Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Frame Assembly Continues

This is a slow part of the process of building the boat. Each frame consists of multiple parts and all need to be glued together. The glue must cure for a minimum of 8 hours for structural strength. And because of the problems I had at the beginning with parts moving, I will not glue up two parts in the same area at the same time. Therefore, the process is glue up a part , add some weight to hold it down, and then wait until 8 hours has passed before doing the next. With the room I have, I can generally get two or three glue ups done in the same session.

So far, frames 4, 5, and 6 have been completely glued up. Frames 3, and 2 are in process with 3 being the furthest along. I have also cleaned up the glue lines on frame 4. I am using an air powered high speed sander to clean up the glue lines but it still takes a bit of time to accomplish this on one frame. Sanding down the glue lines on the frame 4 took a good 40 minutes.

Since I live in a neighborhood, and because my air compressor makes quite a racket, I am trying to avoid running it too long. So I will be spreading this task out over the next several weekends and do it during the day and in shorter sessions. Of course, all this means that it will take longer to get frame assembly done. Sigh!

The good news is that this extra time gives me time to save up funds for the next phases of the process which will be building the boat form I discussed a few weeks ago  and encapsulating the frame parts.

The frames have to be completely encapsulated in epoxy resin for waterproofing. Each frame assembly will get at least two coats. I could do this later when the hull is flipped, but I believe it will be easier to do this now while I have full access to the frames. Only the outer edges will remain uncovered for now since these will need to be shaped to match the boat contour before adding the plywood sheets that form the skin.

This first picture shows frame 3's first gusset installed and the boat nails sticking through. This was expected and these will be ground down flat before adding the gusset to this side.

The next picture, frame 4, is complete except for glue clean up (which has since been accomplished).

And here are frames 3 (in two pieces) and frame 2 (the larger frame) in process. Frames 3 and 4 were both assembled the same way with each half assembled first and then the center sections were joined afterwards. This is because my layout board has a slight hump down the center line and I wanted to make sure each half was flat before joining them together  The hump doesn't present a problem when joining the center, but could have potentially caused problems with the halves. Frames 0, 1,and 2 all have single piece bottom members so I will be doing a similar process except that one end will be loose while the other end is curing.

Finally, for those interested, I have approximately 130 hours into the construction. Quite a bit of that is the sanding of the parts earlier in the process. If I were to do this again, I believe I would use templates and a router to cut out the parts. But that's behind me now and I am not going to worry about how long it took me to accomplish this build.

I do have one other thing I wanted to point out. I was recently introduced to a website that provides training in maritime building skills.  I was quite impressed with this site and I have kept a bookmark so that I can start studying the techniques taught there. For anyone who might be interested in learning these skills, I have provided the link in my sidebar.

Take care and go build a boat!

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