mikiek

T24 RC Tugboat by mikiek - RADIO - Tippecanoe Boats

76 posts in this topic

You're right about that Per.  It would have gone right through that wood in a few more seconds. I probably should have used a practice piece first. On the bright side, the coaming won't be seen so a little bit of uneveness shouldn't matter.

 

I had never seen the attachment either. I found it on a woodworking site. It kinda looked like one of those tools that would either be incredibly useful or absolutely useless. Given that it had the Foredom name on it, I was willing to take the chance.

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The belt sander strikes again!  Gluing the upper deck to the lower cabin structure. Needed a small fillet on the inside. The catch? Too much epoxy at the joint will keep the cabin from sliding down completely over the coaming.

 

As usual I ended up with too much residual on my surfaces.

 

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The sander made short work of it - probably would have taken 30 minutes by hand.

 

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Cabin and coaming

 

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Cabin over coaming

 

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Mike,

Did you use the thin plastic hatch provided from Will on your T37?

I noticed it didn't seal properly and I got water inside.

I replaced mine with a "heavy duty" and that added on with weight.

 

The coaming on the tug will definitely keep the water out! :cheers: 

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Bob - I'm hoping the hull rides high enough that it won't take too water onto the deck. That structure on top of the coaming is all that keeps water out.

 

Per - that was the one thing I could not figure out from the instructions. I tried a sheet of plastic (trimmed to hatch size) with electrical tape - that didn't work very well. Then I got some of their 2" Hatch Tape. One piece covers the rudder hatch. Two pieces cover the main hatch - one edge over the other. No plastic. It worked pretty well last weekend.

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This was an interesting bit of work. The tug is my second kit from Tippiecanoe. Both have been top quality materials, so I was a little surprised to find some pressboard parts in this kit. Turns out they were kind of a mold for some cedar strakes that make up the wheel house. An interesting process. I apologize for not having pix from each step - it got a little frustrating and I forgot. What you see here is a "re-enactment" :)

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The idea here is to lay the 3/16"x1/8"  strips on the edges of the mold, then clear coat the exterior with epoxy. First some packing tape is placed on the edges of the 3 rounded pieces. Epoxy doesn't stick to this (a nice trick). On top of that some double sided tape is applied. Next the cedar strakes are cut and laid onto the tape which holds them in place - sort of. There are some small 1/2" strakes that didn't stick very well and kept falling off. It took a while to get everything into place.

 

Next some epoxy is mixed up. No thickener this time, just raw epoxy - what I have been calling clear coat and you will see why in the pix. Of course laying square sticks side by side on a rounded surface leaves gaps. So the epoxy is applied thick - without the thickener this epoxy is about the consistency of honey so it wicks into the gaps and is also self leveling. When it dries it is quite strong and hard as a rock

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With a little bit of wiggling the pieces of the mold came out. You can see here that some epoxy did get all the way to the mold. Sure enough they did not get glued to the strakes. I am amazed with the tricks that Will (Tippiecanoe owner & designer) comes up with. There's another cool one in the next set of steps.

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How bout that shine? Looks as good as varnish. All the gaps filled and the surface is as slick as can be.

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Wanna guess where it's going to go?

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Still rotating projects so after a day of RC'ing on the lake (well before too) I worked on Little Toot. The deck structures came together today - lot's of gluing. Or would that be epoxying?

 

First I put in the wheelhouse windows - a strip of mylar held in place with double sided tape.

 

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The rear cabin has some port holes that are supposed to have mylar also but I am going to wait until after I varnish the sides so I don't have to worry about getting anything on the mylar.

 

Next was a thin strip around the lower cabin to dress it up a little.

 

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Next it was time to glue the wheelhouse to the deck. This is a cool epoxy trick!  The wheelhouse needs to be completely sealed around the bottom where it sits on the deck - the electronics are right underneath. So a epoxy fillet is in order but you don't want it on the exterior. The thickened epoxy has a purplish tinge to it - not very attractive. So the fillet needs to go on the inside of the wheelhouse. The problem is you can't really apply it directly. No worries. I mixed up some thickened epoxy but not near as thick as you have seen in the past. Maybe a little thicker than molasses, so it is still runny. The epoxy is applied thick all around the bottom inside edge of the wheelhouse.

