20 Nov 11 After looking the primered panels over this morning we decided to go ahead and roll and tip Brightside. The paint handled well, laid down flat, and was very glossy. Tomorrow we will sand and roll on another coat.
The V-groove panels were more difficult. Yesterday, when we applied the primer to the V-grooves with a brush and then rolled and tipped the panels it went on thicker than we anticipated. When we went to sand them this morning the primer had not cured enough to sand without tearing. So we set the V-groove panels aside and concentrated on the flat panels where the primer went on thinner. Later we went back and sanded carefully and primed one of the V-groove panels and applied a coat of Brightside. It came out pretty good. However, if you look closely you can see some of the tear out in the V-grooves. We left the rest of the panels to further cure. They will need more primer to address the tear out unless I come up with a different plan.
You can see a little bit of tear out in the endgrain of the ply in the v-grooves.
One coat of primer and one coat of Brightside.
This evening, I went back out to the shop and spent about 45 minutes repairing the holes that accommodate the bolts that secure the hinges to the cockpit hatch lids. When Cape Dory installed the hinges they took no action to protect the balsa core where the bolts passed through the lid. There was core damage, though slight, around four of the 12 holes. It is a simple fix. I took a half inch drill bit and drilled an oversize hole through the bottom skin of the lid being careful not to drill into the outside skin (the proximity of the edge of the hatch lid limited the size of the hole I could drill though to be sure 1/2" was big enough). I used a scratch awl to dig out additional core material. Next, I taped up the told hole on the outside skin (the side the hinge will be secure to). These holes will serve as the guide to drill out the epoxy plug for the hinge bolts so they can be reinstalled in the same location. I used a small "acid" that I twisted through the 1/2" hole and brushed unthickend epoxy on to the surface of the remaining core around the holes. Then, I mixed up some more epoxy thickened with 406 thickener and filled the cavity to the top. Last, I cleaned up the area around the holes with acetone and called it a night. When I am ready to install the hinges I will drill the hole through the center of the epoxy plug. Any water that leaks in along the bolt (none if I do a proper job of bedding the hinges) will not gain access to the vulnerable balsa core.
19 Nov 11
Yesterday I was anxious to be doing something on the boat while waiting for warmer weather to prime the overhead panels.So, I started working on the teak frames that support the cockpit locker lids.The frames have been off the boat and disassembled for about two years . . . very groady and grimy.About a month ago I cleaned them up with some two part teak cleaner. The port side frame was not in too bad a shape so I chiseled out the old adhesive (the glue had failed) and epoxied them back together.I would have preferred to use resorcinol but the joints are not that tight, the temps are too cold for resorcinol, and because the wood is protected from direct sunlight I think epoxy will work fine.I used System Three T-88 which is the same adhesive I used to apply the vertical staving on the bulkheads . . . good stuff.
Test fitting the frame. Once I glue it up I will install wood plugs over counter-sunk fasteners.
Test fitting the locker lid on the new wood frame.
Unfortunately, the starboard side frame was not salvageable.So, I decided to rebuild it using some Iroko I had on hand.Some folks call Iroko poor manís teak.It is not teak but it has similar properties.It took awhile to make the frame because the starboard side locker is not square. It has 5 degree bevels on one side getting wider from the aft to the forward end.Also, the frame has a rabbet cut in the bottom to drop down inside the molded opening.It seems like an odd design to me. it is hard to maintain the outside surfaces of the wood since you can't get access to them without removing the frame work. Anyway, tonight, I screwed the frame assembly together and set it in place. I am pleased with how it turned out. Tomorrow, Iíll glue it up, cut wood plugs for the counter sinks and then consider how I will protect the wood.I might just paint them since you canít see them.
