Thursday, June 29, 2006

So long, sanding!

And so, it was on a warm but unseasonably comfortable June evening that I completed the sanding of the boat. Tonight it was a fairly quick task to go over those spots where I added one more coat of epoxy, to fair them in with the rest of the sanded hull. As mentioned before, it's not perfect, but good enough. I even wiped down large portions of the hull with a soaking wet rag to remove the large amounts of dust. What was underneath was a suitably smooth hull, ready for painting and varnishing. With a holiday weekend of sorts ahead, I have ambitious plans to completely wash and clean the hull, and mask off the bottom which will receive first a coat of primer, then a couple of coats of gloss white paint. Total hours 85.50.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Enough?

When is a boat sanded enough? It becomes a really metaphysical question at some point. I'm inclined to go with the answer that was given recently by a member of the Passagemaker Dinghy Forum who said,
When you have reached the point where there is absolutely no question it is “good enough”, take a break then go back out for a final run around the boat with a bare hand and a strip of 220-grit. Then quit. For good.
I think I have reached that point. I finished up the session last evening with a pass of the 220-grit. The boat is smooth, overall. Small patches, mostly in crevices, could still use some work. But as this is intended as a working boat and not a show boat, I'm ready to call the task complete. Much more work could be put in, with less and less payoff. As a final chore, I added one more coat of epoxy to the skeg and skid strips. These will be sanded later today, and then the boat will be ready for the final phase of painting and varnishing! Total hours 85.00.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Prodigal sander

Armed with a new pack of sandpaper, and (finally) some free time, I was able to return to the final stretch of sanding last night. The starboard exterior of the hull was all that remained to be done, so I 120-gritted my teeth and got down to the job at hand. Apart from a few nasty spots of ugly epoxy drips, this side of the boat was already in pretty good shape. It got a rough going -over with the belt sander, followed by the orbital sander with 120-grit paper. One more session with some 220-grit, and I will finally be able to start masking and priming the bottom. It is so good to get back to boat building! Total hours 84.50.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Belt up!

Sanding continues on the exterior hull. As I had hoped, things are going quicker than with the interior. This is due to a combination of unobstructed surfaces and the feasibility of using a belt sander. I was able to knock down some nasty drips very quickly with the belt sander, and then went over the hull with the 1/4 sheet orbital and 120-grit paper. Though wet sanding is not called for at this point, I ended up doing a fair imitation of it, what with the heat and all the safety gear on my head. I ended up in some awkward contortions so as to avoid dripping sweat on newly sanded surfaces. Half the hull is now done; another session or two of sanding, and I should be ready to start painting the hull. Total hours 83.75.