Friday, January 20, 2012

Almost ready to be wrapped in carbon fiber

It may not look like it from this angle but the keel now has nearly a perfect NACA 0012 shape.  I just need to fill in a few divots and it will be ready to be wrapped in 11oz carbon fiber cloth.  I figure that with a mahogany core, the unidirectional CF on the sides and the outer wrapping with biax cloth, this should be a very stiff keel.  

After wrapping with cloth, I'm going to get started on shaping the plug for the keel bulb.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Working in the basement now

 It's winter now in Cleveland and it costs too much to heat the garage, so I've moved my work into the basement.  Needless to say, I can only work on projects that I can actually get back up the basement stairs.  The project for this week is to finish the keel.  

In an earlier post, I described how I rough-shaped the keel out of Mahogany and then reinforced its sides with unidirectional carbon fiber.  I now need to fair the keel to get the NACA 0012shape that I'm looking for.  I did a pretty good job with the initial rough shaping, but when I cut a groove for the carbon fiber, some of the "fairness" of the foil was lost.  In order to get back the NACA shape, I decided to build a screed box so that I could just drag a template with the NACA 0012 shape over it and apply fairing compound in a more methodical way.  The picture below shows the template that I created.  The shape came from a plot that I made in Microsoft Excel which I then transferred onto 1/4" birch plywood.  I then cut out the foil shape and smoothed the edges with sand paper.