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Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
There are all sorts of info on the Internet about constructing tanks via hand-layup. But I thought this would be a good opportunity to get more experience using vacuum infusion, seeing as we have all the materials and equipment.
So, this past weekend, I started building the "plug" that will be used to mold the tank. First picture there is the wooden frame. The one on the left was a hack job I first tried, which I didn't like. The one on the right is the final version. Frame is simply made of wood and held together with hot glue and brads. The frame needs to be sturdy to withstand the downward force of the vacuum bag such that it doesn't flex, or worse, crush.
The panels over the frame is Masonite. The version that has the slick white finish on one side that is used for dry erase boards. The slick surface is good for releasing the part when the resin has cured.
The edges were trimmed down with a chisel and given a generous round over with a router. The important part is that the surface of the mold must be sealed air tight. Not so much to prevent air leaks (there wont be the way it will be infused), but to prevent resin from leaking into the interior space of the plug, which could be disastrous for the infusion process. So, the gaps along the edges are filled with a two part filler or fairing compound to give it a good seal. Just about anything could be used here as long as it can be sanded smooth.
Stay tuned for part II.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
- white = 3M 5200
- orange = Loctite Methacrylate Structural Adhesive
- grey = Plexus Methacrylate Structural Adhesive
- whitish-clear = West Systems Epoxy
- dark pink, dark brown = vynilester resin (depending on the vendor)
- yellow-grey = original hull layup of polyester resin and glass
- light green = Corebond
- white = silica
- rust-brown = fairing compound
- grey = coosa board
- wood = marine plywood
- green = airex structural foam
- white = airex foam corner fillets
- white, yellow = paint markers
- black, blue, purple = sharpies (used for marking glass)
- shape the airex foam and coosa to the hull. Miter the ends and route a generous round over on the exposed edges.
- apply corebond to the surface of the hull where the cleats will be attached.
- Generously wet out the surface of the foam.
- Set foam into the corebond. Spread out and/or remove excess corebond with a putty knife.
- Layer wetted glass over the foam and against the hull.
- stuff thickened epoxy (milled fibers and silica) on the inside base of the tube to fill gaps between the tube and hull, and provide a smooth fillet.
- at the outside base of the tube, smooth out the thickened epoxy that squished through.
- glass the tube and reinforcement plates to the hull by laying two layers of glass strips around the base of the tube and along the base of the plates.
- fill and smooth the joints, over the recently laid glass with more thickened epoxy, such that any fillet is very shallow and barely shows.
- Glass over the entire surface of the tube and plates with two more layers of glass, staggered, giving it a large footprint on the hull surface. Align such that the the fibers give as much "radial" coverage from the center of the tube as best you can (to provide for strength under load).
- Once the epoxy is set, burr off any sharp edges with a grinder.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
We ran out of bulk glass last week. The last time we ordered this stuff it was sold in quantities measured by the yard (that order was about 50 yards). I thought that was a lot then, but with less than 25 percent (approx) of boat project jobs requiring glass complete, It appears we will need more than 50 yards this time.
Having said that, and, with our discontent with our last supplier (I won't name them), we placed this order with Composites One. They are a larger company supplying many of the builders in the area. We get a better price break, but there are minimum quantities to buy. They don't sell reinforcements by the yard, only by the roll. So, we got two rolls of knitted bi-axial fabric One is a 45/45 degree weave, the other is 0/90 degree. Nearly 300 pounds (maybe 200 yards-ish).
Also with the order, a ten pound bag of silica (resin thickening agent), 5 gallons of V/E resin, 4 cartridges of Plexus structural adhesive.
This should keep us going for a while.
Thanks to my wife who knows all the industry contacts and places the orders for this stuff. If it were me handling this, it would take much longer.