Aka Construction Tips (or, more accurately, "Learn From My Goof-ups")

In case anyone is building the Sailrig, let me share with you what I did wrong. These things are not easy to build.

1. If you're not building from the kit, make sure the clamping blocks are securely attached to the table, bench, or whatever you're making the mold on. The drawings show a couple of screws each. Don't be afraid to have those screws go right through the table/bench/whatever your mold is on. Especially the center block. Three screws wasn't enough. When I tightened the clamp, the block moved. I'm bolting that sucker down. The rest were okay with 2 wood screws, but I'll beef them up when I do it right next week.

2. Don't use bar clamps. Use c-clamps. Those bar clamps work really well and apply good pressure any other time, but when you build the akas, your gloves will be covered with slimey, slippery epoxy, and you won't be able to turn the knobs enough to apply adequate pressure to bend the strips onto the mold. C-clamps have the t-handled screw that you can get hold of, even when your gloves are slippery. Use 5" c-clamps on the blocks. You can use 3" c-clamps between the blocks (you'll need to clamp between the blocks).

3. Coastal Douglas fir, which is what I'm using, has a substantially higher Young's modulus than inland Douglas fir or sitka spruce, or yellow cedar, or just about anything else you might make them out of, so I may have been getting the worst-case scenario. I live in California, and my Douglas fir is coming from Oregon (if the label is to be believed). I tried a sample with c-clamps, and it seems to work, so I'll continue using it for its strength.

4. I'm building directly on my workbench. I think if I were starting over, I'd make a separate mold particle board screwed to 2x4s. 

If I mess anything else up, I'll post it. :)

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