Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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

Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

Thank you John. When I started looking at plans for a boat I noticed that when it came to Aluminum that there wasn't a lot of info that I could use in making my decision. My hopes are that in the future when folks look for plans that they can use this thread to make an informed decision.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

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

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

Post by sschefer »

I finsihed the flange on Frame #6 last night. Funny, it was the least complex as far as bends but the most difficult because of it's location. I had to break out some 1-1/2" angle and make up some wedges so I had something to clamp too. Fortunately, after Frame #1 with it's multiple bends, (I'll post a pic when I get it final welded), I had plenty of practice at bending and I didn't need a lot of pressure to get the flat bar in tight.

That completes the fitting and tack welding of all the frame flanges. The flat bar bender is now out of the shop until I need it again much later in the build. There's that planning thing again.. I can't stress how important it is to think way ahead and often outside the box when you're building a boat this size in limited space. It will save you a ton of frustrations that would take all the fun out of the process.

I forgot to order curved edge flap disk's for grinding the fillet tack welds so I just did that. I'll be using a 4" Bosch diamond concrete blade mounted on my 4-1/2" grinder to do the back chipping which I'll also show in the next thread. Yes, this is a dangerous tool but as long as you respect it you can use it with a fair degree of safety. I may go get a pair of gloves with steel finger guards or just make some sort of a guard to protect my hands. You don't have to worry about it comming apart on you like a compostion wheel so from that aspect it's acutally a little safer. The key point is that the diamond blade won't contaminate the Al so the chance of unknowningly creating a bad weld is lessened.
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 »

Last night I finshed the full welding of Frame #6. The round edge flap discs made the job of grinding down the tack welds very easy. A lot of folks don't grind the tacks and instead just weld over them and smooth them out. I don't think that's a good way since tacks are sort of just a down and dirty way to make something hold temporarily. Suit yourself on that subject.

Here's the edge weld ground and ready to final sand and finish.

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Here's the Fillet weld, this will remain as is.

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Here's that Frame #1 I was talking about earlier. The cutout in the center is for the oil pan clearnce. That flange is all one piece of flat bar. I've pretty much decided to go outboard with this boat but just incase I change my mind anytime (even after it's finished) I could always convert to an inboard. I don't want to permanently exclude options.

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Here's a little perspective of where we are right now. I'm working on the forward frames first so that I can put them behind me and then move my welding table and start working from the transom forward. It's the way I have to do it because of my limited space.

Image
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

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

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

Post by frostop »

Sscefer,

Looking really good, so far I think that my biggest concern is the welding!
I have lots of experience with steel but the aluminum is more difficult, I'll just have to do some more practicing!
I picked up a Miller 212 with spool gun which should get the job done on all the structural welds and may try and get tig for all the exterior welds!

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

Post by sschefer »

frostop wrote:Sscefer,

Looking really good, so far I think that my biggest concern is the welding!
I have lots of experience with steel but the aluminum is more difficult, I'll just have to do some more practicing!
I picked up a Miller 212 with spool gun which should get the job done on all the structural welds and may try and get tig for all the exterior welds!
I have a 212 with the spool gun upgraded with the heavy duty barrel. I run .045 wire in it for the 1/4" and above stuff. It works pretty well. I personally like TIG'n the Al better. It's tedious but the weld is much stronger when I weld. There might not be that big of a difference if someone else was doing the welding.
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 »

This is the back chipping process. You back chip to remove any contaminated metal that may have accumulated when there are welds on the opposite side. Contamination occurs because there is no shielding on the back side of the weld. It's not entirely nececesary on this piece but I do it anyway.

Here's the initial grind -

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Here it is after runing the curved flap disk over it -

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And finally brushed and cleaned with Acetone -

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I finished the edge weld last night. My TIG settings were 225 amps with 80/20 Ar/He mix and running fast pulse mode with peak pulse amps set to 185. These settings keep the weld from going over the edge on the 1/4" flange and concentrate it into the center of the joint for maximum penetration. I was running a 3/32 2% lanthanated tungsten with a #7 cup, gas lense and 25cfh of gas flow. Gas flow needs to be increased because the Helium floats the gas up and you need more CFH to keep enough on the weld.
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 »

I finished welding and grinding on frames 1-4 and 6. Next step is to put as many of the stiffners on that I can at this point then mount frames 5, 6 and 7 to the stem.

Pictures comming this weekend if all goes according to plan.
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
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Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

First big mistake -

Apparently when I fitted up the flanges to the frames, my use of clamps and the direction I was clamping casued nearly 4" of shrink to occur at the top (sheer) of the frames. My attempts to correct it with hydraulic jacks only created more distortion in the frame. You can imagine the thoughts that went through my head as I invisioned discovering this after I'd plated the boat.

