Friday, 19 June 2015

Waiting/Celebrating Materials & Methods

An unavoidable part of building any thing is waiting, or at least it seems that way, as I write this I am waiting for some epoxy to kick off so I can get on with building the paddle board prototypes. Yesterday I had to wait for the delivery truck to bring the parts that had been CNC cut for the prototypes to arrive, it seems funny the amount of time that we spent waiting to save time.

Modern adhesives and CNC controlled routers have made possible the simple methods of boat building we use today, they allow us to use wood in ways that would not otherwise be possible, stitch and glue being a prime example. The epoxy protects the wood from moisture and combined with fiberglass cloth adds strength and when mixed with fillers it functions as a glue of varying strengths. The CNC router allows us to cut intricate parts that interlock to make a simple but effective structure, and to cut all the panels with extreme accuracy, it is possible to do this by hand but the accuracy and fine fits would become much more difficult, the computer adds is repeatability you get the same thing every time  As I think about the materials we use to ease the construction of the boats even plywood for boat building as we know it has only been around since after the second world war when tighter specifications where set for marine ply to ensure that it is of higher quality than construction plywood. These materials and methods all make our lives easier; they allow people who might have never considered building a boat to turn out a beautifully functional product, as long as you don’t mind some waiting.

While I wait a few other thoughts occur, first if my shop was larger and not half full of other projects then I would build both boards at the same time, but would still end up waiting for glue to cure. Secondly though I am waiting I get to clean up other tasks that need to be completed, preparing for up coming shows, rewriting the web site and writing this blog, working on new designs though not all at once, I do know a person who can use two keyboards at the same time, I have enough trouble with one and a mouse.Third while I am waiting when the glue has cured I will have all the parts ready, last night just before leaving the shop the side panels where glued up now the bottom is curing, all the rest of the ply parts where cut full size so there are no joints. Next will be the internal structure when it glued together it will be time to wait then on to fastening the plywood pieces onto the structure with, naturally the required waits spaced at appropriate intervals throughout the process.

It is time to post this then I can get back to work as I finish up this particular wait.