The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.08.04 - Rudder Stock - The Shaping

The last few posts have been a bit sparse for photos so I took loads today and you are about to be inflicted with them all. Today's task was to plane and shape the rudder stock spacer. This involved firstly rough trimming the ends of the pieces of Sapele glued on to the spacer, then running it through the planer until the correct thickness was achieved and finally using the follower bit on the router to trim the spaces to match the cheek pieces.

The lead weights were removed from the spacer and here you can see that the epoxy has squeezed up between the wooden strips which was the intention. You will also notice that the plastic has been placed on the spacer with the wording down.

The reason for mentioning the orientation of the plastic is that although the plastic did not stick to the epoxy, the printing on the plastic did and you can see that on the photo above. I had to use a heat gun and a scraper to get the remains of the plastic off the spacer before putting it through the planer.

The other side of the spacer was resting on the inside of the plastic and you can see that none of it stuck to the epoxy.

So, here is the before picture

And here is the after picture. Just a millimetre taken off this side and then repeated on the other side.

The rudder was put together with the spacer in its approximate position.

And the pivot bolt added to stop the blade from coming out of the stock. It was not tightened up at all. The gap was checked and the spacer run through the planer taking a little off both sides until the gap between the blade and the cheeks was about half a millimetre. I don't want it to be smaller than this since there will be epoxy put on the inner faces of the cheeks and that will narrow the gap a bit more. I want the blade to drop down under it's own weight when the rudder is held upright, but only just.

Once the fit was about right the spacer was clamped to a cheek and the follower bit on the router used to trim the spacer to been the same shape as the cheek.

Just to show you what a follower bit looks like. The shiny part at the bottom is a small wheel that is exactly the same size as the cutter. The wheel runs along the template and the cutter removes the excess material from the wood above the template.

The trimmed spacer was then put back in position and the stock assembled to check the fit.

To show you just how good the follower bit is at transferring a shape from a template to the wood, notice the slight indentation in the top of the rudder stock in the photo above. This was a slight mistake on the template and it has been transferred to each of the three pieces. The template was only used on the first cheek piece which was used for the second cheek and that was used for the spacer and each time the error was copied pretty much exactly.

I could have glued the pieces together at this point but I will need to do some more work on the spacer and that will be easier if the spacer is not glued to the rest of the stock. The rudder blade has two pieces of rope attached in order to lift the blade up and to lower it down. The photo above shows the one that will pull the blade down.

This photo shows where the other rope will be attached for lifting the blade. These ropes need to be led to the cockpit and to do that I will be adding three small pulley wheels in the spacer, one at the back for the lifting rope and two at the front for the other rope. I won't try to explain it more than this as although it is simple operation it will be better described with photos.