Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rudder Lashing Holes Complete

I've been so busy with my work lately that work on the boat project has been sporadic at best. The fairly involved steps I've taken to prepare the sternposts and rudders for lashing on later when the hulls are built are now all done. I finished by drilling the actual holes yesterday and today I started applying the second coat of epoxy on the sternposts, stems, and bulkheads. The following photos show the final steps in this process that I described in previous posts. Below are both rudders and sternposts with the areas of the lashing holes and hardwood inserts taped off for applying the fiberglass. Using good quality masking tape like this is a good technique to use when you need to apply fiberglass cloth to a specific area. Just after the epoxy cures enough so that the cloth won't pull away, but before it gets really hard, you can cut the glass cloth just inside the tape lines with a razor blade and the pull the tape away to leave a neat edge.

The photo below shows a close-up view of one of the insert areas, with the piece of solid mahogany rounded over and sheathed in fiberglass. Just below the insert you can see the epoxy filled slot where the lashing holes will be drilled.

After two coats of epoxy were applied to the insert areas, I sanded the glass enough so that it could be marked on, then made up a template to get a consistant spacing between the 5mm lashing holes - 7 holes on the sternpost side and 6 on the rudder side. The layout and spacing between the holes that is shown on the plans insures that the lashing lines won't chafe by coming into contact at the crossover points.

With all the holes accurately marked using the template, it took just a few minutes to drill them out on the benchtop drill press. Much easier than trying to drill a straight hole with a handheld drill on a vertical sternpost in an assembled hull!

This last photo shows the result, lashing holes that are correctly aligned and safely isolated from the surrounding wood. I wonder how many hours of work are ahead of me before the day when I can finally lash those two rudders in place....

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