Monday, April 28, 2014

Today's mission, should you choose to accept it

is to get some mud on the hull and see just how far this Quickfair stuff is gonna go!

Hmmmm? Well I had about a half gallon of QF left over from last year. After scraping the grungies off the top of the hardener I still figure I was close to a half gallon of goo or poo or bog or whatever you want to call it. Mixed some up. Here's how I do it.

I use a digital postal scale set to metric (grams) The mixing ratio of resin to hardener for QF is 100:44 by weight so it's pretty easy.

A dollop of greyish/brown poo (approx. 100 grams)
Add to that a dollop of white poo (approx. 44 grams)
Mix well till you get a uniform color of poo
Then spread the poo on as thin as you can get it (easier said than done when you have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands)
The area covered above represents about 20% of the bottom area. That'll mean at least 2-1/2 gallons to do the whole bottom and keel. *Sigh* Looks like I'll be online shopping for another 3 gallons of QF soon as I won't have enough left to do the sides and transom. Dammit Janet!

On another note the wife and I took a lil' trip to Harbor Freight tools in Watertown NY yesterday. I think the idea was to use up some coupons she had for HFT and get the ole' fart (me) something for Father's day. Some of the interesting things we found were:
  1. 2500 lb electric winch with wireless remote $49
  2. Dual color security camera with 5" monitor $64 (for my Dad for Father's day)
  3. 5 gal Air Pig $22
On top of that they had a few freebies etc. One of the neat things I got, or at least I thought it was neat and would save me some back aches is this lil' jewel. It extends out to about 30".

A well spent $4.99 I think! Already used it a few times and works great.

I haven't cracked open the new jugs of QF yet. I'll save that for tomorrow after what's on there now kicks off and hardens up. Right now I have to dust off my CAD skills and draw up a skeg to take to the machine shop for an estimate. That's gonna be a lil' spendy I think!

Project Manager mulling over attacking a leaf. He's not much help!  :-)
Later gators.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


VEP = Very Expensive Paint

Some supplies arrived yesterday. Three gallons of high build epoxy primer, one gallon of 45% copper based bottom paint and three gallons of Quickfair fairing compound. Now all I need is my Flexicat tools and a little warmer weather.
If I did the math correctly this is enough to get the bottom done and the hull flipped.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Somethin' was buggin' me

Somethin' in the back of my teenie tiny brain was buggin' me. I've been going over a list of stuff I have to get done in the near future and the rudder is one of those items. The rudder I have came with the kit that we bought. I don't know who built it or how it was built but the dimensions are 'close' to those on the plans.

It appears to be well constructed but the shaft is too long by almost a foot overall. I assume whoever built it didn't make it specifically for this boat. I've mocked up the skeg for the boat and used some advice from previous TW28 builders and need to make some modifications to the rudder before I can use it.

The first thing on the list is to have it shortened. Not an easy proposition since it's already built. It can't be put on a lathe to cut that way so it's pretty much an eyeball operation which worries me a bit. 5-1/2" have to come off the bottom of the rudder and 6-1/2" off the top.

Second is the shaft has to be cut just above the top of the rudder blade. This is to allow two stainless steel flanges to be machined and welded on. These flanges will allow the rudder to be unbolted and removed without having to dig a huge hole beneath the boat or have a crane brought in to lift the boat.

I got these two SS flanges off of eBay pretty cheap. They're used in piping in the nuclear reactor industry! :-) So quality isn't an issue. They will require a little machine work before they can be welded on.

Next issue is size. The rudder is just a bit too big and there won't be any room between the bottom of the hull and the top of the rudder for the SS flanges. I don't know how the rudder was built so I had to cut into it. In order for the flange idea to work it'll need more room.

I removed about an inch or so from the top of the rudder. Looks like high density closed cell foam on the inside and a couple of layers of glass on the outside. I drilled down into the foam and hadn't hit the first flange so we can easily take off more material if needed.

Even modifying the shaft as radically as this there still won't be much room and especially on the bottom where the rudder bearing will mount.

