Plywood to boat!
Category Archives: Sanding and finishing
Gorgeous fall day and I spent a few more hours sanding and painting/varnishing. I finished painting the decking and anchor well and the leeboard. Everything dried very quickly as it as 27C or 80F to day…calm, just an unbelievably gorgeous day.
I was able to quickly start sanding the gunwales to get them ready for their first coat of varnish. The boat looked fabulous with the first coat of varnish on the gunwales. My neighbour, Al, who owns an autobody shop came down to take a look and really liked it…except for the choice of colour for the seats and other bits. He thinks it looks like primer and has promised to mercilessly bug me until I change it. I have to agree with him. I’m just so tired of painting and want to leave it until next spring. Al promises me he won’t let me do that. I’ll see…maybe I can get the bits repainted in time for a launch day next Tuesday or Wednesday.
The mast looks fabulous. The last coat of Epifanes varnish was the first coat that went on unthinned and I was blown away by how great it looked and how quickly it had dried. The Varathane stuff I have been using on the tiller stays sticky for 2 days per coat. I put another coat on tonight and am thinking that will likely be it for this year. I can’t wait for morning to see how it looks.
The last two days have been busy and productive. The biggest milestone has been epoxying the front decking to the hull. This was a big job requiring lots of clamps and a little resourcefulness. I tried clamping it in place withthe clamps on hand and figured I needed about 4 more of the bar clamps that I like so I went to Canadian Tire and picked 4 up. When clamping the sides at the front the very front part above the anchor well bowed up and away from the first bulkhead. It took a lot of weight applied to it and I didn’t have enough toolboxes, etc to do the job.
So, I looked at how I could pull it down and came up with the idea of using rope to apply pressure to it. I was a bit nervous about the knot slipping or the rope stretching and I checked it a few times to make sure it was holding properly.
After that was done, I primed and painted and sanded. At the end of Sunday night I have one coat of paint in the cockpit, a coat of primer on everything except the front decking and anchor well, a coat of paint on the seats and one seat support and a coat of varnish on the mast.
With any luck I should have it all painted and varnished for next weekend. In the last photo you can see the colour for the seats…and maybe the decking as well. It’s a red called “Maple Leaf Red”. I think it goes very nicely with the “Thousand Islands” beige but am not so sure it will look good next to the varnished hatch covers. Well, if it doesn’t it’s only paint and nothing that hours of sanding and painting can’t fix 😉
Today I went straight to Benjamin Moore after work to pick up some paint as I had run out of the white paint I used for the hull and inside the bulkheads. They didn’t have any more white of the type I had used so I picked some paint of the same type to be coloured for inside the cockpit and the decks. I figured it would be light so it will be fine inside the rear bulkhead as well.
I looked at the bazilion paint chips and noted that they have a lot of colours named after places in Canada. The one that caught my eye was “Thousand Islands”, a creamy tan that I liked and seeing as how I’ve made about half of my 2200+ skydives at Gananoque, ON with the Thousand Islands as a backdrop I figured it was appropriate.
Came home and started painting. Finished painting the rear bulkhead compartment with the new paint and I really like it. Here’s what it looks like:
Next, I spent a bit of time sanding down the thickened epoxy I put over the lead in the rudder, just fairing that out a bit.
Then I turned my attention to where the gunwales meet the stem. The stem was a bit proud and messy with epoxy. I worked at it with the Sand Shark and sanding block until it looked pretty good.
After supper I went out, mixed up 20 oz of System Three Yacht Primer (16 oz of hardener and 4 oz of resin in a 4:1 ratio) and started painting it into the cockpit area. This stuff is an epoxy primer that is water based. It went on very nicely. Very easy to keep a wet edge, flowed out nicely, covered well…completely unlike that Ameron stuff I used on the outside of the hull…the remainder of which I will only use if I run out of this System Three Yacht Primer.
Here is a shot of the boat showing the three areas in different colours:
It’s almost like a calico cat….tan white and black 🙂
The 20 oz was just enough to finish inside the cockpit and paint a bit on the mast partner and one side of the 2×4’s that support the seats. Was it EVER nice to clean up using a bucket of water! The brushes cleaned up very easily. What a treat!!!! That stuff cost $130 for a gallon (with the shipping costs) but it was worth every penny is how I feel right now.
