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FWAL's blog
Posted by FWAL | Feb 07, 2014 @ 09:50 AM | 2,357 Views
12 Soarers, 1 Powered glider, 1 I.C Trainer, 4 IOM hulls 2 complete race ready IOM's a couple of power boats and some spare wings all took off today on their first stop over before they are based at another Hangar/Port. It's a daunting job thinking of moving the furniture and packing away all the day to day household items but the workshop! 1 day so far and I've feel like I've only scratched the surface. Although, it will all be worth it as in just over a week when the dust has settled I'll be in a new house which is within a 5 minute walk of the slopes. It's currently 10 mins by car. I can also start from scratch setting up a new workshop and storage systems as I have a nice scratch build project and a couple of kits which need completing.
Posted by FWAL | Feb 02, 2014 @ 01:33 PM | 2,834 Views
Had numerous short races today. Would have had plenty more if I hadn't left Nigel's receiver at home and had to back to get it. Simple one lap of a windward, leeward course each leg 50m long. Short line and three IOM's taking part. Isis, Cockatoo and my Edge. Overall the racing was close and for the majority of the races the positions reflected the experience of the skippers with Doug who only started last year not quite managing to get on the start line on time. Nigel and myself jostled quite often with the results off the start being very equal. From then on it depended on which shift to tack on or if you stuck it out how good the next big lift would be! The Edge went to wind very well. I might just tweak a little more weather helm out of the rig but not a lot as today she appeared to be sailing quite high. The runs were OK until the stronger gusts came down the lake which had a bigger affect on the Edges trim than the other two IOM's. Only once or twice did she actually nose dive but generally her bow buried slightly which didn't look that impressive but I was still in control and she would just cary on running. I'll just have to get used to this trait as I'm not building another IOM anytime soon.
Posted by FWAL | Jan 25, 2014 @ 07:13 AM | 2,178 Views
Edge is my fourth IOM design and build project which I will use to compete at my local Club and a couple of district events through out the year. She is made from a Balsa core and laminated with 200g & 80g/m2 weight FG. Prior to glassing the decks a walnut veneer was applied.
Edge's maiden was quite a short affair but none the less she floats, beats and runs. The corrector weight of approximately 165g or 5.8oz will be positioned just behind the keel box as the bow was just touching the water as the transom was just above. So all in all her longitudinal balance is just about as expected. Her beam is 180m, transom 95mm and the C/L of the mast is 500mm from the transom. C/L of mast to L/E fin 15mm. Whilst beating her helm was very neutral which is fine as a bit of rig tuning can feed in a touch of weather helm. Edge's general speed and tacking appeared fast enough but extremely difficult to judge without any comparisons. Here's a short vid with my 10yr son on the TX sticks not the PS sticks
Edge Maiden (1 min 21 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Jan 21, 2014 @ 01:37 PM | 2,255 Views
All finished and ready to run. Here as some close up's
Posted by FWAL | Jan 20, 2014 @ 07:35 AM | 2,528 Views
Almost there! The rudder is fitted and scribed to the hull. I have managed keep the gap between the top of the rudder and hull very small which I'm pleased with. The steel rudder shaft is 4mm thick so the max gap is probably under 0.5mm
(pic 1)
The rudder linkage is also complete. I used 6mm dia aluminium tube and glued in M3 threaded S/S rod with 14hr Cure time (patience is a Saint) Araldite at each end. On one end is a clip clevis and the other a ball joint to prevent slop. I have also cut one of the little rubber groimts in half which come with a servo and stretched them onto the rudder shaft. One half below the control arm and one above. This not only provides a nice seal but could stop the rudder dropping out of the boat should the retaining grub screw ever become loose. This hasn't happened to me but I have witnessed this happening to a Club member (No names mentioned Nigel). The V shaped piece of plastic is attached to the thin end of the bung to help prevent loosing it, it's from a milk carton.
(pic 2)
Next I fitted the winch. With this design it's not too tricky but I did adopt what I consider to be an easy method. Place a thin wire or string through the main output shaft hole of the winch servo tray. Then pull the end through the deck aperture that the winch will pass through into the hull. Wrap the end of the wire around the threaded spline a couple of times and secure the locking bolt. Pull the other end of the wire and feed the winch into it's position. The winch can then be easily twisted round to pick up the securing bolt holes and fixed into position.
(pic 3-4)
Posted by FWAL | Jan 19, 2014 @ 04:16 PM | 1,990 Views
After 2 hrs of slope combat abuse including 2 SAS Cobras, SAS 60" Wildthing and a very scared (Out of harms way) Easy Glider it was time for a bit of Four Play
Posted by FWAL | Jan 16, 2014 @ 12:26 PM | 2,298 Views
The Bow bumper is one of those fluid jobs to do. You don't want to waste time and make it too soon or leave it too late and hold up completion. This afternoon seemed like an ideal time to tackle this task. I hadn't put much thought into it. Only "several" hours whilst trying to switch off my brain prior to getting some sleep! If you've built an IOM you'll probably know exactly what I'm talking about.
