Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Stuff

I finally made the trip down to Mertons Fiberglass Supply in Springfield to pick up supplies (see last post). I had never been to Mertons or knew anyone who had, but after a lot of online searching I found that they (he) had pretty much the best price for both epoxy and balsa core material. What sealed the deal though was that it was reasonably close so I could pick up my order and avoid shipping costs.

I didn't really know what to expect but I assumed that it was probably like any other marine store... Not So. Located in a very industrial section of Springfield, I suspect that Mertons low prices are due (at least in part) to their low overhead costs. The store is nothing more than a very run down warehouse surrounded by junked construction vehicles. There was no sign of a typical marine operation and I was beginning to wonder if I had made a poor choice until I went in and was greeted by Joe (Merton). Joe was really helpful and friendly and very knowledgeable of all things epoxy and fiberglass. It turns out Joe is also 'afflicted' (as he put it) with the boat bug and keeps his boats up in boothbay harbor.

All in all, Joe spent close to an hour with me getting my order together and wrapping everything up for travel in the back of my pickup. If I ever have to do a large restoration project again I will be going back to Mertons. Joe is a good guy and was really helpful.

Back in Canterbury, I unloaded the truck and got to work finishing up grinding the cabintop bevels and sanding the inner skin surface so the new core will sit flat once installed. Pete's suggestion of using 24 grit sanding discs on a flexible grinder backing plate worked out really well. The discs cut way quicker and the edge looked much cleaner than with the standard grinding wheel.

Once that was done, it was time to cleanup the huge mess I created when I started grinding the bevels. When I finished vacuuming up all the dust I felt like I had reached a minor milestone. I finally reached the point where I can start moving forward again and rebuilding instead of destroying. The next few weeks I am going to start cutting and dry fitting the balsa and biax cloth so I'll be ready to go when I take the last week of April off to do the layup.