Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

I spent 3 hours yesterday and a couple of hours today laying out and cutting Frame #1. I didn't take any pic of the layout or cutting process because quite frankly I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to go.

I wanted to plunge cut all the straight lines with the circular saw but that didn't work out. It's kept wanting to climb out just as I cut through. I ended up using my Festool reciprocating saw and it worked beautifully. The trick is to use plenty of WD-40 and stop and clear the chips off the line every 5 or 6 inches. It took about 2 hours to cut it out I think.

The bummer is that it takes a full 4x8 sheet to make one frame and you can't butt weld the halves together. I'll show you why later. I sure hope I can find a home for all this left over metal. On the next frame I go through the process of laying it out and cutting it now that I know how to do it.

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Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

upspirate

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by upspirate »

Looks good.

There's got to be gussets or brackets,or something you can do with the cutoffs

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

upspirate wrote:Looks good.

There's got to be gussets or brackets,or something you can do with the cutoffs
Yes, there is a 1/4" x 1-1/2" flat bar flange that gets welded to the inner edge of the frame. For the most part, the frames float. Transverse frames are more of an aid to the builder without a full jig. It's the longitudenals that provide the hull strength. If you think about it, if the frames were providing the strength they would also be creating hard spots and that would cause cracking. I've restored a 18' production aluminum boat from a completely stripped hull. That thing was like a big gum wrapper until I got the top cap and coaming on. We've nicknamed production, (Brunswick, etc), Tinny's because of the thin 6061 aluminum that's used. This is a plate hull boat and the guys that build these for a living don't use transverse frames at all up to about 25 feet.

There are kit boats that come with a jig kit also but you need a dedicated full size build site to make that work and I don't have that kind of room.

As a side note - That frame is 1/4" thick 5052-H32. It's pretty stout.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

As promised a detailed of the frame layou process.

Lay your sheet of 1/4" aluminum on top of two saw horses. When you do this by yourself don't try to lift it up an throw it on there like a sheet of plywood. Use your head and think leverage. Make the sheet work for you. Get it close then stand it on a corner and lift one end onto one saw horse then lift the other end and kick the other saw horse under it. You can then adjust it to get them centered with very little effort.

The first matter at hand is to clean the surface. A clean surface will hold the markings better when you spray over them with WD-40 during cutting. I use Acetone, a clean rag and work gloves. The work gloves are so you don't cut your hand on the sharp edge of the sheet.

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The next thing you need to do is make sure you have everything you need to do the work. Here is a picture of everthing you'll need. Gather it up before you start and you won't have to go looking for it later. This may sound odd but how many times have you had to go looking for something and then came back and forgoten what you were doing.

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The first step in layout is to find the measured edge of the material. You want to start with the most square corner you can find. I specified that all corners would be square when I ordered the material. I bet you didn't know that they cut this from a roll and then flatten it? Anyway, I use a framing square that I have tuned and checked with a machinist square. I'm going to assume that you know that you need to tune framing squares and that you know how to use one. I couldnt place it properly and take the photo so I have it sitting relevant to the corner that was most square.

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We mark this end of the sheet with a "M" and take all of our measurements using that corner as the reference. Now well find a point 48" inches from that edge. This is suppose to be a 4x8 sheet but the cut can be within an 1/16 either way. When we take this measurement we do so at the edge of the material. Never take it from the center since your tape could be skewed and that will throw your measurement off quite a bit.

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Now well use the framing square aligned to the first mark and then mark a second point out in the field. Never, never, never, make more than two marks to form a straight line. It'll make you crazy.

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We can now use our precision straight edge to complete the line.

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Wow, that's a lot of stuff just to draw one line. It's important to get it right and now that you know how to do it you won't have to read this again! Ever!. LOL..

