Friday, April 22, 2011

Test fit the Cutwater and Transom Band

The Cutwater is a stainless steel part that fits on the bow of the boat.  It serves as a protector and adds a little jewelry to the boat.  I really like the look of a cutwater and transom band but I also thought that it could also hide any sins in my woodworking.  I am so happy with how the bow turned out that I did not need to hide anything so that's a plus.
My first step to get a cutwater and transom band made was to make templates and get them off to the welder.  I did that 3-4 weeks ago and this week I picked up the parts and test fitted them to the boat.  The welder just made tack welds for the fitting and then once we get it just right he will finish the welding and polish the stainless.  The transom band was perfect.  The cutwater was very close to being good but it did not fit just right on the left side.  I returned it to the welder ( one hour drive each way) with measurements and photos.  He is not sure of my explanation so I am trying to get him to come over and take a look at my boat before we move forward.
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Epoxy Issue Resolved

Well, I was able to overcome my mistake with the last batch of epoxy mix.  It took almost a week (not all work) to get back on track but I am now moving forward once again.  I ended up taking a putty knife and a heat gun to remove the bulk of un-hardened epoxy.  Then I used Acetone to wipe of the remainder while constantly changing out my rags.  Then I took a green scotch pad to scuff up the surface again to hold the bond and get rid of any shinny spots.  Then I was ready for the next batch of epoxy.

In both of these photos you can see my good epoxy applied.  I ended up changing both of the epoxy pumps and the ratio of epoxy resin/hardener came out perfect.
The epoxy surface will not be smooth and level until I build it up with one or two more applications with sanding in between each coat.  This will get rid of any of the orange peel look.  It is great to get a glimpse of the wood grain with only one coat epoxy.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Stainless Steel Rail Trim and Epoxy Problems

This week I took advantage of a big epoxy problem that I have been having and used the time to work on making and dry fitting all of the railing Stainless Steel Trim.

First, I mentioned my epoxy problem.  Last Thursday evening I mixed up some epoxy and coated the entire deck of the boat.  My plan was to let it dry overnight, sand and apply the second coat over the weekend.  Well, things did not work out as planned.  THE EPOXY NEVER DRIED.  I realized that I made a huge error in the mix.  There are two pumps, one for the hardener and one for the resin.  My pumps were old and sticking so in the middle of mixing I changed one of the pumps ( looking back, should have changed both pumps) and the mix never received enough hardener. 

I talked to the epoxy manufacture last week and they told me not to put a new mix of epoxy on top of epoxy that has not hardened.  After spending three days using portable heaters to heat the room to 80 degrees and running a heat gun over the entire boat four times, I gave up.  I hate to go backwards but that is what needs to be done.  I spent all Sunday afternoon using a heat gun and spatula to strip the epoxy off the boat deck.  What a job and what a mess. I was able to remove 80% and most has dried now but not all.  I will call the manufacture again today and ask what my next move should be.  I am hoping they can suggest a solvent to wipe the remaining epoxy.

OK, now for the Stainless Steel Trim.

A good friend and Squirt Boat Builder Art Atkinson came over on Saturday and gave me some good advice.  We practiced and then made a few of the parts.  His method for making the bends, hammering out the spear points, drilling the countersinking holes, and polishing stainless steel all proved to be great.
You can also see in the photo above the bad epoxy ( it was later removed).
The stainless steel trim fit very tight with little or no gaps.

I was really happy about the look of all the stainless steel trim.  I did not want a joint at the bow of the boat so I made the bend using one piece.  I think the Trim turned out very nice and professional.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dye the Wood

After many hours of sanding the deck surface down to 220 grit, I was ready to dye the cover boards and king plank.  I used a Vintage Cherry wood dye from General Finishes and was very pleased with the results.  I believe the darker wood color will give a good contrast between the mahogany planks.

The above photos show the before and after the staining of the mahogany.

Something that I learned was not to remove the Blue Tape to fast and with the grain of the wood.  I surprised to see how aggressive the tape was.  It pulled the grain of the wood up.  Look at the photo.  I was able to repair this by sanding but I was surprised that it happened.  I solved the problem by taking my time, going slow and pulling up the tape against the grain of the wood.

I also stained the interior trim.  The floor boards that can be seen were made from Ash wood.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trim Work and Fixing Mistakes

I started working on all the interior trim by making mahogany strips of wood 3/16' thick and then gluing and clamping them to the interior cabin (a week of work).  I was very careful to line up the bottom edges of the 3/4" wide strips but once I sanded the tops down flush with the deck, the result was horrible.  If you look at the bottom edge you can see the varying width of the trim.  The bridge has an arch/curve and once sanded to the arch, a straight line will not work.

 Plan Two:  The photo's below show the trim with the corrections made.
I made the corrections by taking a wood chisel to all the wood strip pieces and then sanding everything smooth to remove all the previous work. 

What I ended up using is mahogany edge banding that was pre-glued and activated using a hot iron (no clamps needed, just a pressure roller).  I was totally amazed how nice this banding turned out.  The seams are perfect and the edges sanded up very nice.  I was able to complete all the interior trim in a weekend.