Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > General Forum Related Topics > "By the Fireside"
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-14-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Carbon Copy

Some of you here may remember the thread I ran when I built my "Kite". That was a 14' 6" J Winters designed solo open canoe, for combined whitewater and flatwater use. It was cedar strip built, with glass inside and out.
While I was (and still am) very satisfied with the performance of the hull, at 39 lbs, it's just too heavy for me.



So why not use my Kite as a plug, and make a lighter weight version?

Back in October of 2015, Soller Composites put their 5.9 oz 50" carbon fiber cloth on sale, for a little less than $20/yd. That's actually less than I would spend on cedar, so I bought a bunch. Well, that stuff hung around the shop, until I had some time to put it to use recently.

The plan:
Use my Kite as a plug to build a lighter weight version
Coat the Kite with mold release
Cover the Kite with 2 full layers of carbon and 2 full layers of 6 oz fiberglass, all saturated in epoxy resin.
Add gunnels, thwarts, and a seat to the carbon copy.
Carry, paddle, repeat as necessary.
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
The first step would be to buy some mold release, a gallon of PVA from Fiberglast Industries. Oh, and make sure the mold release will actually work the way I expect it to.

So I dug around in the boat shop and found a left over bulkhead, that had been previously stripped, sanded and glassed on both sides.
I applied 2 coats of PVA to the panel, using a brush.
A day after the PVA was dry, I prepared to make a test patch, using the same lamination schedule that I plan for the carbon copy.

Here is the test patch on the leftover bulkhead.



It had the 2 full layers of 5.9 oz carbon, and 2 full layers of 6 oz E-glass, wet out with RAKA epoxy resin. I think it measured around 3.5 inch x 6 inch.

I haven't worked with carbon much, so I was surprised that it was so difficult to see when the carbon was completely wetted out. Even so, the little test patch was done in a few minutes.

The next day, I peeled the test patch off of the leftover bulkhead, so far, so good. The test patch was tack free, but clearly the resin was not fully cured. That little test patch was very flexible, like a bendy tiger. But at least the PVA mold release did its job. Can you imagine if I got a carbon copy permanently stuck to the outside of my canoe!?

After a few more days, I noticed that the test patch really stiffened up.
So then my head starts racing...this can really work! I weighed the little test patch, determined its weight/sq in, and got even more excited! Granted, I did not fill the weave of the cloth, but if I applied a similar amount of cloth and resin to the entire carbon copy, the bare hull might weigh as little as 14.5 lbs!!
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #3
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Time to get real!
Here's most of the supplies required, the PVA, the carbon fiber cloth, fiberglass cloth.



I put 3 coats of PVA mold release on the kite, not wanting to take any chances of wrecking 2 boats at once.
At this point, the kite is just resting on a couple of sawhorses.
Next I draped 2 full layers of the carbon fiber cloth over the hull.



You can probably see the potential problem already.
I'm already going to have an issue with the gunnels getting in the way.
And with the Kite on sawhorses, there's no way possible to get the carbon to stay close to the gunnels.

So I decided to make a quick and dirty strongback out of some leftover 2 x 10, and use a couple of temporarily clamped forms to hold the Kite.
Other than being a little too tall, holding the Kite on forms on a strongback works much better than having the boat dance around on sawhorses.

Later, I hope, I can use those same forms to hold the carbon copy shell.

Did I mention that I plan to leave the stems open, so I can stretch the carbon copy enough over the "crease" to get it free from its parent?


Last edited by stripperguy; 01-14-2017 at 11:09 PM..
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 12:14 AM   #4
timberghost
I bear therefore I am
 
timberghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Did I mention that I plan to leave the stems open, so I can stretch the carbon copy enough over the "crease" to get it free from its parent?
Nice touch (on suspense), that was the first question I had when opening this thread...

Are you planning to air dry it or vacuum bag the composite mold? (assuming you plan to layup all four layers at once vs one at a time to minimize / avoid potential air bubbles / delamination problems in the future)

You certainly have (at least) one interested follower for this thread, having never attempted anything of this scale before - very interested in your technique and results.

Thanks for taking the time to share!
timberghost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 10:04 AM   #5
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberghost View Post
Nice touch (on suspense), that was the first question I had when opening this thread...

Are you planning to air dry it or vacuum bag the composite mold? (assuming you plan to layup all four layers at once vs one at a time to minimize / avoid potential air bubbles / delamination problems in the future)

You certainly have (at least) one interested follower for this thread, having never attempted anything of this scale before - very interested in your technique and results.

Thanks for taking the time to share!
My initial thought was to wet out all 4 layers at once, but after doing the little test patch, I think I will wet out the carbon first, then do the glass.

