Monday, April 02, 2007

Diagonal Stringers and Bulkhead Fillets

I took this photo last night after a day of working on keel and bulkhead fillets. It's hard to get a photo of the entire hull with it inside the shed, as there is not much room around it. The building space seems to be working out well though. I've got room to get to everything without too much contortion, but there will be less room for large tools such as the table saw and extra materials when I begin assembly of the second hull. That will still be a few weeks away, as I am once again working out of town and will be away from the boat a few days each week. I managed a half a day Saturday and most of yesterday though, allowing me to fit and install all the diagonal stringers, and make the beginnings of all the bulkhead to hull fillets.

Here is a view of some of the fillets in the aft section between bulkheads 1 and 2, where the aft bunk platforms will be. I have found that fillets are easier to do in stages such as this, making a smaller one to fill the gap and lock the parts together, then coming back later to sand the surface for good adhesion and making a larger fillet of the proper width and depth with a larger tool. The keel fillet will probably take at least two more applications, then it will be glassed, as will the lower bulkhead to hull joints. Getting to this stage today, of locking all the bulkheads in place, I was able to remove all the wire stitches holding the bulkheads as well as the keel stitches in the bow stems and stern posts. I'll remove the rest when the hull is upside down. I used 14-gauge steel utility wire for stitches, and found them easy to remove with the technique of shorting a 12-volt battery across the ends to heat them.

Here is a view into the midships section at bulkhead number 3, showing the diagonal stiffeners used to strengthen the hull in this area. The Spanish windlass rig I've got holding the hull panels tight to the bulkheads is no longer necessary now that the epoxy fillets have cured, and I'll probably remove all of them before I leave for work today. I plan to have a long weekend to work on the project over the Easter holiday, and will continue with the fillets and begin making patterns for the bunks. I will not have email access while I am away until then, and it has come to my attention that at least one reader has tried to post comments to this blog that have not come through. Your comments should come to my email inbox for approval (to eliminate spam), but not all of them reach me. If you have tried this and do not see your comment on the blog within a couple of days after posting it, please email me directly at

No comments: