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Saving An Old Tiller


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Yesterday a neighbor, Bob, stops by and asks, "What do you think?"  In his hand is a tiller to a 1980 Catalina 25.  He got the boat for free and has been trying to bring it back to life.  Bob is 78.  Everyone told him he's nuts but that didn't stop him.

He wanted to glue in a block of wood where it broke off but I told him that wouldn't work.  Before I took any pictures we started to go to work.  In this picture I tried to recreate what he brought over.  The large holes are from forstner bits hogging out the middle. 

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With the scrap removed

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Next was to pare the ends square.  I had to razor sharpen the chisels to pare the end grain.

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I took a piece of sipo mahogany that's been sitting around forever and mill 1/4" x 1-3/4" x 16" pieces.  Sipo is a lot stiffer than teak and I didn't know if I'd need to steam bend them or not.

Tiller_003.jpg.94a0c9b9a13cf89114e170ec9387493b.jpg

Before we started the work, I grabbed a 2x6 out of the garage and traced the curvature of the tiller for clamping later.

Tiller_004.jpg.53e33bc2ced990c351808bbd8047f9e6.jpg

It seemed to clamp together okay but I'd need to clean up some ends.  This is how we left it last night, after about 5 hours work.

Tiller_010.jpg.bdd137ad5113332600f7d58c08e2186c.jpg

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Bob said he'd be over around 10AM this morning.  I went into the shop around 9 and unclamped the tiller to clean up the ends.  After that was done, I started removing the fiberglass Bob had laid on the other end of the tiller.  After that was done, I attacked it with 40 grit sand paper.

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The more epoxy I removed, the more I realized the other end was a disaster

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Looks like some serious work needs to be done here, too.

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Bob didn't get here til after lunch and I was already well into opening everything up and ridding the gaps of epoxy and caulk.

Three hours later, we had it pretty well cleaned up so we epoxied the forward end together

Tiller_009.jpg.c88aaeece2b9d0c2d114ed7ce3f1ee3d.jpg

Tomorrow is a day off.  Monday we'll get back to work.

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Wouldn't it have been faster & easier to just laminate a new one?

Or hit the wrecking yard/consignment shop and pick up a better one to restore?

That thing reminds me a bit of those wood boat "restorations" that have a piece of the main beam with the serial number as the only remaining piece of old wood.

Having said that, it looks like it will be a nice tiller when you are done. Remember - a minimum of 10 coats of varnish. ;)

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10 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Wouldn't it have been faster & easier to just laminate a new one?

Or hit the wrecking yard/consignment shop and pick up a better one to restore?

That thing reminds me a bit of those wood boat "restorations" that have a piece of the main beam with the serial number as the only remaining piece of old wood.

Having said that, it looks like it will be a nice tiller when you are done. Remember - a minimum of 10 coats of varnish. ;)

When Bob asked what I think, I told him we could make a new one.  All he wanted was a block of wood to replace the piece broken out. 

After we got going, I think he realized I was incapable of just slapping something together.  I don't mind the work at all though.  It's nice to work with somebody.  Most of the time, I'm solo. 

If you aren't doing anything, why not stop by and show me how that 10 coats of varnish goes on.  :rolleyes:

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Nice shop. Maybe a bit OCD with storing squares and such, but I like that. Oh, BTW, nice work. Many of us would have shied away at first look and started over from scratch. Bob should be really happy. Way to help out a fellow sailor. Cheers to you.

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kudos .. nice job

and your obviously ( and justifiably ) proud of it

i would have soaked the finished article in 20% epoxy thinners thinned epoxy .. but im guessing whatever you do will be at least as good

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3 hours ago, Jules said:

If you aren't doing anything, why not stop by and show me how that 10 coats of varnish goes on.  :rolleyes:

Can't - I'm currently varnishing some wrecking yard teak cabinet doors. ;)

5th coat went on this A.M. - sanding starts once it's cured.

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2 hours ago, phill_nz said:

kudos .. nice job

and your obviously ( and justifiably ) proud of it

i would have soaked the finished article in 20% epoxy thinners thinned epoxy .. but im guessing whatever you do will be at least as good

Like many projects like this, you start thinking it's going to be a quick fix.  Then you look at it more closely and think, "Okay, all I have to do is this..."  and before you know it, it's a full blown tear down. 

