Sunday, October 5, 2014

All things not being created equal

or so it appears at least in the wood flour world. Being the eternal cheap skate (remember the 'squeeze the nickle & make the beaver shit thing?) that I am I picked up 12.5 lbs of wood flour off of eBay for cheap. I saved about 50% over retail. So far so good. Well as you would have it not all wood flours are created equal. Some are better. Some are worse. This last purchase wasn't so good.
It's more like wood pulp like they make paper out of. I don't know if it's a higher moisture content than normal or what but it won't screen through my wire strainer. It just balls up into little clumps. I bought a 'Cake Boss' four sifter and it won't go through that either. This type may require special processing tools or something that I don't have.
I was able to get a few batches of it mixed up into glue. I'll let them cure then sand them down a bit to see if they're going to be Ok. There might be some small voids in the mix but I'm not sure till I sand them down to see what's going on inside the fillets.
You can see the fillets in the pic above. They're the lighter coloured ones. It took about 20 oz of epoxy glue just to do the stem! Wasn't fun standing on my head trying to glue in the bow thruster tube either! :-(

I'll show you basically how I mix my glue for fillets. I'm still perfecting the process but it goes pretty much like this....
 When we started out building the boat we used 'Pecan Flour' as a filler for our epoxy glue. Here's Lori filling the kerfs on the outside of the hull using the pecan flour filler.
It is really really nice stuff to work with and gives you a nice chocolate brown colour. It would be perfect for any one wanting to do a brightwork finish in a dark colour. When sanded it lightens up a bit but still very nice. The only problem wit pecan flour is it's become very expensive due to cross-country shipping. Once we get to the inside work it might be worth the extra cost to get some more.
We mixed almost all of the pecan flour epoxy glue with old electric mixers Lori got from yard sales & auctions for $2 each!  :-)  It was a little messy though trying to scoop it all out of the bowl and into plastic bags. The method I'm using now and you've see above is less wasteful.

Before I move on to filleting the keel I have to make a part for the very back of the keel and glue it in. While that's setting I'll sand down the existing hard fillets and get ready for taping.

Standby....