan on Wednesday.  Today I managed to start on it.  It was my first experience with West System 2:1 and I mixed a bit too much and had a cook-off in the pot before I could glue the second bottom panel together.  Having wetted the finger-joint surfaces a couple of times, I added the BandB thickener to a medium consistency, pushed the panels together and made the 6 mil polyethylene/1x8 sandwich described in the plans.  I piled some 5 lbs dumbbell plates and 25 lb dumbbell plates on top to ensure that the panel wasn't flexing at the joint and called it a day. 

 

Tomorrow, I'll do the other bottom panel. 

 

Temperatures are warm during the day so I will now be mixing in 9 oz paper coffee cups in much lower quantities until I figure out how to work with epoxy.  I'm working from another dinghy kit company's "Epoxy Basics" eBook which has been enormously helpful. 

 

I have to figure out an adequate system of cleaning brushes.  I bought a couple of gallons of vinegar and a bucket with a lid.  I think I might be able to re-use the vinegar in the bucket to clean the brushes and wipe them with a paper towel.  I need to search the forum for more on this topic.

 

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   Hi Walt.  Welcome to the forum!  it sounds like you've got a good start on the boat.

   One good way to avoid having to clean brushes is to avoid using them when possible.  I've found that plastic mixing sticks, plastic squeegees, and plastic cups are pretty re-usable because cured epoxy doesn't stick to them.  Once the epoxy is cured in the plastic cup, a little flexing of the cup usually frees up the disc of leftover epoxy and it is similarly easy to get cured epoxy off plastic spreaders and mixing sticks.

   I pretty much have only used vinegar to get epoxy off my skin when I make a mistake and let some of it sneak past my gloves - Or when I take my gloves off and then lean on a newly epoxied surface :)

   Enjoy the build, post lots of pictures and don't be shy with questions.  There are lots of very skilled and helpful people here but be sure you take my advice with a grain of salt. ;)

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  It was my first experience with West System 2:1 ..........................

 

.....................I have to figure out an adequate system of cleaning brushes. 

 

You mention using B&B filler, so I guess you mean you used their epoxy as well.  West System is 5:1 and the B&B epoxy is 2:1.  B&B buys epoxy in bulk, I would guess in 55 gal. drums and resells it in jugs for which they have the appropriate pumps as well.  Including shipping it sells for barely more than half of the price of West even if bought in bulk like the 5gal. kit.  Both products are excellent.

 

I never clean brushes for epoxy.  I will freeze the epoxy saturated brush so that I can reuse it.  I will sometimes get several uses out of the brush this way.  I have even set a cup of mixed epoxy in the freezer with the brush in it and used it the next day.  I let the brush or cup of epoxy warm up for a few to 20 minutes as necessary.

 

Have fun building your boat.  It is a very satisfying experience.

 

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I used up a lot of chip brushes.  You can buy them in volume for less than $0.50 (US) apiece.  I often trim the bristles a bit to make the brush feel stiffer for pushing epoxy around.   The downside is that these brushes tend to leave bristles behind.   You can scoop the stray bristles up with the corner of the brush if you see them in time.

 

As the son of two depression-era farm kids with a genetic McDipsosition toward stinginess,  I wanted to clean and reuse the brushes.  It only took a few rounds of futile brush cleaning to decide that I would live with the guilt.  It gets easier after tossing about three of them.   :)

 

Bob

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You may already know this but if you are gluing matching panel like two bottom panels or two side panels. Panels that are identical mirror images of each other you should glue the second panel right on top of the other separated by some plastic so they are as close to identical as possible. Take your time with the first few tasks as they lock in the shape of the boat.

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Oh boy.  Welp, I assumed they would be identical since they were CNC cut and the "gear teeth" lock together and I did a good job pushing the panels together and brad-nailing them in place.  I guess I can lay one bottom panel on top of the other tomorrow and see how close they are.  What should I do if they're not?  Should I heat the epoxy back up and pull the panels apart, sand and re-epoxy or should I clamp the dried panels together and plane them until identical?

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Bob,

 

Thanks for the advice on the chip brushes.  I tried filling a bucket with vinegar today to clean them and it was definitely futile. 

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Dave,

 

Yes, I meant I was using BandB 2:1. 

 

Using the 9 oz paper cups went much better.  I used far less epoxy this time.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neYfyx9UQyk

 

Alright, one set of bottom panels is misaligned with the other.  I think it's bad enough that I should heat up the joint, pull it apart, and re-set it on top of the other one.  I suppose I can just use a heat gun to melt the epoxy.  Will this work, or do I need to scrape it entirely, sand it, and re-epoxy?  I suppose another option is to just get a new set of bottom panels.  That would set me back a week and cost money, but wouldn't be the end of the world.  :(

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How bad is the misalignment?  A call to B and B might be in order.

If you're prepared to eventually get new bottom panels it can't hurt to try disassembling them but I didn't even know that was possible - Having watched the video you posted I'm intrigued.  Let us know what you decide to do.

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Walt,

I dont think it would be possible to undo the glue joint with a heat gun but ive never tried. If it was real bad like 1" bad, another way is to just saw through the finger joint from chine to keel with a hand saw. the. plane a bit down on the edge that will tilt the panel back into alignment. After that, a butt joint with a piece of glass tape on both sides will make it good as new and just a different but very acceptable ply joint.

If the misalignment is within about 1/4 or even 3/8 at the very end I think you will be hard pressed to ever notice and I would just proceed. laying them on each other in an "average" position so as to half the error would let you take a little off of each and get them to half as bad. It's more important that the bottom and side panels when joined together with the dovetail joint are a matched pair.

