Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Website and Blog - Making Progress Slowly but with Determination!

Those of you who have been patient enough to be checking back to see how progress is going on the new website and the blog deserve an explanation about what is happening.

Due to an excess of work and looming deadlines, I've been caught between devoting time to the workshop and to development of the new website and the blog. Jobs in the workshop are well in hand (and must take priority), but by September my contracted work will be complete, and I'll then be turning my attention to fun jobs in the workshop, and lots more writing and design work. With good luck and sensible management, this should result in lots more articles and the publication of a stack of designs I have sitting in the wings waiting for finishing touches. Yes, I know you may have heard me say such things before, but I really am ploughing through the work at the moment, and I have for many months now had a moratorium on taking on any new building/repair work.

Tomorrow I'll post some photos of recent work, and a list of current jobs. One particularly interesting project is the building of a sixteen-sided mast for a large sailing dinghy. This mast is unusual in that it is not only hollow, but the wall thickness tapers as the mast tapers, so the wall-thickness as a percentage of mast diameter remains constant. Another interesting feature of this mast is that it incorporates an 'in-mast' hinge - sort of like a tabernacle without a tabernacle (see Woodenboat Magazine #237 for the idea)

Here is a slice off a test section of my mast construction method. There is a very good reason for the angle being cut into one side of each stave, rather than half the angle being taken of each side as they used to do it in the old days. Maybe I tell you why some day...
The sixteen-sided method is probably too labour-intensive to be practical without a production set-up, but the experiment has provided me with valuable insights, and has been R&D time well spent. Maybe eight-sided next time? The method does have advantages over the Bird's Mouth method, mainly in providing the ability to taper wall thickness as well as diameter - all in a home workshop.

I'm just beginning to come to grips with some of the complexities of the website program and associated plug-ins, so there will be gradual (but accelerating) addition of content and pages. Further down the track will come video tutorials on some interesting stuff.

Facebook and Twitter have me somewhat stumped at the moment, but that will improve with time - especially after workshop commitments are complete.

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