Monthly Archives: April 2008

April 24, 25 & 27, 2008

About and hour of sanding on both Thursday and Friday…nothing too exciting! Finished getting the excess epoxy off the last of the long panels. I still have some bubble craters to fill but that will get done in the finishing stage I think.

Nothing done on Saturday. Was at Scheer’s Karate Tournament all day, watching Hunter and then I did some scorekeeping in the afternoon. Hunter got skunked for medals. He is at the bottom of the blue to brown belt age 10-11 category in both belt ranking and age so I knew it was going to be a tough year for him. He won one sparring match but narrowly lost the second so finished out of the medals. Still, good fun watching the kata and sparring. Once again there was a large kung-fu contingent attending. They do not spar but their katas are very different from karate katas and I thoroughly enjoy watching them.

Anyways….back to the boatbuilding. On Sunday I did a little work. First I decided to finish taping up the bottom. So, I propped up the joint on one side with 2 2x4s which opened up the joint pretty well. Then, I ran my Japanese saw down the joint a couple of times to clean out the joint and roughen it up a bit. I vacuumed out the joint and then got everything ready to epoxy it.

I got a 20 gauge syringe from my wife and loaded it up with epoxy, screwed the needle back on and then tried squeezing some epoxy out…it wouldn’t work. It blew the needle off the syringe so I just squeezed epoxy into the joint and waited for it to works its way down to the far wide. It seemed to be going somewhere as I ran the syringe down the joint a couple of times. Then, I removed the blocking to let the joint settle and brushed out the squeezeout along the joint. I propped up the ends of the bottom until the bottom was flat and then I mixed up some more epoxy.

Brushed it on both sides of the joint, laid the first piece of tape into the epoxy, stretched it out and then used my hands to smooth it into the epoxy on the plywood. It got pretty saturated just doing that. Then, I brushed on more epoxy and used the brush to work it into the tape.

Suddenly, I remembered that I have a fiberglass bubble roller from Duckworks! Ran over to the door and kicked on it until Hunter answered. Got him to get me the box of stuff from the computer room and then get the roller out for me.

I tried rolling lengthwise. I tried rolling sideways…It seemed to be working a little although the tape was pretty saturated before I tried. Then, I added the second piece of tape, brushed on more epoxy and then tried to use the roller to get rid of any whitish spots and bubbles. Once I was satisfied, I laid the wax paper on top of the joint. This is when I think a lot of the surface cratering is happening so I used the roller to roll from the centre out to the edge and work out any air spaces at all until I had pretty good smooth contact witht eh paper everywhere. I put a piece of plywood on top and weighted it down. I’m going to leave it until Tuesday before I have a look. Hopefully the epoxy migrated right to the far side and is also smmoth and bubble free on the top side.

After that was done, I cut out a piece for the stem. The piece I took off the end of the 2 x 4 had a pitch pocket that I figured would come off when I cut the bevels. Well, I was wrong…the pocket was quite deep and went right into the beveled piece. I got busy and dug out the pocket with a chisel. It wound up leaving a divot 3-4 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and 3/8 inch deep. I debated filling it with epoxy and then just decided to cut another piece off and make another stem.

Altogether I spent about 4 hours over the last 4 days for a total of 62 hours. It’s going to be interesting to see just how long this boat takes me. I have been planning on 200 hours but I am thinking it will take me longer than that. It takes me longer to think my way through every step than it would for somebody with boatbuilding/woodworking experience.

My plan is to coat the sides and bulkheads with three coats of epoxy…with the places where they will be taped and filleted masked off … before starting to assemble the sides to the temporary form, bulkheads, stem and transom. I also have to finish the framing pieces for the transom before I can start assembly. I’ll have to cut those pieces out before I start laying down epoxy as I don’t want the epoxy filled with wood dust.



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Filed under Cutting and shaping, Glassing, Tools

Wednesday April 23, 2008

Time: 1/58

I haven’t done anything on the boat yet today as I am still at work but I just wanted to start off today’s post by saying that I got a package from Chuck and Sandra at Duckworks today and I have a Sand Shark to try out. It looks like it should be able to quickly remove some of the large waves of epoxy I have created.

Chuck and Sandra also threw in a fiberglass bubble roller for me to try out as well so I will give that a go as soon as I am ready to glass the other side of the bottom.

I saw some syringes for injecting glue on the Lee Valley website so I think I will give that a try on the bottom joint where I separated the joint. Lots of experiments coming up.

I managed to get started about 9 pm and spent an hour sanding. I tried out the Sand Shark. I sure wish it had arrived a few days ago so that I could have used it on the worst epoxy wave as it made pretty quick work of removing the excess epoxy. It makes me a bit nervous that I’ll overdo it so I only used it at the start to get the thick parts off in a hurray….and that was usign the finer side of the abrasive plate!

The craters before starting….

The craters after about a minute and a half of sanding with the Sand Shark….note the large piles of white powder…

Great tool!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


More sanding!

Learned the lesson of changing sandpaper frequently. Did one half of one side of a joint and thought it was taking a long time. Tossed the sanding disk and put on a new one…next half went much faster.

At a cost of $0.80/disk, it isn’t worth it to use something that isn’t cutting.

I also learned that it helps with the dust collection if you line up the little holes on the disks with the holes in the sander’s pad 😉 It’s all the little things.

Only got in an hour before I went in to watch the Sharks and Flames in Game 7 of their playoff series.

My prediction for tonight…..more sanding!

