Monday, November 9, 2015

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) and (bonus!) wooden boats.

I have been doing quite a bit of sanding, primarily using my Mirka Ceros 6” DA sander on successive applications of AwlFair filler. I’ve been doing so much of it that my left forearm is beginning to exhibit some of the symptoms of RSI. Makes sense I suppose.

Nothing terribly interesting to report as far as the work goes. I continue to fill and sand and fill and sand. One of the things is the disturbingly large number of spots that I miss. I’ll work my around the deck, inspecting and marking potential spots for grinding and filling. After finishing that process and then coming back the next day to sand I am continually finding cracks in need of grinding that have been missed. Worse are those spots that I have ground out and completely missed when it came time to apply the AwlFair.

Nonetheless, although it is fairly uninteresting work I am making progress. I think that after a few more passes on the deck I will be ready to cover them with the construction paper I bought earlier this week. Since it is pretty certain that I will be shooting the primer and topcoat sometime next Spring I want to try and keep the decks dirt, grime and grit free as possible.

Second pass with AwlFair.

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Filling large depressions and bolt-holes.

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Interestingly, in the picture shown above, the large area filled in with AwlFair is a slight depression in the deck that contained one of the original winches, in this case for the mainsheet. I’m assuming (and hoping…) that it was designed in from the factory. The same thing occurs on the port side as well.

The original control setup that I inherited was comprised of four non-self-tailing winches arrayed across the cabin top to work all the halyards and lines that were led aft. Early on I ditched two of the old Barients and replaced them with Harken 40 aluminum self-tailers. When the boat is put back together I am completely re-designing the layout of the lines led aft. A reduction in the number of lines is high on my list but that’s a chore left for later. Bottom line is that all the used and un-used holes in the deck will be filled, faired and painted over.

The port side after board sanding.

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After that session more filler went on. Before leaving for the day, after cleaning up my tools and equipment I decided to just sit and ruminate. Catch up on progress and to-do notes for the project.

Does this qualify as a “man cave”? Not with that pink chair...

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The next day I came back and, surprise, did more sanding, concentrating on the four fixed port openings. I’ve been paying particular attention to these because of the large radiating cracks in the gel-coat and the damaged backing lip for the ports themselves. I’m carefully prepping these for installation of new ports when the decks are painted next year.

Went on heavy and got sanded away.

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What would I do without my trusty construction pencil?

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While my work effort was proceeding over the past week or so, I managed to move the Butler skiff over to the the place where it was built, Reedville Marine Railway, so that some leaking and rot damage could be attended to. Since I have neither the time nor the skill to do the woodwork on it, I hired a local woodworker and wooden boat repair professional to deal with it. Smart move on my part.

Been sittin' for a year and the barnacles were happy...

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Rotten wood coming out.

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I think we found the leak….

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New wood!

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Of note: the original mast from the Chesapeake Bay buyboat, "Elva C” shown in the background of the picture below is now a feature in the main room of our house. A bit of local history that fits with the fact that our house used to have a wooden boat building concern in the backyard.

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Anyway, the woodwork is completed and now I need to do more sanding on this boat too.

My arm is not wild about the prospect of that... 

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