Monday, October 31, 2011

Ready to Glass the Deck

 After a whole lot of fairing, smoothing, and sanding, I'm ready to glass the entire deck on the boat.  The cabin top had previously been glassed inside and out so I don't really have to put another layer on there.  However, I do need to overlap the glass from the deck onto the cabin top to strengthen the joint between them.  This joint is already glassed on the inside of the cabin, but this additional overlap should make it just that much stronger.  I measured and laid out glass for the bow first then worked backwards from there.  I started with 50" wide fabric and worked backward toward the stern of the boat.

 As mentioned below, I had already glassed in the foot bensons so as you can see in the picture on the right, I cut the deck cloth around the bensons so that I have nice smooth cloth with no wrinkles.  

Finally, I cut out similar sections of nylon release cloth which will be laid over the glass/epoxy mix.  The release cloth gives a very smooth finished surface on the epoxy coating.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Close to glassing the deck

I've been working toward glassing the deck and cockpit on the boat.  However, I was worried about how the glass cloth would form around the foot bensons on the boat.  Just in time, there was a topic on the forum at on "how big" or how much of the deck to glass at once.  Jon from Critical Twist suggested that the bensons be glassed first and to then cut holes in the large cloth pieces covering the aft deck and cockpit which go around the previously covered bensons.  I carried through on that advice and went ahead and glassed the bensons.  The photo here shows the result.  The smaller strips of glass fabric molded very nicely around the corners of the bensons, and I didn't have to worry about distorting the rest of a large piece of glass cloth.  

In the bottom right of the picture above you can see a section of the cockpit side curves that I coated with epoxy just for a test.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's getting colder here

As I mentioned in the past, I chose West System 207 hardener for my project.  I like this material because it has a low amine content (less smell, less blush), it is clear, it has some built-in UV protection, and it has a slower cure time.  Unfortunately, it also requires a higher ambient temperature in order to cure than some other hardeners.  With colder weather here, this has limited my work to sanding, filling, etc. or mixing epoxy on those few days where the temperature reaches up into the 70's.  

 So on the colder days, I've been working on small projects that don't involve epoxy.  Previously, I mentioned that I decided to leave natural the cedar stripped curved panels that join the deck with the cockpit side panels.  This decision meant that I had to remove all of the staples that I put in there to hold the strips together.  This was a pretty tough job because I had previously epoxied over these strips.  

Well with a bunch of sanding, and prying, and digging, I finally got them all out.  There are of course some divots that need to be filled in, but that shouldn't be too big of a deal.

Two other small jobs that I got around to were to line the inside of the keel box with carbon fiber, and to install and trim the keel crane well (described earlier).  I did this on a nice Fall day where the temperature reached up into the high 70's

There won't be too many more warm days this year, so rather than put off work for the Fall, I went ahead and bought a heater for the garage (I mean workshop).  The unit that I bought was just a simple radiant unit I found at Home Depot.  It would cost too much to run this unit in the Winter, but it should add a few degrees to the garage (err. . . workshop) temperature, so that I can extend the epoxy season.  I'd like to glass all of the deck/cabin top in the next couple of weeks.  My plan is to flip this thing over during Thanksgiving weekend when I'll have a bunch of people around to help.