This morning I got up fairly early and started mixing epoxy to finish off all the seams…well except for the places where the plastic ties are…those spots will get done tomorrow morning early.
It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to mix the epoxy, paint the unthickened epoxy into all the seams, then mix some thickened epoxy and get it into the seams. I don’t have a system yet that tells me X scoops of filler per Y ml of epoxy to get peanut butter consistency goop so I do everything bit by bit…sort of how I do everything on this boat….plane a little, test the fit …… add a little filler, stir it up, add some more.
I used the ziplock bag/pastry icing trick and it worked great!!!! I mixed my stuff in a mixing container and then scooped it into the bag. I cut a very small corner off and then squeezed/twisted to get the epoxy mixture into the seams. It worked very well. Then, I used a mixing stick to smooth out the epoxy. Now that I think about it, I should have cut a convex edge to use on the bilge/side panel joint so that the epoxy would have been rounded outwards. It would have saved me quite a bit of sanding I think.
After I had that done, I organized the two pieces of the leeboard to be laminated. I covered the table saw with a shower curtain to protect it and put another shower curtain on the floor. These shower curtains are heavy clear plastic and what is great about them is they are heavy and don’t blow around or tear. I lined the two halves of the leeboard up and pressed them against the fence on the table saw and then drilled a couple of guide holes that I later used to put some nails in just to align everything when I got the halves coated with epoxy.
I mixed up some large batches of epoxy to paint each side with unthickened epoxy first. Then, I mixed up two batches of thickened epoxy…mayonnaise thickness…and spread them all over each side of the leeboard using a plastic spreader. Then, I laid one piece on top of the other, slid them back and forth to “butter” them (something John Welsford mentioned on his forum) and then used the nail holes to line things up. While pressing the halves against the fence, I clamped each end down using 3 clamps. Then, I drilled 5 holes in the middle of the leeboard and screwed five 3/4 inch screws into the middle to keep things lined up and to provide some pressure in the centre. Next, I lifted the assembly off the table saw, set it on the floor and clamped it all around the edges using my new clamps from Peavy Mart…. $3.99/clamp for 4 inch clamps. I bought 15 of them!
Next, I turned to the rudder and decided to round off the leading edge and taper the trailing edge using the belt sander. The sawdust was just flying! I did this out on the driveway as there is no way to control the dust created. What a noisy piece of equipment 😦 I wish there was a quieter way to do this but I don’t think there is. I have been planning on using the belt sander to prepare the seam joint between the bottom and bilge panel but I think I will do this by hand with a plane or the Sand Shark after seeing how much sawdust is generated with the belt sander. I really hate the noise of the thing too.
After ruining the peace and quiet of a lovely evening for too long, I quit after tapering the trailing edge on both sides. That was enough.
I made a coffee and sat down to drink it and contemplate my next move. Started sanding the bilge/side panel joint using a hand sanding block and some 60 grit paper from a belt sander belt that I cut down. It worked pretty well and without the noise and danger of taking too much off in the blink of an eye. So I worked away on that and actually got quite a bit done despite my intentions of just trying it out on a small area.
I also tried out using the handplane on the bilge/bottom joint and I think I will go that route rather than use the belt sander. Shavings are MUCH easier to clean up compared to sawdust.
That’s for another day….