16 Nov 11 This is a running entry for this project.
For the last four days I have continued working on the overhead panels. I removed them from the boat and set up some plank supports to hold them in the shed while we perform the sanding, sealing, priming, and painting. It was not till I laid the panels out on our back deck that I really got a feel for just how many panels we would be dealing with. I started off by sanding the backs of the panels with 80 grit paper and applying two coats of West Epoxy. After the epoxy cured I flipped the panels over and sanded the interior side with 120 grit paper. Then I began sealing the wood with Interlux Inter Prime Wood Sealer. The tech department at Interlux recommended I seal the ply wood before we prime and paint with Brightside LPU. They said the sealing would prevent the primer from being sucked up into the exposed end grain where I routered the V-grooves. After the first coat dried overnight, we lightly sanded the panels again and applied the second coat of sealer. We have some rainy weather coming so I don't know if I will be able to start applying the Prime-Kote primer tomorrow.
19 Nov: For the last two days we had cold weather so we did not prime the panels until this morning.Today the temps got up to about 65 degrees with night time low forecasted for about 55 degrees.We are supposed to have about five days of nice weather.We used Interlux Pre-Kote.No major issues.We rolled and tipped. It took about three hours. If they are dry enough to sand tomorrow we will apply another coat.
111111: The 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month. Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, the end of WW I. The Armistice went into effect on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, 1918. I explained to my son yesterday that the 11th of November is not just an important date for our family because it celebrates the service of veterans but because it also celebrates the end of WW I. My grandfather, William Bradley Stone was a Second Lieutenant in the US Army during the War To End All Wars. For most of the month of October 1918 up to and including the 11th of November he was the acting company commander for Company F, 2d Battalion, 362nd Infantry, 91st Division, AEF. During the last month or so of the war the 91st Division was reassinged to the Belguim sector. All the other company officers had been killed or wounded in previous combat action. I clearly remember him telling me that if the Armistice had not gone into effect when it did he may not have survived as they had been tasked to conduct a combat river crossing of the Scheldt River on the 11th of November under a smoke barrage against a German infantry unit in a fortified position. They were expected to have high casualties. But, luckily the crossing was postponed when the word came down the night before that the armistice was to go into effect the next day. And thus ended WW I. I explained to my son that had he not lived we would not be here. So much can turn on a single event. We need to appreciate everyday we have.
Today, I completed the cutting and temporary installation of the remaining overhead panels. I used up nearly all the 1/4" ply. For the record, it took seven 4' x 8' sheets of plywood (about $350) to install the overhead for the cabin top and under the side decks. I estimate there is about 200 sq ft of overhead in the living spaces of the Cape Dory 36. The next task is to remove the panels and apply a couple of coats of epoxy to the back side of the panels. After it has cured, I'll start the priming and painting of the inside faces of the panels.
Looking aft towards the navigation and quarterberth area on the starboard side.
10 November 2011
"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history."
The above is an excerpt from General John A. Lejuene's birthday message to the Marine Corps in 1921 and is republished annually on the birthday of the Corps. Happy 236th Birthday Marines. It was an honor to serve by your side in every clime and place.
10 Nov 11 I spent most of yesterday building the remaining templates for the overhead panels. Today I built the templates for the underside of the deck over the quarter berth (these will all be painted white with a varnished beam across each end and two across the middle). Starting yesterday I left all the templates stapled in place. As soon as I built the last one I pulled the templates down from above the port and starboard quaterberth. I traced the templates on 1/4" 1088 ply, cut them out, and fit them into position with a minimum number of #8 1" self tapping ss screws. I braced the panels into position and then predrilled the holes with a combination drill bit/countersink installed in one cordless drill, then drove the screws in with another cordless drill. I always drill each hole then install a screw before I drill another hole to make sure the holes line up properly. It goes pretty fast. The full size 76"x24" panels went in pretty easy as a single piece. But, after thinking about it some this afternoon I think I may take them down tomorrow and cut them into two pieces so they will be easier to remove once all the trim is installed. I have to be careful not to install anything I can't remove without disassembling half the boat. I finished up the day cutting out and installing the panel over the galley area.
