Back in early December, I ordered the PocketShip epoxy package from CLC...15 gallons of some of the best, high tech, no-blush goop out there, made by a company called MAS. I've used MAS epoxy on a previous boat, and have preferred it to the other brands I've used. Also included in the package are heaping helpings of two thickeners...colloidal silica (sand, essentially), and wood flour (fine sawdust, essentially). I figured shipping could be a little slow around Christmas, so I wasn't too worried when it didn't show up right away. But by 5 January, I was definitely getting a little antsy. After some communication with CLC (who in turn communicated with MAS), I found out that initially the shipment had been delayed because the wood flour was out of stock. CLC had asked them to just ship it separately, but for some reason they didn't. Compounding this issue is the fact the MAS decided to up and move from New Jersey to Tennessee. Anyway, CLC beat up those guys a bit and by last Monday got a promise to ship my goop the following day. I am still a little nervous about this, because I was supposed to receive tracking information as soon as it shipped, but haven't received it it. And, also, no epoxy has landed on my door yet. So, the saga continues.
Being largely epoxy-less, I've been wrapping up the last few parts that needed to be cut out. Aside from the keelson and sides, which require lengths of plywood to be scarfed together once the epoxy arrives, the only plywood parts that haven't been cut out are the seatbacks and the porthole rings, all of which I'm planning on waiting to cut out until much later in the build.
|Cutting out the transom.|
|Cutting out the notorious bulkhead #7. This is probably the most complicated piece in the boat.|
|Excavating the "ledge" in the CB. The ledge gives the lead that will be poured into this hole something to hang on to.|
Oh, I forget to mention. In an earlier post I mentioned that I have mis-cut one of the centerboard halves. I resolved this dilemma but buying another piece of plywood and cutting out two new halves. This probably wouldn't have been my approach were it not for the fact that I needed to buy that sheet of plywood anyway (the other half was used for a different mini-project).
|The two centerboard halves, ready to be stuck together.|
|My first batch of epoxy for PocketShip. It certainly won't be the last.|
Epoxy doesn't really cure well when it is cold, and this time of year it is cold out in the garage. So, I played a couple of tricks. One of the biggest things that affects epoxy cure time is the initial temperature of the epoxy. So, about an hour before mixing up the epoxy, I put the containers for the resin and hardener into a bucket of hot water. This raises the temperate of the goo a lot and helps make sure it set up. I also used fast hardener. The resin/hardener reaction is exothermic (which is good because the heat further encourages the reaction), and the fast hardener makes it, well, more exothermic. Also, after the halves were clamped together, I took two 75W worklights, and shone them on the board overnight whilst the epoxy set. These lights put out just enough heat to keep smallish epoxy jobs warm enough to cure. For larger jobs, I use a ceramic heater, but that's a different post.
|Spreading the epoxy onto the board.|
|Here we go!|
|Here are the two halves clamped together. What epoxy has joined together, let no rock separate.|
|The two halves clamped together with a bunch of weights on top to ensure everything was in good contact. Note the worklamps keeping everything warm.|
|Test fit of the rudder blocking|
|Adding some taper to the rudder.|
Up next, more waiting for epoxy. I can still cut out the gaff and boom and do sanding and other prep work, so I'm not totally stuck until it arrives. But it is starting to slow me down a little.