Sunday, April 19, 2009

Plaster of Disaster

EDIT: I started but never finished this post until 5/25/09.

Had a very busy, but productive, weekend. The title to this post alludes to the fact that I created the mold for the keel bulb. Eventually...

All told, I went through 75lbs of plaster and two 5-gallon buckets. One batch of plaster kicked-off in the bucket before I got into the trough. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Back to the beginning: I started out by creating a plug for the bulb out of lightweight green floral foam. It's super easy to carve and shape. A detail palm sander w/ 220 grit paper works well---not too aggressive, but takes the material down reasonably well.

From there I wrapped the plug in saran and started to mix the plaster. It cures wicked quick, especially when you are working with 5 gallons (25lbs) worth of material. The lesson is: get everything ready an don't even think about pausing until your mold is done. You will definitely need a paddle mixer to attach to your drill (my first batch kicked off while I tried to fabricate one) and you will need a plan to weigh down the foam plugs while the plaster cures.

After a fair amount of spitting and swearing, the mold turned our reasonably well. I still need to add a dab of plaster here and there and try to fair the plug just a touch. But not bad overall.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


It's been a while since the last entry and much progress has been made. The foot bensons for the cockpit floor were fab'ed up and glued down. They were really simple to make:

I cut one 3" x 8' strip and one 2.75" x 8' strip from a sheet of plywood for each benson. I clamped them even along the edge that would touch the cockpit floor and drilled holes for zip ties along the opposite, "uneven" edge.

After I laced them together, I ran them through the table saw at a 45 degree angle.

I then "unfolded" the two sides to make a 90 degree angle.

I traced end end pieces onto scraps of ply and spread a few filets to finish them off.

I also got the aft side decks glued down.

On to the chain plates, forward side decks and the keel bulb.

Stay tuned!!