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Walt,

I dont think it would be possible to undo the glue joint with a heat gun but ive never tried. If it was real bad like 1" bad, another way is to just saw through the finger joint from chine to keel with a hand saw. the. plane a bit down on the edge that will tilt the panel back into alignment. After that, a butt joint with a piece of glass tape on both sides will make it good as new and just a different but very acceptable ply joint.

If the misalignment is within about 1/4 or even 3/8 at the very end I think you will be hard pressed to ever notice and I would just proceed. laying them on each other in an "average" position so as to half the error would let you take a little off of each and get them to half as bad. It's more important that the bottom and side panels when joined together with the dovetail joint are a matched pair.

 

Alan,

 

If you average out the error between the keel side and the dovetail joint side, it's never more than .10".  Should I plane down the keel side and file down the overhang in the dovetails to make the bottom panels uniform, or leave them alone? 

 

Keelside:

http://imgur.com/koqMJ51

 

Dovetail side:

http://imgur.com/Ind95dO

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All,

 

The heat gun didn't work.  I tried it on a small section and realized it would delaminate and warp the plywood if it melted the epoxy well-enough between the finger joints of the panel.  It does work for removing surface epoxy though. 

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Walt, 

 

I honestly don't think that amount of error is enough to worry about and I think once the boat is folded no one would ever be able to measure any significant difference between the two halves of the hull. There are many other opportunities for mistakes and so I would count this one as a non-event. Making sure the boat is free of twist for example is one that can really leave the boat awkward looking. 

 

I say carry on, not worth cutting in half for a tenth. Also, from the picture it looks like a fine job on gluing the finger joints. 

-Alan

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Regarding brushes. I more than a bit tight. I use a sour cream container to hold some acetone, with the lid cut out just enough to fit around the handle of the brush. After doing my poxy work, I wipe and squeeze out the brush with a paper towel, put it in the container, and rub and squish it around, then just leave the brush in there. I can do this usually 3 or 4 times before the acetone gets too contaminated.Then I toss it and refill with clean.  I also wipe off my squeegee, putty knife, radius tool, etc. and rinse them in the same container. Then set them out on my bench.  

 

For my hands, I use denatured alcohol in another container. I dip an old rag in it and use that on my hands. After the last job of the day, I wash up with a regular hand cleaner. I've never tried vinegar. Acetone will drive the poxy through the skin, and alcohol may do this to some degree. Vinegar won't. Hmmm, guess I'd better try it.

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   Walt you had us all worried! Don't undo the good work you've already done. I know someone who is sailing a production boat that has about two inches of asymmetry in the hull because the builder jacked the mold apart to increase the beam and one side gave a little more than the other.  It's still a beautiful boat (and a fast one).  Don't worry about your 10th of an inch unless you're building a cabinet or a guitar.

   Keep going and more importantly keep sharing pictures. :)

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Thanks Ken and Alan.  As I told Alan on the phone, I'm an electrical engineer which is as much a mental illness as a job.  For example,  .10 - .25" is a small misalignment, but the size of the Grand Canyon in my mind.  

 

I've made a bit more progress over the past couple of days.  I glued the sides together, one on top of the other and ended up with minimal difference between the sides.  I'll average out the error due to bottom differences when I stitch the hull together and take out any twist.  

 

Sides clamped together.  I got the idea for the 2x4 frame from Greg Luckett's S10 thread.

post-5751-0-99779800-1473206533_thumb.jpg

 

Looking down the length:

post-5751-0-30946700-1473206530_thumb.jpg

 

Dry fit of the two halves on a 2x4 frame screwed into the saw horses:

post-5751-0-93000900-1473206522_thumb.jpg

 

Outer dimension 66 9/16":

post-5751-0-27152100-1473206511_thumb.jpg

 

I might try to glass the two halves together tonight or tomorrow night.  It's been a little warm here so I'd like cooler temperatures for longer pot times.  Any gotchas in this process? I'm using large pieces of plastic to avoid glue squeeze-out that will bond the halves.  

post-5751-0-29623900-1473206515_thumb.jpg

post-5751-0-95661500-1473206518_thumb.jpg

post-5751-0-67194700-1473206526_thumb.jpg

post-5751-0-62538100-1473206537_thumb.jpg

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Why am I building a boat, particularly the Spindrift 12?  I have 3 young boys (6, 4 and 12 months).  We have a strong need to get out of the house into the open.  Water can be pretty vast.  I've always loved the water.  I grew up in Southern California swimming, surfing, and ocean lifeguarding.  I served as a first division officer on a frigate.  I have minimal sailing experience and would love to get more with the boys.  The oldest is just learning how to swim. I've convinced my wife this is a good idea and will pay off ;)  

 

The B and B website explains the Spindrift build and performance really well.  Alan's YouTube "Coresound Build" series was an extensive and free tutorial on how to build a wooden boat.  I was happy to give B and B my credit card number for the kit.  I'm really glad I'm building from a kit instead of from plans due to the constraints on my time. I looked at buying a dinghy but in the SF Bay Area where I live, most of the dinghies are racers or old sailboats.  I wanted something I could use an outboard on and row if I needed to.  If the boys take the boat out and get stuck downwind, they can always put their backs into returning.  

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I guess another important question I could answer ITT is, "How did I convince my wife to go along with this project?"  I offered a classic false dichotomy: a non-essential choice between something bad and something much worse. Let me give you an example,  "Look, Babe, I'm approaching middle age.  It's either I build a boat or get a Harley 1200.  A Harley costs twice as much and can only hold one person.  There is a 100% chance I will kill myself on it and you will collect no life insurance.  A boat, on the other hand, holds the entire family and keeps us busy for hours while you get a massage."  

 

We've been married 10 years.  She picks her battles.  

 

Seriously, it will get the boys out of the house and her hair.  Haha!

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