Continued in next post..
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

Continued from previous post -

Well now we can get down to laying out the frame. We start by laying down the full size plans. and centering them on the centerline. I use my ice pick to put small punch mark dead center of the line on the material near the bottom and then I line up the frames centerline reference point with it and it puts that edge of the plan sheet dead on the money. I then tape the plan in place and align the top edge. I use my straight edges as weights to flaten the plan and I added a small heater under the sheet to warm it. Remember how well aluminum sucks up heat.. This is a slick way to warm up your whole shop in no time at all..

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Now I find the chine point and use the ice pick and hammer to mark it into the sheet and finally the upper right corner.

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Once that is done just remove the tape, flip the plan over and repeat the process for the opposite side. Easy as pie..

Now it's just a matter of connecting the dots. The trick here is to establish a measured edge. If you do that, you can use any width marker you want because you'll be cutting to the line and not through the line. I prefer a fine tip Sharpie because for some reason I can stay on the edge of a fine line better than I can a thick line when I'm cutting with a reciprocating saw. Here I setup my straight edge so that the outer edge of the line is the measured edge. I'll use this outer edge for all my other measurements.

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Now we get out the 1/12 scale plan sheet and using that outer edge line we can transfer the measurements we take from the plans to the sheet.

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Here's a couple of tricks for making the radius's -

1. The inside of this tape roll looked about right to me so that's what I used.

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2. This next radius was a little bigger and this was the easiest way to do it. I just clamped a couple of 1x4 blocks to the sheet and used my machinist ruller to form the curve. This is supposed to be a 9" radius so I measured back 4.5" on both sides from the center of the junction. I suppose I should have broken out the dividers and done it that way but this is within a 1/16th so I think it's o.k.

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Continued in next post..
Last edited by sschefer on Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

Continued from previous post -

Here's what a fully laid out chine point looks like.

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This is all of the layout completed -

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Tomorrow I take some pictures of the cutting process.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

Cutting 1/4" 5052-H32 Aluminum is pretty easy compared to cutting steel. Here's the tools that I've found work the best.

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You also want to drill entry and exit holes so you can maximize the size of the left over material. In the end you'll have three good size pieces instead of 6 or more smaller ones.

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I've learned to use WD-40 a lot. It will extend the life of your saw blades and drill bits. Although Al is pretty soft, if it gets hot it will clog your bits and blades and render them useless. I've cut out the transom and 4 frames now and I'm on my second blade. You wouldn't get 1/4 of a single frame done if you didn't use a lubricant/coolant of some sort. I like WD-40 becasue it's easy to clean up and is none penetrating so as long as you do normal prep work for welding you won't have any problems with it as a contaminent. I tested this before I started using it.

Here's a shot of the saw and the cut. Notice the word cut written on the plate. That tells me which side of the line to stay on. If it leave the line on the correct side, I'll always have a little extra material to work with when I fit up. Since it is Al, I could always weld in a little extra material if needed but it's much easier to just knock a little off with the die grinder if I have to.

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And here's the entire frame cut out. This takes about an hour to cut with the reciprocating saw. The Festool saw has an adjustable recipricol and varible speed. You kind of just have to play with it to find the sweet spot where the saw dosen't bog or try to run away on you.

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You want to have a couple of hand clamps handy so you can clamp the cut portion. I also throw some stickers under it to help support the cutoff piece.

That's about it for cutting out frames. Hopefully you can take advantage of this and save yourself some money buying things like plasma cutters and expensive saw blades. I'll use them I'm sure but I doubt I'll need them to build this boat.

Frame #5 is layed out and ready to cut and then I just have 6, 7 to do and the Stem (3/8"). The rest of the frames are just more of the same but the 3/8" Stem might be a little challenging so I'll be back when I get to that.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

frostop
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:49 am

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by frostop »

Good stuff here, I'll be following this for sure! Kinda got a plan in my head to do a build similar to yours but not as big, probably gonna be an open boat in aluminum with an outboard jet! Keep up the good info and thank you for the extra effort! :mrgreen:

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

frostop wrote:Good stuff here, I'll be following this for sure! Kinda got a plan in my head to do a build similar to yours but not as big, probably gonna be an open boat in aluminum with an outboard jet! Keep up the good info and thank you for the extra effort! :mrgreen:
Thanks, I thought maybe some folks would be starting a boat like this and wondering the many things I did before I started. It's hard to get a clear answer from commercial boat builders that will work for us and there's not many on here that have built one either. This post should encourage those that are thinking about it to proceede since they'll be able to plan for the costs a lot easier.