At the top of the photo to the right are the v-groove cabin top panels.In the center of the photo, under the side-deck are the panels above the galley area and portside pilot berth.The green tape marks the location of beams so I drilled in the correct place when I first installed the panels.
8 Nov 11 Today I completed the fitting of the forward cabin overhead panels. I installed the last v-groove panel on the portside of the forward hatch. Then I made the cut out for the hatch and set right to work finishing off the underside of the deck in the forward compartment. The two seams in the panels over the head of the double berth will eventually be covered with trim. I am pleased with how the installation is going. I continue to make patterns in doorskin strips and the hot glue gun. Not much too it but it is kind of tedious and time consuming. I think I'll need to pick up another three sheets of plywood to finish off the boat.
7 Nov 11 Progress was slowed today. I spent some time figuring out how I was going to install the panels under the deck. After considerable thought I decided not to cut the v-grooves on the panels under the deck. The fact that not cutting the grooves would simplify the installation had no bearing on the decision. In the end it came down to the fact that there is no straight centerline to serve as a common reference point for the grooves under the side decks. Both sides curve--inboard and outboard edges. This would make lining up the v-grooves problematic. The overhead of the forward cabin is almost complete.
I like the color of the varnished mahogany under incandesent lighting.
6 Nov 11 I completed installing the overhead panels in the main cabin and the head compartment. There is a little misalignment on the v-grooves on the starboard side between the aft most panel and the one just forward of it. I did not pre-mark the groves and they grew a little further out of alignment from the centerline towards the outboard edge. There will be a beam there and it should break the sight-line so no worries. So far I am pleased with the progress.
Happy Birthday Dad--you would be 89 years old today.
5 Nov 11 This morning I drove to Atlantic Veneer and swapped out the defective 1088 ply for new ply from a different manufacturer. As soon as I returned home I got right to work. First, I removed the panels I installed yesterday since they were from the same defective lot of plywood. I used them for templates and traced them onto the new plywood. Then, I cut the panels out, routered the V-grooves, and installed them. At that point I was caught up to where I was when the veneer peeled off the defective plywood. So, I laid the doorskin template out on the ply, traced it, cut out the pattern, and routered the V-grooves on it. I temporarily installed it with braces holding it in place. I traced the hatch opening onto the backside of the ply from the deck of the boat. I removed the panel and cut out the opening and then installed it with screws.
The trick to this kind of projects is to establish a single datum point, in this case it is the centerline of the boat on the overhead. I build each template from the centerline and work outboard. I also build each template aligned with the previously installed panel so I know that they will line up and fit together.
To make the seam invisible down the centerline of the boat, I cut a half V-groove on each panel, port and starboard sides. When I installed them they formed a V-groove on the centerline which blends in perfectly with the other V-grooves. Eventually, we will laminate and install 'thwarship beams about every 26". They will hide the screw and joint lines.
4 Nov 11: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back I spent the last couple of days installing the overhead "v-groove" panels in the main cabin. I bought five sheets of 1/4" Okume BS 1088 ply to make sure I would have enough for the job with a little left over to start the underside of the decks. Even though the back side of the ply will be coated with a couple of coats of epoxy I wanted good quality ply in case there are any condensation issues in the overhead. After bringing the ply home, I made patterns with strips of 3/32" door skin ply and a hot glue gun. I laid the patterns over the 1088, traced it out, cut the panel, and then test fit it holding it in place with a couple of braces. Next I used a guide bar, a jig I made, and my router with a V groove bit to cut the grooves. I made the v-grooves 2" apart. I installed two panels and was over half way complete with the main cabin and was working on the third panel when the veneer separated from the core. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. BS 1088 is the gold standard for marine plywood. I called Atlantic Veneer where I buy all my plywood and some domestic hardwood. They agreed to take it all back and replace it with 1088 from another manufacturer. So, as much dislike covering the same ground twice I will take down the two panels I already installed and start over. It will cost me about two days work but I don't have any confidence in this plywood.
