Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Human Sander

Seems like that's all I do these days, not that I'm complaining.  It's way better than a lot of tasks I've done over the course of the recore, but it's getting old now.  I know there's lots more to come, but the vast majority during the past week has been in the corners and small curves of the bulwark or cabintop interface with the deck.  My finger tips are sore and cut up from all the abrasives I've subjected them to.

I did get quite a bit done and am now getting blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel.  I used a bunch more QuickFair to set up a nice radius for the entire deck/bulwark and deck/cabintop interface.  Using my finger again, I ran a filet around everything and then sanded it all back down so it was nice and smooth.  All told, I laid and sanded about 105 feet of filet over the past few days.

The QuickFair sands really well by hand, but I broke out my old Porter-Cable Profile sander to rough in the radius before I went over it by hand.  Makes quick work of the QuickFair.  Not everything went perfectly though, I got sloppy when I was laying down the last of the filet.  I didn't want to have to mix a new batch because I only had about 2 feet left, so I really scraped the mixing board and laid it down, but that 2 foot section never cured properly.  It was the dregs of the batch and must not have had enough hardener to make it kick.  After 2 days I gave up and scraped it all off, solvent washed the area down and ran a new filet. Not a big deal, but it was another 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Is that all I did?
I also filled any high spots that I could find on the decks but there just wasn't that much to do.  One spot on the foredeck and a few spots on the cabintop.  Once I sanded everything back down, there wasn't much to see other than a few pinkish spots around the deck.  I've decided to put down the second primer coat until I prep the cockpit and get the first primer coat there and on the aft deck.

Mystery putty?
Today I focused on getting the cockpit ready; there is a lot to do.  I finally pulled the old instruments off and managed to do so without inventing new swear words to impress the kids with.  They really weren't mounted very securely as it turns out and it didn't take much to get them out.  In fact the old loran unit (yes, high tech stuff) was only held on by some sort of white putty.  I'm not sure what it was but all I had to do was jam a flathead screw driver between the plastic plate and the bulkhead and it popped right off.  The other instruments came off almost as easy, but at least they had a retaining ring around the back.

Once the depth, speed, and loran were yanked, I got to work grinding a 12:1 bevel for the new glass to stick to.  When doing the main decks I resorted to the angle grinder because it went so much faster, but I elected to use the 6" Rigid sander with dust collection to avoid the misery that I faced when I put bevels in all the decks.  A lot slower, but it was such a small area that it was worth not throwing a ton of dust everywhere.

After that I cut out 5 layers of biaxial cloth and pre-fit them into each of the holes and inserted a cardboard backing plate lined with plastic to keep the epoxy from sticking.   Finally I mixed up a 12 oz batch (mental note: I mixed way too much for that small job), and wet everything out and slapped the layers in (largest first then small going out).  Once satisfied with the way the cloth was laying down, I covered everything in plastic,  smoothed it out as best I could and called it a day.  Tomorrow, I'll clean it up and possible add a fairing coat on.

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