But I am really enjoying this.  I've never done anything like this and I'm an old boat nut.  So this has been fun.  Since my last post I've gone back to the shop several times and worked on it some more.  It's like a really good drug. B)

20 minutes ago, PaulK said:

What kind of varnish are you going to use? 

On hand, I've got Total Boat Gleam 2.0 and Interlux Perfection Plus.  We won't be using the latter.  But I don't know what Bob wants to do.  I want this to look as close to new as I can make it but I'll let Bob decide.  However, I will exercise a woman's right to tell a man what to do should Bob bring over a half-cured can of Minwax. ^_^

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1 minute ago, SloopJonB said:

Can't - I'm currently varnishing some wrecking yard teak cabinet doors. ;)

5th coat went on this A.M. - sanding starts once it's cured.

I can wait...

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

Like many projects like this, you start thinking it's going to be a quick fix.  Then you look at it more closely and think, "Okay, all I have to do is this..."  and before you know it, it's a full blown tear down. 

 

yeah, i had the same deal with my original 60's mahogany cockpit benches...  sigh, they're due for sand and revarnish, but at least i won't have to tear them apart..

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The effort involved  in saving an old tiller exceeds the effort to make a new one from scratch 

the price of the Wood is much less than the price of the sandpaper, solvents, masks, electricity, beer 

just make a new one!!!!! 

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1 hour ago, Gouvernail said:

The effort involved  in saving an old tiller exceeds the effort to make a new one from scratch 

the price of the Wood is much less than the price of the sandpaper, solvents, masks, electricity, beer 

just make a new one!!!!! 

+1, then you know it won't break somewhere else.

(For those who want to know how, see Eric Blake's OCH vids. For him, a couple of hour's work; for me, a bit longer.....)

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When production of Adjustable brand C clamps was moved from Chicago to China I went took store to tool store like A Corona virus panicked American and bought every Adjustable brand clamp I could find. 
that was thirty or so years ago . I have well over a hundred ranging in size from 1” to 16” and I almost always have enough without using the wrong size.

the Vice grip clamps with the pivoting feet are also wonderfully handy. 

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5 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

The effort involved  in saving an old tiller exceeds the effort to make a new one from scratch 

the price of the Wood is much less than the price of the sandpaper, solvents, masks, electricity, beer 

just make a new one!!!!! 

The retired guys around here are always "working" on something.  As they are not getting paid,  they are playing.

 

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Like a kid on Christmas morning, I woke up and went right into the shop, anxious to remove the clamps and see how it turned out.  All night the little girl in me had visions of gorgeous teak dancing in my head.  I was a bit disappointed.

After the clamps were removed and a little sanding with 100 done.
Tiller_011.jpg.6456aa615810d1c0d0ca1edb8b043db5.jpg

So now to see if some teak dust and CA glue can fill the voids
Tiller_012.jpg.29addb9f3f5450c65ebb799afe071de1.jpg

After shooting it with accelerator it gets pretty ugly
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No joy yet...
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I swabbed it in mineral spirits for some idea how it will look with a finish.  Meh.
Tiller_015.jpg.cee7c6f0ef5539c1685adb0fb0cb355c.jpg

I'm hoping that minimum 10 coats Sloop requires will revive it.

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9 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

the price of the Wood is much less than the price of the sandpaper, solvents, masks, electricity, beer

I was disagreeing with you until I reached the word, "beer".

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10 hours ago, Team Subterfuge said:

Those are just the red ones.  There are more in the background in one of the pictures.

Jules has enough clamps that she can colour coordinate her clamping jobs?

Now I am envious.

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We couldn't wait.  I went over to Bob's to see how the tiller attaches to the rudder and asked him if he wanted to finish the glue up today.  You know what he said. 

This time we used the slow hardener (206) and we needed every bit of that time.  I didn't mix enough.  Anyway, we finally got it clamped so we saw squeeze out everywhere.  There's a tiller in there somewhere
Tiller_016.jpg.ea9a871b6034b622389a36b1e98bf9c1.jpg

Oh, there it is!
Tiller_017.jpg.206cf6278132713a620a76d39219f5f9.jpg

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Bit of overkill to use epoxy but beautiful job. Add me to the list of those with clamp envy

A nicely shaped tiller is great for handling the boat, a nice bit of varnished wood makes it pretty... adds a lot of class! Very good of you to help out a neighbor and fellow sailor.

