Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ulu Sails, cutting cloth

Still at it!

A few days ago, I set up both the little Tioga RV and the Foretravel big guy, outside the RV building.  Then plumbed the drainage together into the available septic tank drain.  Nice to have inexpensive PVC plumbing parts available everywhere!

 A friend, Dave Barker, who helped with sewing the sails together for last years project, has offered to drive over to Live Oak from Navarre, Florida to help with this batch. So,  I set up the Tioga (24') so he can have some private space when he wished it, and created more work space in the building.  Double plus; 2 living spaces and more workspace!
          The ' Forward' cardboard pattern (1of 2) for the Main Sail, is layed out for marking the cloth.
    4 layers at a time can be cut: fuscia on top, then yellow, orange and silver cloth underneath!

The cutting of the 2 pieces required for the main sails has proceeded well, as has the single Jib cloth, by using a hot knife bought from Sailrite.  Much better than last years use of a soldering iron attachement.
The procedure cutting 4 layers is a bit slow because of the thickness, but  4 layers?  In the end, much faster production.  Not fast, but faster.....
                                      The 3 cardboard patterns:  (Main left(2) and Jib right(1).
Next, I've been cutting the 2" strips that will overlap all the external edges of the sail for required  reinforcement.  To do that, I set up a wooden jig and have been using a 10' long aluminum rectangular  box tube I found in Lowes building department.  It is the perfect straight edge and is exactly 2" so is the perfect size.  Lot's and lot's of marking and cutting though.  I've estimated that each sail takes just under 40' of edging, so that is (4)  10 foot strips...

10 sails = 400 feet
100 sails = 4000 feet
225 sails = 9,000 feet!  Yikes!

For the moment,  I'm stopping at 200 Main Sails and 60 jibs (260 total)  The reason is, much of this is trial and error.   I am a near amatuer at sail making- just 'handy'.  No need to waste any cloth, so have brought the numbers up to 260 for and then...will see what I have left in cloth and time, when these are done!.  With luck, I can make 265 sails total, out of the 1100 yards purchased.

Well, so far..............I have cut over 7700 feet of the 2" strips ... in just over a week.  That is 1.5 miles of marking lines on the cloth and cutting the stips!  I'm tired of cutting strips-back hurts- so moving on to another stage..  Before done, I will return to every stage to use ALL the cloth.  This reminds me of my days of running marathons.....  it seems I gravitate towards things that required 'endurance'. 

So, now into cutting out the corner reinforcement triangles.  It takes 2 for each corner, one larger/one 8 per Main sail and then 6 per Jib   2180 triangles or 1' squares!

 Just as I did for the larger patterns for the sail itself, I have cut out cardboard patterns for these corner pieces.  Everything that can be done to speed up.. or ease the effort.. on each step is being done.
 So far so good.
Wish the weather was a bit warmer though; this unheated garage can get pretty cold in the mornings and late afternoon as the temps have been ranging from 26 - 40 degrees in the mornings.

Pete is happy to run around inside the building while I work. He has a chew rope that he runs around with, throwing it into the air, then grabbing it and running some more.  When he's tired of  that, and pestering me for more petting, he goes to his bed and chews on his other toys.  When he gets bored, I put him back in the heated motorcoach.

Life in the fast lane!  Well, I plan on it in a few months from now................!