Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Big Canoes

Yesterday afternoon Alan, Matt, and I knocked out the last of the side hull sections on the Shop-Bot. By that time Chris was out of class, so we decided to mock up a hull with clamps, here are some of the pictures.

They look ready to take on the Manatees.

I can imagine these looks at the end of 300 miles.

One of the design school shop workers knows a thing or two about homebuilt boats, and he asked us how long the race was, we responded "300 Miles" and he said that the sea wasn't that deep. The next picture puts his words into a visual form.

After we wrapped up at the design shop the four of us went on a hunt for some fiberglass and bronze nails. Turns out that the nails are only available online, and the fiberglass would cost us one son and one daughter. Unfortunately we don't have any sons or daughters, so we couldn't get any fiberglass, but we're working on a deal with that supplier.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tiny Canoes

We had hoped to have the bulkheads cut by today but the ShopBot having recently been setup for use and not properly calibrated yet and the woodshop lab hours being limited on the weekend, we decided to take our side panel and bulkhead CAD files for the canoes and have some fun in the laser cutting lab. Here is the result of our days work. We built 4 models so that we could each put one together.
Cutting out the bulkheads and side panels on the laser cutter and assembling the boats in miniature was a really good exercise for the overall construction of the boats. With some more work tomorrow, we hope to have the ShopBot up and running and get some full sized boat pieces cut out. Below are some more picture of the models.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We've Got Wood! ... for building boats

That's right, we are now committed to our three board canoes. We picked up the lumber today and have begun work on rescaling the plans. Capitol City Lumber was very generous and offered us the wood at their highest discount. We opted for Exterior A-C plywood because we feel that the extra cost does not outweigh the benefit for a canoe that we do not plan to mount a motor on. But mostly because marine plywood (Okume or the like) is simply out of our price range.

We will use a shop-bot that we have access to at school to cut out our bulkheads and side panels. That should make quick and accurate work of the “curvy pieces” so that we can begin assembly. The shop-bot shown here is basically a 3-axis router that can cut 4x8 sheets of wood to exact shapes based on a CAD file. Here is a picture of one.

We plan to modify the deck to more fully enclose the canoe and allow for cockpits to be cut so that we can outfit the boat with spray-skirts. We will also be designing our mast step and outrigger crossbeam mounting cradles into the hull as well as all the necessary storage compartments, hatches and closed cell foam buoyancy compartments.

We hope to begin cutting, shaping, and assembling this weekend so stay tuned for pictures and information.