Monday, July 29, 2013

A real love/hate relationship

That's pretty much what I have when it comes to AC electrics. I've never been comfortable working with it. To date I've run my boat shed off of the regular outlets from the house. Until today that's worked pretty good. Then this happened.

This was the 20 Amp feed from my basement panel that I installed for my Lincoln welder. The only thing plugged into it was the air compressor and the small electric fan in the gable end of the shed. I wouldn't think that the startup draw from the compressor and a $10 fan would cause a melt down like this. There was smoke & flames jumping out of it till I managed to grab hold of the extension cord and yank it out. Had to go in and change my drawers.

The weather's turned nasty again, electrical storms in the area. I'm not tempting fate and called it a day to hide out in the basement with the cats! We've got a small leak in the roof that's causing some problems so got a roof repair guy coming today to have a look, if it stops raining that is.

Today's Boatshed tune is.....

Anyone noticing a pattern here with the Boatshed tunes?


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another TW28 Launched....

In the Netherlands. Stoere Meid.

Almost exactly 3 years from start to finish. The builder/owner Allard has done a fine job and painted her in traditional Dutch canal barge colors. A short video of the launch.

Well done Allard! Congratulations on a fine result of all your hard work. She'll carry you on many splendid adventures!

Today's task was to sand down the fabric edges of the 12 oz fiberglass I laid on the keel yesterday. This job usually takes me a couple of hours. I started out with my new 6" air powered RO sander. It's ok, not as gutsy as the old one but gets the job done. Heavier grid sandpaper bogs it down a bit and it uses more air per minute than the old one so I have to stop about every five minutes or so and let the air build back up.

It was 85 F in the shed and it's usually 5 or 10 degs warmer up on the boat. Five mins of sanding and I was soaked so I moved Big BJ up on top of the boat and got some more air moving. Keeping it aimed at me helps keep cool and keeps the sanding dust down as well. Don't know why I didn't think of this before! Duh!

I wish I had more hands and could lay more than one layer at a time. Working wet on wet is the ideal situation but not when you work alone on a boat his size. All it means is more sanding to cut into the surface of the new epoxy so the next layer has something to grab onto. I've b*tched a bit about the amount of epoxy I'm going through and this is where a lot of it ends up.

Kinda looks like it snowed in the shed over night! *lol* That's the results of about 10 minutes with the 7" sander feathering out the fabric edges. But on a brighter note I am getting closer to finishing the hull and that keeps me going. That and seeing others launch their TW28's. Mine is a little longer and will actually end up at 31' 5" long so I think I'll refer to it as a TW315!  :-)

Today's special Boat Shed Tune is.....

More sandinsanity this afternoon. Standby....

Friday, July 26, 2013

One more down, two to go!

4 hrs. 1.75 gallons of epoxy, 9 yards of 12 oz fiberglass, one roller handle, one roller sleeve and 6 pairs of nitril gloves. Sorry no pics of the keel. I'll spare you that one. Just look back at previous posts and you'll see the keel. Looks the same just more layers on it!  :-)

I did pop the cherry on my new 6" air sander!

I couldn't wait to get another one. Took a chance on the Lowes brand (Kobalt) and based on the few reviews on their site it seemed like it would be ok. First impressions is it's very much like my old one. I'll try not to abuse this one too much!  ;-)

The next layer will cover the entire hull. I'll definitely need to find some extra hands for that one. It'll be an all day marathon. I think 4 guys and myself would be ideal. One mixing, one rolling, one squeegeeing and one runner. Anybody interested in helping out? Free Tyvel shirts & nitril gloves. Did I mention I have cold beer and Smokie Sausages?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A new sherriff in town

Following the demise of my 6" air powered RO sander my only fall back was a 5 1/4" electric Black & Decker sander. This mornings task was to feather the fabric edges of the 12 oz fiberglass I put on the keel the other day. After an hour of grinding away at the edges with the small electric sander I got about 10' of keel/bottom join done. Boy was I missing my 6" RO air sander! :-(

I've been reluctant to pull out my 7" Simoniz sander/polisher (on the left) because I do use it to polish the car etc. and I don't really want to screw it up. Biting the bullet I decided to give it a try. I don't have any 7" discs but stuck a 6" on there to see how it worked! Wow! Yet another weapon of mass destruction! This puppy removes material like crazy!

