March 29, 2007

We broke out the moves!

Saturday evening was historic for CMSS, the city of Pittsburgh, and the world. With practically the whole team out in force, we laid four and one half layers of fiberglass onto our mold. To optimize the number of people able to work, we assigned everyone a job. There were epoxy mixers/pourers, epoxy rollers, and those who laid the cloth on the plug. We were also fortunate to have Dick Jones, founder of the Pittsburgh Film Making Institute and now good friend of the team, catching the whole process on video. We also used a computer to capture a time-lapse movie of the 2-3 hour job. This movie will be uploaded to the CMSS Homepage shortly. All and all, the whole process went as smoothly as hoped. The hours and hours of sanding, painting, more sanding, and painting of the plug really paid off.
When we finished laying the fiberglass and other materials over it (as explained in the previous post), we sealed the vacuum bag and flipped on the pump. I believe SAE's Billy Burke got the honor of doing this since he was extremely generous with his advice and time building the plug. After the pump was on, we cleaned and let the boat set over night to harden.
We returned to the boat yard last night to begin removing the plug from the hardened fiberglass. In theory, the plug should have easily popped out, but quite the opposite occurred. Everyone we talked to said the mold is never easy to remove, and they were right. We used chisels, drills, hammers, jigsaws, hands, feet, and handsaws to remove the foam. It was a delicate process, but with the steady hands of CMSS's best, all the foam was removed. After a long night of foam removal, we finally had a fiberglassed hull. It is a beautiful thing.
Now that the hull is done, we now will insert some ribbing to brace the hull form. We are having a design review, complete with elections for next year's officers tomorrow evening at 4:30PM in PH126A. Feel free to stop by and see what all the groups have been working on.

And now for some pictures taken by the often imitated, never duplicated, Mark Fuge:

The team stands by as the crane is used to flip the boat right side up.

It took many hours of brute force to remove the foam plug.

An aerial view of the hull and a few people digging away the foam.

A view from the inside of the bow looking towards the stern. Most of the foam has been removed at this point.

Stayed tuned for more....

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