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Forum LockedAdd a third reef to mainsail

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Ernst View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2009 at 11:00am

Yes, Matt, if you say it will work just as well, please substitute. Thanks.

I tried the 'forgotten password' function and it says that there is no record for an account with my email account. I think that I changed my personal profile when I placed the order on Tue and I updated my email address. But I tried both emails, the old and the new one, and neither worked.

--Ernst
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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2009 at 11:31am
The order is adjusted and will go today. Please try the "forgot password" again. It should work fine now. Matt
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2009 at 11:55am
Matt,

thanks for sending out the order!

And the login works again.

Thanks a lot!

--Ernst

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2009 at 8:47pm
OK, I am done! Finished the project half an hour ago. In the following are some observations that may be useful for others embarking on this or a similar project. I am writing this as a little 'thank you' to Matt and the others from Sailrite without whom I could never have done this.

So, first, as suggested by Matt, I went over the worst rat's nests again with the #22 needles that they recommended, and I used the right technique for starting the seam. This made all the difference in the world! Now, the seams are outright  beautiful. I only wished I had started the proper way. Oh well, live and learn. I deviated however in one respect from Matt's recommendation in that I used V-138 thread for these additional seams, rather than than the V-92 I had used for the rest of the project. My rationale was that the sailmakers had used V-138 for the construction of the sail, I had it around, and I figured as long as I am poking these big holes with the #22 needle into the fabric, I might as well use thread that fills them.

The only other work that was left was installing the cringles, i.e. the hand-sewn rings. I marked the outside of the rings with a pen, put markers every 3/16" on the circle (as recommended by Don Casey, GOB), and marked a 1" concentric circle on the inside. I used an exacto knife to cut out the innner circle. Worked fine, took perhaps 5 minutes per hole.

Then, the sewing started. I used doubled, heavily waxed 7-ply hand-sewing thread and the largest needle I have (don't know the number; I remember I bought it years ago at WestMarine, it is definitely larger than the #12 needles I also have). According to the Sailmaker's Apprentice, 'no pre-punching of holes allowed', you are supposed to use only the needle and push it through with the sailmaker's palm. I found this EXTREMELY difficult with the 7 layers of heavy sailcloth! I managed to do it for a half dozen holes  but for each of them, I was afraid I would either 1) break the needle, 2) ram the needle into my thigh, or 3) ram it into my hand. Emiliano Marino (the author of the Sailmaker's Apprentice) seems to consider such dangers as part of the job (he talks non-chalantly about 'bloodshed' being part of it) but I am too wimpy for such macho talk (I also have to work the next day in my real job and cannot afford to stop working because I stuck a needle through my hand).  Furthermore, it became progressively more difficult, probably the needle became slightly dull.

I tried to sharpen it on a whet-stone but with little success. Is there a trick to sharpen hand-sewing needles?

Anyway, I gave up and started pre-punching the holes with a scratching awl which I kept nicely sharp with said whet stone. For the first holes I pushed it through by hand, then I wisened up and used a small ball-pen hammer. This worked great!

Don Casey points out that you have to pull really hard on the thread since otherwise the eyelet will not fit inside the ring. This is absolutely crucial, more on that later. He suggests to wrap your index finger with masking tape since pulling on the thread really cuts into the flesh. Great tip!

Another thing he points out is that you need A LOT of thread! For each ring, I started with TWO full arm spans of thread, one is definitely not enough (and it is not advised to restart in the middle). It was a bit awkward to have those 10 feet of thread or so in the beginning but of course it gets easier over time. I only had a foot or so left.

Again as suggested by Don Casey, I went around twice with the thread, first one full turn through the pen markers mentioned earlier, then continuing another full turn placing the hole outside and in-between the markers. And, all the time pulling really heavily on the thread. The whole sewing took maybe an hour per ring.

Then, the real fun started. Despite all my efforts, the eyelet was too large and I could not get it into the ring. It took me a long time to get it done. Here is what worked:

First, I noticed that the eyelets, as they come, actually have a little burr on the outside. This makes it even harder to push them through the threaded ring. I used a small file to remove the burr and give the outside ring a slightly conical shape. I think this helps a lot and it only takes a few minutes.