BS 1088 veneer separation.
1 Nov 11 I spent some time today sorting what is "center" for the mast. Last year I releveled the boat based on a level deck and, as best as I could determine, "level" hull. This put the old mast position out of alignment. Due to the variables of fiberglass boat building I am simply not convinced there is a reliable single datum that can serve as "the" reference point. I have cross checked and remeasured. Most of the data I have says the boat is level laterally and fore and aft. What to do? I have decided the best plan is to stay on the current course and allow for a little slop in the positioning of the mast and worry about it when we static tune the rig before the boat is launched. Then we will tune based on performance parameters and deal with the fall out from there. Perhaps level on the inside and the deck won't be the same "level" for the mast. I don't think it matters. As long as the rig is tuned to that portion of the hull in the water then we can declare victory.
Later in the day I drilled the holes for the chain plates. I have been waiting a long time to check that off the list. I expected it to be complicated but it turned out be a simple anti-climatic event. I drilled from the interior up through the existing holes and through the deck. Last year I glassed over the hull deck joint with three layers of biaxial but left the holes as a guide so I would be able to reinstall the chain plates in their previous location. It worked like a champ. I drilled all seven chainplates in 45 minutes. I did not caulk or install nuts or washers. I just drilled the holes and dropped the old bolts through to check for alignment. I did not drill out the holes for the aft intermediates. I am considering replacing them with running back-stays with will required the pad-eyes to be installed much further aft than the old permanent aft intermediates. If I change my mind I can drill out the old holes pretty easily. It is great to have this done.
Its great to finally have the holes drilled for the chainplates.
This is the latest picture of the bowsprit modification. The sprit is just a mock up made from lumberyard pine glued up with yellow glue. The real sprit will be made of laminated doug fir glued up with resorcinol adhesive. It will also increase the width and height of the sprit by about 3/8" to fill up the gammon iron. The larger gammon iron opening was not an accident but intentional. I designed it into the final pattern because I wanted to increase the bowsprit cross section slightly. I decided not to use a sampson post as I just did not want to cut a 6"x6" hole in the deck. The bronze heel-cup will be through bolted to a G10 backing plate that will be laminated to the underside of the deck. I think the heel cup fits with this style boat better than a sampson post. In the picture the windlass is sitting on its mounting plate in its final position but is not bolted through the deck. I'll do that later. I have had it sitting there for a couple of weeks just getting use to it. I like the way the sprit and the windlass look together. I designed the sprit and the windlass to work together as a system with the chain locker directly below the windlass down pipe.
I like the look of the bowsprit and the windlass.
I spent some time the week before last working on the mounting system for the anchor windlass. Once I determined where the holes were to be located I drilled a one inch diameter hole in the deck with a hole saw. I did not drill through the bottom skin of the cored deck just through the top layer of fiberglass and the balsa core. I dug out the balsa core and then filled the hole with epoxy thickened with 407 and a little 404 filler. After it cured, I faired it with some 407 thickened epoxy though in the photo to the right I have not sanded it flush. I'll do that in the next couple of days though there is no need to make it perfectly smooth since I will chamfer out the holes when I drill the holes for the bronze bolts. The oversize epoxy filled holes are larger than the holes need to be for the smaller bolts which will keep the deck from getting crushed and prevent water from gaining access to the balsa-cored deck. The backing plate for the windlass is a 12"x12" 1/2" thick square of manufactured fiberglass sheet I bought from McMaster Carr. I could have used G10 but it cost about three times as much as the fiberglass and won't add anything to the equation.
Drill the holes oversize then fill with thickened epoxy.
Once the epoxy is sanded flush I can drill for the bolts. The epoxy filled oversized holes prevents the balsa core deck from being crushed and protect the blasa core from water penetration.