But my experience is that 10 coats of varnish -still- won't last long in the sun. It needs a nice cover. Sunbrella with a muslin lining.

FB- Doug

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Bit of overkill to use epoxy but beautiful job. Add me to the list of those with clamp envy

A nicely shaped tiller is great for handling the boat, a nice bit of varnished wood makes it pretty... adds a lot of class! Very good of you to help out a neighbor and fellow sailor.

But my experience is that 10 coats of varnish -still- won't last long in the sun. It needs a nice cover. Sunbrella with a muslin lining.

FB- Doug

I'm loving all the sailors here to help out old Bob!  Sloop is flying in to do the 10 coats of varnish.  Doug is making the Sunbrella cover.  But whose going to help Bob shave? :)

Tiller_030.jpg.94198b03a9a34f1aebf92a341bc3951e.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Jules said:

I'm loving all the sailors here to help out old Bob!  Sloop is flying in to do the 10 coats of varnish.  Doug is making the Sunbrella cover.  But whose going to help Bob shave? :)

Tiller_030.jpg.94198b03a9a34f1aebf92a341bc3951e.jpg

He needs to lose the sweatpants, too. I know we're all retired and it's Florida but have some pride, man, save the sporty sweats for going to Walmart

What color do you want that cover? I don't have any muslin though. Maybe a nice soft felt.....

By a quirk of fate, I am working on 6 Oday Javelin tillers. They nowhere near as elegant. All I'm doing is making them of uniform length, sanding them to a slightly nicer shape & smoother... they are some kind of light-grained straight wood, maybe ash... fiberglassing them around the crotch, and varnishing them. Now, when I say "varnish" I mean that I am sanding them, dusting them, and going over them with a spray can. Only 4 or 5 coats, but I am getting down to 320 grit sanding. The goal is longevity, uniformity, having working hiking sticks on all, and preventing them from splitting where the wood crotch goes over the rudder head.

FB- Doug

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8 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

fiberglassing them around the crotch

That seems like a good idea, Doug.  I've been thinking about how to protect the wood inside the holes I still have to drill for attachment to the rudder.  The old tiller failed at the crotch and especially where the bolts were.

Any suggestions?

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59 minutes ago, Jules said:

That seems like a good idea, Doug.  I've been thinking about how to protect the wood inside the holes I still have to drill for attachment to the rudder.  The old tiller failed at the crotch and especially where the bolts were.

Any suggestions?

Bushings? Nylon or bronze. Epoxy 'em in, and pass the bolts through those.

All this effort for a PLAIN, Catalina tiller?  When I saw the title for this thread I thought "Oooh, I'll bet it's some ancient tiller with a cool face or head hand-carved in the end."  If you're going to all that trouble, at least give it some personality. ;)

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I just took all the clamps off.... and I'm pissed.  I kept telling myself to either steam the wood (which required building a new box) or soak the wood in ammonia.  The latter concerned me because I was afraid if I clamped it up in place in the tiller the lignins in the teak might break down.

Here's what pissed me off
Tiller_018.jpg.283354989058df44d12a7a822bd63e37.jpg
The clamp I put on that one section at the forward end didn't hold.   I'm not happy.  I'll have to clean it up and epoxy shims in there.

7 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Bushings? Nylon or bronze. Epoxy 'em in, and pass the bolts through those.

Ajax, the bolts are stainless so I was thinking stainless bushings but I have no idea where to get something like that.  And I don't know how Bob might react to having to wait.  At the very least, I'll pour epoxy in the holes, with one end taped off, and let the epoxy soak in before draining it.

After I get the tiller shaped, I'll drill for the bolt holes.
Tiller_019.jpg.0d349300163d18063caf3dd34a8d154b.jpg
The plates aren't flat.  I was going to straighten them but I'll need to check if the bend is intentional.  The bend looks pretty identical on each.

9 minutes ago, Ajax said:

When I saw the title for this thread I thought "Oooh, I'll bet it's some ancient tiller with a cool face or head hand-carved in the end."  If you're going to all that trouble, at least give it some personality.

That would be cool!