I need at least 1-1/2" for the skeg channel and the bearing. This meant  I had to leave this end a little longer than I would have liked. I'll haul the whole thing off to the Machine ship on Tuesday to see if it can even be done. If not I have another 1-1/4" shaft that I can start over with.


PS. Yeah! No sanding today! Wohoo!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Purgatory or Sandinsanity, you decide.

In the movie 'Beetlejuice' it was suggested that if you committed suicide you became a civil servant in the afterlife. I'm pretty sure Tim Burton got that wrong. I am of the belief that you are sentenced to a fate worse than civil service but one of endless sanding, sanding and yet more sanding.

I can't really explain much more about sanding in my blog. You all know by now what it is, how it is done and why so I'll just let you watch one poor bugger committed to purgatory here on earth.

I've edited this down from about 3 hrs. No commentary or anything. Just the odd snippit of nonsense thrown in to break up an otherwise very dull video.

Thanks for watching and no, you can't have those 10 minutes of your life back. Sorry, not sorry! :-)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sandinsanity 2014 has begun

Well, back to it. Sandinsanity 2014 has officially begun! One of the last things I did last year was lay the last layer of glass on the keel. I hadn't put a sander to it at all so that's where I started today.
All the fabric edges are fairly pronounced on this heavy glass (1708) so they all need a good sanding to smooth them out prior to fairing. The entire surface has to be sanded as well to give the fairing compound something to bite into.

The whole time I was left unsupervised. The Project Manager and Project Director instead soaking up sunbeams on the back porch! What a life!
Reminds me of my days in Gubment with two supervisors watchin' one poor schmuck actually working! :-)

My imitation of 'The Fly'! :-)
At least I wasn't itchy after two hrs of sanding!

It's been a long saga the tale of the Flexicat sanding thingies. I ordered them last October 10th. They still haven't arrived. Last email I got they were being shipped from EU to the US on April 17th. No word as to whether this has actually happened yet. I try not to bug them too much. I'll give them another week or so then send another email. I sure hope they get here soon I'll be needing them and really looking to see how well they work. Hoping they were a good investment.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Old sea stories

Was following a thread on one of the boating forums. Silly questions you get from newbies etc. This was one that came to mind from my sailing days.


Was departing Thunder Bay, ON aboard CCG Icebreaker/buoytender. Giving newbie galley steward walk around the ship. Ship sailed at 08:00 on 4 week construction project. 

Me: This is the bridge. Just hang back and watch.
Newbie: What time do I get off tonight?
Me: 18:30 hrs
Newbie: I have to work 18 and a half hours today?
Me: Yes
Newbie: Can I go home when we're done?
Me: Sure, if you can swim that far.
Newbie: Swim? You mean we're not going back to the dock?
Me: Not for 28 days
Newbie: I only brought one pair of underwear.
Me: We have laundry facilities on board
Newbie: But my Mom always did my laundry.
Me: Well your Mom isn't here is she?

Dead silence for about 3 minutes

Newbie: Where are we going?
Me: Michipicoten Island for 4 week construction project.
Newbie: So I can go home every night?
Me: Sure
Newbie: Cool, can't wait to tell my buddies. 

Dead silence for about 2 minutes

Newbie: How far do we drop down to get to Michipicoten Island? 
Me: (after a brief pause) You mean like through locks?
Newbie: Yeah
Me: About 750 feet and 65 locks.
Newbie: Cool! Can't wait to tell my buddies.

Dead silence for about a minute

Newbie: How high is the tide on Lake Superior?
Me: Tide?
Newbie: Like I see on TV you know the water coming in and going out
Me: (not knowing the real answer) oh about 75 feet. (it's actually 1 ft)
Newbie: Oh wow! That's amazing. I can't wait to tell my buddies. Can I call them now? (age before wireless Internet)
Me: Like on the phone?
Newbie: Yeah, I see them all over the bridge.
Me: See that fella over there in the big chair with the 4 stripes on his shoulder?
Newbie: Yeah
Me: Go ask him if you can call your buddies on the phone?