31 Oct 11 Sometimes You Have to Put Down the Tools. Last week we took the kids to New York City. We planned the trip several months ago to coincide with the wedding of my friend Steve's son Adam. Adam and his new bride will now head off to Pensacola, FL where he will attend flight school as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant.
We had a wonderful time in NYC. We have visited there four or five times over the years but we thought it was a good time to take the kids and introduce them to the wonders of the Big Apple. It was interesting to see their reaction to NYC and how different it is from living in our small town. We visited the usual NYC spots. They marveled at the skyscrapers, the subway, and all the hustle and bustle of the city. I think the highlights for the kids were the views from the observation platform on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, Time Square, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, riding the subway, and seeing the Statue of Liberty. They also got a chance to travel from Quantico to NYC through Penn Station, something everyone should get a chance to do.
Though we had a great time I am looking forward to getting back to work on the Far Reach.
18 Oct 11 The lap top computer is back up on line. It turns out it was not a virus--it was the hard drive, which we had to have replaced. We were fortunate that we had an external hard drive with Casper back up software so we lost only a couple of days of email and a day or so of photos. We got off easy. The desk top, however, is kaput.
Since the last entry I pretty much completed installing the AP foam to the under side of the cabin top and side decks except in the area over the forward double berth. Before I could do that I needed to install the cleats for the over head panels which I did not do during the summer as I did not know exactly where the windlass was going to be located. Now that I know where it will be positioned I installed the 1/2" G10 as a base plate for the ABI windlass. I could have used a piece of manufactured fiberglass sheet stock at about 1/3 the price but I had the G10 on hand so I used it. Anyway, I wanted to raise the windlass a little to improve the chain gypsy to roller angle and to get the chain hole a little higher off the ceck to make it a litlle more difficult for rain water to get into the chain hole. I positioned the windlass on the plate and drilled the 3/8" holes through the plate. Then, after positioning the plate on the deck I drilled the holes through the deck. That told me where the backing plate would be located and I could continue on with installing the insulation.
As part of the insulation project I also needed to make a decision where the hole for the kerosene heater flue would need to be cut in the cabin top. I could not do that with out having the two 45 degree elbows that will ultimately determine how far I could off-set the vertical part of the flue pipe. So, I ordered the two elbows from Hamilton Marine in Maine. To prepare for the arrival of the 45 degree pipes I needed install a temporary shelf for the heater. I began by installing 1"X1" mohogany cleats on the bulkheads that will hold the platform that the Refleks heater sits on. I made a template out of doorskin ply and hot glue and cut a temporary piece of 1/2" ply for the shelf. The actual shelf will be Black Walnut, same as the cabin sole. I used a thin batten to trace a gentle curve for the inboard edge to see if liked the diagram I drew last year. Satisfied with the curve I made the cut with a jig saw and installed the temporary shelf. There will eventually be A. Mahogany vertical v-groove staving as the face panel below the shelf that will be removable allowing me to access the heater fuel overflow tank installed below the heater as recommended by Refleks.
The AP foam will be applied right over the old mastic that held the one pice head liner in place. It was beastly to remove so I left it in place except where cleats need to be installed.
I spent most of today installing the cleats under the foredeck necessary to complete the insulation project. I installed these cleats in the same manner as the others. I ripped some left over BS 1088 3/4" ply into strips about 1 1/2" wide and cut them length wise to fit as required. I cut kerfs in to the strips so they would bend easily to match the camber of the underside of the deck (those that needed to bend). I made the cuts on the table saw with the miter cut push bar. After test fitting I installed them with 3M 5200 and small self tapping screws to hold them in place till the 5200 cures. Tomorrow, I will fill all the kerfs with thickened epoxy and also apply several coats of unthickend epoxy to the cleats to protect them from moisture.
