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Thread: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Thanks Powerwagon. I'm no expert on fiberglassing, this is my first big project with the stuff. But the way I've been doing it is I first brush on plain epoxy 2"+ on either side of the joint. Then I mix up a batch of thickened epoxy and form a fillet. Next I place the 4" wide fiberglass tape onto the joint and press it down into the now slightly tacky epoxy. Then I come back and spread plain epoxy on top of the tape and work it down into the fibers until it turns mostly transparent. After it sets up in a couple hours I come back and add another coat of plain epoxy to fill in the roughness of the tape.


    I use cheap chip brushes, but I cut the bristles down about halfway so they're stiffer. When I glass large areas I use a plastic squeegee to push the epoxy around, and the brush for detail work. Foam brushes just fall apart on me.


    For forming fillets I started off loading thickened epoxy into a ziplock bag, cutting off the corner, and piping it on. But that is a load of work and I feel like a lot of epoxy stays stuck in the folds of the bag. So lately I've taken to scooping the epoxy into place with a putty knife, then running over it with a plastic squeegee with the corner cut into a nice radius. The excess epoxy gets pushed to the side where I scoop it up with the putty knife to be reused. The fillets are perfect and I wish I had figured out this technique when I put the hull panels together. I'll have to try the plastic spoon idea.


    Taking pictures for the forum motivates me to clean up the shop! Otherwise I'd be knee deep in sawdust and off cuts by now, haha.

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    My Sailrite kit came in so I've switched off of working on the hull and on to sewing until late at night. I vaguely remember sewing some pieces of paper together in a useless home ec class back in grade school and helping my mother with some of her projects when I was a kid, but basically I haven't touched a sewing machine in over 15 years. I'm using her Janome New Home 2014LE which seems to be doing ok.


    Here are the panels for the jib laid out and the top two sewn together, along with the patches.





    Sewing on the top section to the rest of the sail that's bundled up. Each seam gets two zig sag stitches. This wasn't too bad as the seams were fairly short and it stayed rolled up pretty well.





    Now to do the hems on the edges.





    I started with the foot which wasn't too bad either.





    Sewing up the luff and leach was a lot harder. The material gets pretty heavy so the machine doesn't feed it so well, plus there's so much material it's hard to handle. I don't even want to think about doing the main sail just yet.





    But eventually I got it done and installed the grommets and leather. Also a stainless cable with two eyes gets sewn into a pocket on the luff. I think it came out pretty good, considering my general lack of experience. I found cleaning the needle with acetone every few seams helped keep the stickum from the basting tape from building up. The machine seemed to sew a little better after each cleaning. The instructions were adequate and had all the required information, although they could have been clearer.





    I guess it's on to the mainsail next...

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Miami, FL, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    It's great watching this progress, keep the updates coming! How'd the jib turn out? Looks pretty good from here - think it's comparable to a professionally made sail?

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Building a Ross Lillistone First Mate

    Thanks SailFlorida, glad you're enjoying my progress. I'm really not sure how it compares. I know my stitching is nowhere near professional level. The sewing machine was really having a hard time feeding the material evenly so some of the stitches are close together and others are farther away. Overall I managed to keep the stitches inside the seam allowance ok. I tried to rip a few test panels apart and I couldn't do it, so I think the sail should be pretty durable. The sewing on the leather patches looks amateurish, but it seems to be pretty solid.

    Here's my machine setup. I bent a coat hanger into a little stand so the string would feed off the spool properly. Getting the tension right took a bit of trial and error on a scrap piece. Eventually I found a cotton ball clipped over the string provided enough tension that the stitches looked good.




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