Installing the beam caps

Too long between posts!  It’s probably due to too much work travel, and the beam work has been repetitive steps of not very interesting stuff. The mold for the beam caps was easy – the shape was formed from having saved the off-cuts of the sheets that formed the beam molds months ago.

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We elected Dad as the ranger of the clamp forest; figured he earned the title based on who had more epoxy on his shirt :)  The beam caps went on without too much fuss, and we used PLENTY of epoxy putty along all the horizontal surfaces at the tops of the beam structures.  With the caps on, these now start to look like substantial beams!  And a shout out to Mike Leneman’s grandpa – notice the squeezed out tube in the photo below. That’s a magazine cover rolled up like a cake decorator’s bag. Roll the paper spirally, tape the seam, fill with putty from the top, roll the top closed like toothpaste, and cut the desired bead-size hole in the tip. This idea is working GREAT for filleting. Thank you Mike!

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And now the past couple of shop days have been spent wrapping the beams in 2 layers of DB170 fabric. These beasts are growing heavier with each step, but I can still push them around and roll them over enough to make progress solo. After finishing this evening, there’s just one more step of wrapping the ends (after repositioning the supports), then we’re ready for laminating on the black gold – 16 layers of carbon for the tops of the forward beams. Actually looking forward to that job – very satisfying to be using space-age material for a strong, light boat.

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the two on the right were done last weekend – curvature of the beams makes the fabric shaping very difficult, so I’m resigned to overlaps for strength, then sanding and fairing as needed. Beam in the middle had just been finished and peel-ply’d, and the last one is shown ready for the evening’s epoxy job.

Thanksgiving weekend sounds like a good time to get started on the beam fairings mold, and hopefully those structures will be built much faster than the core beams.  I won’t be installing the plan’s aluminum backing strips for the net lashing eye strap screws – we’ll be doing the updated ‘slit-tubes’ as seen on this F39 beam:

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