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Showing posts from April, 2017

Deck Planking: part 2

The deck planking continues. Had to make an additional investment in small bar clamps though. Bought ten at Home Depot, and then ordered another eight online. But, they work, so I can't complain. The planks are 1/8" thick x 5/16" wide, milled from Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  I'm making a curved plank deck, so the clamps are needed to hold the curve in the planks until the epoxy sets. This is going to take a long time! Peace!

Made a Mast Crane

Made a mast crane based on one that I have made in the past for my Star 45's. Works well for them, and should work well for a Vintage Marblehead Sun Wind. It's made from brass, with a bar for strength soldered to the top. The idea is that a slot will be cut into the top 2" of the mast, and the crane will be through-bolted. This link is to the original schematic of a mast crane that you can build yourself, courtesy of the Miami Valley Model Yacht Club in Ohio.  Here is my updated version. Click to see the full-sized image and then copy and paste it into Word. It "should" print at just about the correct size, but you may have to adjust the image a bit. Cut it out and spray glue it to some brass sheet. Cut it out on a band-saw and then sand smooth. Be careful when working with tools and metals!! This is what I ended up with for my Sun Wind HF. I decided to reinforce the crane with a length of brass bar soldered to the top edge. Back to deck pl

Deck Planking, part 1

Well, this is how I decided to solve my deck planking dilemma on my Sun Wind Vintage Marblehead RC Sailboat. The king plank and sheer planks are going to be mahogany wood instead of Jatoba (or whatever it is that I found at Edensaw Lumber). The Jatoba was just too hard and too brittle. Also, when it was cut thin enough to use, ended up being very wavy. The tension in the grain must be incredible, and the wood ended up curving in many different directions. Too much of a bother to use. So I switched to mahogany. It's traditional and relatively easy to work with compared to the jatoba. I'm using small bits of dowel as fasteners for the outer, sheer rail planks and for the king plank. They will sand down pretty easily. Yes, you will see yellowish dots, but that will only add a nautical look... right? Tomorrow I will start in on the main deck planking. I'm using Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Should look pretty nice against the mahogany. Cheers!

Help... I'm stuck!

Ok, I admit it... I'm stuck. I'm not sure how to proceed at this point. Let me explain. Yesterday I epoxied on a sub-deck of 1/16" plywood. It took two sheets, and you can see the seam in the middle. No worries there. In the picture below you can see the deck being epoxied on. You can also see much of my classic wooden runabout book collection! We have a 1952 22' Chris Craft Continental in the driveway that we just adore. Anyway... back to the Sun Wind II radio control sailboat... Here is how it looks today. It's been trimmed and cleaned up around the edges and hatch openings. It's not a great picture, and it actually looks much better than this... So, what's my problem, you ask? I will be making a deck planking from some dark redish exotic hardwood (Jatoba I think) that I found at Edensaw Lumber in Port Townsend, WA, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It'll look great, but I can't figure out how to start the first outer planks. How do I clamp

Under-Deck Fairleads and Double-Purchase Swing Arm

Spent a bit of time getting things sorted out down below. One of my many experiments on this build, is to see if I could make a laser cut double swing arm that can hold up. So far, I think it will. Then the question was how to attach the sheets to the arm such that they will easily run. I found on eBay, two Pekabe single blocks with a bolt so that you could bolt it to the deck. They work really well for the swing arm too though. I had to trim the ends of the bolts after installing though, as they were too long. The Dremel Tool took care of that in seconds. Finally, I had to find a way to route the sheets to the arm so that the sheets would not rub against the deck supports of the frames. So I ordered two small plastic fairleads from Midwest Model Yachting . I mounted them to one end of a 2" block of hardwood. On the other end was mounted a screw-eyebolt to tie the sheets to. Here is how it looks: Here is how it looks with the sails all the way out: Here they are

Lead Bulb Fairing & Custom Cedar Stand

The past two days have been spent working on two things: Fairing the lead bulbs into the fin, and making a custom cedar stand to hold the hull. I said this in an earlier post, but the boat with fin AND servo tray, including batteries, weighs 14 lbs. 7 oz. The deck, finishing, and rig will add a few more pounds, but the whole thing should be under 20. From my understanding, that is respectable. Thoughts?! Fairing the bulb halves onto the fin: Two days ago, I pinned and epoxied the bulb halves onto the inner 1/8" plywood core of the laser cut fin. Then yesterday I started to fair it out by sanding the entire bulb with a random orbital sander. MAKE sure you wear a decent mask while doing this!! Lead is very dangerous, especially when sanding!! I shaped the two bulbs so that they matched each other and looked good with the fin. Then I added additional thickened epoxy at the seams, and at the transition from fin to bulb, and let that cure overnight. Last night, added more

Brass Model Yacht Fittings!

Today I received a small box of absolute joy... my Vintage Marblehead order of fittings from Roger Cousineau at Model Yacht Fittings ! Please check out his website. He is clearly a master of manufacturing brass parts. All of the fittings came neatly packaged and protected. The most outstanding part is clearly the boom vang. Lovely. The fairleads are radiused on both ends so that they won't cut through the sheets. This isn't even the entire order. It also came with shroud wire, misc. parts, a CD of pictures, etc... Thank you Roger for the amazing work! Aloha   _/)

