Monday, August 27, 2012

Form building

Before getting into the details of the form building, I thought I would take a quick moment to mention that I added the subscribe feature to the blog.  In the upper right corner you can put in your email address if you want to get updates.  Or you can follow this blog with the feature just below the subscribe area.

The next step is building the forms.  From the plans, I roughly cut out each of the forms, 21 total.  In thinking back, this is probably the first project that I will build from plans.  Most of my projects are from my plans which I have drawn up.  Sure I have had some help from local furniture stores where I take measurements from but still, I have not purchased the plans.  But, for this project, I purchased the form plans and so far I am pleased that I did.
Cut out forms laid out on a 4x8x1/2"thick piece of sanded plywood
Of course, I added a 3M product to my list of products used.  The 3M Super 77 spray adhesive was used to glue the paper forms to the plywood.

I then roughly cut the forms with my jig saw.  Once I had them roughed out, I used my bandsaw to cut them out exactly to the forms.

Now I had to build the strongback.  I could have used a 2x4 but finding a 16' one that is straight enough is quite the challenge.  SO I decided to make a solid laminate beam out of the other sheet of plywood that I purchased.  I ripped eight 3.5" x 8' long strips on my table saw.  I then used another 3M product to glue these together.

This product is one of my favorite spray adhesives that I have used.  The Woodworking 20 spray adhesive has a short working time so the bond is very quick.  I sprayed it on both surfaces to be glued, allowed it to dry to a light tack, then stuck the two strips together.  It is not easy to separate once they have touched so positioning correctly the first time is key.

Since it is a spray adhesive, I didn't want any over spray on things where I missed the strips.  To combat this, I had some 3M masking film laying around.  I cut a piece off and draped it over my work bench.  You can see it in the picture above.  It is thin, easy to cut, laid out nicely and protected my bench from over spray.  Once complete, it was easy to wrap it up and dispose of so cleanup from the spray was a snap.

Once I had these together, I clamped and brad nailed the beam along its length.

Somewhere during this process I cut myself.  SO, add another 3M product to my list in the form of a Nexcare bandage.
Just a minor scrape.
I then cut out the center of the form and placed them on the strongback.  For the end forms, I had to glue the small pieces to the end forms.  For this, I used 3M Scotch Maximum strength adhesive.  This is a quick setting permanent adhesive.  Very quick, easy to dispense fast setting adhesive.  I like it and I will probably use more if it when making scarf joints on the cedar strips (more on this during the stripping post).
Scotch Maximum Strength Adhesive
I added some wood cleats to allow me to screw the forms to the strongback.  It was easy to align the individual forms as they have lines already drawn on them.  It took some time but in the end it will pay off to have the forms aligned.
Forms roughly attached to the strongback.  Here it is on my sawhorses.

Once I had it to this stage, I used 3M Blue painters tape around each form.  The purpose of this is to prevent any extra glue from sticking to the forms during the stripping process.  Since the forms have to be removed once stripping is complete, I want this to be easy to do.

Finally, the completed forms.  It is nice to see the shape of the boat coming together.

I also made some more sturdy supports.  Just had a few 2x4's laying around so I made it a little more ergonomically friendly for myself by raising the forms up to about 40".  I figured this would make it easier on my back when attaching the strips.  Lastly, I didn't want to forget the 3M 50 grit abrasive sanding belt I used.  This was used to add the taper to the end forms by using my belt sander.  It didn't take long to add this feature as the 50 grit belt quickly cut away the plywood.

For the form building, I added seven 3M products to my usage list.  These were the Super 77, the Woodworking 20 adhesive, Nexcare bandages, masking film, Scotch Maximum strength adhesive, 3M Blue Painters tape and a 3M sanding belt.  This brings my total number of 3M products used to 12.  From previous posts I used the Scotch white wood glue, Scotch carpenters glue, 3M all purpose sanding disks, and Scotch tape.  One item which I have not taken a picture of but have used is the 3M E-A-R soft yellow neon blasts.  I like these as they fit me well and are easy to insert.

