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Project Log:  Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To close off the ends of the tankage compartments, I needed some small transverse bulkheads.  After some thought, I elected to maintain these at the same height as their longitudinal counterparts; I'd add to their  height later as needed, once I determined how the whole area would grow from the foundations I was installing now.

To that end, I created cardboard templates of the shape required, then cut and fitted the bulkheads from more 12mm marine Meranti plywood.  I secured the new bulkheads in place, square, plumb, and level, with epoxy adhesive, supplemented with some dabs of hot glue to hold the piece to the end of the longitudinal bulkhead and a temporary clamping block to hold the hull end.


Later, when the adhesive had cured sufficiently, I removed the clamps and installed epoxy fillets at the edges of the new bulkhead (keeping them to a bare minimum on the inside since I didn't want to impinge on the space required for the tanks' clearance), then installed biaxial tabbing inside and out, including over the corner between the two bulkheads to secure them together.  I let the excess tabbing at the hull end extend over the top of the plywood for later trimming.

While I was at it, I epoxy-coated the bare plywood inside the space.


The centerline fuel tank beneath the cockpit--the original location--required a platform to rest upon, which would also ease installation.  With the tank on the bench, I cut a 12mm plywood section a bit larger in width and the same in length as the bottom of the tank, then added some 18mm side pieces, which would act to hold the tank in place on the platform, give me a place to tab the platform to the hull, and provide mounting structures for tankage straps.


After epoxy-coating the plywood edge grain, I secured the sides to the platform with 2" stainless steel screws and thickened epoxy adhesive, which I also used to create a small fillet at the inside corners.  Then, I reinforced the joint further with a layer of 6" biaxial tabbing.  I left the assembly to cure overnight.


Total Time Today:  6 hours

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