Monday, November 24, 2008

Sharper Still

One thing that I found was a buffing wheel on an arbour on my drill with some polishing compound will take the edge from "cuts a few hairs and scratches my arm" to " shaves cleanly, removing every single hair with ease".

You still need to get the back flat and put a reasonable edge on, otherwise you get a nice polished blunt edge....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Having a miserable cold, and being able to do feck all, I tried sharpening up a few chisels. It's theraputic. Back and forward, back an forward, change up a stone, repeat.

Of course we all know the Back of the chisel is the important part for sharpening. Here's a simple idea to make it a little easier to hold the chisel steady and flat on the stone, and make life a lot easier on your fingers.

Just whip a pencil onto the chisel as shown with heavy string. Every second loop, go around the pencil and change direction - this locks the pencil in place.

Two whippings 1 1/2 inches apart is about right.
You just can see in this picture, a low spot just at the business end of the blade (top as you look at the picture). It will never be sharp until I get down to that spot. One thing that helps is only flatten the last inch.
The traditional test it shaving hairs off the back of your arm. For those who think that's a myth.... Dada.... Real Live Arm Hairs

This was brought to you by DMT diamond whet stones. Including the XXCoarse, Coarse, XFine and XXFine.
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Friday, November 07, 2008

A quick update......

I have removed the waxed deck screws in the first chine, they came out without even a struggle. I was a little concerned that the epoxy might have managed to get a grip, but the wax worked out just fine.
A little aside, wax melts just fine in the microwave, but it goes on really thick to COLD screws. I think that next time I will heat the screws in boiling water too. Then they won't cool down the wax so much and come out with 1/8" coatings.
I have replaced the deck screws with Bronze screws. An Old Brace that belonged to my grandfather has provided excellent service in setting the screws, as it gives a nice fine control rather than just stripping the head out as power tools can. Bronze is soooo soft.

I have glued and screwed the second chine. Next on my list is cutting the sheer clamps. Since I could not get 16' oak, I will have to scarf these in the aft section where there's not too much curvature.

Fitting these will be "fun" as firstly I'll be working UP from ground level to fit the notches, and secondly the starboard chine (if the boat were right way up) is quite near the wall and the shrubs.

I am not really sure how my wife is going to react when I propose cutting back (down?) those shrubs for glassing and painting operation. 8-(

Monday, November 03, 2008

Block and tackle.

I got a few of these cheap and cheerful pulleys on ebay. Not for sailing, but rather for building. A bit of 3mm or 4mm cord bought at your local hardware, and a pair of these make pulling the chines into place a whole world easier. 

Try getting a bar clamp to do that !! 

Gluing Chines

I did spend some time figuring out how to glue the chines logs in place. At about 14 foot long, they are quite unwieldly, and epoxy is slipperier that a slippy thing in slippy sauce. It's all very well saying the screws will hold it in place, but as you try to position the end at the transom, or perhaps at the stem, and the other you suddenly find this wisdom somewhat incomplete, as your epoxy starts to set.

One simple solution is to screw it in place staring at the middle without glue. Then mix up the epoxy suitably stiffened with amorphous silica. Only then do you unscrew the aft half of the chine, whack on the glue, then screw it back in place. The other end is suitable tamed. Then unscrew the forward half, apply the glue and replace it. Simple. It's like having a strong patient helper at the other end.

I got truly sick of stripping the head off the (expensive) bronze screws, so now
I use square head deck screws dipped in molten bees wax to hold things together. Much stronger than Bronze. And square heads just don't strip out. When it's suitably set (which may be several days, it's cold out there) I will replace the galvanised deck screws with Bronze.

I am assuming that there will not be so much epoxy in the existing screw hole that it prevents me inserting the bronze ones. Wish me luck.