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Jules, stainless on stainless is not ideal - it galls.

A simple sleeve is to overdrill the holes, fill with high density epoxy or metal filled JB Weld then redrill.

Also, use true bolts - with smooth shanks, not machine screws.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Jules, stainless on stainless is not ideal - it galls.

A simple sleeve is to overdrill the holes, fill with high density epoxy or metal filled JB Weld then redrill.

Also, use true bolts - with smooth shanks, not machine screws.

Thanks, Jon.

The screws that were on the rudder are machine screws.  I don't have any bolts.  I'll have to send Bob out.  He'll probably tell me I'm making the tiller to outlast him. :rolleyes: 

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5 hours ago, Jules said:

That seems like a good idea, Doug.  I've been thinking about how to protect the wood inside the holes I still have to drill for attachment to the rudder.  The old tiller failed at the crotch and especially where the bolts were.

Any suggestions?

I've used G10 tubing.  https://www.mcmaster.com/standard-plastic-hollow-tubing

Epoxied in.

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7 minutes ago, Jules said:

Thanks, Jon.

The screws that were on the rudder are machine screws.  I don't have any bolts.  I'll have to send Bob out.  He'll probably tell me I'm making the tiller to outlast him. :rolleyes: 

As you should.

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33 minutes ago, GMiller said:

That looks like good stuff

Here's some pics of the "crotch reinforcement" I'm putting on as a patch to these old small boat tillers.

First, my cluttered shop with a dozen jobs in progress (using the term loosely) at once. Old Oday Javelin tiller clamped vertically with epoxy/fiberglass partial wrap , clamped vertically so I can see & work it. It's wrapped .41mil PVC sheet, sold as dropcloth, which keeps the laminations tight, helps them conform, and gives me a chance to "work" the resin into the cloth a little better. Some layers of cloth are cut on bias, or diagonally, so the strength of the threads takes any load radially.

DSCN0059sm.thumb.jpg.c5bca775892037243bbb81065491da31.jpg

 

 

On the bottom is one that is cured, peeled, and given a preliminary sanding & spray. The PVC wrap not only helps keep the laminations tight around curves and corners, it reduces sanding needed and keeps the edge of the lamination tight and smooth.

On the top is one that has been sanded to (mostly) bare wood. You can also see the brass rod that Oday inserted at the crotch to reinforce it, these things split up the middle sometimes when sailed hard.

The black crappy wood is dried-out rot. The worst two i doped with Git-Rot and let dry, but now I'm out of it and can't get more. I hate to put fiberglass over wood because it is a rot trap. But it does strengthen and resist impact, and these are going o be handed over to another staff at some point. Probably have to just make new ones!

DSCN0060sm.thumb.jpg.b39d2f07d13ab53d6aa7762ff1bed5b2.jpg

 

A close-up of a nearly-finished one. This needs to be sanded with 320 grit and given a bit more spray varnish, then have the hiking stick bolted on the other end. You might be able to see the inside of the crotch has also been given a layer of glass, this will be the first line of defense against splitting the tiller.

DSCN0061sm.thumb.jpg.03422fc1e51595933404e0bc9594df20.jpg

This kind of stuff is why boats are so hideously expensive. I've done work like this on my own boats for decades, and have a relatively fine-tuned system. But I would have to charge a fuck-load of money to make it worth doing for any reason other than making the world a better place. In case I haven't mentioned enough, these tillers are going on boats belonging to the local junior ROTC (high school) sailing program.

FB- Doug

 

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Got all the gaps filled in with sipo.  Bob and I glassed the rudder end.  Then left to get the bolts and bushings. 

Tiller_020.jpg.348a3983d6158047897baf509d6b4b44.jpg

No matter what I did, I could not get the corners tight.  A little after I had them snug against the wood, they would open up.  That's got to be filled.

Tiller_021.jpg.479eef843061e01a8c63393deb367e8e.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

Got all the gaps filled in with sipo.  Bob and I glassed the rudder end.  Then left to get the bolts and bushings. 

Tiller_020.jpg.348a3983d6158047897baf509d6b4b44.jpg

No matter what I did, I could not get the corners tight.  A little after I had them snug against the wood, they would open up.  That's got to be filled.

