Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nat 64 - Reckless Play With Natural Fibers

This is an ugly, junky experimental board. If this is your first encounter with my work, then great! Check this out. But also look at the other boards, which aren't quite this crude.

These are tests with natural fiber cloths.

On the bottom is a single layer of cotton muslin. It's easy to work with. The weave is just tight enough that you can pour a small amount of epoxy directly on the dry cloth and quickly spread it, without it dripping through. It takes a lot of little pour-spread, pour-spread movements, but it's much faster than the brush technique I'm using with fiberglass.

That's the finished lamination. Good results.

We know cotton doesn't have the strength or impact resistance of fiberglass. I easily dinged the rail throwing the board in the van the first time. Had it in the water about 20 minutes before noticing. So this board has already gone through a dry-out and repair cycle.

Got a little help here on the quick patch job.

Though weak, muslin might have a role as a first lam material, since the wet-out technique is faster, and the finer weave will reduce pinholes. A second lam with something stronger might give back enough impact resistance and stiffness to balance it out.

On the deck we've got a base of fiberglass, and then full coverage with a layer of silk, with burlap (jute) rail patches (from green coffee bags).

Silk traps bubbles underneath when you try to apply it as a second lam. Don't know if there's a way to work them out through the fine weave. Silk seems too limp and droopy to lay directly over the core for a first lam. And silk isn't good at conforming to the compound curves around rails - it wants to fold instead of warp, and won't stretch. Not pleased with the silk. Too fine and tight.

But burlap is great - raw and loose. It's a great way to build up a thick section. The thick fibers and loose weave can work as traction if you don't fill the weave all the way with hot coats. You can try to saturate it minimally, or just keep pouring resin into it, depending on what you're after.

It's brown. It's crude. It's functional. I'll be using it again.

Yeah, this is a single fin fish. Haven't heard any advocates for this kind of thing, probably for good reason. But you've got to try it to know.

As long as we're doing things wrong, let's really do it wrong. A 7.5 inch epoxy-sawdust holey baby hatchet. (The first board I've made with some kind of accommodation for a leash - seven, in fact.)

Instead of fiberglass strands (fin rope) along the base, tried some jute twine. Too crude, twisted, stiff and lumpy. At this point I'm done playing and just want to get this in the water. The divot at the front of the base got filled and faired with wax. Let's get it wet.

Still nice with light behind. See where the two missing pieces go?


Post a Comment