Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rudder and centerboard fiberglassing

The rudder and centerboard glue-up turned out great.  I spent some time cleaning up glue squeeze-out and making sure all the surfaces were rounded off to the extent I thought right, and then decided to go ahead and put the fiberglass on.

Since the entire sides of the parts get fiberglass, and the cloth is to wrap around the leading edges, I wondered how to hold the parts while I applied the cloth and epoxy.  I decided to put a couple dowels in a stick of wood that would match up with the holes in the parts.  Then I could put the stick in the vise and have unobstructed access to one side at a time.

Here's the rudder ready to go.  Since this part was light I was not too worried about the strength of my fixture.

The centerboard was a different story.  There's about 22 lbs of lead in the board, and it's all hanging out at the far end.  Kinda scary - I wondered if I'd be able to cantilever that out.  I used a 5/8 wooden dowel in the big hole, and a steel pin in the small hole.  And I had to triangulate the stick with a brace against the bench so the whole works would not twist in the vise.  Seemed to hold OK for this job.

Holding the parts like this worked out well.  I had access to the entire side, and could work the far side where the fiberglass wrapped around.  

Here's the rudder with the fiberglass wet out.  The white patch is some fairing compound (epoxy and glass microballoons) showing through the cloth.

Today, after the first sides were cured, I trimmed the excess fiberglass off, and feathered in the edge of the cloth that would be covered when applying glass to the second side.  Here I'm using a utility knife blade as a scraper, and that worked very well.  This is a tip from Howard Rice on the SCAMP forum.  

After getting the parts cleaned up, I reversed the holding jigs and applied cloth to the other sides.

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