Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tools for removing stuff.

There’s a fairly long running thread in the C&C email list that I fanatically follow. It concerns the travails of removing and fixing/replacing the fixed ports of some of the new models of C&C’s. I thought that I’d put up a quick post to address some of the questions that others had and to show some tools that posters on the list had recommended.

I knew early on in the ownership of our boat that cleaning up the old Plexus would be a significant effort. I had pulled and replaced to original ports 15 years ago and just used silicone sealant between the new ports and the old, hard Plexus.

Not ideal but worked okay for the subsequent years.

As part of the deck repainting project, I decided to do it correctly this time around.

So, as a response to some the listers who are getting into this project and to answer some questions about what tools to use to remove the old Plexus I thought I’d post a few photos of the tools that I used.

3” Angle grinder.

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This tool is brutal but effective. It takes a careful hand to keep from really making a mess of the exterior gelcoat but it can be done. This removed large quantities of Plexus.

Ingersoll-Rand 2”/3” high speed pneumatic sander.

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This tool will remove a large amount of material also but it is much, much more delicate.

An air compressor is required for this tool so the overall investment is high. The tool itself is not very expensive and I bought a bag of 50 2” 80-grit sanding disks for cheap money. Like all sanding projects I buy lots of sandpaper and the minute it is no longer pushing dust I pitch it and slap on another. It’s cheaper than my time.

Fein Multimaster.

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One of my absolute favorite tools. I bought this before the patent expired and before other tool makers were allowed to produce oscillating tools. Were I do buy another I’d still buy the (much) more expensive Fein. The quality is leagues ahead of the new tools. I used 40-grit paper initially and then graduated to 80-grit for the fine detail sanding of the corners and the final passes on the inside flats.

Last but not least, hand-sanding blocks.

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Don’t laugh but a small 3M soft hand block with 80-grit Stikit sandpaper does an amazing amount of material removal. And it has the benefit of allowing me to do some fairly fine and detailed sanding when necessary.

Sanding doesn’t always have to be a chore. Good tools make a big difference.

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