Not much exciting to write about. More core repair the past couple weeks.
I took a new job doing trim carpentry a couple months ago and it’s really cutting into my boat work time. Now it’s just evenings and weekends to get things done, but hey, the extra money ain’t bad. The problem with doing messy projects like cutting and grinding fiberglass is that I only have a few hours to work before I have to clean up. Glass dust everywhere, and the cat is apparently highly allergic. So I make a big mess then vacuum and wipe everything down before calling it a day.
Anyway, I cut loose and peeled up the side deck skins back to the chainplates and let the wet core air out for a couple days. After a period of drying out, most of the little wood blocks on the port side had shrunk significantly and easily popped loose. Starboard side was another story and after beating myself silly with a pry bar I decided it best just to leave the ones that stuck fast, and piece in the new balsa core where it didn’t. The laminating process was the same as on the fore deck, and Jeni and I worked again as a team with her mixing epoxy and me placing material.
After we got the core down and the top skins glued back in place came the extremely messy process of grinding a bevel on either side of the saw cuts. This bevel makes room for the layers of glass tape and epoxy that stitch the repaired areas to the surrounding skin. Many hours with an angle grinder, and many 24 grit sanding disks later I had created a sufficient bevel that extended roughly 2-1/2 inches on either side of the cut lines.
We used a layer each of 4 and 3 inch wide glass tape and unthickend epoxy to wet it out. Since Jeni had already proven her mastery in the art of measuring and mixing resin I figured it might go quicker if we both worked at laying down tape. Two people hunched over spreading epoxy on the side decks is a tight fit but we managed to finish in a couple hours. We didn’t file for divorce, and only a small portion of the resin we mixed ended up all over our clothes. That’s a fairly successful project in my book.