Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rudder Hinges - 80 Hours

In the boating world lexicon these rudder hinges are called pintle and gudgeons but Wharram has developed an ingenious rope hinge. The rope is drawn through matching five holes (in the stern post and rudder) in a figure 8 fashion.

Since end grain plywood is hard to seal I have decided to follow other Tiki builders and make an epoxy channel in to which I’ll drill the holes for the rope later. This task also called for new tools and skills.

The first picture is the fourth channel I made, each one looking better. These are the slowest and most tedious items up to this point of the build and there are 16 of them for the two rudders.

My first attempt was using a drill, jigsaw and chisels. Not a great method, the jigsaw blade is too bendy going through 30-mm straight and using chisels to clean out the slot and the edge recess was slow.

My final approach, at this point, is to use a router to cut the 3-mm indentation on the edge. Then drill one half inch hole and use the router to open up the channel. Then I come back with the chisels to clean up edges and such and then sanding to complete. The good news is much faster but the router is powerful and can take a chuck of wood away in a split second.

I decided to pour epoxy tonight before finishing up the details on the hinges. I’ll do another pour in the morning to finish off.

Scott Williams on his Tiki 26 did a really nice job of laying teak inserts on the edges as wear surfaces. I’m afraid my skills aren’t up to that task yet so I plan to apply a small piece of kevlar over the edge when I glass the whole area.

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