Tiller_021.jpg.479eef843061e01a8c63393deb367e8e.jpg

That's where wrapping it really helps. The fiberglass is stiff and does not want to make a 90 degree. You can also mix a bit of bonding filler, after the wood is wet with resin, which will fill the cloth and help it stick better. Then put on the PC sheet (0.31 mil is very light, too light really, I think there's a 0.7 mil) and wrap tight. Or put on peel ply and then the wrap, even better.

FB- Doug

 

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Jules, if you can't get the wood to a satisfactory (to you) level to finish bright you can always paint.

The tiller on my current boat was foam core carbon tape wound. It was strong but less than attractive so I filled & faired it then painted with SEM Trim Black from the auto parts store..

Came out pretty nice and even added a touch of "update" to the boat what with all the black bits that are on current boats.

image.png.4e2d3cbe86ae71bda8e39d18999b93be.pngimage.png.25da0bf540ad2651183a41ff266d250c.png

Tiller 2.JPG

image.png.c090e41f28e4927affa99b912cf2ebc4.png

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Jules, if you can't get the wood to a satisfactory (to you) level to finish bright you can always paint.

The tiller on my current boat was foam core carbon tape wound. It was strong but less than attractive so I filled & faired it then painted with SEM Trim Black from the auto parts store..

Came out pretty nice and even added a touch of "update" to the boat what with all the black bits that are on current boats.

image.png.4e2d3cbe86ae71bda8e39d18999b93be.pngimage.png.25da0bf540ad2651183a41ff266d250c.png

Tiller 2.JPG

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That's a nice curve, LIKE... also the satin finish.

But around here, black anything is not good. You wouldn't be able to touch it without welding gloves on, 4 or 5 months out of the year, and worse in Florida.

FB- Doug

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11 hours ago, Jules said:

Got all the gaps filled in with sipo.  Bob and I glassed the rudder end.  Then left to get the bolts and bushings. 

Tiller_020.jpg.348a3983d6158047897baf509d6b4b44.jpg

No matter what I did, I could not get the corners tight.  A little after I had them snug against the wood, they would open up.  That's got to be filled.

Tiller_021.jpg.479eef843061e01a8c63393deb367e8e.jpg

This, is why making a new one is quicker and safer. 1/4" laminates will conform to that curve without steaming.

Another simple repair which works as a bearing is to let in a piece of ~1/8" G10 plate on each side, drilled to fit the bolts, sized to be hidden by the SS tiller bracket.

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5 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

Another simple repair which works as a bearing is to let in a piece of ~1/8" G10 plate on each side, drilled to fit the bolts, sized to be hidden by the SS tiller bracket.

Shit!  Forgot about G10 as an alternative to glass mat.  I've got some wafer-thin G10 that I could have epoxied to the sides on which the brackets are installed. 

Of course, I didn't know the glass mat hated sharp edges.  Lesson learned.

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I ended up sanding off the glass mat.  Too many voids for water t collect.   This round I'll use the G10 on the sides, where the plates attach, and lay another coat of 105 epoxy with 207 hardener over the whole thing. 

Then Jon is flying in to lay down those 10 coats of varnish and Doug can finish it off with a Sunbrella cover.  After that's done, the tiller will be more valuable than the whole boat. B)

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28 minutes ago, Jules said:

I ended up sanding off the glass mat.  Too many voids for water t collect.   This round I'll use the G10 on the sides, where the plates attach, and lay another coat of 105 epoxy with 207 hardener over the whole thing. 

Then Jon is flying in to lay down those 10 coats of varnish and Doug can finish it off with a Sunbrella cover.  After that's done, the tiller will be more valuable than the whole boat. B)

You need PEEL PLY.

Awesome stuff. About 25 years ago, I was really really sick of the "epoxy & glass and sand 75% of it off, then epoxy & glass and sand 50% of it off, etc" way of doing fiberglass work that seems so common. Peel ply is a cloth you can lay on top of wet laminate what allows resin and air to pass out, but will not stick once the resin cures. You can work the laminate down nice & tight, even around fairly tight corners and compound curve shapes. It's the basic ingredient in vacuum bagging but you don't need the bag to make it work. It also takes off the layer of amine blush, although nowadays that's not as much of a problem because so much laminating resin available is blush-free.

