Last weekend I finally got back to working on the boat.
All my spars are now sanded down to 220 and almost ready for epoxy and varnish. I still need to trim the ends of the mast and bowsprit. At that point I will try to set up a rotisserie rig for application of epoxy and varnish. With my long angle irons I should be able to rig up all four spars at once. It’s nice to think about being able to apply one complete coat of epoxy/varnish to all four pieces in one session instead of waiting for sides to dry, flipping, forgetting which coats you’re on, etc.
I also now have my centerboard sanded down to 220 ready for fiberglass.
I’m trying to get several pieces ready for ‘wet work’ all at once. I want to stage things so I’m either sanding or wetting but not both at once. I don’t have good enough dust collection to be able to do that.
So in addition to my spars and centerboard, I want to get my rudder ready for glass.
For cleaning up the cheeks, I used a Shinto rasp on the lower ‘horizontal’ edge and a 45 degree chamfer on the rest. I used a rasp because a bit’s bearing has nowhere to ride in that area with the cheeks already glued to the skins. This isn’t to say I didn’t try it, I did. I figured I’d get a clean cut for most of the radius and could then simply shave down the rest with a rasp. I quickly noticed the bit bearing cutting a gouge into the rudder skin so I stopped and did the entire thing by hand with rasp.
This worked out fine, and I like that the bottom edge of the cheeks looks a little different from the rest of the edging. What I did with a rasp is more of a roundover whereas the rest is a 45 degree chamfer. I think the contrast is good looking.
In retrospect, I believe I could have used the chamfer bit and just let the bearing gouge a little trench in the rudder skin. I say this because I ended up putting little fillet there anyway and it would have covered up the gouge.
The best way to do this might have been to cut the chamfer on the cheeks prior to gluing them to the rudder. But you’d probably want to do the lower edge only because the rest has to sit flush with the top of the rudder body and so best to wait and trim that part after glueup.
Here is a picture of both edgings and the accompanying fillet.
Next step was to attach the foot to the bottom of the rudder.
A while back I had flipped the rudder upside down and marked up the step to show me how to center it when gluing and where screws should go. I then pre-drilled the screw holes, applied a 1/4″ roundover to all edges of the foot, and sanded everything down to 220 grit.
To attach the foot, I clamped the rudder on it’s side to the benchtop. I don’t have a good side vice for hanging it upside down and frankly I thought this orientation was easier to keep things square while attaching.
As usual, I rolled unthickened epoxy to the mating surfaces and then mixed up a batch of thickened glue. The foot screwed in nearly square but it needed a little pulling so I used a bar clamp to keep it at 90 degrees to the rudder while it dried. You can see the clamp keeping tension on the lower edge of the foot in the pictures below.
The bottom of my rudder must not have been completely square/level because the foot was not flush to the bottom for the entire length of the foot. I added 2 more screws to my original 3 so to help pull it in, though I didn’t pull it so much as to warp the foot.
Next, I’ll add big fillets where the foot joins the rudder and sand those and the cheek fillets for glass prep.