Steve's Tolman Project 5th page...

Sunday, March 31,2002

Friday, I took a mental health day off from work specifically so I could spend time working on the Jumbo. It was my intention to have the two main panels stitched together and epoxied by the end of the weekend.

I started out by making the temporary molds for the bottom. Then I decided that I'd better put wheels on the jig, because once I had the frame work on the jig I wasn't going to be able to easily shift it around. My building space is pretty tight and I suspect I may have to shift the jig to either side or frontwards to allow installation of panels and fairing. So off to Harbor Freight I go. Picked up some heavy duty casters and more bar and spring clamps. At $2.00 each sale price on the bar clamps, I got out cheap.

Put the casters on and spent a while realigning the jig. Then I put the temp molds on and slid the bottom panels on! What a great feeling to finally start putting pieces together.

Ran out of light and so ended a fine day of Jumbo building.

Saturday I got up early and went about gathering all the tools I would need. I'm trying to avoid the firedrills that happen when you start to epoxy and don't have everything laid out.

Stitched up the bottom using the safety wire and safetywire pliers I had leftover from a motorcycle racing project that never happened. At first I used a thin steel wire but found the wire kept breaking, so I headed over to the hardware store and got heaver wire. That helped, but I still had issues with the middle panels. Oh well Epoxy conquers all. I left the gap and figured I'd just fill it in with putty. I diddled and diddled with the alignment of the bottom. After measuring, remeasuring and staring a long, long time, I decided that it just had to be right. The specified 55 degree angle of the bow seemed pretty elusive. But I think I got it right.

Mixed putty until I didn't think I could mix anymore putty. Got tired of leaning over, puttying like a mad man. At one point I had what I thought was going to be my first exploding pot of epoxy. I'd mixed up about half a quart and was slow getting it applied. It got hotter and hotter until the point that it started smoking! I abandoned this batch and now have a lovely epoxy paper weight. Now ain't that purty? Moral of the story, mix your epoxy, get it on the boat, spread it out. It cures waaaaaayyy slower when it's thin.

Anyway it was a long day of puttying and at first I was going to putty up to each of the stitches, let the putty cure, cut and remove the stiches and then putty over the gaps. What a bloody mess. Couldn't get a decent looking fillet on the keel. So I abandoned this idea and just cut the stitches short, bent them over and puttied over the wires. This went a lot faster and was way easier to make the fillet look neat and tidy. I got one layer of tape on the fillet before losing my light and warm sun. Sunday is easter and we had some good friends come up and visit. I did do a tiny bit of scraping this evening, but once again found the light fading. Will continue later this week.

next installment...