A lot of times, I'll put down laminate, peel ply, paper towel or some other absorbent layer, and then PVC sheeting; then start working the laminate down tight. It's almost as good as vacuum bagging and a lot less PITA

FB- Doug

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48 minutes ago, Jules said:

I ended up sanding off the glass mat.  Too many voids for water t collect.   This round I'll use the G10 on the sides, where the plates attach, and lay another coat of 105 epoxy with 207 hardener over the whole thing. 

Then Jon is flying in to lay down those 10 coats of varnish and Doug can finish it off with a Sunbrella cover.  After that's done, the tiller will be more valuable than the whole boat. B)

I was still waiting for you to send the ticket when the border was closed so you're on your own I'm afraid.

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30 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I was still waiting for you to send the ticket when the border was closed so you're on your own I'm afraid.

I would NEVER ask you to step aboard COVID Airlines.  But you can hop on your boat and sail right up to our dock.  I won't tell anyone you're here.  Should only take a couple of months to get here.  I'll probably still be working on the epoxy.

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On 3/16/2020 at 8:11 AM, Ajax said:

"Oooh, I'll bet it's some ancient tiller with a cool face or head hand-carved in the end." 

I got Bob to start working on it.  Now he wants to know how he got talked into this.  I refused to name names! :ph34r:

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Oh boy.  Bob was at it for hours.  He's made totem poles, ceramic cups with faces on them but I think this was a bit of a challenge.  78 year old eyes and all.  After I cropped the pictures and got an up close look, it cracked me up.  This is either going to scare the shit out of the birds or get a lot of laughs.  Knowing Bob, he'll be going for the latter.

The eyes are mother of pearl, the Groucho eyebrows are Gabon ebony.
Tiller_022.jpg.401699e1fdf2a2d9490bf0e5740c190b.jpg

After a light coat of 207 epoxy
Tiller_023.jpg.e66104503335a205acb00439b85fd30e.jpg

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By Yesterday morning I had most of the tiller epoxied and ready for a light scuff to prep for varnish.  The only part untouched was where the plates are attached.  I was waiting for Bob to come over with the bushings.  I wanted the bushings under the G10 plate.

Bob drops by in the afternoon with the bushings.  We get them installed and mix up some 205 epoxy.  I knew the G10 plates would be slippery during clamping so we took the extra time to make sure they stayed in place.  After they were clamped, I had Bob coat whatever had not been coated and I left the shop.

A couple hours later we removed the clamps.  The G10 plates looked good but the rest of the tiller was seriously rough terrain! :o  Bob had tried to use up all the epoxy, even after it had started to gel, and left me with a lot of work.  So last night and this morning I sanded down the mess. 

Finally!  Ready for varnish!  Whoopeeeeee!

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On my tiller I put a bolt top-to-bottom, near the butt end, with large backing plates.  If you get up/down force on the end of the tiller and butt end can't pivot, the loading on the bolts is trying to pry the lamination apart, with the whole length of tiller as leverage.  The bolt helps hold them together.  You've got the G10 plates, but that depends on the bond to the edge of each ply and internal strength of the ply.

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The tiller had a tiller tamer on it when Bob brought it over.  During the refurbishing I allowed epoxy to settle in the screw holes for the tamer.  For the reinstall, I made a wood screw tap

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then drilled out the holes as one would for a machine screw.  Happily, only epoxy chips came out.

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I cleaned up the plates before installing and replaced the tiny washers with something larger.  The bolts Bob bought just made it.

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I didn't know what to do with the tiller pin so I drilled out the hole, dropped some CA gel in it and tapped it home.  I hope that's sufficient.

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1 hour ago, sv patience said:

Awesome rebuild and cool shop! You've inspired me to buy more clamps, and a few more japanese hand saws;-)

Tim

No such thing as too many clamps or too many Japanese saws B)

Don't forget to stock up on chisels.  ;)

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2 hours ago, sv patience said:

Awesome rebuild and cool shop! You've inspired me to buy more clamps, and a few more japanese hand saws;-)

Tim

Make sure you colour code the clamps. ;)

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12 hours ago, Jules said:

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I didn't know what to do with the tiller pin so I drilled out the hole, dropped some CA gel in it and tapped it home.  I hope that's sufficient.

 

What is your explanation (excuse) for why those S/S cheeks were not polished to a mirror finish?