So now the forms are complete, the next step will be ripping strips and milling them.  Then I can start attaching the strips.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Answers to my questions

I am sitting writting this post from comfort of my shop.  It is kind of nice to be out here with the smell of fresh cut cedar in the air and a Sam Adams summer ale in hand.  The kids are out running around playing and every now and then I step out and check on them.  What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in August.

After my first post I had a few questions I needed to answer and I think that I have done that for myself.  My questions were:
1. Should I get a thin rip table saw blade?
2. How is milling my own strips going to go?
3. What glue works better?
4. Should I stain it or not?

cheap thin rip blade
First off, the thin rip blade.  I had a cheap 7 1/2" blade which I installed on my saw but it didn't perform too well.  I didn't like the blade marks which it left on the strips. 

To me, the blade is flexing or something.  Oh well, I won't use this one for this project.

The strip in the middle was cut with the cheap blade.  The outer ones were cut with the Freud.
So, I went to the Rockler store in Maplewood, MN and purchased a Freud Diablo thin rip glue line blade. 

table saw insert removed to show blade

After cutting a few strips with this one, I am very pleased with it's performance.  It leaves a nice clean edge.  One item of note with this blade is that Freud designs this blade so that only 1/2 of the top tooth should be showing above the work piece.  Apparently they have the cut angles figured out to provide the best cut.  In addition, it is the proper way to set up a blade for cutting in terms of safety.  I have always followed the rule of the blade should be no more than 1/4" above the work piece.

Tooth height above stock to be cut

Milling the coves and beads:
I purchased a set (one cove and one bead) of bits from MLCS online.  These are 1/4" shank bits which will fit into my router.  I decided on this style versus the combination cove and bead in the same bit purely based on personal preference.  I think this way it will allow for easier setups.

1/4" cove and 1/4" bead router bits with 1/4" shanks

An important item to note here is the strip thickness.  I had set up the bead bit first and milled several strips that I cut.  The difference in thickness of the strips was pretty minor.  I had two different setups with my thin rip table saw jig, thus the difference in strip thickness.  I've got some work to do here when I set up to rip the strips to the right thickness and also to set up my router.

cove and bead cut strips

For the bead, it didn't seam like a big deal.  But for the cove, the thickness was a very big deal. 

Obviously, this is why I only cut a few to play around and expirement with.  Now I know, strip thickness is key.  In fact, I think I will rip the strips to 0.260".  Verus 0.250" just to give a little but extra material there to account for the variation which will most likely be there when I rip all of the strips. 

After ripping a few strips, I decided that I would glue a few together to see which 3M glue I prefered.
One is a 3M white wood glue and the other is 3M carpenters wood glue.

After letting the small strips dry, I sanded them.  I don't really see a difference in the glue type.  Both performed nicely and I will purchase a few more bottles to have on hand.  From what I can tell these should perform the same as other major brands such as Elmers or Titebonds.

Next I put some stain on the small test strips.  I don't like stain for this project.  In order to show the natural beauty of the wood, I will not stain this one.  I would have a really hard time staining the wood on this boat to all look pretty much the same color.  It was a good test.
Stained versus natural. 
The wood types, top to bottom are western red, pine and redwood.

3M product use so far:
3M Scotch 3/4" wide tape - I used this to tape my plans to the wall of my shop.  I know it is a pretty minor detail but hey, it is a 3M product that I used!

3M wide wood glue
3M carpenters wood glue - see picture above.

3M all purpose sanding disks - I will be using many of these later on.

So I learned a few things and answered my questions.  Buy a good blade, set ups are key, no stain!

Lastly, I bought two sheets (4x8) of 15/32" thick sanded plywood.  I will use one to build the strong back and the other one will be for the forms.  More on the form building in my next post.