Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Zen of sanding.

So, precious little work on the boat over the last eight weeks.

I spent a few days delivering my buddy’s Sabre 426 to Rhode Island. The trip was the quickest delivery along that route that I have ever done. Fast, flat and dry. May be bringing her back next week.

The next few weeks were taken up with family and friends. My wife and I had dinner with close friends at The Inn in Little Washington. My first experience there and it was superlative.

I spent a fair amount of time (and money…) prepping my two Ducati motorcycles for a long planned ride of the Rockies in Colorado and New Mexico. After getting those sorted I drove to Denver, met my old and close friend Jim and we rode for three days. After the ride was over he loaded my Ducati ST2 into his pickup and drove it back to his garage in San Diego where it resides, waiting for me to fly in and ride the West Coast with him. Looking forward to that.

Lost in Kansas:

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After getting back I started to sand the decks of Ronin, starting with the non-skid areas. Before I did that though I had to finish cleaning out the hardened Plexus material in the frames of the fixed ports. Not an easy or as a quick a job as it turned out. Took severals days of sanding, chipping and grinding. Those inner frame surfaces will be getting some epoxy work sometime in the future.


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We’ve been having a fair amount of heat here on the Mid-Atlantic, high 80’s F to low 90’s F. I was concerned about the temperatures when working on the boat but have been pleasantly surprised with the working conditions. With an early start, several fans blowing directly towards me and a breeze that generally flows through the structure I’ve been able to work fairly comfortably. On the really high heat and humidity days I’ve pretty much downed tools, cleaned up the site and headed for home around 3:30 PM. Despite the expense, the decision to purchase the shelter was an extremely good move.

I’ve started at the bow and am working my way aft along the port side removing all the non-skid. The gloss areas, primarily vertical, will get sanded on the second pass. Right now I’m sanding away with an assortment of sanders, my old trusty Porter-Cable 7336 dual-action sander with Gold Sikit P80 sheets slapped on. For some of the tighter areas I’ve been using my Porter-Cable 333 DA sander with hook-and-loop P60 Norton discs. I’ve done some sanding with my new Mirka 12VDC sander with some aggressive sanding disks but I’m concerned that it may be a bit fragile for long-term use. We’ll see. It’s a really nice tool and I expect that for finer sanding of some areas and the primer it will be the go-to sander. I’ve been rolling through twenty-five to thirty discs per day.

It’s all about dust control...

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Removing the West System Low Density filler used to plug the holes in the deck:

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Jennings Boatyard is putting up a web-site and asked me for some action and before-and-after photos of the work on Ronin. I was happy to oblige so we’ll see if she shows up in the future. Hope so, the yard has been a great place to have a boat project.