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8 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

What is your explanation (excuse) for why those S/S cheeks were not polished to a mirror finish?

I ran out of elbow grease and the stores are out of it.

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On 3/21/2020 at 10:32 PM, Jules said:
On 3/21/2020 at 9:24 PM, sv patience said:

Awesome rebuild and cool shop! You've inspired me to buy more clamps, and a few more japanese hand saws;-)

Tim

No such thing as too many clamps or too many Japanese saws B)

Don't forget to stock up on chisels. 

Aw heck, I got dozens of chisels. Lotsa different sizes too. I keep 'em in a little rack right next to the Phillips head screwdrivers.....

FB- Doug

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Boat maintenance and repair is a funny thing.  Some folks see it as a journey to be experienced and others just want to get there.

The ‘get there’ guy would have started from scratch.

The tiller is straight enough that it could be gotten out of a solid piece of stock without laminating.  Many species would be OK- including locust, oak, ash, hickory, mahogany.   An hour or so of bandsaw, router, spokeshave and rasp will have it ready for sanding.  

The reinforcement at the jaw could be done with a length of stainless threaded rod embedded in epoxy.

Reinforcing the bolts is best done by drilling the holes oversized , filling with thickened epoxy and re-drilling.

If the tiller bracket is grossly sloppy, wax it and bed the tiller in thickened epoxy.

A sloppy pivot pin might be drilled out and replaced with un-threaded rod, drilled for cotter pins.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jules,

Just in case you are not already aware for future reference as well as peel ply,  which I always use, laying the glass on the bias allows it to take sharp curves much better.

Some nylon fabrics work well for peel ply and can be obtained quite cheaply. Although you may need to test them before using.

I've used both peel ply and nylon fabric in its place and they are both very good. 

I hope you are happy with what you have done because from here it looks really great.

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1 hour ago, The Mad Hatter said:

I hope you are happy with what you have done because from here it looks really great.

Thank you.  It was a fun project.  And I think Bob is pretty happy with it.  I know he loves the face carved in the end. 

For weeks I hadn't seen Bob pass by on his boat, which was unusual.  Then he came over with the rotted tiller.  Now I see him go by almost every day.  So it's nice to know I helped get him back on the water.

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4 hours ago, The Mad Hatter said:

That face is a really cool touch !

Of all the comments Bob made, what you said best describes what Bob loved most about this project. 

I think we need to give a tip of the hat to @Ajax

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11 hours ago, Jules said:

Of all the comments Bob made, what you said best describes what Bob loved most about this project. 

I think we need to give a tip of the hat to @Ajax

Tell your buddy that there's money to be made in it:  ;)

https://schoonerchandlery.com/shop/vintage-traditional-boat-gear/hand-carved-traditional-wooden-tillers-3/

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I come here for the snark and snide remarks yet here you have provided nothing but exquisite documentation and cordial discussion of a wholesome, helpful, clever project which assists a sympathetic character. What has the virus turned this place into?

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10 hours ago, tenders said:

I come here for the snark and snide remarks yet here you have provided nothing but exquisite documentation and cordial discussion of a wholesome, helpful, clever project which assists a sympathetic character. What has the virus turned this place into?

Fixit and Cruising Anarchy are the walled gardens of Sailing Anarchy. ;)

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On 4/15/2020 at 6:05 PM, tenders said:

I come here for the snark and snide remarks yet 

Sad story - there is no "Bob". Jules is slowly descending into madness. The squares on the walls are the first symptoms...

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Thanks for bringing us back from the parallel universe we had gleefully descended into Zonk, sadly I think in this time you are probably correct.  Used to have a pet fly named Bob, amazingly he returned every spring and once again he is back from wherever flies go to winter.  His is BIG, sounds like a Beaver spooling up for take off.

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10 hours ago, Zonker said:

Sad story - there is no "Bob". Jules is slowly descending into madness. The squares on the walls are the first symptoms...

If I was a guy, I'd save the gym shorts for the gym.

As for being mad, no argument.

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2 hours ago, Jules said:

If I was a guy, I'd save the gym shorts for the gym.

As for being mad, no argument.

You're in south Florida. Got any booty shorts? Bikinis?