 

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Then you position the wheelhouse on the deck and let gravity do it's thing. The epoxy slowly runs downwards onto to deck leaving a nicely made fillet.

 

Then I glued the wheelhouse roof, back and some trim around the rear cabin.

 

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I believe I will have to clearcoat the wheelhouse one more time. I got some of the thickened epoxy on it and the only way to remove it now is sanding which will scratch up the surrounding clearcoat.

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Sure could have used this guy today. RC sailboat mainsail clew came unhooked (that's why they tie it with string dummy). So the boat is 1/4 mile offshore dead ahead, wind blowing left to right and I'm trying to sail the thing in with a jib :o.  I was fortunate. That boat could easily be on the other side of the lake right now.

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At one time sailing my T37 I lost rudder control, it was hard to her back just using the sails but I was able to do it.

You were lucky!

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Other than finishing, I'm pretty much done with the deck. Work moves to inside the hull - electronics.  First up, assembling a keel with the propeller shaft. The keel is 4 layers of plywood. The 2 inner layers are each made up of 2 pieces.

 

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The space in between the 2 pieces leaves a groove for the propeller shaft sleeve. I had really hoped to take pix of a step by step but it quickly became apparent that I would be busy trying to hold and glue all the pieces together and try to keep it all clean. Well I failed on the last part. The process was the usual clearcoat then thick stuff. The problem was in doing layers, excess epoxy is squishing out the edges getting all over my hands and the parts. So I'm trying to wipe that off, which moves the parts around and sliding them back into position squishes more epoxy out. Glad I wore gloves.

 

Finally, I decided to just leave it alone. I was not going to get all the epoxy off. But hey, I've got a cool belt sander that should take it all off and anyways I think I'll paint the keel.

 

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You can see the mess. But it's done.

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A quick diversion to the tug tonite. Keel was finished a few days ago, tonite I installed it on the hull.

 

First off I marked and then drilled successively larger holes - ending with 1/4". The plywood on the hull is quite thin so I put some tape over the hole and then began to work the drill forward and back to elongate the hole.

 

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The keel, ready to go.

 

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Then it was pretty much the regular routine. Clearcoat and thick stuff making a fillet around the keel. It's is a little unusual in that they don't normally call for fillets on the external parts. The phenol thickening powder tints the epoxy purple and that's how it dries. Not very attractive compared to the clearcoat which can be beautiful. I was going to paint the keel anyway, maybe I'll paint the entire bottom.

 

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I will say I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the epoxy process now - thick or thin. It is some really good adhesive and incredibly strong and waterproof.

 

On a side note - I pulled the trigger on the Tippicanoe T50 Trimaran today :dancetl6: A 50" long hull standing almost 7' tall from tip of keel to tip of mast. It's a screamer.  Zero to sixty in.... well sometimes I get carried away :P  Should be an interesting build. I'll share it with you guys when I get started. Now back to Arrow.

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OK the keel is on. Last nite I built some pieces for inside the hull. A platform for the motor, a battery tray and the rudder. Nothing really sexy enough for pix. Besides it was a pretty messy epoxy job and I don't need that on my camera. Anyways  all that set and is ready to be glued into the hull so I'll do a few pix then.

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Mike,

The tug is coming together nicely, what specifications is there of the motor provided?

Some day I will build the tug, maybe doing a dual shaft. Which could be fun.

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Per - the motor is from RC4WD. It's labeled Crawler Motor 80T. Now you know as much about it as I do. It is pretty heavy for it's size and metal parts from my workbench are sticking to the motor exterior. It must have one heck of a magnet.

 

Twin screws? I guess you could. It would take some redesign of how the propeller shaft tube exits the hull. This design has it running thru a thick keel which is epoxied to the hull. The hole in the hull is covered by the keel. Not sure if you might need additional batteries or not. The battery pack is big, sort of like 6 C cells shrink wrapped together. I imagine it adds ballast in addition to power.

 

Of course someone knowledgeable in RC could probably figure something out. But that's not me ;)

 

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A lot of epoxy action this evening. I had several components ready to go inside the hull so I decided to glue them all at once. In addition, the instructions said to clear coat the entire inner hull. The hull plywood is fairly thin so the clear coat will beef it up some.

