A Boat, not a Piano

You sand and sand again.  You scrape, fill with epoxy and then scrape again.  You look at the finish, run your hands over the surface and scrape again.  At some point, you have to say, “I’m good, I’m building a boat not a piano”.  That’s now at the point I find myself.

Here’s what she looks like:

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Despite the color difference in the seems, these edges are flat and level.

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The front wrap worked out nicely.

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I’ve got these side walls as smooth as I can with a reasonable amount of effort.

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And, there she is in all her glory ready for paint.

I learned through building my Scamp Sailboat, that you need to wait 72 hours before painting over epoxy.  If you don’t, the paint will gather up into what looks like pickle skin and won’t lay flat.  So, I’m going to be patient and give this a few days to fully off gas and cure.  Then, the Dark Navy can will be opened.  Ya, baby!  I can’t wait!

My goal is to start painting Thursday evening.  This is a very exciting week for me.  

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Fairing the 1st Layer of Xynole

Now the Xynole is on the hull, it’s time to fair the edges.  This stuff seems to swell up with epoxy.

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I ran a fillet just below the raw edge and then smoothed it out with a squeegee.  

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This made the harsh edge of the xynole all but disappear.  

 

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This is a fairing tool I purchase from 3M to smooth the hull.  The paper measures 4,1/2″ x 32″ and is attached by hook and loop.

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The top side has 2 nobs to hold and apply even pressure.  They make these in 2 different configurations: one stiff & one flexible.  This is the flexible version, meant to sand a gradual curve, like the hull of a boat.  This fairing board will help me get the chine panels smooth and fair before applying the paint.  

Summary:

I might have been able to skip this step and simply fair the fabric after I installed the chine panel.  However, if I apply the chine panel over the hull seam, it won’t lay flat and will probably create an air pocket behind the cloth, so I faired now.  This will make applying the chine panel much easier.  

 

Touching up the Fairing Job

I still needed to touch up a few low areas around the boat.

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Working my way around the boat, filling any low spots I found.

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After another light sanding, I rolled the entire hull and chine panel with another coat of epoxy.  This is the second coat of epoxy on these panels.

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The nose area received two layers of glass.  With the fairing material applied, you can’t see any of the seams.  

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I tried to roll lightly over all the edges where the wet epoxy met the dry epoxy (chine panel and the side panel junction) to avoid a hard edge.  

Summary:

I will sand this epoxy coat and wait for the xynole to arrive.  Meanwhile, I can spend a few days cleaning up my shop and working on the steering wheel.  

Second Fairing of the Hull

I’m confident it’ll take about 3 fairings to bring things flush.  This is fairing #2.

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There’re 2 pronounced edges to the glass taping.  One more prominent than the other.  Both of these edges need to be removed.  This is easily accomplished by using a card scraper.

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All edges have been scraped and all glass tape has been hand sanded.

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Using a squeegee, I applied my fairing compound to all the taped areas.

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Summary:

Things need to get uglier before they can get prettier.  Tomorrow I’ll sand all these edges and apply another filler coat.  I think 2-3 coat should get me where I want to be.  I’m taking my time here, I want a nice fair hull before I lay down the xynole.

Fairing Continued…

Just a few more shots showing how the fairing process is coming along.

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I used a pencil to mark all the low spots.  Once you have the filler in hand, you want to easily and quickly find all the trouble areas.  

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All low spots along the seams got a second layer of filler.

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The forward chine panels need to be filled where they met the side panels.  

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All mating panels needed to be filled where they come together.  I’m filling these areas prior to taping, because if a ledge exists, the glass won’t lay flat and you’ll find air bubbles behind the tape.  Getting these areas flat prior to taping is very important.  

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I love this view.  Notice the shape of the hull near the transom.  This is where the sigmoidal shape can be seen.  I cambered my floor 3/4″ according to the plans.  This is meant to keep the boat on plane while cruising at slower speeds.  

Summary:

If you take time now to get things flair, it will make the taping and covering of the hull so much easier.  It’s not hard to do if you own an electric sander.  I’m using a 6″ rotary palm sander.  Don’t forget to wear your dusk mask.  

Fairing the Hull

Fairing the hull is a multi set process and one that I will work on over the coming week.  It involves rasping, filling, fairing and sanding all the seams and edges of the hull.  Once your finished, you do it all over again.  Below is my first pass of this multi step procedure.

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Front nose area needs to be built up prior to sanding down.

Summary:

Tomorrow morning, I’ll sand these areas down and then lay on another fillet of fairing compound (thickened epoxy with micro balloons and wood filler).  I can’t wait to apply the glass tape to all the seams and edges and get moving with the xynole.   Take your time with these steps.  You’ll be staring at your boat for a lot longer than it takes to get it right.

I Couldn’t Sleep

After flipping my Skiff, I just couldn’t resist tearing into the panels to bring them fair.  So, instead of going to bed, I started in.

DSC00027The Japanese pull saw worked reasonably well.  I had to be careful though not to cut too deep as the saw tends to dive.

DSC00029I followed this cut up with a block plane,

DSC00030And finally, the famous Shinto Rasp.

DSC00031It’s 12:17 am.  Now I can go to bed.  Tomorrow I’ll continue by filling the seams with thickened epoxy and fairing any low spots.

Summary:

 This boat just gets better and better looking every time I touch it.  I really love this phase of boat building.  It’s so fun to see things start to come into shape.