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/12/2020 at 5:40 AM, The Mad Hatter said:

Jules,

Just in case you are not already aware for future reference as well as peel ply,  which I always use, laying the glass on the bias allows it to take sharp curves much better.

Some nylon fabrics work well for peel ply and can be obtained quite cheaply. Although you may need to test them before using.

I've used both peel ply and nylon fabric in its place and they are both very good. 

I hope you are happy with what you have done because from here it looks really great.

The Mad Hatter, any more specific recommendation for nylon peel-ply? Weight (or thickness???) denier? etc...

 

Thanks !

 

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7 hours ago, Laurent said:

The Mad Hatter, any more specific recommendation for nylon peel-ply? Weight (or thickness???) denier? etc...

 

Thanks !

 

Sorry but I don't really. All I know is that the stuff I used was normally used as lining fabric in garments like men's  jackets and sold as a lining fabric. I have found nylon that was even lighter but didn't like it because it would tear into bits when removing it just making it a bit of a pain. The ever so slightly heavier fabric could by removed without tearing as a sheet. I should also point out that the good nylon that I used as peel ply was still  much thinner than the normal peel ply I bought at the start of the last project and more stretchy so it would take complex shapes better than normal peel ply.  All I can suggest is get some and do some testing 

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Thanks to all of you. I am about to do a tiller weekend. The plan is to create a pile of tillers. I need to build at least a couple J-22, Pearson 26, and J-80 shaped tillers. There is also need for an Electra, Ensign, and a Catalina 25.

my plan is to mass produce some various colors of wood strips. Make curves against which to clamp and make up the appropriate blanks.

i have some Mahogany, white oak, red oak, walnut, cherry, Purple Heart, Ipe. Poplar, and Douglas fir. 

i think I only trust the mahogany and white oak. I would love to use some cherry but I have heard it rots really easily. 
if I go to the wood store, what woods do you vote for and which woods are on your “hell no” list?

if I am doing seven to ten layers, it sure would   be cool to have three or four contrasting colors. 

Can I trust Hickory?

Is there a dark colored strong wood that doesn’t tend to fracture and glues well? 
Purple heart and Ipe seem strong but the certainly do crack a lot 

 

please understand this:

I make teak handrails, toerails, winch pads, bulkheads, and occasional other stuff like boards for a main hatch or even coaming  boards on an Ensign, but I do not claim to be a competent woodworker. I refer real wood jobs to the excellent wood guys down the street. 
I made a few laminated Ensign, Pearson 26, J-29, J-24 and J-22  tillers in the eighties and they are all still working but I stuck to west system as glue and the wood was all oak and mahogany. 
A $60 chunk of wood that could jazz up five or six tillers won’t really change my budget. If I wanted to make money I would order all the tillers from somebody who sells bunches. 
I would  like to make some interestingly colored ones this time. 

 

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I'd use Doug Fir before White Oak - the oak blackens easily if it gets wet.

Forget red oak - it rots easily.

Teak or mahogany alternated with ash or fir makes a good looking tiller.

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Cherry has medium to good rot resistance -- much better than ash, despite its considerable sugar content. And practically any wood has better rot resistance than poplar.

Of that list, I'd select cherry or mahogany, alternated with doug fir (which has excellent strength-to-weight and good weathering. One thing to watch: much mahogany sold is African mahogany (khaya) and like much doug fir, that's often quartersawn for grain effect. You'll want your laminations to be flatsawn, rift at most, to maximize flexural strength.that can be had by resawing flatsawn stock or ripping thick quartersawn stock.

I wish Paulownia were more available in the US. It's not hugely strong, but it is light in weight and color, even-grained, and could create a decent stack lam if paired with a stronger wood like teak or cherry.

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Yes, avoid red oak.  Absorbs water worse than most and rots.

White oak if properly sealed is ok.  Mahogany and teak are amazing.  Doug Fir and good choice and a bit lighter than the white oak.  I will admit I have never used cherry in an external application, so no experience.  Same goes for ash, although a nice wood to work with.

I have made a couple of laminated tillers of white oak and mahogany.  

You can get fancy and taper the thickness of the layers so the butt of the tiller is fatter than the handle and have the same number of layers all the way through.  A jig on the thickness planer works.  Alternatively, have a top and bottom layer that goes the distance, while you shape the inner layers.

 

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