Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stabilizers finished

I've been feeling more productive this week, but it is still a lot of effort to finish up what seem like "accessories".  Right now the stabilizers are essentially ready for finishing.  I will add a final epoxy coat and then a final sanding.  I am leaning towards painting the stabilizers to save some time vs varnish.  It will be the first time I have ever painting anything after making it in wood, but perhaps it's a good time.  I am starting to think that the stabilizers should be made from laminated foam core (Rick uses Klegecell).  I have weighed the wooden stabilizers and they come in at 5 lbs each, 6 lbs with the mounting arms and brackets.  It would be a significant weight savings using foam and the panels all fit nicely on one sheet anyway.  In this case, they would be painted, so maybe I should see if it looks good.

The stabilizers were fabricated in a similar way as the main hull, but I was willing to save some weight on the lamination steps since it is unlikely that the stabilizers will have any major impacts and need the same strength as the hull.  For these panels, I coated the inside with epoxy but no fiberglass.  I added a fillet to the inside corners but no glass tape.  The outside was fully laminated, but I used 4 oz cloth rather than 6 oz cloth.  It is the first time I have tried this weight.  It is noticeably thinner, so I imagine it took less epoxy to wet it out.  I don't know if this was significant.  I think it might be appropriate to use this weight for other inside areas, maybe the inside of panels above water line, again since there is little risk of impact, but it would still seal the wood and improve stiffness.

I have glued the mounting tube studs to the stabilizers.  These go through the top and nest into a piece of plywood glued to the bottom.  I assembled the mounting arms and held them perpendicular to the stabilizer while I drilled a 3/8" hole for the snap button.  The holes were a very tight fit, so I was able to slowly file the hole larger until it was just big enough to fit the button without any binding.  With this minimum clearance, it results in about 1" of play at the end of the 3 foot arm.  I think this will be acceptable since these will be primarily skimming the water.  I will just have to try them out.  If it does bother me I can add a slot to the outer tube and a clamping collar, probably something like a seat tube clamp on a bike. 

Total time to this point: 90 hrs

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