Sunday, December 26, 2010

Planks and Bulkhead Prep

First layer - before and after sanding
Week Two was dominated by Pages 36 and 37. Pre-coating the planks and bulkheads -  mixing epoxy, laying on thin coats, waiting to cure, sanding - then repeat. No question about it: it's an arduous task but the process is straight-forward.

The first layer seems to be more of an impregnation of the wood. Especially after having sanded down the first layer "until there are no shiny spots left" (according to manual), it really gets you very close to the bare wood again. 

At this point, dust control is the biggest challenge. Obviously, you have to wear all the protective gear, most importantly a good respirator. I had ordered the 3M 6000 with HEPA Filters from the CLC and they are comfortable to wear and appear to work very well. Of course, wearing the mask is only one part of the issue concerning the dust. Keeping it out of the rest of the house is a major task.

Preparing the work platform for the second coat of epoxy

Fortunately, our sun room is not tied into the house with a cold air return. The trick is to get air flow from the dining room door through the sun room and out the door onto the deck. I need a larger ventilator to get a stronger flow.

I manage my limited work space by clamping a few stringers in between the strakes so that once the planks are coated, I can then place the bulk heads and seats on top to coat them as well. It works quite well.

The stringers enable me to apply epoxy to two layers
 As I am starting to bear down on the second coat of epoxy with 220 grid disks on my orbital sander, I  am eagerly anticipating the next phase of construction: the stitching together of the planks.

Almost 40 hours of preparation so far!

Are we having fun yet?
You bet!

When your day-job involves writing, communicating and managing, working with wood and constructing something tangible provides a great counter-point.

Second coat of epoxy waiting to cure
I have no idea whether my hours are on target but it really does not matter much when the process of building is as enjoyable as it will be to sail or row the this little craft.

With my next entry I fully expect to show the emerging hull shape.

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