Sunday, August 28, 2016

Paint Prep Update

It's a good day so far and it's not over yet!

Blog follower and Master Fabricator Jeff dropped by with my aft deck rail and my cabin top grab rails.  Beautiful welds I must say!

Anyway, I've been using 60 grit in a palm sander to level everything off.  The bubbles I encounter disappear quickly and the edges feather quite nicely.  I washed the whole works off afterwards with the garden hose.  I'm keeping an eye on the sky while I have a bite of lunch.  If it still looks good in half an hour I'm going to paint on another sanding coat of acrylic.

Jeff made up the railings from mild steel tubing.  With the paints we have nowadays, and little attention maintenance-wise, rust won't be an issue.  They will bolt on with backing plates and are incredibly strong!
We will likely make up some nets that can attach for the safety of our grand-children.

Looks like old denim jeans!

Friday, August 26, 2016

First Coat of Acrylic On!

Well, I can really see now where the bubbles are, and where edges must be feathered.  I've got a good couple of days of sanding and excising with a utility knife.  I will sand through the bubbles - if cloth is in under then I'll leave it, but if I expose wood I'll apply a patch of silk soaked in acrylic paint, and then feather the edges when dry.

Sure starting to look like a boat now though!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Applying Polyester Silk

I bought this 100% polyester silk fabric for $3.00 a running meter at a fabric store in Abbotsford run by a really nice South Asian family..  The cloth is about 58" wide.  It is very light but quite strong.  When glued down with Titebond 3 it makes a super smooth surface.

Here is how I'm applying it and am having great success.  I'm about half done as of today.

I have made a glue mixture of Titebond 3 cut with water by 1/3rd.  In other words a cut a gallon jug with a half gallon jug of water.  I put it in a 5 gallon pail, and keep it agitated regularly because over time it will settle and separate.

I cut the cloth into 1 foot by 2 foot pieces approximately.  This is the size I have found to be most manageable in the hot weather we are having right now.  I soak a piece of cloth in the glue and wring it out fairly well.  I use nitrile gloves because the dried glue is a PITA on your skin when it dries - like peeling sunburn!  Not toxic though.

I apply the cloth to the boat.  When this cloth is wet with glue it is hard to unfold and spread out but it doesn't take long to get the knack of it.  I then use a plastic squeegy commonly used for auto body filler to spread the cloth out on the boat and get the wrinkles out.  I keep a spray bottle with water to dampen it if I need to when the sun is hot.  When the day is cooler though you don't need to do this.

I then apply the next piece of cloth with some overlap.  You have to be careful when overlapping a piece of cloth that hasn't quite dried, because you may wrinkle it.  You must then peel back the new piece, smooth out the previous one and then lay it back down.  The spray bottle helps here.

When it is all dry it makes a very smooth surface.  But there may be bubbles that you miss when putting it down.  No problem!  A clothes iron flattens them down nicely.  If not, cut around the bubble with a utility knife, excise the offending cloth, and patch over it.

Because the finish is so smooth, and the cloth is so light, the overlaps are not very noticeable.  My suspicion is that with a few coats of acrylic paint they will disappear entirely.  Oh, one more thing:  It is very easy to lay the cloth around 90 degree corners, and also compound curves.

 The glue dries completely transparent

You can see some small wrinkles lower left.  They ironed right down!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Now To Fill/Sand, Fill/Sand Then Rinse and Repeat

I've been working at the Abbotsford Airshow this weekend representing the UFV Aerospace department - so no work on Autarkia until Monday.  But we are really close to fabric and Titebond and then PAINT!

But we must resist the urge to rush at this point.  She must look good topsides so time must be spent in prep work.  No pressure accepted from anyone!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Aft Roof Planked!

I finally got all three layers of 1/4 inch fir ply on the aft roof.  It still needs dressing up with the router and sander, and I need to cut out the companionway hatch opening.

Next week we are supposed to have some good hot weather.  I'm hoping to get all of the filling/fairing/sanding done and then get the fiberglass on the deck, and the polyester on the house.

I did one more experiment with the polyester:  I mixed some Titebond 3 with an equal part of water and saturated a piece of the polyester in it.  I left it in about a minute and it wet out thoroughly  I wrung it out - but not too much - and spread it on the plywood.  It was very easy to smooth right out and I did not have trouble with wrinkles.  After it dried a bit I painted on some full strength Titebond 3.  Excellent results!

So I believe that is how I will proceed using 2 by 2 foot squares of cloth.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Poor Man's Fiberglass

There is a great post and discussion on sheathing a boat going on over at Dave's Triloboat blog but I thought I should make a post of my own regarding some experimenting I have been doing.

