Tuesday 1st February, 2000
Prop plans arrive. After a little thought I realised I could make the props INDOORS. This is no little thing when the garage is still almost at zero farenheit. Bought the wood for the thrust prop, some threaded 5/8 rod, nuts and washers. $29 - Not bad so far! Mixed up a pot of epoxy resin and glued them all together, tightening the clamps almost until they snapped.
Wednesday 2nd February, 2000
Undid the clamps tonight and removed them. Some took a little work as the dripped glue stuck more than was intended. Then I cut out the template and marked the prop up for cutting.
Thursday 3rd February, 2000
Tonight I started to shape the prop. After about 90 minutes, one half is roughly cut into shape. It was suprisingly easy so far, but the directions from UH were pretty easy to follow. The design is not particularly sophisticated, but it would seem to do the job. One hint here is to make sure the chisel is always up the right way! Im sure the little gouge I made will disappear in the final sanding and shaping, but it did worry me for a minute!
Friday 4th February, 2000
Started tonight by checking the lines. Something was bothering me and I was right. I had drawn out the trailing edge line with the template line up on the 52" mark, not the 48" mark. Practically, Im not sure what effect this will have. I have in effect made a 52" prop with 4 inches cut from the center! If I had have done as planned, then the blade part of the prop would have stopped 2 inches further from the center, and that would have looked odd. Ater having invested a whole $10 in the wood and at least a couple of hours work I decided to continue rather than start again - just for the fun of it! I spent another couple of hours tonight finishing the chiseling of the one blade and sanding it with a belt sander until it looked pretty good and was very smooth. As you can see from the prop end shot, it is still in rough shape and now needs to be sanded to an aerofoil shape. I think Ill do the other end first... or maybe not....
Saturday 5th February, 2000
Finished rough cutting the second blade and sanding it smooth. It actually looks something like a propeller now! Just needs rounding off and smoothing by hand. Also cut a sheet of plywood to fit the bottom of the craft. Fits neatly.
Sunday 6th February, 2000
Looked at the propeller for a while. Decided to leave it alone for today. Probably prop fatigue.... Glued and nailed the craft bottom in place! Im glad that sheet is done, the biggest and probably the most important on the boat. Next week I'll refit the main stringers and nail them to the floor panel too. I guess I should at this point add some external floor braces too. The collection of milk jugs for flotation grows by the week and now numbers probably 30 gallon containers. (Calculations to follow!)
Tuesday 8th February, 2000
Cut and fitted the first bottom panel. It needed a piece 76 inches long, and I hav a piece exactly 76 inches left from cutting the duct ply out of a whole sheet! Wow...no waste at all! Mixed up some epxoy, coated the sheet on the inside, coated the ribs, stringer and nailed it into place.
Wednesday 9th February, 2000
Finished the second blade of the propeller. Spent a good time tring to sand the back flat... theres still a lot to take off and I'm going to give the belt sander a rest for a coupla days.
Saturday 11th February, 2000
Sanded down the side panel on one side and prpeared it for the addition of the first slanted underside edge. Cut out the banana shaped piece, making a copy for the other side too. Glued and nailed, it went on easily. Almost kinda looks like a real hovercraft now! No - not really, but I can dream....