Today I got up early and moved things around in the garage to facilitate laying a bunch of pieces on the floor for painting…rudder, seats, etc, etc. I also vacuumed all the dust everywhere so that my second coat of paint on the hull would have a better chance of coming out without many little bumps.
After that was done I lightly sanded off the hull, just enough to knock off the dust bumps. Then I started painting. Two hours later I was done.
I finished the second bunk outside…I had to cut off a piece…and didn’t want to get any sawdust in the garage. I also sanded the hatch covers, leeboard, rudder and rudder cheek outside.
I put another coat of varnish on the hatch covers and put the first coat of varnish on the tiller. I never got around to putting anymore epoxy on the rudder and leeboard parts.
I went around the boat when the second coat was pretty much dry to the touch and removed all the masking tape I had placed on the gunwales. Taking that green stuff off sure changes the look of the boat. It is nice to see what it will look like. I like the white and the mahogany gunwales.
The last few days have been spent mostly sanding and sanding and sanding. My only advice to anybody else starting a boat of their own….budget to pay somebody else to sand and paint it for you 😉
But finally, at 2 this afternoon I started the first coat of paint on the hull. I was done at 4:30. Brushed it all on.
I wound up using Benjamin Moore alkyd paint called Metal and Wood Interior/Exterior 133 01 High Gloss enamel. I wound up using white…if I decide to change it I can just paint over it someday. The paint went on very nicely using a 4 inch brush. I just went out and checked and I have no runs … it smoothed out pretty good. You can see brush strokes … but it looks decent overall. There were a couple of places where I sanded through the primer down to the epoxy covered wood and those spots will benefit from having another coat put on tomorrow but otherwise the coverage is great. This paint was a distinct pleasure to use compared to the epoxy primer. It really doesn’t look much different as the primer was white. I took some pictures but they didn’t look very good as I had the doors closed to keep the wind from blowing dust onto the paint.
The last couple of days I have also built bunks to hold the boat for the trailer that is being put together for me next week.
Today I also cut up the 1/4″ x 4″ x 24″ piece of UHMW plastic that I bought to use as a slippery surface between the rudder cheek and rudder. I fitted it to the rudder cheek, trimmed it with the jigsaw and router, drilled holes and countersunk them a bit. I think it looks pretty good…
I wound up the day by epoxy coating the rudder, cheek and leeboard. I may put some fiberglass tape on the leeboard and rudder leading and trailing edges tomorrow….before or after I put the second coat of paint on the hull.
The last three days have been busy as I finished coating the bottom and sides with two coats of epoxy. Hard to spread with a paintbrush, I finally started using a spreader when I was nearly 3/4 done and that was a lot faster.
Once the epoxy firmed up, I scraped the most egregious runs and blobs…doesn’t matter how hard I try to make it smooth it comes up needing a lot of work….and then started sanding with the random orbital sander.
Finally I am pretty much finished sanding the outside of the hull. All I have left right now is the underside of the gunwales and the stem which I am going to do so that I won’t mark the paint by sanding them after I paint the hull.
I also remembered to cut the holes in the anchor well and rear slop well. I used a small drill to locate the holes by drilling from inside. Then, I used a 1″ Forstner bit to cut the holes. The bits that I bought from Lee Valley did a great job. No tear-out at all, just nice sharp edges.
After drilling the holes I taped some wax paper on the inside of the boat (The boat is upside down) and then painted some unthickened epoxy onto the plywood edges of the holes. Then I added wood flour and cabosil to the remaining epoxy and poured that into the holes. The epoxy in the anchor well set up very quickly as it was sitting in the sun and the sun was very warm this afternoon. The other epoxy took quite a bit longer. Before they fully set up I used the 1″ bit to put a small hole in the centre of the hole by placing it on top of the hole and making sure that the edges all lined up with the hole edges.
By evening, they were both ready to be drilled out. I used a 3/4″ Forstner bit to drill out the center of the epoxy plugs, leaving a 1/8′ layer of epoxy attached to the plywood…nice and waterproof. The Forstner bit cut the epoxy very nicely and I have two holes that need no further attention with sandpaper.
On Thursday after work I went to Broadway Millwork to see about getting them to cut the tapers on my mast. The owner, Doug, a super nice guy, was most generous with his time talking about what had to be done and how he could accomplish it with the equipment he has in his shop. It doesn’t look like he will be able to do it But I came away with several ideas about jig building that I may be able to use with my router if need be. He also gave me the name of another fellow to call who may be able to help me out. The beat goes on…..