Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by wjejr, Jan 15, 2017.
wjejr do you sail where there are weeds?
I live on the north shore of Boston. I usually sail the boat in Chebacco Lake which is shared between the towns of Hamilton and Essex. I also belong to a club in Gloucester, and I sail there occasionally.
Weeds aplenty in the lake, not so much in Gloucester, although I do have some fancy bailers in another boat that suck up saw grass left, right and center.
Home from travellin until 2nd week in April, so progress on the rudder continues. Here's the final fairing using the large block sander. The foils shape seems pretty good when you run your hand over it. It's tempting to try for perfection, but I think I've got it as "perfect" as I can.
Back again. I'm making this up as I go along, but the next step seemed to be to cut the bottom of the rudder to size. After working so hard to get the foil shape right, I thought about keeping it a little longer, but then I thought about hitting the bottom with it, and I shortened it to the prescribed lenght. I made a test cut on the pine dummy to make sure the angle was right and then made the final cut on the mahogany rudder. I added tape to the top and bottom of the rudder to minimize tearout. Because of the foil shape, the bottom of the cut is not supported.
The next step was to position the rudder hardware and then mark where the holes are supposed to be. I used welding clamps to hold the bronze hardware in place, as the clamps had enough tension to hold the pieces firmly. I then used the largest brad point bit that would fit into the holes to mark the center. I twisted the drill counter clockwise so that the bits would not dig into the bronze. I did the hole for the tiller attachment last.
Note that in pictures 1 and 2 it shows the hardware tight against the wood. After thinking about it a bit, I moved the pieces out by 1/8" so that the tilller can swing down to the rest plate on the bronze rudder head.
Hello fellow Sunfishers,
Well, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess. It's complete overkill, but I decided to use G10 tubing to line the gudgeioin mounting holes so that the threads of the screws never touch the wood. The theory is that the threads cannot scrape into the epoxy barrier coat I will put on later. If the screws cut through the barrier water could get under the epoxy and make a mess. Secondarily, it also prevents the hardware from compressing the mahogany. The screws would shear long before there would be compression of the G10.
I had the G10 tubing lying around from another project, so no added expense; just a little more time. You can cut G10 with a regular saw blade, but here I used a diamond saw blade to cut it. You will see the pictures show that I use tape before drilling. This helps to prevent tearout (bottom) and is also easier to see the marks of where to drill (top). In the last picture you will see the G10 tubing in place. I sanded the edges of the tubing so that it forms a slight indentation where the epoxy can sit and soak in. Nex step will be to shape the rudder head, but that can't be done until the rudder head is mounted in it's permanent position.
Hello fello Sunfishers. A little more progress to report. After mounting the rudder gudgeons, I traced the top one and then created a curve to merge into the rudder shape. I then cut to the line using a bandsaw being careful to leave a little extra. Once that was done then I mounted a sanding drum in the drill press and fine tuned the shape. After that I clamped the rudder in a vice and sanded out any marks from the drum.
Hi everyone, I had a chance to mount the new rudder on the boat. To me it looks pretty good. I did notice, and you can clearly see in the second picture, that the old style hardware does not mount the rudder perpendicular to the water line, but instead it angles the rudder down. A few posts ago, I was wondering whether to keep the angle of the rudder bottom as shown in the plans or cut it to be perendicular to the edge where the gudgeons are mounted. The perpendicular cut would have been the wrong move.
looks beautiful... stay off the bottom now!
You're going to put this rudder in WATER???
I was thinking the same thing. Your swinging way below your
level. Head over to Glen-L plans and check out a boat like
the Lord Nelson. I'd enjoy watching you construct one of
these beauty's. You could make you own website for what would
probably be a 10 year project.
33' Lord Nelson - world cruising sailboat-boatdesign
It's been awhile since I last posted, but I have been making some progress on the rudder. I decided to fiberglass the rudder to make the rudder a bit stronger and more importantly to give it more durability. The other factor was that I had never tried to have the glass "see-through" and was keen to try it. So the first step was the barrier coat. I use MAS epoxy as I like the two to one properties. I've used MAS resins as a barrier coat before, and my experience is the surface must be absolutely clean and the thinner the coat the better. Thicker coats for me resulted in too much sanding. Speaking of sanding, from here on I wet sanded using mineral spirits and Klingspor wet/dry sandpaper. Here are the pictures from the barrier coating.
Hello fellow Sunfishers. After barrier coating in the last post, the next step was to apply the fiberglass. I used 4 oz. cloth that I purchased from Jamestown Distributors. I have used fiberglass before, but have never tried on a complex, at least for me, shape. I found that it was difficult to get the glass to lay flat when trying to lay it over a 90 degree edge (e.g. leading edge, rudder head edge). Maybe staples would have worked, but by then the cloth was already wetted out, and it seemed to be risky to try it then.
You will see in the picture that I used scissors to cut the partially cured (i.e. green) glass which made the job much easier.
I debated about whether this step was worth the effort, and although I am glad I gained some experience, if I had it to do over again, I would not bother.
Hi fellow Sunfishers. Its been so long, I had a hard time even finding my thread.
At any rate, once the rudder was done, I had to make a new tiller since I wanted to keep the old tiller / rudder combination when I took my children sailing. That system has the original type wood extension which is shorter and easier to work with when I have a passenger.
For the new tiller I again used G10 tubing for where the screws go through the bronze straps.
One thing I noticed is that the rudder to tiller clearance varies depending on whether the rudder is up or down. I cut so that the clearance is minimal when the rudder is in its normal operating position.
I have included a couple of pictures comparing the new tiller with the last tiller I made and the tiller that came with the boat which is likely the original.
I wondered how long it would take this thread to mention the early 1970s hybrid rudder with the solid head to prevent cracks and splits. This design allowed for the new spade shaped blade while still using the old bronze rudder attachment hardware. Here is a photo of one I have for sale. See the full ad. in the "For Sale" section of this Forum.
I wondered how long it would take for this thread mention the early 1970s factory issue hybrid rudder with the more modern spade shape blade with solid bronze top gudgeon to prevent cracks and splits in the wood. This allowed for a better blade without having to change the rudder attachment hardware. I have one for sale, see attached photo and see full ad. here in the "For Sale" section of this Forum
p.s. I too have shop envy of wjejr's wood shop!
Those old tillers with those brass straps would flex so much in a breeze.
True. I have seen some old style tillers where they doubled up the brass tiller straps. That and the solid gudgeon fitting would make a fairly stiff rig.
In checking G10 (fiberglass tubes), I wondered if they made them in 2¼" OD? ('Didn't find any).
For the sleeving of old holes, I cut sections out of golf club shafts. They're tapered—and stainless steel, so you can cut one or two sections that fit perfectly. My latest golf club acquisition is graphite, which is strong, rust-free, a good size, yet can compress a bit.
What use are golf clubs, anyway?
You can find 2 1/4" OD tubing at McMaster Carr with an ID of 2". It comes in 40" lengths that, depending on the application, runs anywhere from $35 to $140.
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