 

It was the usual routine (clear coat, thick stuff) except for the amount of epoxy I was mixing up. That's where it gets tricky. Epoxy doesn't set by air exposure. It's a chemical reaction that does it and a fair amount of heat is released during that reaction. Heat speeds up the curing. In fact if you want epoxy to set quicker you can hold the mixture container next to a incandescent light bulb for 30-40 seconds and it will thicken (cure) noticeably. So the problem is when the 2 parts are mixed in a small container, heat generates in the confined area and the epoxy hardens much quicker. In the intro to epoxy at the beginning of the instructions Will states the way to beat the problem is to (obviously) get the mixture out of the container and on to a surface quickly. The heat can dissipate into the air that way. Then you can work the epoxy wherever you need it.

 

So tonight I was more concerned with speed than with neatness. I actually walked thru my entire process 3 times so there would be no issues during the live run. The parts I glued are not terribly interesting, but the good thing is I can start installing the electronics next. :D

 

Here's what it looks like, please excuse Arrow in the pic.

 

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As promised I got to install the electronics this weekend. Motor, receiver, speed transformer, battery pack and rudder servo. Most of it was very easy. The only problem was positioning the motor on its platform and getting its shaft in line with the prop shaft. I thought I did pretty good but it's making some racket when I power it up. But at least it's all wired and running!

 

The motor.

 

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Rudder column and shaft tube (slathered with epoxy)

 

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The works.

 

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Rudder installed.

 

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Gluing the deck to the hull comes next. Then a lot of sanding and decisions about finish. This mahogany plywood looks gorgeous with only a lacquer coating (several really). But every little spot where I got some of the thickened epoxy shows up really bad. So I may paint some areas.

 

 

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Hey Bob - it was mostly plug & play. I'm no expert but it appears that the components are quality stuff. I was actually glad to get the motor off my workbench. All sort of tools and the like were sticking to it. A fairly beefy magnet inside.

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Thanks Elijah. This is the 2nd kit from Tippiecanoe Boats and they are both well designed. Even the instructions are great.

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Went thru the instructions for mounting the deck to the hull. I'm going to have to dry run that a few more times. You gotta mix a whole lot of epoxy for this step.

 

There's just a couple of pages of instructions left. I'll need to decide on a paint scheme pretty soon and get started on that. I did put a thin coat of varnish on the deck structure this evening. First of many. On the sailboat build I lost count, 7 or 8 I think.

 

You can begin to see how nice the wood looks. It'll be difficult to decide paint or varnish. Probably some of both.

 

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Mike,

Now you are talking about making a nice tug.....:dancetl6:

On the other hand what you have right now is what I like to have as well. Good enough for me.

 

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I have glued the deck to the hull! This was an interesting exercise as I had to mix more epoxy for this than I have ever used before. It's a race against the clock to get it in place before it thickens up. I kind of like the technique used for this as well. It's clear coat and thick stuff as usual although the thick stuff needs to be a little thinner than usual - barely runny. The reason  for this is that you apply the epoxy to the inside upper edge of the hull, slap the deck on and then turn it upside down. Gravity pulls the epoxy down and it ends up settling at the joint between the deck and hull, making a nice fillet.

 

Once again it would have been difficult to take step by step pix, so here is what I ended up with.

 

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The thing that bugs me about epoxy is that now I have to wait until tomorrow to see what it looks like :angry:

 

Paint or varnish or both? That's what I need to decide now. I was talking to Will (Tippiecanoe owner) this afternoon and he suggested varnishing it all for now and then paint it down the road when I get the urge and the right combination. That's probably what I will do.

 

 

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Mike,

Tomorrow when you turn the tug around it will look fantastic. Nothing to worry about!

Best part with the tug, you don't have to worry anything about weight as we had to with the T37.

Varnish and paint, yep that is what I would recommend too....

Will you plank the deck?

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You know Per, I had been toying around with the planking idea. I guess even a modern day tug might be wooden planked? It would add some interest, but it would also cover up the nicest piece of wood in the build. You know how that mahogany plywood looks with a slick coat of varnish on it.

 

I was also looking around for something that I could use to make the round windows look more like portholes. Some sort of round frame. A few life preservers and some rope coils would be interesting as well.

 

And there really is a rescue arm although not hydraulic. Once I get that on the boat I can try sailing in a few new places that I have been scared to try. If the T37 gets stuck the tug can come get it.

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