First progress

Having spent months learning to use Rhino (a blog in itself!) I finally had the files ready to get Ripple 3 cut out at the CNC router. I purchased and delivered 4mm Joubert Oukume marine plywood for the boat kit, 12mm structural plywood for the moulds and 30mm foam for the Mirage drive casing. The CNC routing company cut the kit for me and delivered it to me about a week later.

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First open the kit
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Sorting pieces

It took me a while to get started but finally I pulled out the pieces for the first planks and pressed them together. I found that the design of my joints was not the best – the straight edges of the ‘fingers’ crested some potential that the pieces may not be fitted together precisely. But with care I think the will fit together tightly enough. I used drops of Gel type super glue to permanently stick the joints together.

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Using this technique it only took me about 15 minutes to get the first couple of planks together which I pretty pleased with!

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First planks

Unfortunately, it was at this stage that I hit a snag! Some of the pieces were missing from the cut pile! I went through all of the parts carefully and worked out that 3 of the plank pieces were missing. I figured that the CNC routers had accidentally thrown out the pieces with the scraps – until I checked my DWG files to discover that the mistake was mine! 😦

Back to the computer. I still had half a sheet of plywood left over – carefully planned when I was laying out the pieces on the computer the first time. Unfortunately it was a short fat shaped half which would not fit the 3 missing pieces on – grrr! So I had to purchase another whole sheet of plywood and take it to the CNC router again and another week later I had the last pieces of the kit – and another 1/2 sheet of plywood, long and skinny this time. I am sure they will come in handy at some stage in the project 🙂

In the meantime, I decided to start on the mirage drive casing. The CNC router had cut these from the 30mm foam. I had designed them to be an open half that I could glue together and fibreglass the inside. I had been warned about the difficulty of trying to fibreglass the inside of the casing when it was all together – so we will see if this is an improvement.

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Ready to glue mirror drive casing pieces

The 6mm dowel was designed to slot through all of the pieces to assist in aligning them and to provide some additional strength etc. I used thickened epoxy (West System) to glue 7 of the 30mm thick pieces together for each half of the 2 mirage drive casings.

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Glued and weighted

Next I cut the fibreglass sheet to size and wet out the sheeting with more epoxy. This was the first fibreglass work I had done and so far it seems to look pretty good. Once the first coat of epoxy had dried, I trimmed up the daggy bits of fibreglass and gave them another coat to fully fill the weave.

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Fibreglass cloth cut for inside the mirror drive well
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Fibreglassed inside of first one
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