Foamy Fish?

by Web FishDec 17, 2012 @ 12:27am

 

The hull mold is finally getting there:

 

After a lot of back-and-forth, the decision was made to go with foam hull core with fiberglass skin. On the hunt for the right self-expanding foam now - trying to find alternatives to Great Stuff.

 

Mold Resurfacing Still in Progress

by Web FishDec 13, 2012 @ 10:37pm

It's been a slow couple of weeks at PilotFish. Still working on getting the mold in shape. Should be done by the end of next week. Major composites work planned for Christmas break - stay tuned!

RIP Mold Plug

by Web FishNov 28, 2012 @ 07:43pm

So what happens when you mess up your mold release application? Just learned the hard way... Remember that beautiful looking hull model? This is what it looks like tonight:

 

 

Fortunately, the mold itself will be salvaged. It will require some extra work sanding, reinforcing and re-polishing the inner surface, but all-in-all it could have been much worse!

 

The Fiberglass Mold Is Ready!

by Web FishNov 14, 2012 @ 07:52pm

We have a mold! Or at last we think we have one... We might have an issue with the mold release. Or the balsa cover of our plug might be a tad too soft for proper release with wedges. Either way - it will soon become clear.

 

Getting Ready to Lay the Mold

by Web FishNov 10, 2012 @ 08:07am

Getting ready to lay the mold later today.

  • Mold release - check!
  • Gallon of 3M resin - check!
  • 3M ardener - check!
  • Fiber cloth: check!
  • Filler: check!
  • Mixing canisters and brushes: check!

Keep fingers crossed - first large fiberglass project in many years!

Mold Plug - Ready to Go!

by Web FishNov 5, 2012 @ 10:25am

Mold plug fully covered, sanded, double clear-cat covered. It starts looking like a boat! And not too bad looking either.

The smell of brand new furniture adds to the ambiance :) There was at east one suggestion to turn the project into a scale table-top model and call it a day.

 

 

 

Mold Plug - Bottom

by Web FishOct 26, 2012 @ 04:16pm

We are halfway there - bottom portion is covered, shaped and sanded. Yey! 

 

Time for Plan B

by Web FishOct 22, 2012 @ 08:53am

It's official - the hull thermoforming is no longer an immediate option. Luckily, it should not be too difficult to switch to fiberglass hull constructions. The hull frame will have to be turned into a plug for the fiberglass mold. All that is needed are 1/16" balsa sheets, glue and a bit of patience.

Ooops! Setback: Lexan Thermoforming on Halt

by Web FishOct 20, 2012 @ 07:59pm

The original plan was to use the hill frame as a template for extrusion of polycarbonate (lexan) shells which can be further built out from the inside for structural integrity and flood control (splitting the hull in multiple water-tight compartments to minimize the impact of potential hull breach). Initial small-scale tests were very promising - getting 4:1 extrusion ratio out of the standard Lexan sheets (Home Depot). Having built the hull frame and a sliding rig to hold the Lexan sheet on a deck profile cut-out, it was time to get serious. Unfortunately, heating uniformly 8 square feet of Lexan turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Long story short: we have two options: either build ourselves a vacuum thermo-forming chamber or switch to plan B.

 

Hull Frame is Ready!

by Web FishOct 3, 2012 @ 03:20pm

It was a slow month at PilotFish headquarters but we are finally done with the hull frame. Finally starting to get a clear idea about how small 1 cubic meter actually is...