Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another duck day, and an even bigger project.

It's a giant steel box.  That's the bigger project.  Two weeks ago TheSwitchElectrician came by and we built the platform that the shed stands on.  The platform took us about 4 hours start to finish.

The next week, Dan came by, and he helped build the shed.  Actually building the shed took about five hours.  Shockingly long for a bunch of tin.  

It's pretty roomy inside, and looks to be quite weathertight.  I'm going to need to do something about covering the small gaps at the top, without impeding airflow.  Perhaps stuffing them with steel wool?  

Both hulls are really in the stage for sealing.  With our truncated build day, Dan and I spent it doing epoxy work.  Every screw hole needs to be filled, and due to the quality of wood we've got some oddball gaps at coerners and edges.  

I work at a telecom company.  One of the smocks Dan brought had a fun brand name on it.  

The hulls look really good after being sealed.  The lack of screws somehow makes me a lot more confident in the seaworthiness of the hull.  

One last shot.  I think these are just so pretty to look at.  

Next time, we're doing keel trunks, and perhaps mast steps.  

The desk is clear. That can't stand. A Doinker build.

My desk is a place of projects.  When it's clear I start seeking for something to do.  Two nights ago, it was clear..

Yes, I really do type with my keyboard that far back on the desk.  My wrists are very healthy thankyouverymuch.

I ordered my Doinker kit from  Here's what came in the package:

In there we have the frame kit, four escs, four 1104 motors, a 40channel micro FPV camera/transmitter, and a flight controller with built in PDB.  Oh, and that giant awesome sticker.

It seems like so much less once it's unpacked.  The frame is 3d printed, and has the usual problems with 3d printed things.  It's also been sprayed with some sort of clear laquer, which makes it nice and shiny, and fills in a lot of the layer artificats from being FDM printed.  

The first thing they have you do, is install the reciever, in the reciever tray.  They expect you to go frsky, and my house is not a taranis house.  I'm going spektrum, so their tray doesn't exactly match what I'm going to install.  We'll cover the reciever install in the next installment.

The build directions on are really pretty good.  But they don't cover where these little spacers go.  

They go under the 1104's, for prop clearance, I think.  But that's where the spacers are on when you look at the pictures on 65drones and the shortcrayon.  

I got "a little" further than this, but we're now to the point of needing to solder everything up.  I'll be doing that this week, and hopefully getting it's first flights in.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Puddle ducks.

Sometimes, projects need to get big.  Most of my projects are small.  This time.. it's big.  like 4x8 foot.  Big.

There's something magic about that first time you sit "in" your boat.  Here's Dan, sitting IN his boat. I should also note, that this was day two of boatbuilding.  I think.

It doesn't look like much, well, it isn't much.  But it is a puddle duck.

Sadly, this set of blog posts is going to be somewhat out of order.  But here we go anyway.

The Puddle Duck is a class driven sailboat.  They tightly regulate the hull shape, but not it's height.  And as long as you don't have foils or submerged balast, essentially anything else goes.  People have run giant sail rigs.  The boats have gotten on plane.  They have been used as overnight sailing boats.  They've been built 8" tall, and 24" tall.

On that specific note, our hulls are 12" deep.  Which is fairly shallow.  Both Dan and I don't mind getting wet.

We've chosen to go the 3/16" thick underlayment method for the hulls.  The underlayment is made with waterproof glue, so is suitable for what we're doing.  We're also doing chine logs, instead of stitch and glue.  I'm sure this is the cheaper method, but i'm also sure it's more time consuming.

The first day, we cut out the hull sides.  As pre-game, Dan cut up the chine logs for us.

For gluing up the hulls, we're mostly using titebond 3, and a whole lot of 1" long screws.  The screws are removed after the glue is dry, and we're filling the resulting holes with thickened epoxy.  You can seriously bulk up epoxy if you buy some very, very, cheap materials.  I think I spent $40 on sillica and Microbaloons, and ended up with more than a gallon of additives.

Later that day, we got the bottom on the hull.

You can see a fillet we screwed to the aft end of the hull to keep the sides square while we got the bottom glued and screwed in place.

As usual, when you get in that building groove, pictures stop taking precedence.  Two building days later, here's Dan working on gluing the bottom on my hull.

I love how epoxy filler looks.  This is how we're waterproofing the tanks, as titebond isn't a good method for closing big-ish gaps.

Here's Dan's hull.  The left side is filled, and some of the holes on the starboard side are filled.  It's going to take two more epoxy sessions to completely fill all of the holes.  

More will follow as the boats get built.