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Sanding – Monday April 21, 2008


I have been looking for a sander of some description to help with removing all the craters and excess epoxy from my less than stellar taped joints. Sam Devlin’s book mentions a Makita Sander-Polisher as being the bomb. I looked for the model mentioned and it is, of course, discontinued. I looked at a similar model, the 9227, but it wasn’t available with the dust collection hood shown in the book. So, I looked at different alternatives. I eventually decided to get a Porter-Cable random orbital sander, Model 343. It has a canister dust collector and a couple of reviews mentioned hooking it up to a shop vac and how it really controlled the dust, a feature very appealing to me. It had good reviews on Amazon and, as you already know, I love my Porter-Cable router so the decision was made.

I paid House of Tools a visit this afternoon and learned they have a package deal for the 343 and the 1/4 sheet finishing sander, the 342, for $109. For $30 extra I decided to get both of them. Picked up some 60, 150 and 220 grit hook and loop disks. I have some regular sandpaper at home so didn’t buy any for the 1/4 sheet model.

Then, I was off to Lee Valley to get an adapter for the shop vac to canister fitting. I made the big $2.30 purchase and called it a day of shopping.

This evening, it was after 8 when I got out in the garage. The adapter didn’t fit into the shop vac hose…it was exactly the same size so a little packing tape later I had a connection.

I pulled out one of the side pieces with huge waves of epoxy on it to start on and shortly I didn’t have moon craters….I had a huge amoeba:

It took me nearly 2 hours of sanding to get both sides into decent shape. I don’t know if that is a long time to remove what I had on that piece but using the sander it was certainly easier than hand sanding. I am uncertain as to how close to the tape edge and how deep I can go so I am have quit a little bit early. As I am planning on coating everything with epoxy I think that some of the imperfections will get filled in and if not, I have some fairing compound on its way from Duckworks BBS to take care of whatever is left.

Wound up the evening by emptying the shop vac and moving everything out of the way so that I could bring Patty’s van back into the garage. It is cold out and the wind is howling with the possibility of freezing rain. We had a hard coating of ice on everything this morning so I decided to get her van in so that no scraping would be required tomorrow.

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Sunday April 20, 2008


Slow day. Spent most of the day at work doing tax returns. After supper, I sat down and looked over the plans and realized that I should layout the positions of the seat cleats and the vertical seat supports on bulkheads 4.5 and 11. So, I spent a bit of time doing that.

I find its good to spend time with the plans looking at what is still undone to get an idea of how to do some things, what tools I will need, what techniques I will need, etc.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008


I checked out the joint on the bottom. It looked pretty good but when I tried to flip the bottom over to join the other side it slipped from my grip and the joint bent along the tape with the butt ends losing contact with each other. I’m debating what my next move is and have posted on Duckworks Forum to get some advice.

I didn’t really do all that much else today but it seemed to take a long time. Lots of time spent moving stuff around and setting things up.

I set up two sawhorses in the driveway (to try and keep the dust/sawdust outside) and nailed the bilge panels to it. Then, I used the jigsaw to cut within a 1/4 inch before using the router to trim exactly to size. I wasn’t able to finish everything completely due to various issues with the setup and had to bring the panels inside to finish the job. I have an old interior hollow door that I use as a work surface and I finished off the finishing using it laying on the floor and a few pieces of scrap to support the panels here and there.

I used an old wood rasp to do some of the smoothing of the template panel’s fiberglass joint as I hadn’t previously trimmed it. That’s another great tool to have!

Anyways, got them finished and they look pretty good. Cleaned up and reorganized the garage a bit. I am terrible for leaving tools exactly where I last put them down and every so often I just have to go around and pick everything up. I wish I had the good work habits of my old friend, Terry D., who puts things away as soon as he finished with it…and everything has its place. He is totally organized.

Speaking of tools, I completely love using a router. I think it is one of the greatest things going. Bits available to do all sorts of neat things. The only thing about my plunge router (Porter-Cable 7539 3.5 hp) that I don’t like at times is that it is heavy. Of course, that is also a good thing as it allows me to be very deliberate and the weight also controls the thing from moving but if I were to use it vertically it would get heavy real fast.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Not too much time today. I waited until after supper to check out yesterdays joints. One side was likely the best joint in terms of smoothness but still had a few bubbles under the glass tape it looks like. The other side was cratered…not as bad as others and fixable but still a disappointment.

After a while I decided to join the bottom. I decided to do this in two steps. I set things up with plastic and wax paper under one side. I nailed down one side so that I would be able to butt the other side up tight against it. Cut out tape, got brush and everything else ready then donned the respirator, face shield and gloves. I mixed up the most epoxy that I had ever mixed up…120g or about 4 ozs. I figured this would be enough but it was barely enough…and maybe not quite enough. I’ll have to see if the joint looks like it could have used more epoxy tomorrow.

I painted the epoxy on to the edges and the surface where the tape was going to go, butted the pieces together, laid each piece of tape down individually, pressed it into the epoxy on the plywood surface, ran over it with the smoother, brushed on more epoxy, hit it with the smoother, brushed some more and finally covered it up with wax paper, a piece of plywood and some weights.

The I built a new heat shelter and put the heater into it. The weather is being forecast to be pretty bad by Sunday this weekend so I figured I’d try and get this joint finished before the temperature in the garage drops to nearly freezing again. Despite the cooler temperatures I killed another mosquito tonight. I hope the cold weather wipes them out…that would make the snow worth it!

Here’s the new heat shelter….

Just looking at this makes me really wish I hadn’t taken a couple of large cardboard boxes to recycling when I cleaned up the garage to get started. With a few modifications they would have made great shelters to heat the joints…likely much better than these shanties I have been cobbling together.


I finished this post, went downstairs to scoop the cat box and when I came back upstairs noticed that it looked very white outside…an April blizzard is definitely upon us…check out the photos….

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