>RebelCat 5 Update 7-29-09

July 29, 2009 - Preparations - Ben in Canada asked what he could be doing to prepare for the arrival of his DVD. I suggested that he clear an area to work, get his tools together, and buy the wood. Try to work only with DRY, STRAIGHT wood - wet wood often warps and shrinks. I bought the wood for RebelCat 5 at least a month prior to building with it. I returned some wood for replacements when it warped.

So here is a list of the main wood pieces you will need, whether you make the standard or extended version. Buy this wood and let it dry completely, or buy kiln-dried wood. Think 'straight'.

2 x 6 - 4 pieces 8'; 1 pc 6' (ends cannot have splits)
2 x 4 - 2 pcs 6'; 1 pc 12' - total 24' (or 4 pcs 6' or 2 pcs 12')
2 x 2 - 1 pc 10'
plywood 1/2" exterior grade 4' x 8' sheet
plywood 3/4" exterior grade 4' x 4' sheet (rudder and centerboard)

Note: A new design for both rudder and centerboard will be added here in early October '09, so you may want to wait before buying the 3/4" plywood. They are already completed, but I test everything before passing it along. Testing set for Sept. 25 through Oct 6, '09. New design is oak plank and sheet aluminum.

If you opt for a wooden mast, be sure it is solid, dry and straight. You can make your own mast from a 4 x 4, which is free of knots and splits, by using a plane or electric planer to round the corners and taper it. Look at the circles on the end and try to get the center of the tree. Or go high-class and laminate hardwood planks, then plane that down. Another system is to make a hollow 'box' mast from four or more boards.

Read FAQ 15 and think about the kind of cat you want, how many people it will carry, cargo, etc. Study the Flotation Chart to see how you will get the amount of flotation you need for the weight you will have. The standard RebelCat 5 weighs about 180 lbs, the extended version 250 lbs, both made from 10" diameter pipe.

Look around for PVC pipe in 10" and 12" sizes. You want PIP grade, thinwall, drain and sewer pipe, not schedule 40. Prices vary, so check around. Look for traffic cones with 10" diameter opening at the bottom. Don't buy either until you see the video, just locate things. -MA

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