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Thread: Centerboard Lead Fairing

  1. #1
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    Default Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Building a Seaford Skiff, much like a Melonseed, Long Island variation. Have gotten to the centerboard. 3/4" marine ply. I will pour a 7# lead insert 7" x 4" then glass the whole board. I have faired the leading and trailing edges. Not too much - grounding is a concern. So, after I pour the lead how does one fair it so it is flat with the surface? Not thinking sanding is so smart. Planing will kill my planes? Will do this all outside given lead issues. Will fill surface of insert with thickened epoxy as needed - that I can sand, but need to make sure it is flat and fair before glassing.

    Any help would be appreciated. Pic attached - if it works.

    IMG_0862.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Lead is soft enough that your plane will survive.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Much of the lead will shrink down below the surface. So you won't have to fair that. Otherwise, a course file is a good tool. I have one of those Japanese made files made of multiple hacksaw blades that works a treat. Course on one face and fine on the other. I don't enjoy using my planes on lead but they will cut it.

    Jeff

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    You could always cast the weight to shape using lead shot and epoxy resin. You might need to make it slightly bigger, but a little fairing on the top side of the casting and you are done.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Also a "Surform" tool will do the job, but leave a pretty rough surface. Given the epoxy coating that may be a good thing

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Unless you like the idea of getting burned,poisoned or the job catchin fire, a few diving weight belts cast in slow cure epoxy is your friend.
    yes, power plane works jusfine

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Thx all. Was hoping shrinkage would help. We will see. I have an old Stanley plane I can abuse if necessary. I do have one of those Japanese rasps, btw. THE best rasp, use it all the time. Wish they made a curved version. Surform is a good idea, might be the best for such a small recess. Don't have one but looks interesting. I have a pile of old lead flashing I saved which is what I will use. Anticipate a lot of crap in it can be skimmed - will see. Fire? Man, I have researched it and apparently that is rare? Hope so. Maybe I will keep the fire extinguisher near by. I have a respirator and will do this all outside. I have poured lead before but not into a wooden vessel. Should be interesting. Thx again, ONWARD.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    A sharp plane cuts that lead like butter as does a power plane
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 09-27-2022 at 11:59 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    You could always cast the weight to shape using lead shot and epoxy resin. You might need to make it slightly bigger, but a little fairing on the top side of the casting and you are done.
    That's how I did it on my current boat. It was much more pleasant than melting and pouring lead.

    Tom
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    I weighted my CB using your method. I don't recall the exact size of the pour but it was 7-8 lbs if I recall correctly. It went fine and as far as I could see the plywood (3/4" Hydrotek meranti) barely got singed. I treated the edge of the pour liberally with CPES once the lead cooled. The bottom side of the pour was very flush with the surface of the board and just required a little epoxy fairing compound around the edges. The top shrank and I just had to knock off a very little ridge around the edges; in the center it shrank down. I think it makes sense to err on the side of having the cavity in the board very slightly oversize as well, then you stand a good chance that the top side will shrink beneath the surface of the wood.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    If you have lead flashing just cut it to size, hammer it flat and stack it in the recess with epoxy between the sheets of lead.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Is the lead intended to hold the board down?There are alternatives if you can arrange a handle at the top.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    I like Willin's solution. If you do melt and pour there are several things that apply: be sure the wood is dry, enclosed moisture will turn to steam instantly causing a violent eruption known as "the tinsel fairy" because of the fine strands of molten lead spread over a large area; when melting use wood chips or wax as a flux to remove impurities, the flux will make the impurities float to the top where they can be skimmed off: don't wear flammable clothing; and keep a clear work area. Melting and pouring lead is not hard but it does require precautions.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    I also planned to pour lead into my board before deciding I would be better off casting BBs in epoxy. I’m glad I did. Casting in epoxy allows you to create an outer layer of faring filler, which makes faring easy and removes any possibility of lead dust in your work area. Because epoxy is less dense than lead, you need to increase the volume of the insert by a factor of about 1.5

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...34#post6592134

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    cover one side of the recess with 6 mil poly and tack a piece of 1/4" ply over that. Lay the board down and pour some thickened epoxy into the recess. Let it stiffen a bit and then stack your sheets of lead until youre close to the top of the recess. Pour in unthickened epoxy until your almost full. Gently tap the board with a small hammer or mallet to settle the lead and epoxy and bubbles stop coming to the top. Fill to the top with more thickened epoxy. Go have lunch.
    Seven days later, fair the board and glass it. You might not wait seven days but I always do cuz I'm scared of getting sensitized like I am to the ketones in lacquer after years of spraying it with no PPE.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    Casting molten lead into a recess is really not all that difficult. One just has to adhere to the safety rules and, mostly, be careful. Don't do anything stupid. I have cast lead in a variety of ways and have never had a mishap. Frankly, I think the process is far less dangerous than using major woodworking machinery, especially a table saw.

    Jeff

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Centerboard Lead Fairing

    If you build a tinker's dam around the pour, you will be able to overfill it and avoid any shrink problems.
    In this case the dam can be 1/8" strips of wood held down with a few brads

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