This was still not enough. I ended up building a 'fid' out of one of these wooden plugs that you are supposed to have tied to each of your through-hulls. I chose one of the right size, sanded it smooth and, to make it even smoother, I applied wax to it (just rubbed my thread wax on it). Then, I put this cone into the sewn ring from below, put another identical ring on top of the sewn ring (I had purchased a couple extra rings), and then used a piece of 1" pipe (actually a nipple from a plumbing project) to hit onto this second ring with a heavy hammer. Oh, I also put more wax on the threads to make every thing as slippery as possible.

With all this rigmarole, I FINALLY managed to get the eyelet  through the ring, but still only BARELY.  Overall, fitting the eyelets into the rings was perhaps the largest difficulty. 

The rest was easy. As reported in the other thread, with the die set on concrete it was easy to hammer the eylet home.

So, there you have it, this was my 3rd-reef project. I have not yet bent on the sails (may do it this weekend) and am eager to see how this will work. Unfortunately, I became aware of one mistake I made: in my desire to make good use of the sailcloth, I forgot that the patches are supposed to be aligned with the original cloth. I just cut the patches out in whichever way I would have the least amount of waste. I hope this will not lead to a too horrible shape of the sail.

Again, thank you Matt and others at Sailrite for your handholding during this project! Clap

--Ernst

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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2009 at 9:44am
Hi Ernst,
Great reporting on your progress throughout the project. I am sure our customers really enjoy reading your blog.
 
To answer your few questions:
 
1. It is nearly impossible to sharpen hand needles properly. Just replace it when dull.
2. I think you would find the liners go in much easier if you cut the Dacron fabric ID larger.
3. Using an Awl is the only way to get the stitching in easily by prepunching holes. I also use pliers a lot to pull the needle through.
 
Thanks, Matt Grant
Sailrite
 
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite
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Ernst View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2009 at 10:03am
Originally posted by MattGrant MattGrant wrote:

Hi Ernst,
Great reporting on your progress throughout the project. I am sure our customers really enjoy reading your blog.
 


Thank you. Yes, that was the idea, I hope that this will be useful for someone else.

Originally posted by MattGrant MattGrant wrote:


To answer your few questions:
 
1. It is nearly impossible to sharpen hand needles properly. Just replace it when dull.


OK, good to know.
Originally posted by MattGrant MattGrant wrote:


2. I think you would find the liners go in much easier if you cut the Dacron fabric ID larger.

I am sure it would. I chose a 1" diameter for the hole because you recommend to use the 1" hole cutter for the #9 size ring. I figured the larger you make the hole, the easier the fitting of the eyelet will be but, on the other hand, the larger the danger of tearing out the ring under great load. Since this was my first attempt, I did not dare to deviate from the specs.

[QUOTE=MattGrant]
3. Using an Awl is the only way to get the stitching in easily by prepunching holes. I also use pliers a lot to pull the needle through.
 /QUOTE]

Yes, I forgot to mention that, I did the same. Impossible to do it otherwise.

Thanks again!

--Ernst
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jim grant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jim grant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2009 at 7:08pm

Concerning forcing the eyelet into the sewn ring -- Remember that the more twine used in sewing the ring in place, the more tightly the eyelet will fit. Ten feet of twine is alot! I usually find that four feet of doubled twine is enough to properly secure my #9 rings. I must space the needle penetrations farther appart! But there is nothing "wrong" with more twine except that it makes eyelet insertion difficult.

And, to solve that problem -- I put the eyelet in the die. Then place the sewn ring over it. Then put two rings on top of the sewn ring and, finally, insert the nose of the tool. The ring "spacers" will force the sewn ring down over the eyelet when the tool is pounded. Once the eyelet is in place, remove the spacers and finish the installation with the tool.
 
Jim Grant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ernst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 March 2009 at 7:17pm
Thank you, Jim. Good to know I don't have to go overboard with the twine.

When I read your method of forcing the eyelet in, I started to look for an emoticon 'slapping your forehead.' Clearly the professional way of achieving what I used the plumbing pipe contraption and my home-built fid for.

I have learnt a lot in this thread!

--Ernst
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