I must confess, I am controlling history here, much more has been done than I have exposed so far. So return to yours seats and buckle up, there's a bumpy ride ahead!!


As far as air bubbles and future delamination, I'm not concerned in the least.
After wetting out with a roller, I squeegee all of the cloth to remove excess resin and eliminate any entrained air. The epoxy I'm using is reputed to cross link between successive layers as long as the time between layers is not more than 3 days. In my experience with this particular resin (over 15 years now) I have never had a delamination issue. Even when repairing damaged sections after years of abuse and subsequent abuse, nothing has ever refused to stay bonded.

Now a quick (or maybe not) word about the potential removal of the shell from the Kite, henceforth called the plug.
This particular hull has a pronounced "crease" where the hull flare transitions to an abrupt tumblehome. This crease allows easier paddling, and also add considerable stiffness to the hull. So much so, that it barely needs any thwarts. While I love the performance and aesthetic aspects of this crease, I can see where it will cause quite a challenge in making the carbon copy. The gunnel width is roughly 8 inches less than the maximum beam...the carbon copy will need to be stretched considerably to free it from the plug.
To help, or actually to enable, this stretch, I'll leave the stems open, only sealing them up after removing the copy from the plug.
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #6
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
So here's the plug mounted on the forms on the quick and dirty strongback.
You can see I've draped the 2 layers of carbon cloth, but not trimmed the excess yet. Under that cloth, and on top of the plug, is 3 coats of PVA. I hope it's enough!



Next, here's a view of the open stem. I've cut back the carbon to where it starts to deviate from the keel line, and slid a couple layers of wax paper in there to keep the sides separated.



The carbon cloth is quite stiff, and I'm really concerned if it will conform to the entire profile of the plug.
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 02:09 PM   #7
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Zach,
I've been expecting you!!
Yes, both layers of the 6 oz fiberglass will be on the outside, mainly for 2 reasons.
The glass is much more abrasion resistant than the carbon...think of the carbon as pencil lead, it is almost that easily abraded.
Secondly, most of the loads the hull will see will come from the outside. This puts the outer skin in compression, and the inner skin into tension. Carbon fiber has excellent strength in tension. This 3K carbon fiber cloth is rated at a tensile yield strength of 640 Kpsi, compare that to mild steel at about 30 Kpsi. Some high strength steel alloys reach 200 Kpsi. Also, the carbon fiber has a modulus in excess of 30 million psi, roughly the same as any steel or steel alloy. The modulus is the relation of stress to strain, most folks interpret it as "stiffness".

As far as preventing sagging, I plan to place the nubile shell on a handful of the original forms, once I remove it from the plug. How many forms will I need? Dunno yet, but I have a full complement if need be. That little test patch was pretty springy, but it did maintain its shape, even when flexed nearly into a U shape, it still sprung back flat!
So I'm not too concerned about maintaining the below the waterline profiles, but I do have concerns about replicating the profiles in the crease and sheer line.

Lastly, I don't know if I would consider myself "brave". Blissfully ignorant, I would say. I don't know enough to be frightened!
But then, I have always been a "go big or go home!" kind of guy.
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 07:28 PM   #8
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Let's see, where was I? Oh yeah, time to wet out the carbon fiber.
I initially mixed 12 oz of RAKA epoxy, using their 127 thin resin and the 608 medium hardener. I'm using a 4 inch foam roller and a fresh plastic roller tray liner.
I'm working alone in my basement, which is fairly cool. So, hopefully, I'll have plenty of time to work without needing to rush.

Well, It's a good thing the epoxy is slow, as I needed about 1 1/2 hours to wet out the hull. Remember, this is just the 2 layers of carbon fiber cloth. It's darn near impossible to see when the carbon is fully wetted, and it doesn't like to be rushed. Once I had most of the shell wetted out (I think), I wrapped around underneath to do the crease, and sheer line. The plug (my Kite canoe) has the carbon fiber over foam gunnels, so these are in the way as it is.
Yup, it was just the nightmare I was fearing that it would be!!The carbon really didn't like that sharp crease, and it refused to adhere to the hull until it was thoroughly wetted for a long distance along the sheer line. My roller had trouble to tuck the cloth into the crease/sheer joint. Also, the roller constantly peeled the cloth up as I tried to stick the carbon along the crease and sheer. Eventually, I realized that I needed to roll up and down, very gently, rather than along the length of the hull.
Giving up hope of using the roller, I switched to a squeegee. I needed to squeegee the entire hull anyway, to remove any entrained air from the epoxy and to get the cloth to better conform to the plug. When I got around to the crease while using the squeegee, it actually worked much better than the roller.
Phew, it was a long 1 1/2 hours, and I likely stained my basement floor with all the palm sweat! I used a total of 40 ounces of epoxy when all was said and done.

