The new TIG welding gun we have been waiting for several months now finally arrived this week and so Sezgin has been having great fun breaking it in and diving into the backlog of welds that we wanted done with TIG rather than MIG. Read on to find out what that means and all the other many questions you’ve always wanted to answer about welding!
Most people would not be too familiar with these two different welding methods of TIG and MIG and I don’t intend to belabour it here but the basic differences are simple enough to understand and will help you understand why we chose to use both to match up best with a given set of needs. Additionally one of my hopes for this blog is that in addition to some general interest and the entertainment typically surrounding me, that there is also some good learning offered and this seems like a great teachable moment to capitalise upon. Having spent about 15 years as a teacher and instructor of industrial arts and “shop” classes in Canada and Europe, I guess there is always the “once a teacher, always a teacher” elements here. And of course we all know, I am severely “brevity challenged” and so I will try to keep in mind that other saying that “All teachers suffer from premature explanation” and keep this as short as I am capable of and all relative to the building of Möbius.
Addressing the acronyms first MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas and TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas. Oh Gee, now THAT is helpful Wayne!
This graphic shows both how similar these two types are, how these work and upon closer inspection (click to expand) shows the basic differences as well.
In MIG welding, when the welder pushes the button on the MIG “gun” three things happen;
the aluminium wire rod is power fed from a large spool inside the welding machine or spool gun and starts exiting out the tip of the welding gun.
the wire is “charged” by connecting to the electrical power set on the welding machine which is what creates the arc that provides the heat to melt the aluminium.
3. the inert gas, typically a mix of mostly Argon for aluminium, begins to flow out the end of the gun surrounding the wire. This inert gas is neccessary to keep out any oxygen from the air and allow the molten aluminium to stay a clean liquid till it solidifies. The work piece, aluminium plates or pipes in our case complete the circuit back to the welder by a ground cable so an intense small arc forms between the wire and the work piece which simultaneously melts the aluminium wire and the aluminium plate forming a puddle of momentarily molten aluminium which quickly cools back to solid which forms the welding bead as the welder carefully moves the tip of the gun along the area to be welded.
The welding principles remain the same for TIG welding with an aluminium rod and work piece being melted by an intense electrical arc surrounded by an envelope of inert gas to prevent the molten metal from oxidizing. But notice how different the end of the TIG gun is.
With TIG the aluminium wire is now a short straight rod which the welder holds, upper right in this picture ………… …. and carefully feeds into the molten puddle created by the arc formed between the sharp point of a stationary tungsten electrode you see protruding out of the TIG gun being in the two photos above and held at about the angles shown above.
Both MIG and TID create similarly strong welds so what’s the big deal? Mostly speed of welding, ease of access and space available for the welding gun tip, operator skills and looks.
MIG welding is the best when you have long runs of continuous welds to lay down and hence you have been seeing Sezgin our master welder using a MIG gun to lay down literally miles and miles of welds to join all the plates and pieces that make up our hull. With the welding wire being power fed you can weld non stop for a long as you want. TIG is the best choice when you have smaller more intricate welds such as welding up the tube frames for bicycles and motorcycles with joints such as these examples from when Sezgin was dialing in the new TIG gun.
The box of aluminium TIG welding rods is in the upper right here with another one of the test welds underneath. With most of the long continuous welding of the hull being completed we now have some more intricate shapes to weld up as we move into fabricating aluminium pipe like the railings you saw last week and the large folding arch you see Uğur starting to fabricate here. Zooming in will give you a good Before” shot of that box frame on the arch which Sezgin and his TIG gun soon transformed into this “After” shot. Even if you don’t know anything about welding I think you can appreciate the beauty of the beads of weld TIG produces in the hands of a talented welder. This beauty is much more than skin deep as these welds are extremely even and fully penetrated. Given our low maintenance “no paint” rule having welds that look this good with no additional work required to smooth them out is a huge plus.
Wondering what this TIG welded box frame on the arch is for?
I will let this fun little animated rendering which Burak kindly put together for us answer that best.
I will get into more of the details in following blog posts here as this fold down arch and SkyBridge roof is assembled but we are very eXcited about this very special feature which Dennis worked with us on so diligently and which Team Möbius are now hard at work transforming from the 3D model into real aluminium. With the arch being able to fold down to what we refer to as “Canal Mode” we cut our Air Draft or overall height from the waterline to the top of the arch frame (not including Radar, antennae, etc.) from about 6.4m/21ft down to about 4.5m/15 ft which opens up a huge range of canals and other places in the world with low bridges or other height restrictions.
