Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Daggerboard Trunk

For a pretty straightforward item, assembling and finishing this part seemed to take forever.  The main issue was not realizing that there is supposed to be a very slight curve to the bottom of the trunk to conform to the bottom of the interior hull.  I didn't realize this right away and had to back up a step in the assembly, which took a couple of extra days.  I had epoxyed the wrong side of one of the planks and had to coat the other side before gluing it together.

Night time temperatures are now down in the 40's and 30's again which really slows up the cure times.  Epoxy that would cure and be ready for sanding overnight a couple of weeks ago now has to sit for 48 hours due to the low temps, even with the help of my incandescent shop light.

Anyway its now done and ready for sanding and installing under the center seat.  All three seats are also sanded and ready for installation.

Lots of Sanding and a Little Wildlife Diversion

The dog days of summer have given way to the dog days of epoxy sanding.  In order for the varnish or paint to properly stick to epoxy and look smooth the entire interior and exterior of the hull, frames and seats must be sanded to a dull gray finish.  Before the seats go in is the best time to do this to the interior and that's what I spent the better part of the week doing and it's not finished yet.  Starting with 80 grit then 120 then 220 the object is to flatten the surface, eliminating all small circular shiny spots that indicate small depressions.  

This is all easier said than done.  As you sand a film of white epoxy dust builds up and it's tough to see how much progress is being made.  You have to remove the dust with a shop vac after each effort.

It also involves lots of bending at the waist to reach the bottom of the boat.  Every once in a while you accidentally go through the epoxy to the wood.  That area then has to be recoated, cured and re-sanded.

The random orbital sander works great for the open areas but I had trouble getting into the interior stems, the upright frames and where the planks come together.  For a while I thought I was condemned to hand sanding for these areas.


Thankfully I discovered the Black and Decker Mouse which weighs a fraction of the ROS and has a narrow enough sanding pad to get into most of the tight spaces.

I'll probably have to go over everything with 220 grit the next session, but I feel pretty close to being done with the interior.

Meanwhile, back in Nature:  Cheryl took this shot one morning of our local eagle dismembering a fish on our dock.  You'll notice he isn't fazed by the scary plastic owl on the upright.