Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Glassing prep

With my increasingly busy schedule, time management is important to allow reasonable boatbuilding progress. After a commute home that is slower and more frustrating every day (a disadvantage of living in the fastest growing county in the state), a return to a workout regimen, a quick dinner, and some household administration, perhaps an hour or so is left every evening to further the Passagemaker dinghy boatbuilding. Now that the next step of glassing the hull has arrived, I needed to finish some prep work tonight in order to complete the glassing in one evening. First was a return to the tedious job of sanding. Filled stitch holes, stray drips of epoxy, and previously unsanded bottom panel scarf joints needed to be tended to. Since only the bottom panel is glassed on the exterior, the adjacent #1 strakes needed to be sanded smooth so they could be masked with tape. This prep work took the better part of tonight's effort. And while doing it, I was reminded of an old TV commercial. Readers of a certain age might remember the sudafed commercial that featured Apollo astronaut Wally Schirra. While holding up a space suit helmet he asks, "Ever sneeze in one of these?" I seem to have acquired a mid-winter sniffle, and my nose continued to drip inside my respirator as I sanded.

After the sanding, I masked of the border of the bottom panel to prevent epoxy runover tomorrow. I then test fitted the fiberglass cloth, and it turned out to be a simple matter to lay it over the hull and smooth out the wrinkles. The cloth is a very loose weave, and is easily smoothed, with only a little care required to avoid snags and runs on the few remaining stitches that hold the bulkheads in place for now. Thus, all is in readiness for tomorrow. If I get an early enough start, I can apply the epoxy to the glass cloth (which will make it clear) and let it partially cure so that late in the evening, I can trim the cloth to its correct dimensions and remove the masking tape. That's the plan, anyway. Total hours 39.75.


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