Hopefully, I'll end up with a very lightweight, durable hull...hopefully.

Here's a look at the fully wetted out hull.




And here's a look at that troublesome crease/sheer line.


stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2017, 10:28 PM   #9
Zach
Last seen wandering vaguely
 
Zach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orwell NY
Posts: 946
That tumblehome looks like tough sledding but I'm glad it worked out in the end. I've experienced the problem of the roller bringing the cloth up with it as it rolls away, but that was with fiberglass on wood so it was just due to my bad technique and it didn't happen too much. It must be scary when it happens frequently and you're doing the whole hull at once. Will you have to wet out the two layers of fiberglass separately or can you do them both at once? Is that the basement of the new house you were going to build? I'll be interested to see what happens next.
Zach
Zach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #10
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
That tumblehome looks like tough sledding but I'm glad it worked out in the end. I've experienced the problem of the roller bringing the cloth up with it as it rolls away, but that was with fiberglass on wood so it was just due to my bad technique and it didn't happen too much. It must be scary when it happens frequently and you're doing the whole hull at once. Will you have to wet out the two layers of fiberglass separately or can you do them both at once? Is that the basement of the new house you were going to build? I'll be interested to see what happens next.
Zach
Zach,
No, that's the basement beneath the addition for my dearly departed FIL. We're still here, prepping our house for sale in between apartment rehabs and side projects. We need to sell this house before we build the new one.
There are drawbacks to showing little income on a tax return...

So you ask about the next 2 layers of fiberglass cloth.
Here goes.
As I had mentioned upthread, the RAKA epoxy is able to crosslink successive layers as long as the time between them is not excessive. Also, the clock is ticking on the carbon wet out, I don't want a full cure before I attempt to pry the shell off of the plug.

I draped both layers of 6 oz cloth, and wetted out both at once. I was expecting a cake walk, after all, I've been working glass and epoxy for a long time. Well, I still need to learn to manage my expectations!! Once again, I was surprised at how long it took to wet through both layers of cloth. But at least the glass conforms more readily to the carbon. This took another 40 or so ounces of epoxy and 2 hours to finish.

Here is the draped and partially trimmed glass.



And here it is part way through the wet out.



Lastly, here's a look at that pesky crease/sheer line. You can see that most of the crease has been replicated, but the sheer line (and site of the future gunnels) doesn't look so nice. I'll need to figure a way to make lemonade from the sheer line. Also, the crease is more fully replicated near the center of the hull, and less so as you approach the stems. My hope is that when I trim it all out, it will look as if that's part of the design.
Sooner than later, I need to pry the shell off of the plug. I hope!

stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 04:16 PM   #11
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,739
Neat!
Any chance of some video?
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 01:20 PM   #12
Glen
Check please
 
Glen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Huntington Bay, NY
Posts: 1,151
Stripperguy-

Interesting project and great tutorial. One thought, is there any concern with the compressibility of the foam leading to cracking of the carbon should the stems strike anything?
__________________
“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy
Glen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 03:39 PM   #13
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen View Post
Stripperguy-

Interesting project and great tutorial. One thought, is there any concern with the compressibility of the foam leading to cracking of the carbon should the stems strike anything?
Good question, Glen.
The foam that remained after it was profiled was a bit smaller than the carbon/glass over foam gunnels on the stripped Kite.
The stripped Kite has a single layer of 5.5 oz carbon, and a layer of 6 oz glass. Here's a look at those gunnels, in process.




Those gunnels easily survived cartopping directly against my Thule racks. I cinch down the boat with a 1" nylon strap, looped under the racks. I would estimate I apply 1/2 to 3/4 of my body weight when tightening. All this boils down to an estimated contact stress in excess of 1,000 psi. I have not seen any permanent deformations due to those stresses.

So, my belief is that I should not see any deformations to the stems due to impact stress. I have a single layer of 5.9 oz carbon below the foam, and 2 layers of 5.9 carbon, and 2 layers of 6 oz glass over the foam. BTW, the foam is Divinycell from DIAB, specifically made for composite construction.
They build high performance sailboats and experimental aircraft from this stuff.
I have no intention of paddling the Screamin' Sixties, nor flying this Kite at 10,000 ft!!

It should be OK. Besides, cut open nearly any modern high performance canoe, and you'll likely find the same sort of layup.

