Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Of sails and blocks...

Unpicking is not fun.
While I am still edging along with the woodwork, we have given more attention to the sails. The foresail is done except for a few quality control issues, and the mainsail is almost there. Problem is, if you get something wrong, there is a LOT of unpicking to do. Been there, done it... But the elation of having completed the seams are apparent.

Done! At least almost. Note quality controller
in the background. 
I also started finalising the rigging. Now, the old salts made up their steel wire stays going around the Horn. I found out why they don't do it any more: It is bloody hard work, and hard on the hands too. So when a friendly guy offered to do it professionally at a good price, my penchant for the historical method vanished. But I am still going to go for traditional deadeyes and galvanised wire stays instead of stainless steel.

First router jig. Not so great. Note jagged groove
in the deadeye. 
I had some deadeyes made up from a few planks of Mvule wood we brought back from Uganda. Traditionally the old salts used teak, but that is a little hard to find here. And I needed more deadeyes, and the Mvule was not enough. Also, I noticed that it was cracking.

But more important: The jig I made for routing the groove in the Mvule was not so clever. The router did not like it, and grabbed the wood....Don't argue with a router!

So I tested a piece of engineering plastig I was given as a sample, then went and bought more. It is called Polystone G, and seems rather impervious to sun. At least I hope so!

Polystone seems to be a HDPE and is said to be good for making tanks! In front of my favourite plastics place they have a slab of it bridging a small channel. It has been there for years, and shows no weathering despite being in the direct sun.

Don't argue with a router!
So I made a jig to bandsaw the 24 deadeyes from the plastic, broke one blade, and then made a better router jig where you cannot get your finger into the bit unless you really try. Results look good. Now to have the stays made up, then to get the masts up! What fun!

Bandsaw and deadeye blanks

Jig mark 2 for routing deadeyes. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bored with woodwork.

Shower pan fits. Now for fibreglassing.
I am bored with the woodwork. The bulkhead between the toilet and storage behind is taking shape, the shower pan fits, but I need something else to do. So I started on the masts and the sails. Badly needed rain made woodwork outside complicated in any case, but also prevented putting a second coat on the masts and battens.

David spraying the masts and battens. Thanks, David! Overspray
 on the pool is a problem we did not anticipate. 
The sails presented a new learning curve. My Mother's old Meister machine was resurrected, oiled, bobbins unearthed, and it works! Well, I got it working a little until Shahnaz shoved me aside and showed me how things were done in her days as a quality controller in the textile industry. Thank you, love!

Ready to help
As we speak the foresail is done, with some advice and support from the dogs, who closely supervised the laying out process. After long deliberation I decided to go with Arne Kverneland's design of building progressive belly into each panel. I used the ingots of lead for the ballast as weights, the battens as splines, and managed a pattern that I think will work. Sailing trials will tell. As I write the foresail is done save for the last set of webbing and rings (Thanks, David, for welding up enough stainless steel rings!) and loops for the yard and boom. Then we tackle the mainsail. I am sure the dogs are ready to help...

This is boring!

Shahnaz hard at sewing.