449Hrs – Slow Progress
Firstly thanks for the really useful comments on my last post. Some great ideas there I particularly like Thomas’ idea about pre-weighing quantities ready. Why didn’t I think of that! Much as I would love a mixing pump as per Beats suggestion its just not on at the moment, I have however made a small plastic mixing paddle that fits in my slow speed drill/driver. This allows me to mix smaller batches quickly and thoroughly but without fatigue! Jacques I’m really sorry to hear that you are still in trouble with sensitisation, what a bummer. I dread it happening to me.
I had hoped to make some real progress today and maybe even start the sheathing, but it was not to be. Firstly when I got to the barn I found that yesterdays torrential rain had caused the gutters to overflow and had created a fishpond in my canopy! There was so much water it was a wonder it hadn’t caused the whole thing to come down. I drained it into an empty 25Lit (5 Gallon) drum and it totalled nearly 125Lit (25 Gallons)! I then had to spend some time refixing the canopy and trying to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I also moved my stock of Douglas Fir strips into a dryer more accessible position.
Despite my keenness to start the sheathing proper I put my sensible head on and decided to do a couple of trial pieces to test the two different methods of application I have read about. I set up two pieces of ply and cut some glass twill to fit. I then gave one of the ply pieces a ‘tack’ coat of epoxy and, whilst it was going off tried applying the other piece of twill dry, wetting the whole thing from the top. To be honest I didn’t have a lot of confidence that it would work, however, I noticed straight away that the twill seemed to wet out quite easily and although initially the twill was moving around a little bit, once an area was well wetted and had started to stick, it was easy to keep it smooth. I used a foam mini roller for the whole process. After about an hour I put the other piece of twill into the ‘tack’ coat on the other ply and started wetting it out. Immediately I noticed air bubbles appearing and no matter how much I rolled I couldn’t get rid of them. It was also harder to position the twill because rather than sliding smoothly it was ‘grabbed’ by the epoxy and kept creasing.
Pre-wetting one panel Wetting out twill on the dry panel
Twill laid on wetted out panel Dry lay twill fully wetted out
Dry lay with nicely filled weave Wet lay with air bubbles
I suspect that the air bubbles resulted from me laying into the tack coat too soon, but given the speed that I will have to work to get the actual sheathing bonded I won’t have the time to wait around – Another advantage of the dry method. So although it was a pain these trial pieces have convinced me that the dry method best suits my materials and working methods.
To finish off the day I actually did some work on the boat! Another task I want to complete before the hulls are turned are the interior hull stringer fillets, the ones that will be in the bottom edges when the hulls are the right way up. I know it will be much easier to do them now, they are more accessible and gravity is on my side. I am making a real effort to keep them neat as I don’t want too much sanding later.