7 August, '06
We sliced up the 2ft x 8 ft x 2in ( 600 x 2400 x 50 mm) blue
polyurethane foam sheets on the table saw, cut just a couple
of mm wider than the lead casting needed to be. Charlie has
spent a couple of days up on the boat gluing a stack of these
baulks together with Gorilla Glue. Note that this glue foams
and swells the joint unless well weighted down so we had to
carry in a stack of brick sized blocks of stone to weight it
It’s all bonded and rough shaped, impressive in its size,
needing both surface finishing and the cutting of the bolt head
While up there the power plane was taken to the leading edge
of the keel to produce the streamlined shape required, interesting
work using such an aggressive tool for fine shaping but it only
needed a small amount of tidying up with the little Stanley
block plane. Interestingly the Kwila, although very hard, works
well with hand tools on a fresh cut area. I suspect that the
kiln drying is slightly case hardening the surface making it
difficult to work from scratch.
My purchase of an Arbourtech power wood carving tool has made
the prospect of having to remove a lot of wood from the area
around the propellor aperture a much less daunting prospect.
There is a lot to carve out to fair the waterflow in that area,
and the Arbourtech when fitted to my little 115mm Ryobi angle
grinder made very short work of shaping up an offcut.
This tool is very different from the old Arbourtech which looked
much like a set of chainsaw teeth welded to the circumference
of a steel disc, it was one of the most dangerous woodworking
things I’ve ever seen and remember that I’ve worked
in sawmills a lot of my life! The second version was one that
I have used in the past, and with its tungsten carbide teeth
it worked well and was a little less of a menace.
This new one though is different again. It has a depth limiter
built in, has only three teeth, and those are tiny cup shaped
cutters (bell cutters) held in place with hex screws (allen
screws). The disc is beautifully balanced; the cutters can be
turned to a fresh edge when blunt and the whole package pretty
much what you would expect from high quality tooling.
I have the special guard that Arbourtech makes, but it prevents
the face of the disc from contacting the work and it’s
this that I want to use to make long gentle passes to produce
long fair curves rather than carve with the edge which most
sculptors would want.
On trying the tool, it works great; very little kick or torque,
it is easy to control (but is definitely not a one handed tool,
and I have the second handle fitted) and removes material in
a reasonably predictable manner. Note that even 40 grit commercial
sandpaper just smokes on this hardwood, and hand planing the
area is not an attractive idea. The Arbourtech carver seems
ideal for roughing the area and we will be showing you the machine
in action in next week’s diary.