So I knew it was to be 12mm thick (min class rule 10mm) and a quick measure made it 17mm wide. I had an off cut of Cedar which would make an ideal plug and was near enough the right thickness so happy days. Cedar is a great wood for this type of job as it has a pretty true straight grain, isn't too dense so makes shaping easier than hardwoods and is naturally oily.
After a little planing and a fair amount of sanding I had a Bow bumper plug. Once I was happy with the shape I coated the plug with Carnuba wax rubbing it well into the grain. This saved the time of varnishing etc.
Then I went about making a little frame to form the sides of the mould. I drilled some holes in the sides to release the overspill filler as you have to take into account the volume of the plug whilst pushing it down into the mould. I had thought about making the mould from CSM GRP but WOW that didn't appeal to me due to the time and effort it would take. So I decided to experiment with a 2 part wood filler. After mixing the filler I spread it into the mould channel. Sprayed the waxed plug with silicone and pushed it into the filler. I was on the border of not mixing enough filler for the job but a bit of scrunched up news paper helped considerably to pad it out and also helped retain the filler in the mould channel.
An hour later the filler was dry enough to remove the plug using screws to help leaver it out and after a quick file the top was made flat. Overall I'm very impressed with the finish of the mould ;-) and the relatively short time it took to complete ;-)
Posted by FWAL | Jan 15, 2014 @ 09:03 AM | 2,164 Views
How much weight does painting an IOM really add? In the past this question has never bothered me that much. Lets be fair I'm building a balsa hull shell and covering it in fibre glass. If I ever struggled to build an IOM below minimum weight (which I haven't to date) I would omit keeping the balsa as an integral part of the hull and use the planked hull on it's shadows as a plug for a complete 100% FG hull. Now that would be interesting to do just to see the weight and stiffness differences. Although in both instances a paint finish is usually required.
I'm using Epiflanes 2K paint as it was first highly recommended to me by the builder of the UK Britpop. I painted my last IOM with it and it is indeed very very good paint. I'm expecting (hoping) to apply three coats in a time scale which doesn't require sanding between coats. Then, when I think the paint has had adequate time to harden = 4-5-6... days I'll fair it off with 800-1200 wet or dry and buff it back to a high gloss finish with rubbing compound.
So before all this starts here's the near bare hull on the scales; 663g or 23.4 oz

3c'ts plus 2c'ts of laquer on the decks = 18grams or 0.63oz. If I had picked a darker colour then 2c'ts would have done the job and I would have saved approx 5g or the weight of the M4 bolt which secures the fin to the hull!
Posted by FWAL | Jan 03, 2014 @ 07:57 AM | 2,313 Views
Wood has a certain quality, feel, look that fibre glass can not compete with. Carbon does come close but wood is good! Therefore, I have compromised the weight ever so slightly and veneered the decks with Walnut. The rear deck was glued in place two days ago and yesterday received one layer of 80g/m2 fibre glass. This morning prior to a refreshing walk around a very wind swept South Gower coast I glued on the fore deck and will glass that this evening. Looks as if the next week will be spent applying another couple of coats of resin and plenty of sanding prior to painting. I must mention that I almost paid 48 for Epifanes paint inc delivery but clicking another page over certainly paid off, I managed to purchase the same 2K paint inc delivery from Norfolk Marine eleven pounds cheaper.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 24, 2013 @ 09:54 AM | 2,444 Views
Festive fun, family, food a little drink and a lot of fettling!
Posted by FWAL | Dec 17, 2013 @ 03:07 PM | 2,104 Views
This morning the cramps came off the pot recess. A little bit of trimming and sanding and I'm happy with the result. The bottom of the recess is curved so water will run out easier when the yacht is heeling and the overall oval shape keeps the volume down whilst allowing the lid to be easily removed.
This balsa and liteply part will be glued to the underside of the deck which will have a matching oval aperture cut out.
Below is a photo of the BOR's miniature pot which only housed the RX. Again the canted sides of the recess is to allow water to drain out and gain access to remove the lid.
