Sunday, January 25, 2009

Come a Long way

I a few days ago I built half of the center brace of my PakYak according to how I've drawn them in my PDFs, but it didn't work. I spent a little while manipulating the dimensions on Autodesk Inventor and came up with a modified design that seemed to work in the computer model. I then modified my existing center brace and came up with this:

So now that my center brace worked I could build the other one. Anyway, long story short, this post is more of a pictorial update, seeing as how my last one was rather lacking. I've uploaded a whole bunch more pictures to my PakYak album, should be linked there to the right on this page. If by chance its not, heres another link right.... over... here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Almost to the halfway point!

Well I don't have anymore pictures today and I haven't posted in a good long while, but I can say that after a hectic few months in which I couldn't work on my boat I am finally to about the halfway mark. I have 90% of one half of the frame completed and it looks great. I still have to make pdf design details for the center brace structure and gunwhales, that should be done this week, and once I have the frame finished I can start tailoring a skin to the frame, bringing me to the home stretch. 
Also I've discovered an interesting DIY article on waterproofing wood, as long as the finish doesn't have to be anything in particular. The article is here, but in short this guy goes through various dilutions of a acetone fiberglass resin solution, starting with a 50-50 mixture and working his way up. He says that it allows for the waterproofing to soak into the wood deeper and leaves almost no tactile coating on the wood, but outperforms even name brand sealers. This process is a little more extensive that it would be just to seal the wood pieces the convectional way, but I think it might yield a better product, I might even paint the pieces afterwords who knows. 
Also I cheaped out on the wood, Jim Heter calls for 9 ply 1/2 inch baltic birch plywood, but I bought 7 because it was substantially cheaper due to the fact I could purchase it in a smaller quantity. At the time, I didn't realize how big of a difference there is between the two types of plywood, I figured that it wouldn't make much of a difference. Anyway, my point is that I'm hoping that this firberglass resin might even minutely increase the strength of the boat. 

P.S. anyone taking on this project, I would really recommend using 9 ply baltic birch instead of 7 ply. Unless you absolutely can't help it, get the 9 ply. So far is seems that the 7 ply I bought will suffice, but likely only just. The 7 ply has many voids in it, in comparison to the 9 ply stuff.