I ripped through the remaining 40 or so feet of fabric edge to be feathered out in about an hour! There was dust flying everywhere! ;-) It's a bit of a handful to manage. Takes a lot more muscle to control it, muscles I haven't used in a long time. "Honey, where's the advil?"  ;-)

Speaking of dust I noticed these patterns forming along the hull.

I think I'll call them 'Dust Fractals'. I don't know how they form, maybe static electricity along the surface of the hull or something.The air gun or dust broom gets rid of them pretty easily! :-)

I have a set of instructions for my old 6" RO air sander. There's even an exploded diagram of parts but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get it apart. Usually there's a way to get the pad off but even that's stumped me. Anyone got any ideas?

On another note Momma cat has discovered the 'Kitty Porch' I built for her.
I'm so happy she's using it. If she wasn't so stubborn and refuse to come inside she could go out with the others. Last time we let her out she stayed out for two weeks and we had to trap her to get her back in. We don't like to leave any of our cats out overnight but she's a fair size cat and can likely defend herself against the racoons who occasionally invade our neighborhood.

Tomorrow's task is to finish up a light sanding on the keel and lay down the next layer of fabric, 1208 45/45. Once that's done it'll be onto the bottom and side panels with the 1208 & 10 oz satin weave. Slow but steady progress. Standby.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A good day and a sad day

Today was a productive day in the boat shed and a sad day. My poor ole' 6" RO air sander packed it in. She was a work horse and I'll miss her. Couldn't find the company online or any chance of getting repair parts. I only paid $15 for it at a flea market so it doesn't owe me anything.

I spent 9 hrs in the shed today. This morning it was sanding all the fabric edges along the keel/bottom panels to prep for fiberglass. The afternoon I spent the better part of 3 hrs putting down a layer of 12 oz 0/90 fiberglass on the keel.

Just about burned myself out running up and down the ladder for epoxy. I'll try to find some helpers for the next round which will be two layers plus the bottom panels in one shot. No way I can do that myself.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I hope this is 'nuff to finish the boat

Today's supply run successful. 30 gallons of epoxy & 45 yds of 12 oz biax 0/90. $1870

I hope this is 'nuff to finish the boat. As it stands right now, if it does, it'll be 81 gallons of the sticky stuff gone into this pig! ;-(

So while waiting

While waiting for supplies and the weather to begin to cooperate I tinkered together another project. This time a 'Kitty Porch' for the indoor gooches to hang out and get some air.

Poor ole' Momma cat can't go out (she's virtually feral and won't come back in) so she's gotten overly fluffy and suffers a lot in the heat so I built her this 'Kitty Porch' for her to blow some of the stink off and get a little relief from the heat.

I had some offcuts of marine plywood from the boat panels to use and spent another $18 on a dowel, 2.3 and some screen.

So far Shadow is the one who's most taken to it. The others have investigated and aren't quite sure what to think of it yet.

I've used Thompson's Water Seal on it and will likely paint it this fall when I take it down for the winter.

Picking up our order of 30 gallons of epoxy and 45 yds of fiberglass. Back to boat building stuff soon! Standby.....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

49 C or 120 F

No matter how you measure it that's "Freakin' Hot!" Throw in a little humidity and you've got a steam cooker!

The last time I noticed the thermometer in the shed was Saturday. The telltale read 47 C as the highest it's ever been in there. This morning I noticed that's changed to 49 C (120 F). That had to have happened yesterday.

I was hoping to get something done today but in that heat, nope! Five minutes in and I was wringing wet!

You can't really see it very well in these pics but right below the sanding block there's a seam where two plywood sheets were joined. When I bent the panels around the forms this particular seam bent. It didn't break just deformed a bit. I didn't think it would be that much of an issue but every time I walked by it it bugged me.

This defect is large enough that it'll look like a huge wart if I don't deal with it now. I've sanded it down as much as I dare and the only recourse left is to fill and feather it out.

You can just make out the high spot in the center where there's no filler. This got machine and block sanded to feather the edges down and smooth the curve.

This is looking straight on at the repair. The high spot is in the center. You can see the edges of the multiple layers of fill that were added and sanded to build up the area. The long block sander knocks it down quick and I'm left with a very nice smooth curve to the hull now. It took some muscle and patience but I think it's going to be Ok.

I should have my new passport in a week or so then I can go retrieve the 30 gallons of epoxy that's waiting for me in Ogdensburg. If we get a break in the heat it'll be fiberglassin' time again! Wohoo!

