Monday 12 May 2014

More work on the Tiller fitting...

First stop at the weekend was at Mike the foundry man.

He explained the modifications I needed to make to the existing plugs and the requirement for a core box. He also provide me with a couple of sketches which was just as well because despite his patient explanations I only half understood. I didn't want to disturb his Saturday morning any further and hoped that it would sink in with further study of the diagrams.

Here are the modifications to the plus which I managed to complete by about 2pm

The extra bits shaped in and stuck on with marine filler are to required in order to get the things out of the sand without damaging the sand mold left behind.

Next up was making the "core box". This is what's needed to form a sand core of the same (hopefully) dimensions of the shaft and which is then inserted into the molds created by the plugs. This was what took me the longest to get my head around and I still can't say I completely understand it far less explain it properly. 

Quite how to go about making this thing was the next challenge. Luckily Chris dropped by as I was deep in head scratching mode and suggested casting it from the previous inside-out version (see previous post). That however required extending it which I achieved by extending both ends with stiff cards and then pouring in resin:

The resulting shape required a lot of tidying up before it could then be place in a container (an empty marine filler tube provided by Chris into which I then poured more resin (having previously waxed all the surfaces:

That got so hot (the resin hardens as a result of a chemical reaction with the hardener and that produces heat) at one point that it started to smoke and I was worried the whole boat might go up in flames.

That was the last job on Saturday at about 7 pm before going out for a curry with Alan.

After a lousy night's sleep (there was gale blowing all weekend which added to the affects of the curry and my increasingly frustrated state of mind I think took their toll) the first job was to cut the mold off.

This I managed but the resin did not pour properly and left cracks and this was the result after removing the mold and cutting out the plug:

However, by lunchtime after a great deal of work I had repaired the two halves and added the internal tapers required by Mike:

The bit in the middle is the extended plug from which I made the cast.

I spent the rest of the day filling the holes where the anode bolts had been (see a previous post for why); removed the flexible water tank for repairs/replacement and the old log impeller which I'm going to replace.

On the way home I dropped off the plugs and core box at Mike's. Unfortunately he was not in so I was not able to establish whether my work would do or not. As of the time of writing this I have not heard from him and so am hoping no news is indeed good news. Of course whether the resulting casting will fit the rudder post is yet another matter.

To be continued....

Friday 9 May 2014

Expletives galore and got a date

Last weekend with a lot of help from Chris and under his guidance I finally managed to construct this plug from which I hope Mike the foundry man will be able to cast a bronze fitting for connecting the rudder shaft to the new tiller (shortly to be made by Paul of 'Oflandandsea' on eBay:

The two halves will be used to create impressions in sand into which the molten bronze will be poured. Somehow they will be able to produce one solid bronze version of the above but only after I have done some more more work.

It took me almost the entire weekend to produce the above - hence the reference to expletives of which there were plenty - and (wrongly as it turned out) a solid inner plug for the hole. As Mike pointed out he needs a hollow version of that not a solid one. I haven't yet got my head around how he will use the eventual three pieces to cast the final object and have to visit him again for tuition on further modifications to be made to the above too before he can use it. I hope that doesn't take up another precious weekend.

I've now booked a slot with the marina to lift AS back in on 2nd June. With a couple of days off work, less (as it were) a Saturday that I'm required at home to celebrate my Grand daughters (twins) birthday, that means I have about 8 days to:

  • Install the new rudder shoe (that Mike will make soon I hope)
  • Re-fit the prop plus related anodes
  • Fill the old anode holes in the hull (removing this completely because it looks like it may have contributed to the corruption and poor performance of the Verometal anti-fouling.
  • Fit new transducers for Log and Echo-sounder (which will require removing the flexible water tank somehow)
  • Final tightening of the new chain plates
  • Re-antifoul with the replacement Verometal
  • Clean and wax/polish the hull
  • Service the sea cocks
  • Replace Galley hull skin fitting but note below
The other jobs I'm probably going to pass on are:

  • Stern gland stuffing box - I'll give it another go if I have the time but I haven't been able to shift the bloody thing, but I have pumped grease all the way through until it comes out the stern tube without coming out of the gland stuffing box, so I'm concluding that will keep the water ingress down to acceptable levels
  • Lightening conductor only needs the water tank out rather than the boat on dry land
  • Not going to fit a clever fridge so only need to replace galley skin fitting with like for like (that will then mean all skin fittings have been replaced).

Also, while it's not an out-of the-water job, the fact that I've clearly not got any sailing in yet (and will have very little sailing time this summer anyway due to work and domestic commitments) it looks like I will postpone the fitting of the 2 x 100 W solar panels that have been sitting at home for 15 months already) until next year!

An extra in-water job to add to the previous list is to ensure that the electrical circuits are not aggravating the electrolysis reactions which seem to have buggered up the previous Verometal anti fouling. I hope to draft Mick in for that and a number of other electrical jobs.