Lead Bulbs Installed

Today I mounted the two lead bulb halves onto the fin. A 9/64" hole was drilled through the middle balance-point of the bulbs, and through the fin where they are to go. Then I removed the bulbs, mixed up epoxy and painted on the bulbs and the fin. Then I made thickened epoxy and put that on as well. The bulbs were placed on the fin and a 1/8" stainless steel rod was pushed through the holes to hold the bulbs in line with each other. When dry, the pin will also help hold the bulbs onto the boat. Also when dry, I will drill a second hole through the nose of the bulbs and use a second pin to better hold the two halves onto the fin. After that, then the fairing begins. Thickened epoxy galore! But it will smoothly fair the bulbs into the fin, and the bulbs to each other. Once painted it will look like one, solid unit. By the way, the boat with fin AND servo tray, including batteries, weighs 14 lbs. 7 oz. The deck, finishing, and rig will add a few more pounds, but

Got My Lead Bulb Halves

About two weeks ago, I posted on Facebook in the AMYA page, that I needed a Vintage Marblehead lead bulb. A guy named Jeffrey Gros from Yorkville, IL, contacted me and said he had a number of old aluminum molds and perhaps one would work. A number of emails and phone calls, and a week later they arrived. Now I have two perfect lead bulb halves. Spent a little bit of time cleaning them up on the stationary sander and drill press, and did a test mount. Even did a test float... floated perfectly on the DWL! I couldn't be happier... thank you Jeffrey! Tomorrow I'll start the mounting process. First step will be to pin and epoxy the bulbs to the fin and let it dry. Then will be to start adding thickened epoxy to fillet out the transition from the fin to the bulb. Finally, I will clear coat the entire bulb with epoxy to coat and contain the lead. Once it's painted, it will look amazing. Thank you Jeffrey!! Aloha

Sailing the Salish 475

Took some time away from building the Sun Wind II Vintage Marblehead in order to put some water time on my Salish 475. The Salish 475 is a one-off variant I designed based on the Star 45 hull and laser cut frames. It was a lot of fun. Today's sailing, though, wasn't that great... very little wind, and then the place where they sail is so full of milfoil and stuff that I often get tangled. Today I sailed right up on top of a 6' stick and had to wait for it to drift to the dock. Sigh... It's a super blown-out picture, but was tricky with one hand on the Tx.  But it was still a lovely day and was nice to finally get outside for a bit. Peace!

She's Free!

HUGE step today... I cut the Sun Wind II from the strongback... she's free! And she only weighs 3 lbs. 3 oz. (1446 grams). Not too bad, if I do say so myself. And that includes the fin. So far, I am extremely happy with how she turned out. Now to start to clean up the inside. Will need to grind down a few more drips, sand a few rough spots, and then epoxy coat the keel and any place else that needs it on the inside. Phew! Aloha!

Final Sanding, Garboard Faired

Well the third time was the trick. It sanded down very well, so for now I'm done sanding the hull. However, I noticed that the garboard fairing wasn't perfect, and when I checked it against my 2" diameter circle, it didn't fit. Then I realized my mistake; I laser cut a 2" diameter circle, which is the final minimum of a 1" radius that is allowed. But when you sand and fair the garboard, you will most likely sand it down to less than that. Ugh! So I found a small spray paint can that has a just slightly larger radius than 1" (approx. 1.125") and used that to add some additional thickened epoxy. It looks great now, and when sanded it should still be within the rules. Phew! But now it means that I must wait to cut the hull free from the strongback. Ugh... The lead bulbs should arrive in a few days, so at this point it would probably be best if I just waited until then, and installed the bulbs while on the strongback. Peace!

I Found a Lead Bulb Guy!

I've been scrambling to find a properly sized Vintage Marblehead lead bulb in the 9-10 lb. range. They really aren't commercially available, so you have to find "a guy" - probably an old-school RC sailor who has done it all. I found that guy! The other day, I mentioned on Facebook that I was looking for a VM bulb, and a gentleman named Jeffrey Gros from the Chicago area contacted me about one. He had several aluminum molds bequeathed to him by a well-know RC sailor, and thought that one of them might work. Sure enough, one looks just about right. Today, he poured one for me! Now I have a "lead bulb guy"! Thanks so much Jeffrey! I can't wait to get them. One of the half bulbs weighs 4 lbs. 11.5 oz., the other weighs 4 lbs. 15 oz. Should be easy to clean them up and equalize the weight.  Here are some pics he sent: I'll make another post when the arrive, but they look great in the pictures. He says that one half is slight heavier th

Second Coat Sanded, Third Coat Added

This morning, after I sanded the second coat almost completely off, I still had a few low spots that just weren't filled enough. Soooo... will do a third coat and tomorrow I'll sand that one off too. However, to ensure that I will truly fill the low spots, I did some spot filling on just those areas that needed it. Then a few hours later, I added a third coat to the entire hull. I also added some additional thickened epoxy to the fillet at the full/fin joint. Here is how it looked after the sanding and the spot filling: Here it is after the third coat has been added... Tomorrow, I'll sand it for, hopefully, a last time, and then I may be able to cut it free from the strongback. Aloha!

First Coat Sanded. Second Coat of Epoxy Added.

The "Sun Wind II" Vintage Marblehead High Flyer wooden sailboat is coming along swimmingly... Today started off by sanding the first epoxy/fiberglass coat from yesterday. No matter how careful you are with your squeegee, you'll have some sags, runs, drips, areas where the cloth floats, ripples, low spots, etc... They need to be sanded level. Wash off the Amine Blush: Start by washing the hull. Most epoxies leave a film on the surface once they are dry. It's called an amine blush. It comes off easily with warm water, so get a wash cloth or small towel and rinse it in hot tap water. Ring it out and wipe down the hull. Rinse and repeat several times. Let dry, or blow dry if you're rushed.  Sand the Hull : I used 180 grit paper and sanded by hand so that the paper would conform to the curve of the hull. Got most of the high spots leveled down. The idea here is that you lower the high spots, runs, sags, drips, etc... and then paint on a second coat of epoxy