I was ready to succomb to buying 4 new sheets of 1/4 but stopped short after talking to my local supplier. 5052 is pretty forgiving so I cut the flange off Frame #4 with my festool saw. That was pretty easy. I followed that up by squaring up the edges with a flap disc on my 4-1/2" grinder. I don't think I lost more than 1/8" off the inside of the frame which isn't critical.

The next move was to try and square up the frame. I got myself 4 2x4x8' and clamped them up square to my bench top. I put a few reference marks on them and made a 1x4 x 7' spreader for the shear ends.

I started clamping at the centerline of the keel and worked as evenly as possible around and up to the sheer ends. By the time I got there I was only out 1/2" and was able to readjust the clamps and get it to fit into the spreader.

The next move was to make the flange out of three pieces instead of one. I started with the 30" center piece. I carefully fit it and tack welded it. I then added 2" stitch welds letting each weld cool before doing the next. I then did the same thing with the left side radius (one piece).

I had a couple of fights along the way with the width of my jig so I'm going to modify it today before I weld in the right side radius piece. I'll take pictures of it then and maybe someone reading this won't make the same mistake I did. It'll cost me about 100.00 in flat bar to correct it but it would have been well over a 1,000.00 if I had to remake them.
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 »

How could this have been prevented in the first place? Clamp the frame flat to the bench before you welded the flange on? Or maybe tack welded a brace across the top?

I know when they chop a top or section the body on a hot rod, they tack weld in lots of bracing that gets cut out later after the modifications are complete.

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

Post by sschefer »

Here are a few pics of what's turning out to be a better way.

There seems to be a couple of mistakes. First I should have used a spreader for the top like I have now. Second, making the flange from three pieces reduces the need to wrestle a 10' piece of flat bar and reduces the odds of getting it all tweaked. Third if the flat bar is a little tweaked from the bending just let it go. Don't try to match the edge of the frame with the edge of the flat bar. Just find where it fit's best and weld it. Nobody's ever going to see these things anyway so as long as they are soundly welded you're good to go. I suspect I'll get better at the bending as time goes on.

The form -

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Better holding system -

Image

Making the flange out of 3 pieces lets me be a little off with the bending. There's no way to keep the piece perfectly square in the bender and no way to straighten it after it's bent. That's what was causing some of the problems.

I figured out when I was putting the last radius piece in that if the piece is a little bit tweaked from the bending, you just have to let it go or try again. Mine weren't out enough to redo but I also didn't try to force the perfect fit. I just welded it together and ground off the visual imperfections.

I made back a little over 3" of width on the first one I did this way. I'm still shy by about 1/2" but that's acceptable and I can spread the frame with just my own strength.

I've got frame #3 cut and in the form now. Dang I hate doing things twice but if it aint right it aint right and that's just the way it is.
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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DaveLott
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Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by DaveLott »

Steve - I am not a welder by any stretch of the imagination. So I am finding your work remarkable. Will be following closely

dave
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sschefer
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Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by sschefer »

upspirate - There are probably a dozen things to take into account. The 5052 comes off a roll and when you cut these frames out of a full sheet the stuff tends to try to go back to it's rolled up form. There's a significant bow to it to start with.

Then there's bending that flat bar flange. Trying to keep it square in the bender is almost impossible when it's a 12' length to start with. If you get it just a little off it will telegraph through the entire piece. I made the problem worse by trying to keep a flush edge with the bar and the frame.

I also may have shrunk it with the heat of welding it all around like I did. I did that after I had it tacked and it wasn't clamped down or anything. I was pretty careful to watch the heat so I'm not sure if that was a contributor or not. I'm not welding all around this time.

Frame #4 (the first one I redid) seems to be pretty good not but I will build some sort of spreader for it using the form as a brace. I'm afraid that if I don't I'll have some real fairing problems down the road. I'm sure the length of the longitudinals would be less than they should be.

My saving grace is time but I would like to get this thing done before I order my wheel chair.
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 »

DaveLott wrote:Steve - I am not a welder by any stretch of the imagination. So I am finding your work remarkable. Will be following closely

dave

Thanks Dave, words like yours keep me going on days when things don't go according to plan.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

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

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

Post by Oyster »

This is yet another neat project, a learning one for many of us too.

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billy c
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Re: Canyon Cruiser Project - Aug 2010 - Aug 2013

Post by billy c »

thanks Steve for sharing this...
the first build i've seen in aluminum this well documented on the forum!
learning lots from your building and am sure the metal gurus will give you lots of help if needed :D
-Billy
(insert Witty phrase here)
Billy's Belle Isle website

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