John Hesp

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hespj hespj
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John Hesp

Hello. I've been reading this forum for some time and thought I'd introduce myself in order to pass on this link to the online book  The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction.


I'm building a 15' rowing boat which I've designed. I'm not really building it at home - I've got a workshop in the farm across the road. The workshop has a cnc machine and all the pieces of the boat have, or will be, cut out on the machine. There are no paper drawings involved, it's straight from the design computer to the cnc machine. There weren't even any initial sketches on paper.


       



       



I'm hoping it'll turn out okay - I built a clinker canoe using this method a few years ago which more or less proved the method.


       



       


The method does rather commit the design before building starts - there's not much room for alterations along the way - and this turned out to be a problem on the canoe, the seat is too far forward and too low. I have to confess I haven't got round to altering it yet.

tony waller tony waller
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RE: John Hesp

This looks good. Hope to see you at the next meet. Tony

 

From: hespj [via UK HBBR Forum] [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 14 July 2012 13:29
To: tony waller
Subject: John Hesp

 

Hello. I've been reading this forum for some time and thought I'd introduce myself in order to pass on this link to the online book  The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction.


I'm building a 15' rowing boat which I've designed. I'm not really building it at home - I've got a workshop in the farm across the road. The workshop has a cnc machine and all the pieces of the boat have, or will be, cut out on the machine. There are no paper drawings involved, it's straight from the design computer to the cnc machine. There weren't even any initial sketches on paper.


       



       



I'm hoping it'll turn out okay - I built a clinker canoe using this method a few years ago which more or less proved the method.


       



       


The method does rather commit the design before building starts - there's not much room for alterations along the way - and this turned out to be a problem on the canoe, the seat is too far forward and too low. I have to confess I haven't got round to altering it yet.



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Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: John Hesp

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John,

Welcome aboard!

So you have a CNC? - you should have kept that a secret

I'm one of the development team for the ArtCAM product which can design and machine decorative artwork like this example:



It was also used by the Royal Mint to design and machine all the Olympic medals this year, and for many other Olympics in the past.

So if you want to machine a decorative figurehead or fancy inlay let me know.

regards
Paul
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

Thanks guys. I should have mentioned for those that don't know that the Gougeon book is the bible for epoxy wood boatbuilding, which is the method most of us use I'd guess. Book price is £30+. The link I gave to the WEST website lets you download it for free.

Paul, did you know Brian Moran and Tony McKenzie, I think they worked on ArtCAM before leaving to start up Vectric? They came down to my workshop to demonstrate their initial offering (can't remember its name) back in 2005, I think it might have been their first demo. I did look at ArtCam in the early days of owning the cnc machine (ShopBot), but I already had Rhino and RhinoCAM for 3D and the Vectric offering for 2D. ArtCAM looked ideal for the sort of thing you show (which looks superb), but I didn't see me doing much of that sort of work.


Here's another link for those wanting a bit of nostalgia. PBO no1. Back when summers were summers.

John

Timmo Timmo
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Re: John Hesp

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Thanks for that book link John. Wanted the book but couldn't justify the cost. Free download 

Boats look beautiful too. Is it a full 8ft x 4ft CNC? Impressive results.

Tim.



On 14 Jul 2012, at 13:29, hespj [via UK HBBR Forum] wrote:

Hello. I've been reading this forum for some time and thought I'd introduce myself in order to pass on this link to the online book  The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction.

momist momist
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Re: John Hesp

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Thanks John, for the PBO link!  That brings back some bittersweet memories indeed.  On one winter occasion, maybe about 1980, I saw the owner of the boatyard I used feeding his workshop stove with old PBO copies, and wondered if he needed the stack I had at home.  I don't remember what I did with them in the end, long gone.

Ian
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: John Hesp

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John,

I started working with Brian and Tony in 1994, and I've visited the ShopBot factory in North Carolina - small world!

I can create toolpaths from ArtCAM directly for your machine - it's no problem if you have a design you are interested in.