Additionally and perhaps even more importantly, we can really hunker Möbius down to a very low profile when we are have her in the water or out on the hard on land in a high hurricane/cyclone area as we have been many times in our previous boats. In these situations we have experienced winds in excess of 200 km/h / 125MPH which were strong enough in one case when we had our previous boat up on the hard doing a major refit in Fiji, to collapse the stands and blow us over on our side. Yes we were inside at the time Hurricane Winston peaked right over us that story is for another time. Being able to so substantially lower the surface area we present to such severe winds will help ensure we don’t experience a “ride” like that again! We will also have plywood storm shutters we can bolt in place around the full set of glass windows surrounding the SuperSalon which should enable us to deal with some of the most damaging aspects of hurricanes and cyclones; flying debris.
Meanwhile up at the bow awaiting their date with Sezgin and the new TIG gun, these railings are now all tacked together and fitted into their pipe sockets in the edge of the Rub Rails. Yet to be added are dolphin watching seats on both sides. I received several questions about this “socket” system we are using to solidly support our stanchion posts and railings so here are some more detailed shots of how this works.
The primary parts of this KISS and eXtremely robust support system consists of 60mm thick walled aluminium pipe which extends down about 250mm/10” through and welded top and bottom of the 10mm/ 0.4” thick Rub Rails.
These black sleeves which are custom machined here by our Naval machinists from blanks of solid Delrin which is a type of eXtremely tough plastic with very high tensile strength and equally low creep and moisture absorption …………. are a snug press fit into the 60mm ID pipes and then the 40mm OD aluminium pipes used to build the stanchion posts and the railings are a snug sliding fit to the ID of the Delrin sleeves. This firmly holds the posts with no wiggling but ensures they can be easily taken apart in the future thanks to eliminating any metal to metal contact To keep everything in place a stainless bolt and nylock nut will be inserted into a hole drilled through the whole assembly just above the weld here.
This system for all our stanchions and railings are examples of how we ensure safety remains our top priority in designing and building these XPM type boats. While there are aspects of our design and some of the devices we carry onboard to deal with POB or Person Over Board situations our primary focus is on preventing anyone from going overboard in the first place.
I also received some questions about the “sidewinder” design we have for our anchor roller assembly and how that is all supported to deal with the strong forces this area will experience when punching through high seas and situations which can bury the bow at times. The welding is all complete now and you can see how these vertical 12mm/ 1/2” thick aluminium “cheeks” create the deep U channel to guide the shank of our 125kg Rocna/Manson anchor on and off the boat. The aft cheek is additionally supported by the thick flatbar which is edge welded from the tip back into the Rub Rails. Looking straight down you can see how the front cheek is tied back into the hull and Rub Rails by another 12mm plate. Looking back from the bow you can see how this triangular gusset does its part in making this anchor roller assembly an integral part of the hull and bow. Sezgin has since done the final welding of this and I’ll get a shot of that for you later.
The small cross bar at the bottom here is left over from when they were tacking this assembly together to maintain the spacing between the cheeks and can now be removed.
Below the cross bar you can see how the ends flare out and why I call these “cheeks”. Their angle matches that of the inside surface of the anchor so it will pull up nice and tight when we are on passages. Looking elsewhere we see more examples of Sezgin handiwork and more of the final welding, MIG in this case, of things like these tubes going through WT frames where runs of wire and plumbing need to pass through.
The black strips on those vertical pieces of flat bar are rubber insulators where the wire trays will be attached as soon as the EPDM insulation goes in. The stairs down from the Aft Deck into the SuperSalon are now all finish welded and ready for interior finishing. As are their sister steps going down the next level into the corridor leading to the Engine Room/Workshop and Christine’s Office/Guest Cabin. Off to the Port/Left side of these stairs provides a good view of the “gutters” that run down both sides of our hull where the tank tops make the turn down to become margin plates and be perpendicular to the hull for maximum strength.
With almost the entire volume below the WL being integral tanks this is about the only “bilge” area we have which suits us just fine. I carry wet/dry vacuums onboard in each WT compartment and these will come in handy to keep these gutters clean of mostly dirt and any water that might get spilled.
Last detail for you this week is this example of where Uğur, Nihat, Yiğit and I have been going through all the access ports and plasma cutting these additional openings in the baffles. These ensure that in the future I can get into each baffled area for inspections and repairs. Not something we expect to need very often but now is the time to be thinking ahead and building in all these features to make this as easy to maintain as any boat can ever be.
Let me finish up this post with the most important update which is that the newborn Dinç twins (pronounced “Dinch”) Yiğit and Mert are doing great as is their Mom and big brother Demir.
However as this final shot shows I’m not sure Dad, aka Dinçer is fairing quite as well? Or perhaps it is just that the new couches in his office in the new Naval Yachts shipyard are just particularly comfy? That is your update for this week of January 14-18 as 2019 is already zooming by.
