Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eastern Epiphany Eve Epoxy

Now that's a lot of epoxy

Well, after a wait that seemed longer than it probably was, my epoxy package arrived on the eve of the day that the Eastern churches celebrate the Epiphany.  And since in the past (and in the present in some cultures), gifts were traditionally given on Epiphany instead of Christmas, that makes this epoxy kinda like a Christmas present.  OK, it's a stretch, but I'm happy and celebrating nonetheless.  The package arrived in seven boxes, which the UPS guy left strewn across my front porch.  All the epoxy came in 1 gallon containers.  From pictures, I had expected some 5 gallon containers, but have to admit that I'm happier with the easier-to-work-with 1 gallon containers.

 I celebrated the epoxy's arrival by, well, using it.  The assembly instructions start with building the centerboard trunk.  Step 1, fiberglass the inside surfaces of the centerboard trunk.  I laid out the centerboard halves on the workbench, careful to make sure that the inside sides were facing up.  I then rolled out some fiberglass, mixed and spread my epoxy, and put down a layer of peel ply.  This is my first time using peel ply without a vacuum bag.  Supposedly it will help reduce sanding dramatically.  We'll see how it turns out.
Ready to fiberglass

Fiberglassing the inside of the centerboard trunk

Let the curing begin.  Note my trusty cold-weather-epoxy-curing lamps in place and doing their thing.
 With that sorted, I had some spare time left over, so I turned my attention to the centerboard proper.  The manual suggests excavating a rabbet in the middle of the leading and trailing edges of the centerboard.  This rabbet is to be filled with thickened epoxy so that when the centerboard is shaped, the epoxy will form an "armored" edge that'll protect the board should you run it into rocks or run aground with the board down.  I didn't get so far as the fill the rabbet with the thickened epoxy, but I did manage to excavate it.  Filling will be left for another day.

Cutting the rabbet for the LE epoxy "armor" on the centerboard.   OK, actually I staged this picture.  I wouldn't take my hand of that thing with the saw running.   Forget about it.

The finished rabbet.

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