We Have a Boatload of Aluminium!
Another milestone this week with the arrival of the main batch of aluminium or AL plate parts fresh off the CNC plasma cutter in Istanbul. It actually arrived late Friday with just enough time in the day to unload it off the truck and then work started in earnest all this week to start separating all the individual parts out of the plates as you’ll see below. I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking, lucky you, and just add a few words along the way to help you understand what you are seeing.
As is becoming my norm I’ve also compiled a video of clips I shot along the way this week and you’ll find that at the end if you prefer video. I’m no videographer, at least not yet but it is good for showing you things and providing a quick overview and give you a better overall sense of the shop, the people and the boat.
Here is the truck arriving last Friday (April 20, 2018) in front of the GreeNaval shipyard after clearing in through the main gate of the Free Zone.
It is about an 8 hour 700km drive from Istanbul to Antalya by the most direct route through the interior.
Plate thickness ranges from 5mm which is used mostly for the deck plates up to 25mm which you can see here on the bottom of this 2nd pallet. The 25mm is used for things like the stem and keelson or keel bar which runs all the way from the top of the bow down and around the turn of the bow below the WL (Water Line) and back all the way to the very aft end of the boat at the swim step. It is around 300mm / 12” high and can be thought of as the backbone of the hull if you like.
This will give you a bit of a sense of scale of the different thickness of AL we are using. That’s 6mm plate a the top 10mm in the middle and 25 mm where my thumb is.
At first they sent over this little forklift but his forks didn’t go out wide enough to lift the 6m / 20ft long AL plates.
So they sent his bigger brother over and the pallets were soon offloaded and ready to go into the shipyard bay on Monday.
Only took a few minutes Monday morning to bring the pallets all inside.
Those 5mm plates you saw earlier on the truck were the largest single pieces as they are for the deck plates so these came off first and were laid in place on the jig.
The previous posts about building the jig and explaining how the hull will be built on it will now start making more sense to you I hope.
The large rectangular opening in the middle of the aft deck here is where the large hatch above the Engine Room ER will go and the opening closest to the camera here is for the plinth which provides the headroom as you step through the WT door on the swim step and then down a few steps into the Workshop and Engine Room.
Keep in mind that initially the hull will be built upside down so the transverse frames will be welded up next and stood up vertically on top of these deck plates at 1 meter intervals along the entire length of the boat.
That raised area in the middle section of the boat will become the floor (remember everything is upside down here) of the SuperSalon as we call it containing the bulk of our living space with Galley, dining salon, Lounge and main helm station. The forward angled cut out is for the semi circular stairs down into the Master Cabin and the center rectangle is for the hatch into the basement area and then the very aft cut out is for the stairs down to Christine’s Office which will convert to a Guest Cabin and access to the Engine Room and Workshop.
The rectangular opening you see up near the bow is for the large hatch down into the large 3m / 10ft long forepeak area below decks which will contain things like the anchor chain bin, grey and black water tanks for the Master Cabin head, miscellaneous system components such as pumps and electrical and then lot of room for stowing lines, fenders, anchor supplies, inflatable kayak and various water toys for kids, grandkids and us grandparents too!
This will show you clearly how the individual parts remain in place within the whole plate for shipping as the flat pack pallets you saw earlier.
The CNC cutter is instructed to skip a 1cm long bit along the cut lines to leave small tabs that keep the parts from coming out so the plates can remain whole and be stacked up on the pallets for shipping and trucking.
A nice benefit for the shippers but creates the new task you see here of now cutting off all those tabs with the plasma cutter to remove each individual piece.
Then each piece needs to be cleaned up with a flap wheel to remove the leftover parts of these tabs.
For increased efficiency you minimise the number of times each part is handled so while each piece is having the tabs cleaned up they also do things like putting a round over radius such as you see here on cut outs where conduits for runs of pipes and wires will run.
One of the things that makes aluminium such a great material to work with is that you can use regular carbide bits such as these ones in the router, same as you would use for wood.
I have not yet had the time to go into the model and count up the total number of individual parts that make up the hull but ……
…….. the two small piles you see in these two photos are just a few of the parts from just one pallet of plate will give you some idea and there are LOTS more to come.
It will take several more days next week to finish separating each piece and cleaning them up and then each of the frames which are made up of 3 or 4 parts right now as they have to fit within the 6x2m plates, will be carefully welded and then stood up on top of that 5mm deck plate you saw earlier.
More on all that in the next update.
Now as promised, here is the quick sped up video summary of this week’s work. I’ve sped up the playback to reduce the overall time and muted sections with me talking so you don’t have to listen to the Chipmunk version of Wayne. Lucky you! Hope you enjoy and thanks for joining us. I’ll be back with more next week.