Where to begin

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by CSX, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. CSX
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 15
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    Location: Canada

    CSX Junior Member

    Hi, I am looking at building a storm hood to cover my sliding companionway hatch on my Tanzer 26.
    I have used epoxy and glass to repair tabbing, parts and rebuild a mast step but I have never gone about fabricating a piece from scratch before.

    It is basically a rectangle with around 3-4" deep lip and I was thinking I would core it wit a thin core-cell foam.
    So I have been reading here and there about plugs,molds, and materials to make them and I am at a crossroad and thought I would ask for some help and opinions on what others would use to make such a part.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    Is it critical that this thing be as light as possible?

    If you're not trying to get it to be ridiculously light, I think you'd be far ahead in time, cost and ease of construction if you just build it out of wood and epoxy. Building a mould takes at least as long as building the part you'll get from it.
     
  3. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Matt intersting design.
    It is in development stage?
    Daniel

    [​IMG]
     
  4. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

  5. CSX
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Canada

    CSX Junior Member

    no problem.
    nice vessel too.

    I'm not real concerned about weight, but I don't mind taking the time to learn the mold etc. and the less weight the better

    If I made a plug what type of wood would I use?

    maybe a female mold out of Styrofoam would be easier?
     
  6. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Any wood for a mould. Styrofoam is much trickier to handle than wood.

    The easiest way I am aware of, is ply over temporary frames (I assume you have a "profile" in the hatch?), probably two sheets of thinner ply to make bending easy. It is hard to beat a sheet of ply in terms of weight to strength relation.
    Properly sealed it may outlast the rest of the boat.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  7. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    And if you build those frames with reverse curve, and substitute Abitibi or other "whiteboard" for the plywood, presto-zoomo--instant mold. You can build the lip around the edges right in the mold.

    You'll likely want to radius the sharp corner at the lip. I used to use clay (and a #10 screw with flat washer attached, as a "radius scraper") to build the radius. I'd apply mold release wax to the clay with my fingertip, and I'd make sure there was a sufficient layer of gelcoat over the clay in order to sand and polish the less-than-ideal finish to perfection.
     
  8. CSX
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Canada

    CSX Junior Member

    Is there a certain type of clay that needs to be used?
    The white board sounds like a good idea.
    Easy to bend
     

  9. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    I used a clay that came from a fiberglass supplier. I'm not sure if a kid's clay is suitable, but I suspect that even peanut butter would work if it was thick enough not to flow. (I've built tons of molds from whiteboard. To avoid nail holes, use contact cement.)
     
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