I have mentioned before that I intend to use 10 oz cloth with Titebond 3 because I have a fair bit of the cloth left over from the hull.  But I don't have enough to do both the decks and house.  From my experiments I am very happy with the thickness and toughness of the fiberglass/Titebond combo so I've decided I will use it on the decks.

But then I need to get something for the house sides and roof.  I believe that I have the answer.

Jeff, a local junker, fabricator and raconteur, who I met through this blog, put me on to a great fabric store across the river in Abbotsford.  It is owned and operated by some really nice South Asian people who spent quite a bit of time with me looking for a light, synthetic, woven fabric I can use to sheath the house.  I bought a small sample and brought it home to test.  It has a very nice print and would certainly make me a set of attractive undies.

I had asked them if they had an acrylic woven fabric but they did not.  But, polyester is something that has been used in marine environments with epoxy, so I thought I would make a test with this.  They told me this particular printed polyester fabric was very popular with their Mennonite customers and that they had a lot of it.  In quantity I can get it for $3.00 a running yard - at 56" wide is about 14 square feet.  Pretty darned economical!

Home we went.  By the way earlier in the day I did start planking the aft cabin roof but we had some rain, so this was a great opportunity to prep for the next step.

I laid the sample out on a piece of plywood, and proceeded to wet it with water.  The first thing I noticed was that like a cheap towel, it did not absorb easily.  Nonetheless, I did get it wet.  At that point I painted on the Titebond and rubbed it in with my hands.  It wanted to wrinkle so it took a little effort to smooth it out nicely.  I then stuck it in the food dehydrator to dry.

After a couple of hours I took it out and painted on another coat of Titebond, and put it back over night.

This morning I took it out and examined it.  Very tough, very smooth and bonded so well that it is impossible to peel.  The material is very strong too.  I have tried to tear it when dry it is quite difficult to do.

It is obvious though, that I will need to spend some time with fillers and the sander to get a nice surface to work with, before sheathing.  Because the material is so thin, and conforms to the surface so well, every blemish shows though.  But there is no visible weave really in the end result, and it should make a very nicely finished surface when painted - providing I take my time and prep well.  My son, who is off for the summer from teaching, will help out along with Lorri.  You see, we ARE under the gun to get the boat out of here sooner than later - and that's all I'll say about that.

I will be doing some more experiments with the method of application though.  I'm thinking that since wrinkles and such may be hard to deal with, I should apply the cloth in smaller pieces - say 30 inches square perhaps.  I saw this You Tube video  where smaller pieces of cloth are saturated in a glue/water mix in a bucket, wrung out and applied by hand.  I like it enough to test it out and will do so.  I'll report the results of course!

Anyway, we have the weather in our favour today so back to boat-building....

Saturday, August 6, 2016

And Filling Some Holes

I had over-sized a picture window cut out on the port side due to civic bylaw distress induced distraction as mentioned in a previous post.  But today I fixed it and since I was making up fillers I decided that the picture windows were too low any way.  So I raised them.  I had thought previously that holes could only be moved in the cartoons but that is not so!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cutting Some Holes

Things are rolling along pretty well.  I painted inside the motor well so next time I have enough bodies here we can hand-bomb the outboard into place and bolt her up.  Also, I have had the fortune to meet a local blog follower, Jeff, who not only is a junk sailor, but a well set up steel fabricator.  He will be making up my railings and grab bars for me.  Quite possibly he will make a metal tabernacle if I go that route as well.

For the sake of Lorri being able to visualize the interior space a little easier, I cut out the windows, cabinet openings and stove cut-out.  I used a router with a straight bit and made guides so the cut-outs were straight and neat.  One of the picture windows wound up 2 inches wider than my glass so I'll have to order a new tempered panel for that one.  Yes, measure twice, and cut once; I did that.

My mind was distracted though.  Lorri and I have been invited to city hall for a meeting Monday morning.  I sure hope it is going to be a positive experience!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weekend Progress

Well I'm really pleased with what was accomplished over the long weekend.  The forward roof structure is complete with all three layers of 1/4 inch ply and has been dressed up with the router and sander.  I made a last minute decision to nail down the last layer with Raptor plastic nails along with the Titebond.  The nails were 3/4 inch so I set the gun to shoot them proud so they would not penetrate through the ceiling.  After the glue set up I knocked them down with the belt sander.

Now on to the aft roof.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Pretty Cool Freighter Idea

It's early AM  here in Mission and I'm drinking coffee and anticipating a great day of boat building.  My plan is to finish up the forward roof with the last layer of 1/4 inch fir.  But as I sit here noodling on the PC  I came upon this.  I haven't up to now blogged about the stuff I find Googling around the World Wide Web, but why not?

Last night I got all those temp screws out so I'm ready to roll once the neighbours are awake!