F2 Floor

Finally got a new workshop and built one of the largest components of the F2: the floor. Seems like a long time since the top deck was made (Feb) but I have since then moved upto Sutton Coldfield for a new job and its taken a little while to find a place i can cover in epoxy.

I for the floor i decided to try a mould-less construction similar to the Hibbard style Predator floor. I wanted to try this out as a future method if i ever want to do my own hull again, and also the mould wasnt flat enough to lay in the foam pieces as i wanted. So i made a model taking measurements from the standard Dantail floor, and cut out foam panels to make an IKEA flat plack style floor.

This is my first finger skirt craft so i’ve done my best to learn from all the awesome work done by the Cons, Kips and Bills.

Flat pack! But i’ve not even bothered with any knock-down fittings and gone straight to cable ties…

6mm foam is stiff enough to be glued together at edges to make the floor shape itself. (I did use a wooden frame underneath to try and ensure it ended up the right height, although it looks like i could’ve done with a bit more support).

Then the topside is covered in reinforcements: 1 layer glass inside and 1 layer kevlar outside, with reinforcement along seams etc.

The whole lot is then flipped over so i can lay down the kevlar.

Then everything is bagged up, and i spend a few days trying to decide if i want to risk the dodgy resin that turned into porridge when i did the top deck.

I realised they updated the smallprint on the resin’s datasheet: ‘If it turns to porridge, heat to 51DegC and stir’. It wasnt pretty, but using a fan heater, lots of small pots and loud dance music, i managed to get it done. Luckily the police didnt turn up because late at night in a tucked away industrial estate this mustve looked like a scene from breaking bad.

Anyway, once i was done with my meth cook, the resin was injected into the part which infused without a hitch. The only problem was mixing up resin quick enough, some mixes were still pretty hot from the heating so i injected a few batches at 40degC! Luckily i was using the super slow hardener so none of it went off in the feed pot.

Finally i put a load of stuff on the flange which bolts to the top deck, to make sure it all cured level (or as level as the floor in the workshop).

Overall this seems like a pretty good method of making large things without proper moulds and extra help- if i were to try this using normal hand-laminating and vac bagging we would have needed at least 2 of us racing against the clock and then rushing to get a tricky vac bag on (even with a 12 hour epoxy). Using infusion, i spent a few hours after work each day laying material down and testing out the vac bag, no rushing and no sticky resin to screw everything up. Mixing up the resin is the last thing you do (even if i made it difficult for myself this time).

But is it light though? Ill find out in a few days…

Posted in: Beast, Pintail F2, Racing Diary on June 29th by admin

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