Newbie walks over to Captain.

Newbie: Hi!
Captain: Hello, you must be the new steward.
Newbie: Yessir!
Captain: How are you liking the ship so far?
Newbie: I don't like it too much, I have to do my own laundry.
Captain: Oh don't worry, you'll get used to it. You do my laundry too you know?
Newbie: (stunned) I have to do your laundry too?
Captain: Yes and I like a very light starch in my white shirts.
Newbie: (Stunned silence)
Newbie: Can I call my buddies to tell them how cool this is?
Captain: Like on the phone?
Newbie: Yessir, I think there's some cool stuff here they need to know about.
Captain: Do you know that ship/shore radiotelephone costs about $6.00 per minute?
Newbie: I didn't know that but that's ok this is a Government Ship they can afford it.
Captain: (shoots me a look that could kill) Yeah, sure, you can use the pay phone in the laundry room.

The kid spent three days looking for the pay phone in the laundry room but had clean under shorts for the whole trip! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Found some things, lost some things

Temps have risen to the 20 C mark today so back out to the shed for some puttering & cleaning up. Ground is still soaked! I lost a box of Raptor Nails and found them then figured out I've lost the slide thingy for the Raptor nailer! *sigh* Found my air chuck to fill my bicycle tires and then immediately lost it! *sigh*

The Project Manager was there barking orders to 'Get To It Pronto!" So I had to lure him away with the offer of treats. He left me alone after that!

Last year I had a problem with moisture in the air feed from the compressor. I bought two of those small moisture trap thingies, one from Canadian Tire for $30 and it failed first time I tried to drain it. Took it back and bought another one at Lowes for $9. It was identical to the first. It failed first time I tried to drain it. So I figure I got nothing to loose and drilled out the drain and tapped it with a 1/4" NPT thread to which I added a small ball valve. It now works perfectly!

I bought a Mastercraft oscillating tool last year. It works pretty good. Made the mistake of leaving it on the charger all winter in the shed. Battery's pooched so off to Canadian Tire to try to get a replacement. I have a feeling it'll likely be cheaper to buy a whole new unit than just a replacement battery.

Still waiting on my Flexi-cat tools to be shipped. Been in touch with the distributor and they still haven't received any from the factory in Europe. It's been almost 6 months now. I'd hate to be relying on the supply of this one product for my living. The distributor wanted to refund my money but I've hung in this long might as well ride it out.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Double digit temps

Thermometer hit 12 Dec C today. That's pretty nice and long overdue. I've been able to get into the boat shed via the front door but not the side. This is what I was faced with today.

That's nearly 5+ feet of snow and ice piled up on the north side of the shed. Being on the north side it doesn't get any direct sunlight so it's a slow melt.

The snow was about 2 feet higher a week ago. Here it is piled up between the garden shed and the boat shed.

The view from inside the shed. I prayed to Gawd that I didn't drop my keys while I was fumbling with the padlock! :-)

Didn't want to try to run water on it to help speed up the melting, the shed floor is soaked already so I turned to the big fan to keep air moving over it. It actually worked really well. The lower 3 feet or so is solid ice.

After three hours or so of fan and chopping I got a couple of feet cleared from the shed door. Tomorrow I should be able to clear the rest and get the garden shed open so I can hook up the air compressor etc. then we'll be back in action.

The Project Manager even showed up to put his paw of approval on the workings! Here he is putting on a tremendous burst of speed!

Standby and stay warm.....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First good look around

Back to the boat shed today for a better look around. Ground was frozen so I could get in without sinking in mud.

I think the first order of business will be to get some stuff straightened around. I have to find a solution for all the off-cuts that are laying on the ground. Some are garbage now from having been soaked. Really wish I had more space to work with but that's not a possibility so I'll have to tough it out!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Some warmer weather finally

+7 C today so enough snow melted to let me in the shed. Just had to see how everything faired out over the winter.

There's a couple inches of standing water pretty much everywhere and a lot more snow left to melt. Will likely be a week or two before I can actually get in there to do any work.