June 2, 2011

Canoe Mold Build Day 6

Kevin and Tony reviewing station plans

Kevin and Tony reviewing station plans

Last night we made some great progress in building the mold despite the setback of the mold not being true and plumb. Plus we have added a fourth member (Amy is #3) to the build team, Tony. The wolf pack of three is now four! Tony is joining the build as a full time participant whereas Amy is still a part time contributor. For day 6 we focused on plumbing/truing the mold and did some testing for how we are going to shape the foam.

Plumb & True

Kevin and Tony truing the mold

Kevin and Tony truing the mold

As we started the night by investigating the crooked bow we quickly realized the entire strongback was twisted. So the bow and stern were both off. After investigating our options which included cutting back the foam from the bow/stern to straighten the frame, we decided that twisting the vertical 2″x6″ of the strongback would allow us to straighten the bow/stern without any destruction to the mold.

To accomplish our twisting of the vertical 2″x6″ of the strongback, we attached 2″x3″ (scraps) to the vertical of the strongback on each side at each set of legs. Then Tony and Kevin used these 2″x3″ supports to twist the strongback into place where I welcomed them with a 3″ screw into the nearest leg of the mold. We did this to all four 2″x3″ supports one-by-one. The result was a bow/stern that were well within tolerances. Our horizontal 2″x6″ of the strongback was only off by about 1/8″ over the 16.5′ of the canoe mold. We were quite satisfied with this. What little effect this had on the bow/stern we will be able to take out in the shaping of the foam.

Shaping

Kevin rasping the the foam

Kevin rasping the the foam

Next up is the shaping of the canoe. In this part of the process we will use rasps, sandpaper, and drywall mud to give the mold the final details of the shape that will become our canoe. This is a part of the process that requires perfection. Every twist, bump, or cranny at this stage will be reflected in each canoe be build off this mold.

Me rasping the surface of the foam

Me rasping the surface of the foam

Due to the late hour we decided that we would line up the necessary tools and just experiment with techniques for shaping the foam. Then next week we would focus on actually getting the foam shaped and a first of the three coats of mud. In our experimenting we found that a 1.5″x12″ hand held rasp was a very effective way to take the rough edges off the foam. Due to the distance between the stations we did get flexing in the foam that was creating some unevenness in shaving off of materials. To help reduce this movement in the foam I started attaching addition foam to the inside of the mold. These additional supports were just pieces of scrap foam glued across multiple strips of foam from inside. The results so far with the additional support have been great.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensuring the strongback is plumb is essential prior to foaming.
  • Plumb the vertical and horizontal surface of the strongback.
  • A Rasp is key for shaping the foam to the final shape.
  • Hot glue does not like to be rasped. It likes to just break and chunk out.
~Nathan

One response to “Canoe Mold Build Day 6”

  1. […] the day 6 post I mentioned that a rasp was an essential tool for shaping the canoe according to our testing. In […]

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