Today I plumbed the legs properly and screwed the planks down for the bottom half of the beam, and glued them so that tomorrow I can remove it from the jig, and start sanding it ready to glass.

forebeam planking 1forebeam planking 1forebeam planking 3forebeam half planked

I started the planking at the top of the leading edge of the beam and worked back from there. I placed a screw into each leg. On the first plank I pre drilled the holes through the cedar strips but realized that I could send the self tapping screws through the cedar into the mdf molds without pre drilling (I thought that without pre drilling the cedar may split but this didnt happen). This saved some time as in order to drill the cedar I first had to mark the position of the mold then move away, drill the hole and return it to the mold. I quickly attached the 8 strips. My original intention was to mark the planks, remove them and re attach them with glue applied to each strip as I went.

But I quickly saw that the joins on the inside of the beam were very tight and not much glue would penetrate and I decided I would carefully turn the whole thing over and glue from the other side where the plank joins are more open. In the original idea I would have had to glass in between the screws, then when that was set fill the holes and glass the voids, this way I will be able to remove the screws before glassing, the glue will hold the beam in place while I run the glass in 1 continuous length of the beam. The only downside to this is that I had not yet applied any sticky tape to the molds (I intended to do it after I removed the planks for gluing in my original method.) It meant I had to be careful not to get any glue touching the molds. I can back fill this with glue later.

forebeam half upside downgluing forebeam planksforebeam close upforebeam wiping glue

The advantage of making the jig on the planks the way I did was that it was very easy to turn over, and with the planks all screwed down it was fairly stable. Once upside down I had the advantage of gravity and the open side of the plank joins to fill with glue. The result will mean that tomorrow with the glue set I can turn the whole thing back over, remove the screws, fill the holes and start glassing the internal joins. Once this is done I can turn it over and glass the outside. I think this will result in the half becoming a stable rigid shape faster and more reliably.

I applied the glue using a filleting scraper. First I brushed resin into the joins so that it could seep into the grain of the timber, then I applied the glue and pressed it down into the joins stopping about an inch from each mold. Once I had glued all the joins I used a piece of peel ply to wipe away any excess glue making the surface a lot smoother for sanding and sealing the timber with glue. I was going to use just any rag but was scared of rubbing on any potential contaminant and decided better to be safe than sorry.

So except for glassing I have half a forebeam. Does that mean I have a two-beam? I know, I should stick to boatbuilding!

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Paul