Keelsons Started

Posted by Paul

After a while you run out of excuses why a relatively simple job can be put off yet again. I had built up in my mind the difficulty of getting into the very tight spaces between bulkheads 1 and 2 and between 2 and 3 in order to glue in the keelsons and tape them. Today I ran out of reasons not to and decided the time had come to get this one ticked off the list.

I started by trimming the length of duflex offcuts that I had glued together months ago for this purpose. I had glued 3 long lengths of offcut duflex to each other, today I cut them roughly to length and width (the height is set by the 3 pieces of 16mm duflex). I rounded the corners with a router and gave it a quick sand to smooth it up. I also cut 2 25mm x 2400mm strips of ply about 70mm wide for the dagger cases while I was working with the saw.

Now there was nothing else for it, I had to get inside the narrow hulls and clean up. There was months of dust in there. Fortunately for me, Sam turned up again today for a couple of hours, this meant I did not have to get in and out, in and out. We got the vacuum cleaner and a hammer and chisel and I got inside the first section and vacuumed, I then used the hammer and chisel to remove glue drips. I had forgotten to remove the peel-ply from one section and fortunately for me it came off completely and easily.

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As I finished cleaning each hull sections I dry fitted the keelsons, trimming them to size and rounding the underside where the coves on the bulkheads stopped the keelsons from bedding down properly. Once they were dry fitted we used the very last drops of hardener to make up enough glue to get 2 of them (the port hull) glued in. I did not have enough glue to do the starboard hull, this will have to wait for next week. Sam mixed glue and passed it to me inside the hull. I buttered up each piece and bedded them in place and stood on them to push them down and using my finger I coved the glue along the sides and squeezed glue into the front and rear joins against the bulkheads.

Once the keelsons are set in place I can cove and glass them in. Glassing will get tricky as I can stand on them to cove but with wet glass on I will need to use my feet against the hull sides and working fast with pre wet tape I will push it down into place and smooth out any air bubbles. I had a pretend run to see if I thought I could do it with dry glass and it seemed to work out ok. Lets see how it goes with wet glass. It does not need to look neat and tidy but will need to be strongly in place.

The keen eyed among you will notice I have missed 2 tapes in each section in the port hull, but I will do them when I tape the keelsons in, probably in one large piece of glass over the entire hull floor. I have not missed any in the starboard hull. Then I will need to cove and glass the joins inside the very first section between bulkhead 0 and 1 but I now think this will not be as difficult as I had thought.

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