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Making a tiller and tiller extension

November 30, 2010

The tiller that came with the boat is kind of eaten up by the weather and it needs an extension, but the hold-on-to-it end is rather small to be drilling a hole for a tiller extension. The diameter of the tiller is rather small to have a tiller tamer screwed onto it as well. So I've decided to make a new tiller and since I haven't been able to find a tiller extension like I want, I decided to make that too. And I have plenty of white ash which is the right wood for a tiller.

So today I started cutting wood. I got most of the cutting done for the tiller extension, but I don't know exactly how long to make it until I get the tiller itself done. I'm going to put a little bit of a upward kink in the tiller so I'll be laminating it to make that possible. I have the basic billets of wood cut. Next I need to rip them into 1/4" thick strips to be laminated (I sure wish I had a table saw).

December 8, 2010

I was curious about whether Titebond II wood glue would hold as strong as epoxy. It sure is easier to work with - no mixing and cleans up with water. So I put together a little test. I glued some similar blocks together, one set with Titebond, and one set with West Systems epoxy. Once they had a couple of days to cure, I tested the breaking strength with a glommed together tester.

I found that the strength wasn't dramatically different, but that the epoxy did seem slightly stronger. I think conventioun wisdom would say that. I know Titebond now has an even better product, so it would be interesting to try that.

The blocks before the test.

The test rig

After the test. Epoxy at top, Titebond at the bottom.

I guess the net of this is that I stick with the conventional wisdom and use epoxy.

I also bought a tablesaw the other day, so I'm ready to start cutting the strips for the tiller. I can't wait to get started on this.

December 18, 2010

I finally got my new (used) table saw in operation and ripped the strips for the new tiller. I wanted to get it glued up today and I didn't really want to mess with epoxy, so I went with the Titebond glue. I have to believe it will hold just fine, and its water proof so I don't expect to have any problems. Below is a photo of the lamination job.

Oh, the wood is white ash from the timbering project I did a couple of years ago.

December 28, 2010

I worked on the tiller extension swivel yoke today. It's pretty well finished except for cleaning and painting.

You can see both the new tiller (at least some of it) and some of the tiller extension in the photo here, as well as the swivel yoke. The yoke is actually threaded so that the screw scews into the opposite side of the yoke and then I have a jam nut on the back side of it. Its a not as well formed as I would have liked, but it will work. I have to cut the tiller extension down, but until I can hang the rudder and tiller back on the boat, I don't know how long to make it.

The tiller is ready to finish. On Thursday when the boss lady is gone, I'll get the first coat of varnish on it.

June 4, 2011

Mounted the rudder and new tiller and installed the tiller-tamer and rudder control cleat.