As for the Outboard Jet you're thinking of, I would give it some very careful thought. Find out if there are any special interest groups in your area that are on the move to ban them from lakes and rivers. If I go forward with a Jet, I won't be able to run it on the local rivers in my area and will likely have to use a kicker motor to get into deeper water on many of the lakes I fish. The majority of the boats like the Canyon Cruiser that are being built in Oregon used to be Jet but are now predominantly conventional outboard on an offshore bracket with a center sponson. Most likely that will be my propulsion also. I'll be doing load calcs later in this post to determine how much sponson is needed to maintain the center of balance (cb).
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

frostop
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:49 am

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by frostop »

Yeah, as far as the outboard jet thing goes I should be fine for many years to come here in Idaho! Idaho is nothing like California with all the restrictions and all, not only that where I would be running the boat is on rivers that you can't run a proped motor. I would most likely pick up a Four Stroke with better emisions!

I really apprieciate your efforts here though, this way I can see what really goes into one of these builds! :wink:

upspirate

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by upspirate »

You are doing a great job on the build,and on the narrative....keep it up!

Like you say,not much to go on,and yours will help other builders.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

I've finished cutting out all the frames 1-7, the Transom and the Stem. The Stem was a little intimidating (read as me overthinking again) until I actually did it and it turned out to be really easy. I layed down the full size plan and used the ice pick to punch dents about every three inches along the line. The Stem is 3" wide throughout it's entire length so the corresponding opposite line was just marked opposite the punch marks on the metal.

I then used my 8' straight edge and a few blocks to connect the dots and draw the full line.

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I used the reciprocating saw again with Bosch 118b blades. It took two blades, a lot of WD-40 and a lot of stopping a clearing the chips off so I could see the line but whe n you consider I cut 20 ft of 3/8 5052-H32, that's not too bad.

I cleaned up the shop since the Stem was my last major cut until I start plating. Here's a shot of the 4 main frames and the transom. These are pretty close to where they'll end up except the transom has to drop down.

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The amount of time to complete the frames, transom and stem was right about 7 days. I didn't just hammer into it either I had to replace a piston in a Merc V-6 also and of course Christmas, etc. A rough estimate of time would be about 30 hours. The transom was easy since it was just layout and 4 straight cuts. The first frame took more time since it was a lot of trial and error. From then on, the process was fairly repetitive so it went reasonably fast. I'll have to admit, my 57 year old back is a little sore today. Weather permiting tomorrow I'll bolt that V-6 power head back on the customers boat and get him back on the water. After that I may start the fit up stage of the frames. That part is time consuming and critical to making the plating work without the chine bars.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

The next step is to build out the frames with flanges. After thoroughly reviewing the plans, this particular task will have to rank as difficult. I started with frame #3 because it seemed like a good place to start.

The flange is 1/4x1-1/2" flat bar that is set on the inner edge of the frame. That's all the info you get in the plans but after reading everthing again there was really only one logical way for it to be fit up. It would have been nice if this was made a little more clear but I can see how it would be hard to do.

On Frame # 3, I left the bar stock long at 12 feet, found the center and then lined it up and marked where I thought the bends should be. I then bent it and worked through my errors by clamping and heating, it turned out fine but I fought it all the way. On Frame #4 I tried a different method of not pre bending the flange and instead found center and began clamping and heating to form the bends. It doesn't take a lot of heat to soften 6061-T6 Aluminum and the curves were actually quite easy to form. It took a ton of clamps and there was a lot of frustration as they tended to slip off and drive you nuts. However, I would recommend this method for someone that didn't have a flat bar bender. It was better but still a fight.