We did kick around a HBBR burgee design a few years ago. It would be fitting to engrave a HBBR emblem or similar in wood for each of our boats.......just a thought.

cheers
Paul
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

Ian, I've got some tatty old ones you can have if you want.

Paul. Thanks for the ArtCAM offer, I'll bear it in mind if I come across an ArtCAM file which I'd like to use. The emblem is a good idea. How many do you think it would be?

Here's another link. "Boats with an Open Mind". I think Brian might have given me this link.

John
Jeremy Jeremy
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Re: John Hesp

Welcome John.  CNC seems the way forward for kit boatbuilding, as it offers so many advantages as to be irresistible from the perspective of those supplying kits.  My Winsome hull, and Michaels Trouper kit, were both CNC machined, as Swallow Boats have been using a 8 x 4 CNC router to produce their wood boats for some time now.
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

Jeremy

Yes, the combination of CAD and CAM is very compelling. The home builder can cut ply shapes out him/herself, but it's quite a slow process, and difficult to achieve fair lines.In my experience hulls are actually quite easy to build; it's all the fiddly stuff that follows that takes the time, which is why I designed the whole of the rowing boat and canoe to be cnc cut. I'm writing down the hours it takes to assemble.

John
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: John Hesp

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hespj wrote
Paul. Thanks for the ArtCAM offer, I'll bear it in mind if I come across an ArtCAM file which I'd like to use. The emblem is a good idea. How many do you think it would be?
John,

How many? - I'm not sure. If you are happy to cut some prototypes I'll start a new thread on the idea - its your call.

-Paul
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

If we can come up with a design we like I'll cut a few prototypes. Can't promise when though.

John
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

A few photos of progress so far.


MDF jig set up

Standard slot together jig. The base has slots 4 or 5mm deep too, and the longitudinals and moulds are located in these.



Gluing backbone up on jig

The backbone being glued together on the jig. This photo shows the stem area but it was all done in one go - eight pieces, four port and four stb with joints staggered.



Backbone on jig

The cleaned up backbone back on the jig.



Cardboard garboard

I was able to determine the shape of all the planks except the garboard using a reliable method in my CAD program (Rhino) ("Unroll developable surface"). Rhino also has a less reliable method ("Smash" would you believe) for determining the shape  of compound curves so I used this and a cardboard template (the cardboard the Robbins marineply came in, cut to shape on the cnc machine). The cardboard wasn't a 100% ideal as a choice of material, but it was cheap and did show if there were any big errors. In the event I decided to trim a little (2 or 3mm) off the garboard at the ends where it meets the keel, and altered the drawings accordingly.

Will the horribly expensive marineply garboards fit? Don't miss the next exciting instalment of John goes Mad in Somerset*.

John

* There are surely easier ways to build a boat?
Timmo Timmo
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Re: John Hesp

Your moulds are more beautiful than my finished boats!

Look forward to next instalment.

Tim.


Will the horribly expensive marineply garboards fit? Don't miss the next exciting instalment of John goes Mad in Somerset*.

John

Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: John Hesp

Timmo wrote
Your moulds are more beautiful than my finished boats!

Look forward to next instalment.

Tim
 
> Will the horribly expensive marineply garboards fit? Don't miss the next exciting instalment of John goes Mad in Somerset*.
>
> John
John,

I agree it all looks neat and tidy - well done.

BTW A colleague is building a small jewellery CNC with custom driver software, which is inspiring me to build a more boat like CNC. There's no room for an 8x4 in my 9x8.5 shed...so what is the absolute minimum size I can get away with?    With open ends and a clever jig long panels can be cut in stages...I'm more interested in inlays, carvings and detailed stuff. Big hull panels are easy with a jigsaw and block plane.

cheers
Paul
Jeremy Jeremy
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Re: John Hesp

I have most of the parts (linear bearings, rails, steppers, driver boards etc) to build a medium sized CNC router.  My plan is to make it open ended, so that long items can be done in stages, as you suggest.

