Just fiddling around

Maybe it’s just me, but for some reason when I “finish” a project, it’s never actually quite finished.  Perhaps I’m just a procrastinator by nature.  It’s been nearly two years now since I fabricated and installed the Corian countertops in the galley.

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Compared to the old, dingy wood butcher block tops, Corian is a wonderful low-maintenence surface.  We opted for a large single basin sink in lieu of the tiny little double sink that came with the boat, and converted the nearly useless waste basket into a spacious food storage locker.  We also updated the pressure water faucet with a tall pull-out sprayer and installed new spouts for the fresh and saltwater Whale foot pumps.  All in all, a considerable improvement over the former arrangement, and more suited to our food prep and cooking styles.  The problem was that once I got the tops glued down and the plumbing connected, I never really got around to finishing the exposed edges.  The old tops had raised teak fiddles to help keep things from sliding off the counter in heavy seas, and my intention was to duplicate them on the new tops.  I even bought the perfect piece of teak lumber to finish the task.  And there sat the lumber in the shed, gathering dust while other projects took priority.

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They say “measure twice and cut once”, and nothing is more true than when working with a $100 piece of teak.  So with my list of measurements it was time to make some sawdust.  Once I had the shape roughed out and sanded smooth, each fiddle received a half dozen coats of Epifanes High Gloss varnish, one coat per day, with a light sand in between.  Back at the boat each strip was cut to length and installed with epoxy and screws.  I used epoxy in order to seal the wood edge to the Corian to prevent any spilled liquids from infiltrating the joint and compromising the varnish finish.  The screw holes were then plugged with teak bungs.

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After the epoxy cured the screw plugs were shaved flush with a chisel and sanded smooth.  Everything received 4 more coats of varnish, again, a day apart and a light sand between coats.  The hardest part about varnishing inside the boat is that Suki likes to jump up on the counter and drink out of the faucet.  Keeping cat hair and little footprints out of freshly laid varnish was definitely an exercise in creativity, but I can now finally cross one more item off the “To Do” list.

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Steaming mad
Hatching a plan
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