Last edited by stripperguy; 01-31-2017 at 08:04 PM..
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 07:38 PM   #14
Zach
Last seen wandering vaguely
 
Zach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orwell NY
Posts: 946
It's looking good, I'll be interested to see how it goes on. I can't remember anymore how to tell one end from the other, except for the amount of rocker and that would be hard to tell when it's been moved from where it started. On my Kite I had strips that were spalted on one end, so I put all of those ends to the bow and then I could check which end was which whenever I needed to during the build. Thanks for keeping us up to date.
Zach
Zach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2017, 08:03 PM   #15
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Zach,
I went back and reviewed my photos. When I first had the Kite on the sawhorses, it was bow towards the front of the house. Later, when I supported the Kite on the forms, it was stern towards the front of the house. And that's how the carbon copy remains. Once I really looked at it, it's pretty clear which end is which.

I did apply a covering coat of resin last night, and shortly I'll head downstairs to apply the final covering coat. Also, I think I may have figured a way to make lemonade out of those sloppy sheer lines!
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2017, 11:38 PM   #16
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Well, the carbon copy Kite is on the cradle!
I weighed it after the second fill coat of epoxy...19.5 lbs and counting.
It'll lose a little when I trim the excess sheer, then start gaining again as the trim is added.

And now we can inspect those crazy foam stems. Remember, one end, the bow, has carbon on both sides of the foam. The other end, stern, has no carbon on the inside of the foam, yet. The stern will have the foam shaped to a pleasant fillet, then a layer of carbon goes on. I don't think I'll have any bulkheads, definitely no decks. Probably 3 thwarts and a pair of seat supports, all carbon fiber over foam, and a full carbon fiber tractor seat. I am also forced into carbon/glass over foam gunnels by my self imposed weight goals.

Enough BS, you guys only look at the photo anyway...










And here is a link to all of the photos.
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #17
1894
Member
 
1894's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,341
Looking good !
__________________
Phil



“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” —Herbert Spencer

1894 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2017, 12:36 PM   #18
Cold River Bob
Bob in the Sewards
 
Cold River Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 474
It looks awesome I been watching this While I finish the stripper up that I stared. I'd like to try something like that on one of my 12 footers.
Cold River Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 12:10 PM   #19
Fisheater
Member
 
Fisheater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Land of Lakes, Headwaters of Three Rivers, MI
Posts: 55
I knew I checked back in for a good reason! I must admit I checked in hoping for some backcountry powder shots. Then when you stated the Kite was to be a plug, I assumed that it would be sacrificial. I was greatly relieved to read you were hoping to salvage the Kite.
I understand in the Adirondacks there is quite a bit of portaging in your travels. My current fishing canoe is 60 lbs. per manufacturer. I would probably be happy with a 60 lb. decked Kite. The one thing I notice in an Adirondack canoe is how high the seats are set up. I know that configuration allows for some slick paddling. I wouldn't dare sit that high on the Great Lakes. Usually wind has me paddling with a double blade. I really enjoy a windless, after ice, morning on Lake Huron. That is when you paddle slow, because of the cold water. I always enjoy the fish I catch with the single blade a bit more.
Sorry for getting off track. Seeing your canoes makes me think about building one. I don't think I will build one in 2017, but I don't think I am that far away. I have enjoyed the thread. I look forward to following your progress to completion. I want you to know that I will not mind if you take a powder day or two off from the build, but please take some photos. I think you should take Hickory Skier with you as well on those powder days. The two of you team up for some nice photos!
Cheers,
Bob
Fisheater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2017, 03:12 PM   #20
stripperguy
Hangin' by a thread
 
stripperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 3,823
Eater of Fish (Bob),
Backcountry has not been very good around here, central Vermont is OK, as is central ADK's, but I've been consumed getting my house ready to sell.

The Kite was designed with a real seat, not a sit-on-the-bottom cushion like a pack boat. That's one of the reasons I built it...I really don't like the pack boat (or kayak) seating position. A higher seat gives me many leg position options and for me, allows day long paddling without wearing out my knees or back. I'm sure you could alter the design a bit to add long decks, yet still keep the weight low. I am enjoying this build too!!

hickoryskier has been very busy at his work and wasn't allowed to take any free time, except for his daughter's wedding last week. He swears that we'll get some good skiing in once the backcountry conditions improve.

Just now, I'm heading down to the basement to wet out the inner stem piece of carbon at the stern. Not much will happen for while thereafter, I'm leaving in a few days for a family vacation in DisneyWorld, my least favorite place in the world! Last time I was in Florida, my skis buddies were at the epicenter of some crazy powder dump...70 some inches at Plattekill. They sent photos to rub it in!!
stripperguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.