Sunday, October 31, 2010

Starboard Sidedeck

It seems like whenever I estimate time for a particular segment of this boat project I am WAYYYY off. Even when I estimate how long it will take, double it, and then add a 50% overage factor, I still seem to be wrong. If this were my business, I think I would quickly go bankrupt. Anyway, true to form, my estimate was off again, but the starboard side deck project actually took less time than expected even though I almost blew it by laying up the epoxy when it was too cold.

I started Friday afternoon and used the same approach as the foredeck. Cut out 2 layers of biaxial cloth, the first covering just the balsa core and the second covering the core and the beveled taper along the cabin and edge of the deck. The only notable difference from the foredeck section was the chainplate cuts. I wrapped each chainplate with 3 or 4 turns of clear packing tape and set them about 2" in their holes.

Layer 1

Layer 2
It was about 4:30 by the time I got everything ready to go and didn't have anything else going on so I decided I would do the layup right then.  The only problem was that it was cold; probably in the low 50's by the time I started.  Because of the cold I wasn't worried about anything kicking too quickly so I mixed up 2-24 oz batches of epoxy (16 resin, 8 hardener) and got to work.  I got the first layer and part of the second wetted out and in place before I ran out of epoxy.  By that time I was really feeling the cold and decided that I would finish in the morning because the epoxy was getting pretty thick (not from hardening, but from the cold).   
When I got up Saturday morning it was about 35 degrees and no more than 40 degrees in the shed.  The layup was hardening up, but Very slowly.  I had hoped to finish the layup right away since it was still very green, but it was clear that an amine blush was starting to form (the surface felt greasy).  This worried me enough to post to the Plastic Classic Forum to see if I should proceed prior to washing the surface and removing the blush.  I'm glad I did because Tim thought that it would be best to get the blush off before I continued even though the epoxy was still green.  I put 3-100 watt work lamps close to the layup and left it to warm up for a few hours.  When I came back everything had hardened up more and I was able to wipe the blush off with some soapy water and a sponge.  I put the lamps back on and let everything dry for a few hours and then finished the layup.

I ran the 100 watt lamps all night last night and it hardened up nicely. Still green but on it's way. I'll probably keep the lamps on again tonight to make sure everything cures properly. It's certainly not perfect, there are a few bubbles that I would rather not see, but all and all I am happy with my progress. Below is a photo of one of the chainplate holes. I think it looks pretty clean. Note that you can still see the solid glass plug underneath (6 layers of biaxial, no balsa).

Given how cold it is starting to get (and no warm days forecast for the next 10 days), this may be my last layup for the season. I'd really like to finish up what I've done by getting all 3 layers of biaxial down, but I might be pushing my luck at this point.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something Sticky This Way Comes

With warm weather in the forecast I decided to take advantage of it and took the day off to get part of the top skin on.  While the weather was warm it was also raining hard so I had some concerns as to whether I should start on the glasswork.  Fortunately the Stimson shed has held up extremely well (its been up a year) and there wasn't a drop of water on the boat.

First layer laid with first section of second layer to
show overlap of seams.
 spent the first few hours this morning measuring and cutting the biaxial glass for the foredeck.  I cut and laid out the first layer and then cut out the second layer so the seams would be staggered.  The first layer was cut to only cover the balsa and the second was cut to cover the balsa and most of the 2 inch flange that I ground into the adjacent deck edges earlier this year.

Once both layers of glass were cut and labeled, I rolled it up and set it aside and vacuumed the deck followed with an acetone wipe down.  Next up I poured 16 oz of resin into 5 yogurt containers (I save up my used 1 quart yogurt containers for this purpose).  I made a final check to make sure everything was ready (chip brushes, plastic spreader trowels, paper towels, etc...).

First layer biaxial cut and ready to glass

Mixed up 8 oz of resin into the first 2 yogurt containers and got to work.  I wetted out and laid the first layer without incident and then started over with layer number 2.   9 yogurt containers later (16 oz resin, 8 oz hardener) the foredeck was done.  I rolled out the layup with the air bubble getter-outer to get everything flat and clear and then put a layer of plastic followed by 30 bags of sand.  Now I wait...  I hope to get 2 layers on the sidedeck this weekend and with any luck I can get a third layer on too.

2 layers of sticky goodness just prior to
rolling out air bubbles and covering
for the night.
Lovely isn't it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cleanup, Sanding and Ready To Go

The sanding discs from McMaster-Carr showed up the day after I ordered them (really fast shipping with standard ship rate) and I blocked off a few hours on Sunday to prep the foredeck and starboard side deck for the top skin.  I haven't torn up the port side deck yet and plan on getting that ready before it gets too cold to work.

After a summer of doing next to nothing on the boat there was a lot of cleanup to do before I started sanding the deck in prep for the new skin.  I filled up 2 garbage bags of detritus that had accumulated and tidied up the workbench so I could get some work done.

Once complete I setup the 6" sander and 20 foot shopvac hose and got busy.   The big sander coupled with the shopvac made for a really pleasant (except for the noise) experience.  I started out with my respirator but quickly found that zero dust was escaping and ended up taking it off. 2 hours later (and 25, 60 grit discs) the balsa and surrounding areas were are ready for the top skin.  Of course I still have to wipe everything down with acetone to make sure there is no contamination, but I am tentatively planning on taking a day off this week since the weather looks to be warm.  With any luck, I'll have the first 2 layers of top skin on by the end of the week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Summer is Over

Well, time to get back at this thing.  Summer is done, my knee is better (has been since July), Mountain bike racing is done, house projects done, sailing the daysailer is done, what's left?  Oh, right Magic...

Well, I ordered $100 in sandpaper this morning and will start getting the foredeck area ready for the top skin this weekend.  My plan is to get the top skin all in place before it gets too cold.  Then I can pick away at the fun task of prepping the top skin for fairing over the winter when all I will need is power and my sander.