The plan is to get the hull ready to be flipped first thing in the spring. If I can do that I'll be happy. We'll likely hire a crane to flip the hull. I want to not only flip it over but turn it 180 degs and put it back in the shed bow in. This will give me much better access to the inside of the hull when it comes time to put the engine in.

Stay cool & Standby.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just gonna have to slow down a lil' bit

90 Degs at 9:00 this morning in the shed. Needless to say nuttin' will get done today.

Should have our epoxy order sometime this week. Just waiting for my replacement passport before I go over to get it. Will put out a call for helping hands for the next round of epoxy & fiberglass. Hoping to get the whole keel, bottom and sides done in one shot. It's lighter fabrics so should be easier to work with.

Stay cool & standby!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hot, muggy & raining Cats & more Cats

It's hard to get things done in these conditions. The little lay off has helped my hands a lot. They're feeling almost normal again. Wearing braces at night helps a lot.

Just posted this on the Wooden boatbuilding forums and thought I'd share it here.

You know you're a boat builder when:

You're masterfully filleting joints on your latest creation when you come up 2" short! Looking around you can't find any more wood flour or other filler so you comb out your mustache and beard and get 'nuff to git 'r done! ;-)

Sunday, July 7, 2013


The sandinsanity (I just made that up) continues. Six hrs today. The sides are now as smooth as a newborn baby's tookus!

RIP one Black & Decker half sheet RO sander! It died a horrible death!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let the fairing begin!

"Fairing:  the process of making a yacht hull smooth so that it moves efficiently through the water"

 Well that's sorta the idea anyways. Fairing I would think also includes the 'cosmetic' aspect of preparing the hull for paint. As with any good finish the end product is a direct result of the effort put into making the surface as free from defects as possible. I'm not at the finish (cosmetic) part of the hull preparation but I'm doing some fairing to get as many nasty blemishes out of the sides (the most visible part of the boat) before I lay on more glass. The next two layers, 1 x 12 oz 0/90 biaxial and 1 x 10 oz Satin Weave should be easier to make fair if I spend a little more time on the structural layers beneath.

To start I mixed up a mushy mix of filler, 2 cups glass beads, 1 cup cabosil and 1 cup wood flour. Each batch, of which I used two, made up about 500 ml of filler. This was spread very thinly over the hull to fill all the little voids in the weave of the fiberglass.

Voids in the laminate are a 'no no' as they could possibly allow water to accumulate and with a freeze/thaw cycle like we have in this Gawd forsaken country, could lead to de-lamination or blisters in the hull.  I'm hoping all this extra work and sanding I do will prevent that from every happening. My second, and likely biggest concern, is looks. I want the hull to look as good as I can possibly get it. A show car finish would suit my liking just fine! :-) Even if it means many many more hours of sanding I'm willing to do it to get a good result.

I apologize for the next crappy photo. The iPhone camera seems to have a hard time locking onto dark objects. What I've done is spray on a fine mist of black paint.

This is called a 'guide coat' and it will show me the low's and highs as I sand down the fairing coat I applied earlier. It's really hard, for the untrained eye (which is what I have X2) to see any dips and bumps. You can feel them as you run your hand over the laminate but that only gives you a general idea of how it is. Once it's sanded you can see the low spots, still have paint on them, and the high spots sanded down.

This side felt really smooth to begin with. The guide coat highlights what the eyes cannot see. I'm not going to fair the sides perfectly smooth just yet. There's two more layers of glass to go on. Once they're on I'll spend all of my (quality) time with my sanders to prep the hull for primer and paint.

Speaking of sanding, I do most of the rough sanding with my pneumatic RO sander. It's a real workhorse. Once I get the tops of the high spots knocked down a bit I go in with the 'long board' (or otherwise known as a 'torture board').

This particular brand is made of dense foam rubber. It flexes to form to the hull and works really well on long sweeping curves. I have one that is 30" long and takes a lot of muscle to use. This one is 16" and with 80 grit paper it will remove a remarkable amount of material in a short period of time. Cured epoxy is really hard to sand but these tools make it relatively painless.

The pic below shows the difference the longboard makes. The section on the right has been RO and longboard sanded. The section on the left just RO sanded.

I'd like to thank Mr. Cracker Larry who has built a number of boats using these methods and has graciously shared his knowledge and experience with us amateurs on the web forums.

I tip my hat to you Larry. Enjoy your Independence Day safely and happily!

Your Foolish Sanding Brother Together in Epoxy Dust!