Monday, January 25, 2010

Epoxy coating and framing bulkheads

I'm epoxy coating all of the hull components before assembly. It's much easier to get a smooth run-free coat while the ply is horizontal. A lot of the sanding will also be done before the parts go together.  Michael Storer recommends skidding a foam roller to smooth out the epoxy.  It worked so well that I used it to spread and smooth the epoxy. No need for a squeegie. It lets yo put down a very thin uniform coat which does not seem to trap bubbles and does not run much.  I did the interior faces of the buoyancy tank bulkheads first to practice on parts which will be hidden. I read somewhere that if the air temperature is rising significantly during the epoxy cure, bubbles can form as air trapped in the wood expands. I tried this on one piece by coating in the morning and sure enough it's the only piece I had any bubbles in.

The areas where framing is bonded on are masked.  I'm not sure this is necessary as the secondary bond between cured and scuffed up epoxy surfaces is really strong.

After the 3 coats of epoxy cured I glued framing to the bulkheads. To keep bugs and dust out of the wet epoxy I'm putting the pieces inside our van and closing it up. I can't do this with the mast and it's a constant battle with the bugs. Why do these things like wet epoxy so much??

In order to minimize waste I cut the rollers into 4 quarters.  Each quarter can be flipped over and used twice if you don't slop epoxy all over it during the first use.

 I spread the leftover bit of epoxy from each coat on the underside of the fore and aft seats which will never be seen so any uneven epoxy is not important.

Total time to date:  131hrs

Monday, January 18, 2010

Epoxy Coating Mast

Did some final sanding on the mast and laid down the first coat of epoxy. I was planning to use the wet-on-wet technique Mik recommends but with temperatures in the low 60's the epoxy just would not go off fast enough so a bit of sanding in between coats will be necessary. It was easiest to hang the mast from both ends but the swinging proved to be a nuisance. The next coats will be done with the ends of the mast resting on something rigid. Spreading the epoxy with a foam brush was slow and cumbersome. I also tried skidding a foam roller as per Mik's instructions and that was slow as well and the swinging mast made it infuriating. I ended up just slathering the epoxy on with gloved hands like greasing a pole. It was fast and worked surprisingly well.

I did not bother to shape the base plug accurately since it is bedded in thickened epoxy and the mast base is not visible with the boat rigged. But it looks ugly and I just realized that with the mast de-rigged on the trailer the base of the mast is very prominent.  Oh well next time the base plug fits better.

Total time to date:  120hrs

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ply Parts Kit

Spent most of today laying out and cutting all of the major ply parts.  Things went smoothly since I already did this once during the China ply debacle.  This time around I used Joubert brand Okoume and it is much better looking stuff.

These are all of the major ply parts other than hull sides and bottom.

I'm going to epoxy coat the individual pieces before assembly as it is much easier to spread and sand epoxy on flat horizontal surfaces.  I drove the wrong car to move the pieces to my garage from Dave's (where the boat is being built) but they fit, kinda sorta.

Total time to date: 115hrs