11 Oct 11 I got a late start today. I ordered the Kiwi-Grip non-skid and some other supplies for upcoming projects. Ordering supplies and planning each project takes a lot of time. Then, my daughter wanted to make home made bread so we did. Finally, made it out to the boat. I spent about two hours or so installing the first of the 1/2" Armaflex AP foam which I am using as overhead insulation. This was plesant work. The AP foam comes in either plain or self adhesive versions. I chose the slightly more expensive self adhesive foam. The adhesive side is protected with a thin film of white plastic sheeting. I measured the space that I wanted to apply the foam to and recorded the measurements via a diagram I drew out on a piece of paper. Then, I laid the foam face down on the assembly table under the stern of the Far Reach. I transferred the measurements to the white plastic side of the foam with a pencil. Next, with the foam still face down I cut along the line with a sharp filet knife. It worked very well. Then I took the piece up to the boat and test fit it. I wiped the overhead down with denatured alcohol and paper towel. Finally, I pulled the plastic part way off, stuck the foam on and peeled the rest of the plastic off as I pressed the foam in place. The foam followed the conturs of the overhead without any problems. You can see in one photo, near the centerline, the undulations in the overhead and how the foam adhered to the shape of the surface it was stuck to.
9 Oct 11 I removed the tape and the masking paper today. I am very satisfied with how the Awlgrip turned out (the most recent pictures are directly below). It's a lot of white but once the grey non-skid is applied, the hardware is bolted on, and bulwark is installed it will look great. I think it looks great now to be honest.
After pulling the tape and masking paper I cleaned up the inside of the boat. I spend about 45 minutes lightling sanding the inside of the cabin sides with some 320 grit paper thinking I would apply a couple of more coats of varnish this week in preparation for installing the portlights in the near future. But, then decided I would put the varnishing off till the overhead panels are installed. So, I sat down and made a list of the next dozen or so projects to be done and made up a list of supplies to order to keep everything on track. Tomorrow, I'll start installing the overhead insulation.
7 Oct 11 Finally, the Far Reach has her new Awlgrip paint. My initial assessment is that it came out fine . . . better than fine in fact. The painters, Bruce and Willard Mallard, owner and operators of "Dockside Marine Services" out of Beaufort, NC did an excellent job. It was obvious that they knew what they were doing. The finish of the paint looks perfectly smooth to my eye. They were very professional, organized, low key, and appeared to be highly competent. We chatted each morning when they arrived and I left them to their work. I wandered around feeling kind of odd since this is the first work performed on the Far Reach that I did not do. Even though I spent at least a hundred hours sanding the boat, performing extensive fairing, and rolling and tipping up to six coats of primer, it still felt weird knowing a significant project was being completed and I was not doing it. But I am not complaining. In fact, I could get use to it!
Starboard side looking aft. I am very pleased.
My number one concern was would the quality of my considerable fairing work, which was a necessary part of glassing the hull-deck joint together, be visible and look amateurish. With my eye just above deck level looking along the outer edge of the deck (the four inch wide strip where the Awlgrip was applied) a small amount of wash boarding is visible. I supposed that it's possible that it may have been there from the factory and hidden by the toe rail but it is likely it was a result of the extensive grinding, glass work, and fairing efforts on my part. Nonetheless, once the 5" high bulwark is installed I don't think it will be visible. What does please me, so far, is there is no sign whatsoever of the fairing on the vertical side of the hull . . . just a slight flair outward at deck level which looks completely natural to me. Yesterday afternoon, I did notice where I had spot primed in a few places around the portlights. I had been warned by Tim Lackey that spot fairing of primer is very difficult. He is right. Though I was very careful and sanded till I could feel no edge to the primer, I could just make it out in a few places under the slick wet look of the Awlgrip. Of course the correct thing would have been to shoot three more coats of primer before the Awlgrip was sprayed but that was not going to happen. I had sanded the boat six times and that was all the sanding I was going to do. "Perfection is the enemy of good enough." I am more than satisfied based on what I saw today.
