I notice that it’s more than a fortnight 1 since the last post. MY faithfully follower (s) will have given up, Google will have lost me and Facebook – well I don’t think FB knows me 2 – I’ll never be able to live on the proceeds of blogging.
Two weeks ago I ran out of glue 3 – well Epoxy to be precise. So I had a chat with the Bank Manager 4 and ordered some more. This time, as it seemed that summer had set in, I ordered the hardener part that likes higher temperatures. As one of my commentariat has pointed out (with a one word comment of “No” to my last post), the summer that the UK enjoyed in May has given way to a distinctly chilly and wet early June. So probably not a good idea. Anyway, the Epoxy duly arrived, together with a tub5 of smooth filler (required, I am reliably informed, for the fairing operation that will take the next month or so), and work resumed.
The next task was to cover the bottom of the boat with glassfibre cloth. The idea of this is to give the plywood some protection when the owner (or other users) run onto the hard stuff (sand or mud, I hope, not pointy rocks) either on purpose (to let off unruly crew) or through lack of attention (a sign of oncoming Alzheimers).
I viewed this operation with some trepidation. How would this cloth drape itself over this boat shape with out funny folds or ruckles? After a little cogitation, I convinced myself it would not be a problem – after all, wasn’t the hull made of pieces of wood that originally been flat? So, if I cut the cloth into pieces that reflected the original plywood panels it should be OK. But I find cloth is a b****r to handle and decided to cover the bottom four plywood sheets 6 with 6 pieces of cloth.
So I cut out the cloth into the right sized pieces. Then the trouble started – no matter how carefully I cut the cloth, once cut the cloth seemed determined to snag on every little lump on the hull and the warp and weft seemed to want to be parted 0 they unravelled at every opportunity. It took great care not to end up with a piece of the stuff that looked like a flag that had been flying for years in high winds. It (and me) were definitely frayed at the edges.
Finally suitable pieces were cut and arranged on the bottom – it seemed to work quite well when I tried it out “dry” – without epoxy. I also had to cut out matching pieces of Peel Ply. There then followed a period of epoxy mixing, spreading it on the hull and then, with trepidation, laying the cloth in place and smoothing it out. Start from the middle outwards, say the books. Well, it started off well but then the cloth moved and shrank and expanded and crinkled and ruckled and would not lay down. Eventually each sheet was cajoled into place, overlapping at the joins and turning over the chine edge onto the second plank. The peel ply cloth was laid in place, smoothed out and the bubbles between it and the glass cloth were chased with a squeegy to the edges.
That’s the first part of the job down – now for lunch. When I get back, I should be able to lift the edges at the joins and carefully cut the sheets so that the overlaps are converted to lap joints. I should have plenty of time – I was using the slower setting hardener.
Wrong. It was all stuck irretrievably together. “It’s OK”, I thought “It looks fine – if necessary I’ll just cover it over with the smooth filler”.
So I fiddled about putting the rudder stock together and sanding the rudder blade into a sort of aerofoil section and then went home.
At home, there had been another delivery of Epoxy, hardener and smooth filler…..Who ordered that?
- In fact its almost a month since I last put fingers to keys.
- Obviously both Google and FB know all about me (as well as everybody else)– I just pretend that they don’t.
- The Owners Agent is convinced that the boat is made of glue and nothing else.
- AKA The owners agent – this confirming her view about the composition of the boat (see note 3 above). If it were to be so, I point out to her that it would be even more expensive as, so far, the glue has cost £800!
- Think of a tub of popcorn that you used to buy at the cinema and multiply by 10 in all dimensions