Thanks as always for joining us on this adventure building our Goldilocks “just right, just for us” new boat and home. We really appreciate you taking the time to read and follow. And we encourage you to send in your questions, suggestions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
The weather has been Cccccccold and wet outside this week with one night time low down to zero Celsius but still lots of hot progress inside.
Most exciting of which is that little Yiğit and Mert, the new Dinç twins are now home! Dinçer kindly shared this photo of both his new twin boys and their very excited 3 year old brother Demir. Christine and I can’t wait to get our chance to snuggle these two little packages of joy! And I DO mean little as each one just barely tip the scales now at 2.5kg. However as all us parents and grandparents know, this will accelerate faster and faster as the weeks and years race by.
Not to be outdone the rest of us have been busy at Naval Yachts making more progress here on all the various projects underway. On Project GoldiLocks the focus this week has been mostly on stairs, stairs, stairs.
Stairs are one of the trickier parts to design and build as you really need to get these just right. The 3D models are great for trying out lots of different variations and getting a sense of what will fit, work and look the best but with stairs it comes down to how they feel when you are going up and down them. Is the spacing and size of each tread and riser all correct? Does your foot go naturally to the next step up or down and is it where you foot/brain expected it to be? Are the handrails where your hands naturally want them to be? And will this all work well and be safe when you are going up/down these stairs when the boat is going up and down in big seas and storms’?
So we have spent much of this week mocking up each set of stairs, trying them out as we walked up and down them and then adjusting and repeating till we got each one just right.
Time consuming but critical so let’s go check it out.
You may recall seeing the initial plate cutting for these stairs which lead down from the main door off the aft deck down into the SuperSalon. All tacked together now and lifted up onto the deck and ready to be………………… …….. fit in place in this space here. Like this. This quick render a bit further back from the photo above will help orient you as to how this will all look as it gets built out. Turning to the left at the bottom of these stairs takes you down this next set of stairs into the aft Guest Cabin & Christine’s Office. Once they have the stairs in place Nihat and Uğur quickly turn to tacking the handrails in place.
and they are ready for the trickiest of all the staircases …….
…. the circular stairs taking you from the aft deck up to the SkyBridge.
Once we had nailed down the sizes for each tread they were quickly welded up and we started figuring out the right placement radially from the vertical pole. Uğur works amazingly quickly and accurately and he, Yiğit and Nihat were extremely patient with me and equally as determined to get each step just right. One of the additional goals Christine and I had was to end up with a staircase which would be as see through as possible with minimal blocking of our view aft from inside the SuperSalon. As I think you’ll agree from this shot, I’m very happy with how all the design work with Dennis and now the final designs with Yiğit and the fabrication with Uğur and Nihat here at Naval Yachts has paid off. Finally this setup got us to the Goldilocks combination of getting each tread just the right size in just the right spot with these temporary vertical supports tacked on to hold each stair in position. Looking straight down from up in the SkyBridge shows you the final arrangement we ended up with.
Ready for the next step which was almost as tricky as the stairs themselves ……….. …………..fitting the 3D curved handrail.
Here Nihat is carefully cutting each vertical support to run through the aft corner of one tread and down to forward corner of the next one below. The top of each of these vertical supports requires these compound angled ‘bird’s mouth” where they fit with the handrail itself and with each one requiring a slightly different set of angles it was very exacting work. With the vertical supports ready Uğur borrowed this hydraulic pipe bender from one of the other shipyards next door and he and Nihat set about the complex task of bending the handrail into the just right spiral to go up the outer edge of each stair. They let each end of the handrail pipe run long as they carefully used the bender to get the handrail in just the right spot along the way up and tying into each vertical support.
They used a 90 degree elbow at each end to make the transition to the vertical post at the bottom and then turn sideways to the inner wall of the SkyBridge wall up top.
Here Uğur is fitting the short vertical handrail for the other side and wrapping it around the corner of the helm station up in the SkyBridge. and here is what it looks like from up on top with both handrails tacked in place. This is the view you see as you look straight down the completed stairs and are ready to descend.
A circular staircase might seem to be a poor choice on a boat and would not be as safe as straight stairs. Christine and I certainly would have thought so up to a few years age when we spent time on several boats with circular staircases. Both of us noticed, especially when the boat was moving a lot, that when ascending or descending these stairs you were perfectly closed in by the safety of the curved handrails on either side of you. Even with hands full we were able to easily brace ourselves with one hip sliding easily and safely against the railing. One of those things you have to learn experientially and we have incorporated into the design of Möbius as much as possible of our experiential learning we have acquired over our many years and sea miles.
