Friday, November 22, 2019

Updating the Dodger - cleaning up the templates

Cleaning up the Dodger Templates

Someone asked me why I'm going into so much detail about this project, the answer is pretty simple: By making dozens of drawings, graphics and asking lots of questions, I'm actually getting down to the detailed design and construction process. I'm learning more about doing a complex project like this just by writing about it. If you want to learn something, teach it!

NOTE! All the pics and graphics can be clicked upon to view them full size.

Here's my review of the pieces that make up the completed Dodger

Dodger frame

Sketch of the Dodger Frame, the aft support is only shown on the Stbd side, but there is a second on the Port side.

Dodger Top Panel

The Top Panel has side strips that will attach to the ridge that's on the Cabin Top in front of the Companionway cover plate.

The Front Window Panel will zip into this panel and the side window panels will zip into it on each side.

Dodger Side Window Panel

Sketch of the Stbd Side Window Panel, there will be a single zipper that extends from the Aft top corner of this panel all the way forward and down to the front tip of this panel.

Dodger Front Window Panel

Sketch of the Front Window Panel.
This panel will be attached at the top and sides with two zippers. Each starting at the top center of this panel and reaching all the way to the side strips and then down to the Front Lower Edge.

The bottom section of this panel will be Sunbrella lined with Shelter‑Rite® White 61" Fabric

The top and sides will be 1.25" Bias cut Binding Tape used as a facing tape.

The Cut outs for the Running rigging lines at the lower edge will be edged with Leather.

I spent hours watching the Sailrite Videos, and then more trying to figure out the correct layering order. Using the Sailrite online Chat feature, I discussed the issues with their very helpful support team and the last one suggested that I email support with the questions.

Then I spent about an hour making up the following graphics to help explain my doubts and in the process, answered my own questions.

Here's the graphics I sent to Sailrite Support.

Dodger Front Panel Lower Edge Layers
This shows the layers that will make up the Front Lower Edge. It does not show that there will be Snaps installed along that lower edge, but it does show the Binding covering the Sunbrella Outer Fabric and the Shelter Rite Lining. The Strataglass will be sewn to the Sunbrella and the top (left in the pic) egde of the Sunbrella will be turned under and resewn. On the underside of the Front Lower edge, the Strataglass will be edged with Bias Cut Binding tape laid flat, it will cover the joint of the Strataglass and the Shelter rite lining.

Dodger Front Panel Zippered Top & Side Edge Layers

This graphic shows the layers that will form the Zippered Top and Side edges of the Front Window Panel. the lower end of this panel will have the same layers as the Front Lower Edge (previous graphic) as will the lower edge of the Side Window Panels.

Dodger Front of Top and Side Strip Layers
This final graphic shows the layers that will form the front of the Top Panel and the side strips. The lower edge of the side strips will use the same layer order as shown in the graphic (2 up from this) 

This graphic shows that the Sunbrella will be edge dwith Bias Binding Tape and the Zipper will be enclosed, out of the Sunlight. This same layer form will be used for the Zipper that extends from the aft end of the Top Panel all the way to the front, lower edge of the side panel.

Having figured out the layers for the construction, it was time to clean up the templates.

The Sailrite video show using 'Sand Bags' to help manage large templates and pieces of fabric on the work table, here's mine. They only took about 30 minutes to make all three.

Slightly smaller than the ones Sailrite describe. These are made from 8" x 16" offcuts of Sunbrella fabric and scraps of Dura Skim patterning material.

Here's my work space. I purchased a 2nd 6' Folding table just to handle this project, I'm sure it'll be used for many more.

The template on the tables in this pic is hanging off the far end by about 4 feet! and it barely fits across the two tables.

I have been working to clean up the template lines, mark the zipper locations and figure where I'll need to cut the templates and where I'll need to join them.

Just getting this part done has taken several hours.

I really understand why professionals charge so much for making a dodger, it's a lot of work!

Making progress, next it's time to start marking the fabric and cutting things out.

Update: After emailing back and forth with Sailrite, Eric Grant replied (recognize the last name?), he recommended that the Zippers around the front window panel be sewn to the Inside of the panel rather than the outside.

So here's the updated graphic showing the Front Window Panel Top and Bottom Edges

Dodger Front Window Panel Top and Bottom edges

Obviously the graphics are not to scale, but this pic shows where I'll be placing Snap-rite Buttons and Sockets to connect to the existing Snaps that are installed from the previous Dodger, there might have to be a couple of additions, any that are not used will remain in place rather than have to try and repair a hole.

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