Saturday, 16 February 2019

Bottom Panels

Fabrication of the bottom panels was straightforward. All I needed to do at this stage was to join the two halves of each panel together by gluing the puzzle joints with thickened epoxy. No 'glass is needed here because these panels need to bend quite a lot when constructing the hull and fibreglass cloth would make them inflexible.

Some experimentation with work surfaces soon showed that the saw horses were not suitable as supports for the bottom panels. The panels are simply too long and wide and require a long, flat work surface for support.

So I purchased a third folding collapsible table which when used end to end with the other two tables provides an excellent flat work surface of even height from the front to the back of the workshop, like this.


They easily accommodate the long hull panels and if the puzzle joint is positioned above the strongback where the legs are attached to the table they are stiff enough to take the weight of the lead weights when gluing the joints. They are made by Lifetime and are inexpensive picnic tables from the DIY store. I should have used these in the first place, instead of faffing around with saw horses! Clearly they are only useful for light work such as gluing joints and applying and sanding glass and epoxy, and are no substitute for a workbench.



Here is the first bottom panel glued up and curing.



And here is the second panel laid on top, glued and curing. A sheet of plastic between the panels stops them being glued together by the squeeze out.



I'm getting better at making these puzzle joints. These just needed a light sanding to clean them up.




Here is a finished bottom panel joint. My lovely wife said "Ooh, it's like a jigsaw puzzle, or an Airfix kit". Not amused.



And here are the completed bottom panels, set aside to await hull assembly.

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