My thoughts were similar to yours, in that I can't justify (or accommodate) a full sheet machine, and that cutting out long planks by hand isn't that hard anyway.  I thought that being able to cut half a mould frame for the biggest boat I was ever likely to build would be the next best thing, as it's the frames that tend to be more complex.  

I settled on 1 m and 0.8 m supported rails for the X and Y axis, and picked up a ready assembled Z slide with 0.12 m travel very cheaply.  I reckon I could cut a half frame that was around 0.8 m wide by 0.6 m deep (or the other way around) with something like this.

Even a machine this size takes up a lot of room, though, which is one reason I've never got around to finishing it!  I have recently bought one of the very small desktop machines, but have yet to get it going.  It's surprisingly well made for the price, but only has a working space of 200mm (X) x 150mm (Y) x 60mm (Z).  I got it primarily for playing with!
hespj hespj
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Re: John Hesp

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Paul

How short is a piece of string? Of course the smaller it is the less you'll be able to do with it when building a boat. Bear in mind that the cutting area is smaller than the overall size - the tool is in the middle of the gantry so you lose a bit at all four sides.

It sounds as if, although it's obviously a very useful tool, both you and Jeremy are interested in the machine for it's own sake, which is fine, they're fascinating devices. If room proves too tight a good compromise might be to produce CAD drawings of the parts you want cut and get someone else to cut them. Whilst it's true that for multiple cuts of a simple shape the machining might take longer than the drawing; for complicated shapes such as found in a boat the drawing time far exceeds the cutting time.

As you know, 3D objects, which you say you'd like to cut, can take a very long time to machine, and to be honest this is much more fun than 2D. After seven years I'm still captivated when watching an elaborate shape magically appear from a block of wood. But as I say, it's a slow process, and I'd guess a 3' x 2' cutting area would be a useful size.

I suppose if you wanted to go the whole mad professor route you could turn the whole shed into a cnc machine. Have rails down each side and a removable bed just above the height of all the other stuff in the shed. Or if there isn't anything else in the shed (as if!) make the floor a bed. I know, a bit mad, but sometimes these outlandish ideas lead to something.

John
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: John Hesp

hespj wrote
It sounds as if, although it's obviously a very useful tool, both you and Jeremy are interested in the machine for it's own sake, which is fine, they're fascinating devices.
Absolutely! I grew up with Lego, Meccano, Airfix planes and then a DIY clone of the Rolf Harris stylophone from Practical Electronics in the late 60s. So why not a CNC?


At the back of my mind is a plan to remodel our house with decorative mouldings, like door frames, after 24 years of battering by the offspring. CNCs are great for traditional carvings like Celtic weave and they ought to blend somewhere into a boat.

Jeremy - my colleague is using an Arduino microprocessor to generate the stepper signals for each move, this significantly reduces the load on the PC and doesn't run the risk of losing sync if/when Windows slows down. Maybe we could collaborate?

-Paul

Jeremy Jeremy
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Re: John Hesp

Paul,

I've opted to get this controller that does much the same thing: http://www.planet-cnc.com/.  It takes a USB input from the PC (rather than the clunky parallel port interface that seems to be commonly used) and uses an onboard microcontroller to drive the machine.  I've yet to use it in anger, but it seems easier to drive than something like Mach 3, which seems to have the biggest share of the market.

The downside is that it's not compatible with the software you have access to, as I understand it.  It does accept pretty much every industry standard file format though, so will read G code and DXF toolpaths directly.

I started off looking to use Mach 3, but after some time playing with it in simulation mode I realised that the learning curve to get competent to drive it was enormous.  I do have an unused SmoothStepper (http://www.warp9td.com/) USB interface for Mach 3 that I can revert to if I really feel the desperate need to use it (none of my PCs has a parallel port!).
Chris Waite Chris Waite
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Re: John Hesp

Guys

This is getting Techy....

It gives my ignorance the shivers

Actually, here's a question - What could anyone do with a twenty-four volt electrically powered bilge pump?

Your move next

CW
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