Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Good Kind Of Messy

The rudder project is coming along nicely, but one of my fellow boat restoration compatriots suggested that I coat the rudder with some penetrating epoxy (CPES) prior to encapsulating the plywood with biaxial cloth.  I thought it was a really good idea since plywood (marine or otherwise) just doesn't hold up when immersed in water and figured it certainly couldn't hurt to treat the plywood even though no water should be seeping into it once it's finished.

The problem with CPES is that it takes 2 days to cure and unlike regular epoxy that's arguably better to re-coat while still green, CPES needs to have all of the volatile solvents evaporate prior to re-coating and risk trapping them underneath the next layer and causing problems.  That's what I've read on the internet anyway, so it must be true.
In any event, I decided to heed the warnings and let the rudder cure fully.  So I moved on to building some dorade boxes for the cabintop. The boat actually has some molded fiberglass ones in place already, but I always wanted to make some nice wood ones that would hide the ugly fiberglass.  When I bought the boat, the original bronze cowls had been replaced by plastic ones that were butt ugly but the previous owner was kind enough to give me the original bronze ones in a big bag of goodies.  They still need to be cleaned up, but I'll be using them for the new boxes.

I have been saving a bit of leftover sapelle from the new caprails and put it to use for this project.  I started out by building one from pine before cutting up the good wood.  Since I'm simply building covers for the existing fiberglass vents, I wanted to get the fit just right and there are a bunch of odd angles and curves that made it a bit tricky.  Once I had it right I took apart the pine box and transferred the dimensions to the sapelle and cut it out.

It had been a while since I hand cut dovetails, but I put my new chisels (birthday present) to good use and I'm happy with the results for the first box.  I still have a lot to do on this before it's done, but it was nice to be able to post about something that only required sawing and chiseling and no epoxy for a change.

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