Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fairly Difficult

So it looks like I need some practice with this whole fairing thing.  I took advantage of the still green epoxy on the aft deck and decided to get a head start on laying down the fairing compound.  I wish I could just spread it all nice and perfect, but it just doesn't seem that easy.  I kept dragging an edge or putting too much pressure on the spreader and as a result I couldn't get it perfect.  The main tool I was using was a 12" steel edge drywall knife for the open areas and 4" and 1" plastic spreaders for the tight spots.  The aft deck was actually not a great place to start because there are lots of complicated edges and corners, but all in all it came out ok for a first pass.

Ok for first pass
To build the long boards I used a few pieces of plastic wood cut into 2-3/4 inch strips; one 17 inches and one 11 inches.  I countersunk screws through the bottom and mounted 2 cheap kitchen drawer handles to the top for a good handhold.  I ordered a few 25 yard rolls of pressure sensitive adhesive (psa) long board sandpaper and it showed up on Saturday.

The next day I came back and attempted to try out my newly built long boards.  Unfortunately, the cold weather the night before had slowed up the cure and I found myself gumming up the board quickly.  I was a bit worried because I thought that I may have improperly mixed the last batch and wondered weather or not I would need to grind it all off.   Fortunately, when I stopped in this morning I could tell that things had hardened up much better overnight.   I decided I would let everything harden up for a few days because the cold is expected to continue throughout the weekend.  Not much time left; ideally I'd like to be able to get a coat of primer down before winter, but I don't know if I'll make it before it gets too cold.

Anyway, I spent a few hours today sanding and prepping the cabin top with the 5" deWalt (the big Rigid is STILL in the shop... grrrrr) and got a first coat of fairing compound down.  It was a lot easier on the cabin top because there aren't many quirky corners and edges.  For the fairing compound I mixed up 48 oz (in 3 batches) and added roughly a 2:1 mix of glass Q-cells to Aerosil.  I probably won't even try any long boarding for a few days because my schedule is pretty busy this week, but it's just as well because the cold will slow the cure down anyway.

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