The last photo shows the size and location, of the recess. The BRC winch will be located on the Port side of the fin case. The rudder servo (futaba 3050) will be located on the starboard side and the 3S LiFe battery and rx will be in the pot. I think it's really important to keep the weight as close as possible to the Centre of Balance or put another away make the bow and stern as light as possible. The circular disc in the bottom of the photo is to stiffen the joint between the mainsheet post and hull.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 16, 2013 @ 09:36 AM | 2,328 Views
Now that Wiz is starting to resemble an IOM I have decided to re-name her. Wiz is now Edge. Why? due to her design there is a hard edge along her freeboard and I just feel Edge reflects the boats looks and character a lot better than Wiz. Here's a couple of photo's of progress thus far.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 16, 2013 @ 01:19 PM | 4,954 Views
Planking complete, pleased with the results. The transom is 90mm wide but looks a lot more in these photo's.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 11, 2013 @ 04:57 AM | 2,207 Views
Wiz will be the third IOM which will be constructed on 6mm thick foam board shadows. Foam board is readily available from hobby stores and is cheaper and easier to cut than say 1/8 ply. The slightest of draw backs is that the pins don't always produce a good hold. However, I have found that inserting the pins at an angle ensuring the pin projects through the paper surface of the board definitely increases it's holding capabilities.
To ensure the tightest of gaps between each balsa strip I rub over each edge with a small sanding block and 120 grit paper. The first edge which will be the open edge is sanded at 90 degrees, then I turn the strip over and sand the edge that will be glued at a slight chamfer. The angle of the chamfer normally increases towards the bow and stern to ensure a good gap free joint.
I have also found out that using the glue sparsely is the best way to reduce sanding and also vastly reduces the grab time. If you think about it you don't need a lot of glue to adhere 1/8 or 3mm thick strips of balsa together. Trust me sanding large globules of glue run off from inside a hull is a thankless chore.
Over time the hull slowly evolves. With this particular IOM I'm restricting myself to two strips on each side before leaving it alone for a couple of hours for the glue to cure. Whilst this is happening I add a couple of rubber bands and perhaps temporary wedges just keep everything nice and snug.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:49 AM | 5,188 Views
Wiz - someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
Wiz- or Wizer is street slang for the drug Speed

My Wiz IOM is a combination of the two
Posted by FWAL | Oct 28, 2013 @ 04:34 AM | 2,336 Views
Great Gower Gorse
It's not often I will sing the praises for Gower gorse bushes, they usually badly scratch or seriously damage my gliders. Yesterday was an exception. You know the saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" Well in this case the wind was a lot stronger on the other side of the bush. In this case it was 46 - 48mph and after an hour of battling we surrendered.
Here's a collection of soarers with a 30yr generation gap between the oldest and newest!
Posted by FWAL | Oct 25, 2013 @ 06:22 AM | 2,371 Views
Here's a photo of my local slope. OC has just launched his vintage Fat Box (25-30yrs old). Not long after the heavens opened My normal slope is in the background 10 mins from my front door. It works best on a South Westerly but accommodates West to South very well. This photo was taken from the South to South East slope which has a lot smaller landing zone.
Posted by FWAL | Oct 23, 2013 @ 10:07 AM | 2,809 Views
Following a fairly long cooling off period I have now settled on the design and transposed Wiz's plan and section drawings into bodyplan patterns. These are drawn on coloured paper which helps greatly whilst cutting around the individual shapes to produce the shadows. There are twenty hull shadows and eleven fore deck shadows.
The final design has the same beam and rocker as the 7BOR. However, the transom is narrower and the bow fuller. A rebate has been introduced along the mid ships freeboard to help reduce leeway whilst heeling. The foredeck has been specifically designed to improve the hulls aerodynamics whilst at the same time promote the end plate effect from the foot of the jib. The transom is narrower and has more curve in the cross section to help reduce drag when the water leaves the hull. The Mast will be lowered which in turn allows the whole of the aft deck freeboard to be reduced again improving the aerodynamics and lowering the centre of balance.
Posted by FWAL | Oct 15, 2013 @ 02:42 PM | 2,349 Views
Far from being boring I've tried to have a bit of fun with imovies. Hope you enjoy watching. I certainly enjoyed designing, building and racing the 7BOR. Although now is the time of year to design & build next years weapon!

7 BOR 2013 (0 min 54 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Sep 18, 2013 @ 09:52 AM | 3,847 Views
Yep, the ME 109 is all but finished. All that is left is to acrylic varnish the undersides. However, there is one slight problem. I thoroughly enjoyed this build especially the camouflage and markings. OK to the expert eye they aren't of the correct scale or dimensions but they were hand painted after all. I can definitely see myself doing another PSS wooden kit model again.
The wing is fastened using a 5mm nylon bolt located in a captive nut which has been glued to 3mm ply. This is located in a grooved ply former fastened to the wing doublers. Therefore making it easy to remove and replace should it break on a heavy landing.
The rudder is a pull pull affair. I have crossed the control wires in the fuse to perhaps give a better angle of exit-entrance out of the fuse sides and thus reduce friction and wear. The elevator servo and rx are positioned under the forward hatch.
It took 150 grams of lead to balance the 109. As can be seen, I managed to fit it all in the spinner. The models AUW is 1500grams (3.3lbs)
Now I just have to set up the spoilerons and she's ready for his first sortie.