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Free Yacht Chapter 3: Fix Broken Stix and other Trix

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On the maiden voyage of the free yacht I broke the tiller by standing on it. Sure it sounds dumb, but if I hadn't done that I'm sure something worse would have happened. That's the sort of relationship I have with tillers and rudders.

Continues the saga begun at How to Get a Free Yacht

epoxy pix by Nick Papadakis

Here's the broken stick we're going to fix.
If you like hospital shows, please note the comminuted fractures on the proximal end of the avulsed fragment.

continues the Free Yacht saga begun at How to Get a Free Yacht

Here's the table of contents of the whole saga:
Chapter 1: How to Get a Free Yacht
Chapter 2: Maiden Voyage of the Free Yacht
Chapter 3: Fix Broken Stix and other Trix
Chapter 4: Outboard Motor Mutilates Foot
Chapter 5: It's sinking and it's on Fire.
Chapter 6: How To Give Away a Free Yacht
Chapter 7: Get an Even Better One and Fabulize it.
Chapter 8: Celebrate Freedom
Chapter 9: Technicolor Dreamboat
Chapter 10: Privateer Knot
Chapter 11: Dismasted!
Chapter 12: Kiteboat!
Chapter 13: Mast Raising

 
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Step 1: Clean Out the Injury

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The splinters on both sides of the break prevent the pieces from fitting together properly.
So I cleaned up the mating surfaces with a crooked knife.

Step 2: Decant Some Epoxy

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Don your chemical suit (gloves and goggles) and squirt some epoxy. I get mine from US Composites in W. Palm Beach FL with metering pumps. I did half a shot each of A and B. The pumps wear out, gulp air and give you short shots unless you use the right body english. Replace them with each new jug. This is "fast" style epoxy, contrasted with "medium" and "slow". Fast means you leave it overnight before it's strong.

Don't ever use "Five Minute" epoxy for anything. It's unpatriotic, not waterproof, poisonous, bad tasting, and makes girls hate you. Avoid polyester resin also. It's not a good adhesive for most woods. This is mahogany, which means it's reddish and no one knows what species it really is, so stick with epoxy.

Step 3: Mix it up

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I like to mix epoxy, paint, and anything else with a bent wire. Size it for the job at hand. I've tried many different shapes of bent wire and have settled on the asymmetrical right angle. All other shapes are equally good. Purists don't like to beat so much air into their glue so they mix it by hand 27 strokes with a straight stick. That's good also.

Step 4: Thicken it with Flour

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Add enough white flour to to thicken the stuff. Some say "like pancake batter", some say "like peanut butter". I like it in between, like organic peanut butter. The thickening keeps it from running out of the joint. The nightmare that terrorizes epoxy users is the "starved joint".

You can add fumed silica to make epoxy thixotropic (not flowing)or hollow glass or plastic microspheres to make it light and bulk it up. Wood flour is conventional for gluing applications. That's fine sanding dust. You can get it segregated by fiber length if you crave certainty and perfection. White flour is just as good. Whole wheat flour isn't. The extra vitamins make it too greasy and lumpy.

Step 5: Goober it all up and Squish it Together

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You want plenty of glue so it will squeeze out of the joint. Leave the blobs on there, because some if it will get sucked into the joint when the wood soaks up epoxy.

Step 6: Clampett

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I mean clamp it. With a wrapping of innertubes. Then go home. It'll be ready in the morning. If it slides the wrong way pound in a thin little nail and leave the head exposed so you can pull it out later.

Step 7: The Next Day, Unwrap it

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You just cut yourself on sharp pieces of dried glue and are bleeding all over.
That's where mahogany stain comes from.
Your hand is a mess but the tiller is looking much better.

Step 8: Sand it Flat

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Grind off the glue goobers with a beltsander or other flattening device.

Step 9: Round the Hole

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Chip the major goobers out of the hole with a chisel, in this case a sharpened screwdriver like Michaelangelo used to use. Then use a rasp to grind off the rest of the irregularities. Got some crutches or a ski pole I can have? I could use a handle for that rasp.

Step 10: Varnish it

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Or use linseed oil. After this I chopped the brush handle short so I could leave it in the can.

Step 11: Ta Daa!

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And there it is, happily on the boat and ready for action. I think I better make a spare out of ash or oak, this one seems kind of wimpy compared to what our neighbors have.

Step 12: Other Tricks: Shore Power

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I had the right goofy connector so I made my own shore power adapter a.k.a pigtail.

If you unplug this, my bilge pumps stop and our boat slowly sinks at the dock.

Step 13: Ball Fenders

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Storebought fenders cost mucho dinero. These two were free, work just as well, and are better tetherballs.

Step 14: Boxing Glove on Bowsprit

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It definitely needed one.
Maybe the other glove should go on the boom.