True Grit Aluminum Build

Steel and aluminum boatbuilding. See: "Boatbuilding Methods", in left-hand column of the Home page, for information about alloys.

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polynimbus
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 9:08 am
Location: Idaho

Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by polynimbus »

Got the last of the seams welded out (switched to TIG for the plate butt welds, I was worried about plate distortion but didn't get any measurable "pucker"), and performed the first of what I expect to be a few flips this weekend. The boat sure grew once I could see the full internal volume without all the building fixtures. Flip went smoother than I expected, only about an hour beginning to end. Used a single sling in the back and the bow eye, with a cross-spall where the sling crossed the shear to keep the sides in position. All of the original fixture spalls are still in, I will keep those in until I get the raised shear and gunwhale installed. It's now on the trailer to move it under cover for winter work.

The plan now will be to back-gouge and weld all the inside seal-welds now that they are down, in position welds. I anticipate a few cold spots from the outside welds so I will use the gouging as an opportunity to check penetration and cut out any issue welds. Once I flip back over to install the stern tube I can dress the outside welds again (at least that's the plan). After inside basic welds it will be on to the bulwark/raised sheer...still head-scratching the junction between bulwark and gunwhale top.
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JimmY
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by JimmY »

I'm no welder, but those are some nice looking welds. Impressive build you have going there.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

Kevin Morin
Posts: 774
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:36 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by Kevin Morin »

polynimbus,
I actually prefer to weld the inside hull seams and other welds overhead, standing flat footed on the shop floor, as compared to having to kneel down and reach below my knees with the torch to weld when the hull is keel down doing the same welds.

My experience with the over head welds is that the vastly improved 'reach' and freedom of movement with the torch overhead, or at should ht., allows me to put in much better welds compared to crunching-up my chest while kneeling down.

Back gouging seam weld penetration is easier for me working under an up turned hull as well; since i can get near the work while next to the tool instead of being near the work while having the tool hide the cutter from me with the blade guard.

Hull looks nice.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kevin Morin

miked54610
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:34 am
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Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by miked54610 »

This is my first visit to this website.

johnmick658
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:00 am
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Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by johnmick658 »

Great

polynimbus
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 9:08 am
Location: Idaho

Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by polynimbus »

I know the purists here probably think aluminum builds are sacrilege, but I figured I would give an update in case anyone has insight or if it can provide insight to anyone going down this road in the future.

Bulwarks are mostly complete, and most of the internal weld out is done. Using masonite for skin templates and transferring to the flat sheets has proven to be a good way to get patterns for the skins. I tried a few different methods, but with practice it's the easiest way to get semi-rigid patterns that transfer well to the aluminum sheets. It also is an easy (and cheap) way to verify both sides are symmetrical before cutting the aluminum. If one side has an anomaly it's easy to fix it and recut a $10 template before committing to the aluminum.

The forward two bulkheads and berth tops are in, so it's starting to get easier to picture the layout and get a better idea of how I will finish the superstructure out. Most of the True Grit builds I have seen so far vary substantially above the waterline (which is a good thing) so the flexibility in the design makes for a fun experience in visualizing exactly how you want it to be laid out.

Next steps are to finish the top cap (gunwhale the term might be?) all the way around and get the carling all the way around. Should give it enough torsional rigidity to remove the temporary spalls (this long of a boat seems to want that "railing" structure to give it real strength until the sole is in) and start with tank/engine considerations.
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JimmY
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: True Grit Aluminum Build

Post by JimmY »

Nothing wrong with an Aluminum boat. I just worry about all that beer without a home! :lol:

But seriously, the skills are different but I can appreciate the work you've done. It looks great. Keep posting.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

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