Meanwhile over in the machine shop others on Team Möbius have been busy machining these SAE 5 flanges for all the many fittings which need to be welded into each fuel and water tank. These thicker ones have threaded holes arranged in a standardized SAE 5 pattern to accept things like the supply/return hose fittings, Maretron tank level gauges, Hart Tank Tender fittings, etc. The tank tops are drilled out slightly larger than the inner holes and are then welded in place. These thinner matching flanges are ready to be welded to these pickup and return pipes which then slide down one of the tank top fittings and are bolted in place with a gasket to seal them and finally an elbow fitting is threaded in to accept the hose fitting.
We will see all these various gauges and hoses being installed in the coming weeks but that’s all for this week folks, thanks for joining us.
I grabbed our trusty old GoPro camera and took a series of videos walking through the various stairs at different stages and have put them together into this time lapse summary below that will give you a good sense of how the stairs all look and give you more of a feel for the layout of the boat.
Thanks for joining us again this week and we’ll be back with next week’s update.
Well, as expected I’m not able to top last week’s progress Dinçer and his wife Nesli making the ultimate mark of human progress with the arrival of their newborn twins Yiğit and Mert who join their three year old brother Demir bringing the Dinç family (pronounced “Dinch”) to now be a family of five. Yiğit and Mert are doing well and finishing up their time in the hospital for observation having arrived a bit early and Mum is doing well too and Dinçer seems to be losing the bags under his eyes a wee bit.
This was also a 3 day work week here after the time off for New Years but Team Möbius is relentless in their work on Möbius every day so let’s go see what they have been working on this first week of 2019.
Work continues on the wiring trays that run down both upper sides of the hull with the fitting of the many pass through collars where wires or pipes need to run through the WT Bulkheads and frames. Next, these will be welded on both sides and be all ready for the many wires, hoses and pipes that need to run down the length of the boat.
Along with the insulated wire trays this ensures there will be no contact or chafing between wires, hoses, pipes and the hull. In his shot from the aft Stbd/Right side of the Workshop you can see the two sets of trays here which help keep the more sensitive data carrying wires from being affected by magnetic fields generated by high amperage AC or DC wires.
The perforations keep these aluminium trays nice and light and make it easy to zip tie the wires, hoses and pipes to keep them securely held in place so there is no wear or vibration over time. Work also continued on the various railings which are being fabricated from thick walled 40mm / 1.6” OD Aluminium pipe
Nihat and Uğur are busy installing more of the more pipes in the Rub Rails which create the sockets for the vertical railing posts to fit into the same as do the individual stanchion posts. This pair of railings in the foreground have been tacked up and are destined to be inserted into pipe sockets welded through the Rub Rails on either side of the bow.
The pair in the background are for one of the side gates near the aft end of the Pilot House where we step on/off when side tied to high docks.
Up at the bow there will be two seats for ideal dolphin watching or just the sheer joy of listening to the sound of that knife edged bow slicing through the water. You can see those gate railings that were in the background of the picture above on either side of the Paravane A-Frame boom and the railings which wrap around the aft corners of the deck. Here they are in real life viewed from about water level….. …… and here up on deck that we will see more often as we make our way along the decks on either side of the Pilot House.
We have made all our railings, stanchions and lifelines higher than most running at about 1meter / 39” above the decks for added safety and ease of using to brace ourselves when working alongside other boats or docks. This is a good 30cm/12” more than is typical of what we find on many boats but safety and staying ON the boat is our top priority so we like this added height. At lower levels it is all too easy to have the lifeline or railing act as a perfect leveraged hinge point for an adult’s body to be flipped literally head over heals and unceremoniously tossed into the water. A 1m height is in keeping with the standards and recommendations/requirements for commercial work boats which we seek to emulate much more than a recreational yacht. Safety plus good looks, who can ask for more? By going with grey Dyneema for the lifelines we find these all blend in nicely and don’t interfere with our views out of the SuperSalon glass and you can get a bit of a sense of this in the renderings above where the lifelines pretty much disappear from view.
To speed along the fabrication of the railings Uğur is using one of the many new machines Naval Yachts as acquired. In this case a nifty specialised belt sander that creates the “birds mouth” radius in the ends of pipes that are going to be welded perpendicularly to another pipe. This quick video shows it in action…..
There are a LOT of these types of joints on the railings and the arch so this is a huge time saver and creates the perfect fit between the two pipes for an ideal weld in seconds. These 90 degree elbows have had their ends beveled and cleaned up ready to be welded into corners of the railings while Nihat cleans up the end of one of the railings to get it ready to be tacked up. Yiğit, Burak and I have been working on getting the stairs down from the Aft Deck into the SuperSalon just right and we think we have it so Nihat is already busy turning our models into aluminium reality before we finished up on Friday. These will get finished up in the next few days and you’ll see them installed in next week’s update.
Thanks for joining us and following along with the progress here at Naval Yachts. We really appreciate all your comments, questions and suggestions so please keep adding those in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
We hope your 2019 is off to a similarly great start and we will be back next week so stay tuned.