They told me not to pull the tape till Sunday morning . . . I will have a closer look then.
5 Oct 11 I spent the past few days taping and masking the Far Reach. The work was enjoyable as we have had beautiful weather. It took me about three days to wash and wipe the boat down, tape off all the edges, and then mask off everything that I don't want painted. I also built racks for the locker hatches to sit on so they can be painted. I had to sand and prep the hatches since they had been on a garage self since last spring. The best guide for taping/masking that I have seen is on Tim Lackey's site (click here for his taping of Circe). I used 3M 233 tape which is solvent resistant. I bought the tape from Jamestown Distributors or you can buy it at West Marine but you pay 30 percent more. It's important to get solvent resistant tape and masking paper as the boat will have to be wiped down with solvent after it is taped and the paint itself has powerful solvents in it. I found the solvent resistant paper at a local "Car Craft" auto parts store. The roll I bought was 17.5" wide and about 500' long--plenty of paper. It cost $14.00. The painter arrives tomorrow morning. He'll paint the cockpit and cabin sides with Awlgrip tomorrow then come back on Friday to paint the topsides. The weather forecast is perfect--high of 75 degrees with low humidity.
All taped up and ready for paint.
2 Oct 11 What a week. I have been dreading the final sanding since last May but I think it is now complete. I was prepared for it to be much harder than it was after all that sanding last spring. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work . . . about 22 hours by my count. I did most of the sanding with the with a Dewalt VS RO sander. I had to go to 150 grit to make real progress (and I ended up sanding of all the Perfection). Then I went to 220 using both the palm sander and the RO sander. Next, I "spot" primed about 20 small areas where I had burned through the primer during sanding. I applied two coats of Interlux Prime-Kote. Finally, I sanded the entire boat--minus where the non-skid will be--with 320 by hand. I am always surprised by the amount of sandpaper required to sand the boat. I am guessing I used about 120 disks and many many sheets of 220 and 320 abrasive paper. I think the "no-load" paper that I buy at Mc-Master Carr is worth every penny.
This is after three days of sanding. I still had one more to go.
When sanding by hand, I normally use a 3M hard rubber block but instead I tried wrapping a 1/4 sheet of paper around one of those foam sanding blocks you can buy at Lowes. Because much of the areas I was sanding have a gentle curve I think it worked better than the hard block. Except for some early work on the boat I have pretty much gone to using a vacuum attached to the shop vac when I use a power sander. To be sure, it is a PITA to have the shop-vac on the deck and have it connected to the sander but it does a pretty good job of capturing most of the dust which helps save a lot of time in the clean up phase. This would be a wasted effort though when using the powerful DA RA sander. It would clog the filter in minutes. I think this is the fifth time I have sanded the entire boat and sometimes it seems like that is all I do. But, this time it seemed less difficult . . . probably because I have hired a professional boat painter to spray the topsides, cabin sides, and cockpit. It's one less thing I have to worry about. After finishing up today I the washed the boat and wiped it down with denatured alcohol. Tomorrow I will start masking the boat off.
Some folks ride a Harley. I like to sand--"Sand to live: Live to sand."
1 Oct 11 While visiting with Lin and Larry Pardey last week one of the many pointers he gave me was to cut the bottom tips off the bow rollers. I asked if he had found that they got in the way and he told me that he always intended to cut them off . . . but he built one pattern for both port and starboard bow rollers. That way you can have both port and starboard rollers cast from one pattern . . . but you have to cut the tips off the bottom of the roller when you flip it over to use on the other side. That's thinking ahead. Anyway, when I returned home I applied tape over the surface of the roller, drew a line with a pen on the tape and used my Bosch jig saw to cut the tip off and grind a nice radius that looks like it was cast that way. I smoothed out the rough edge of the cut 4 1/2" grinder. Then I polished it up with the sisal polishing wheels and wax abrasives. I think they came out great.