The good, the bad and the ugly - Steel building methods that is....

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Wynand N, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    i was working in a steel trip boat yard on the thames, one day i saw the boss drop to his knees, & flounder around, unable to get a grip, i looked at his second, he told me not to worry, the guys inner ears/ equilibrium had gone after years of working without ear defenders,lucky he was on the ground, & not on 25 ft scaffolding
     
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  2. Wynand N
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    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    The photo on Dudley Dix site you refer to Mike is actually a Dix 57 built by me. So the 65ft as well.
    The reason this boat had the "hoops" fitted was because she was procedure welded and X-rayed - roots were Tig and easier to do all welds down handed. The hull was still built inverted - here some pics again for those interested.

    When building inverted, everything is just easy. Firstly, a compact strong back on which the frames are solidly mounted and stringers fitted instead of frames hanging from some sort of structure and "difficult" to get zero tolerance.
    The hull is closer to the ground and easy to mount an walk on doing work - like a platform of sorts. Plates mostly laid down and easy to position and to be trimmed - (hate cnc cut plate kits, if you err slightly, the error get compounded as you go along but that is another discussion).
    Welding is mostly down hand and grinding a breeze and since the prame is leveled - in my case with a dumpy level - the frames headstochs fitted to that, it is easy to get the keel, skeg etc build level and true.

    If you plan to blast and prime the hull before fitting the deck, it is so easy especially the inside of hull - grit just drop to the ground. Ever removed about 5 tons of grit INSIDE a hull? Being there done that.

    As mentioned before, I had built both ways and if one has not done this before, you would not believe the difference and speed the inverted system has over the upright system.
    The Achilles heel of this method for the DIY guy is lack of equipment doing it - space is not really and issue due to the fact that the boat gets turned on its own axle so to speak.
     

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  3. rugludallur
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    rugludallur Rugludallur

    Another discussion

    I'm not of the same opinion but I understand your point, also the procedure for building changes quite a bit when you have a kit. I think with kits it's important for the pieces to be as large as possible since this will reduce errors of the type you have just described, also builders should not be to shy about realigning tacked plates but try avoid grinding away "excess" material.
    In deed one might argue that the positive thing about kits is that if you make errors they are going to show up.

    In my case doing a radius chine I went the whole way, even did the radius plates it kit fashion. We cut the vertical edges before rolling but for the horizontal edges we used a CNC robot to draw them onto the plates with a permanent marker, then when they were rolled I used a plasma cutter and a straight edge aligned with the marks to cut the plates to the correct size.

    I also used the opportunity and drew the frames on a metal surface which we then used to align everything and weld them up.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Jarl
    http://dallur.com

    (Post edited to swap horizontal/vertical error)
     
  4. welder/fitter
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

    Yes, I thought that that was one of yours. I still can't get over someone wanting a vessel that size TIG welded.

    That is something I hadn't given much thought to. Another advantage.

    ...And time is money, for amateur & professional, alike.
     
  5. bearflag
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    "Almost" as good as Brent's welds in his videos... :p



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    In all reality though, Wynand, that Dix is a great looking boat (for a monohull). TIG welding that whole beast seems like an amazing amount of work and craftsmanship for something not in the aerospace industry. ::thumbsup:: That absolutely is a selling point though, I am sure whomever is the current owner rests easy at night knowing the quality of the boat's manufacture.
     
  6. welder/fitter
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

    The problem seems to occur when you are buying a pre-cut kit or have no input in the accuracy of the cutting files, imho. They once received a pre-cut kit for a 60' "trawler yacht" at Allied Shipbuilders. Nothing fitted the way it was supposed to and, time after time, pieces had to be re-cut and/or re-shaped. In the end, it would have been faster to build from scratch.

    Btw, Jarl, very nice shop with fantastic equipment!

    Mike
     

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  7. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Building Inverted vs right side up

    I suppose this is really an argument for the folks of Lilliput; there are advantages for either case and is something that should be considered for each specific build. I think the choice would likely swing either way considering location,equipment, vessel type and so on.

    I'm glad we are building right side up. I already get enough grief from the neighbors calling me Noah, additional comments of "I thought you were building a boat not a submarine" or "you know it's upside down" would be too much :)

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  8. welder/fitter
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

  9. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Exactly...that is the most important lesson. There is no "perfect" way.

    However, which ever method you select, you need to be aware of the pro's and con's of doing it your way and then try to mitigate the con's as much as possible. Simple investiagtions will assist on these issues by asking questions. So long as you can then justify/satisfy yourself that the method you have selected is the 'better' (not best) for you and your application, that is all that matters.
     
  10. welder/fitter
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    welder/fitter Senior Member

    While I agree with yourself & Mark, my sole consideration was speed of assembly. As one is going to end up "right side up" either way, as long as suitable equipment is available for rotation, it seems to me that assembling the framing, hull plating and keel (and skeg) would be faster if inverted. I'm not keen on the idea of downhanding the welds though, when building in either position.
    Mike
     
  11. rugludallur
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    rugludallur Rugludallur

    Thanks,
    It's just an amateur shop but we seem to have collected a lot of stuff while building the boat and built some of our tools to.
    The 2x6m CNC plasma cutting table was probably the biggest item, took us 3 years to build and debug before we got it working well enough to cut the plates for the boat.
    Now the real question is what to do with all of this when we finally finish the boat and go sailing.

    [​IMG]

    Jarl
    http://dallur.com
     
  12. Wynand N
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    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    Gentleman, it is actually worse than that....:(

    This was the last boat I had built before I shutdown shop when SA moved into a recession in the early 90's. The boat hull was built and MIG welded, turned and deck beams in place when I stopped operations.
    The boat was then moved to a new premises and contractor to finish, and they re-employ me to complete her as they had now boat building skills and mainly into the container building business (canisters). It was here that the client saw container pressure vessels TIG welded and then decided to have the boat done the same way!!!

    The rings were made and attached to the hull and all the welds grind out with a cutting disc, prepped and then TIG welded:!: TUV's markings still visible on hull where Xray shots were taken of welds.
    It was a hellish job so to speak. Luckily we had very little distortion with the double welding of the hull.

    Here is a photo of that very hull getting turned and you will see that it was welded already with MIG.
     

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  13. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Whist i tend to agree with this, we have built boats from 15m up to 30m upside down, it does require a holistic approach.

    Such as, are the longt.s and frames best arranged to allow an inverted build, are the tanks, seatings and all other manner of structure arranged so it is best done inverted etc.

    When inverting, or right way up for that matter, the speed of build is related not just to the plating, and indeed the framing too, other factors come into play. Small details that affect the outfitting as well as the obvious one, purchasing. (when does the engine arrive...can you fit it in after you've built the hull easily or separate tanks etc...)

    Since no point getting the whole frames up in double quick time, if the plates takes months to arrive...similarly, no point inverting if you haven’t the heavy lift equipment or "bodies" to help you rotate the hull etc etc…and so on.

    Hence my carte blanch statement above...a holistic approach is required for YOUR method, looking at all aspects and then satisfying yourself. Since the speed of build is driven by many events: design, procurement, location, space, equipment etc.
     
  14. TomThumb28
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    TomThumb28 Junior Member

    Send it to me for safekeeping. :D
     

  15. bearflag
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    I'm building a CNC machine of roughly the same dimension.... you could save me a lot of time :)
     
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