On Frame #2, I decided to put on my fabricators hat and re-layout the frame. I then took measurements from one side, added the numbers together and multiplied by 2. I took the cuttoffs from frame #3, measured them and then subtracted that from 144 (12 ft) and lo and behold I was dead on.

Here is a pic of the frame clamped to my fabrication/welding table. Notice the use of lumber to raise it raise it off the table. This supports it fully on the smaller table top.

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I mentioned in one of my earlier post that the 1/4" plate is cut from a roll and then straightend by the vendor. Here's the result and the reason that the flanges are added. This is not a photo illusion, its actually curved that much!

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To re-establish the layout lines that are true to the cut just lay your straight edge along the inside edge of the frame and continue the line onto the area that you need to establish.

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The first order of business is the scariest. Cut the flat bar to length. I was really reluctant to do this since I have my materials figured pretty closely. I gained confidence by realizing that I would likely be able use the material somewhere else but I didn't want to find out I was off by a quarter inch after going through all that bending. Still, I forged ahead and it worked out fine.

In the previous photo you can see the flat bar clamped to the table edge. This is all you need to get the first bend. The two 9" radius's need to be done on something like this.

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When you bend a long radius like this, you bend from point a to point b but you do so in small increments and pretty much guess. You'll make a couple of trips back to the frame pre fitting until you get it where you want it.

Once it's all bent, clamp it to the frame to check the final fit. Oh, did I forget to tell you to go buy at bunch of clamps?

Image.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

sschefer
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:01 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

Welding the flange to the frame.. This is probably the easiest part of the job. Once the frame has been pre-fit, take the clamps off and wash the aluminum pieces in Dawn dishwashing liquid that has been chilled in a refrigerator. ??????? What's that all about, you say???

All soaps contain parafin. It's what gives you that squeaky clean feeling. It's not what you want on your metal if your welding and chilling it congeals the parafin so all that comes out of the bottle is detergent.

Once you've washed it you need to acid etch the mill slag off of it. I bought a gallon of Alumaprep 33 for 25.00 and a quart of Arcair prep for 25.00. After a thorough testing, save your money and buy the Alumaprep 33. They both work exactly the same.

Use a green scotch brite to scrub the metal while the acid works (were rubber gloves). After two or three minutes re-wash the metal with Dawn soap to stop the etching and then rinse it thoroughly and dry it. Dry it with a towel since water has minerals that will form deposits and you'll see it as little black spec's in your welds.

Now use a right angle die grinder with a green scotch brite pad and go over all the areas that welds will be made. Blow it off with dry air and then wipe it down with acetone. Now you're ready to clamp it up again.

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Ye gad's look at all of those clamps. I'm tig welding these so I need a good tight fitup. The trick is to feel the underside with your finger tip and make sure the edges are flush. If they're not just tap it with a hammer until they align. This will ensure that the flange sits at a right angle and most importantly, this will straghten out that curve in the frame.

You simply lay down about a 1" tack weld every 6" or so, (more often if you want). Then you remove the clamps and re-clamp the next area. You want to move from one side to the other so that the bar is sort of flowed out to the other end. You may need to trim a little of the end when you get done but that's o.k.

Here's a shots of it all tacked up.

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Plan on the bending and welding process to take about 5 hours per frame if you take your time. This is not a easy as I make it sound in this post but it's not horribly difficult. You may choose the trial and error method and that's fine just remember that I already did that for you and the best method is the method I used on frame #2.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

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jamundsen
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Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by jamundsen »

While I'm not planning an aluminum build I have really enjoyed the narrative and pictures and watching the progress you are making. What you are doing will be a big help for others wanting to build in aluminum. Thanks for taking the time.
John Amundsen
Monte Carlo
Lakeland,Fl

Work tends to get in the way of boat building

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