Tuesday, October 25, 2016

If I never see another pinhole it will be too soon.

I’m trying to spend more time on the refit project especially with the favorable weather that we’re having. After getting back from the Dominican Republic I have redouble the final effort to put on the Awlquick primer and sand it in preparation for applying the topcoat.

I knew before leaving that there were some serious mistakes that I had made fairing nicks, gouges, cracks and glasswork in preparation for the gloss topcoat. The number of those mistakes were a bit depressing. Especially after I came back and and filled them with Awlfair. I sanded all the builtup fairing compound and applied more Awlfair, let that set up for a day and then sanded again. After doing this I mixed up another batch of Awlfair and spot sprayed.

Fix those cracks and scratches.

Awlfair touchup work

And lo and behold, more pinholes appeared. Some in areas that I thought I had fixed and some new ones. Frustrating.

Too tiny to see in the photo but they’re there.

Awlfair failure

One section of the port scupper drain showed another set of holes that had blown open next to an area that I filled. Closer investigation with a sharp knife revealed yet more glass layup failures. I should have really tested the entire length of the affected area to ensure that I repaired everything prior to spraying the primer.

Bad layup blown open.

Another set of layup failures

The voids in the scupper drain required something more industrial. Out came the West System mixed with colloidal silica shoved into the opened cavities. This area would not be ready for sanding and painting within the day but I’ll just do that in the next day or so and “paint” that area with primer.

So, with just enough of the original gallon of primer left I tried a different tack with the pinholes. 3M Arcyl-White Glazing Putty. I should have used that earlier. It is easier to apply in small amounts and has the benefit of being ready for sanding after 30 minutes. I did a closer inspection of areas that I knew were suspect, smoothing on the glazing compound as I went. Sanding with 220 grit sandpaper was enough before painting.

Glazing compound. Should have used it sooner.

Glazing putty to the rescue

While waiting for those areas to set up I started in on final sanding the surfaces that will be painted with the gloss topcoat. I had already machine sanded the entire first primer coat on the decks with 320 grit sandpaper. The key to getting a nice finish with the Awlcraft 2000 is to final sand those areas using 3M Dry-Guide and more 320 grit sandpaper. Block sanding by hand.

Hand sanding the primer isn’t very hard and the results using the Dry-Guide are sublime but it does take time. I anticipate several days of that coming up.

Smoothing the surfaces.

Dry guide sanding section

Once the glazing compound set up and sanded I fired up the compressor, mixed the last of the Awlquick and applied covering coats.

More primer needed.

Final spot repairs

So, at the end of the day I am 99.99% done with applying Awlquick epoxy primer. Next installment, after I get back from four days of helping my brother and sister-in-law run a 3-day Endurance ride in Fort Valley I will finish the block sanding and start in on masking the non-skid and gloss patterns.


Awlquick touchup pass


Thursday, October 6, 2016

An actual accomplishment. With an assistant...

September proved to be yet another pretty warm month. I just used that as an excuse to screw off and do other stuff. Spent a week in Top Sail Island for a destination wedding. More motorcycle riding. I spent some time helping a friend with an offer on a used Post 42’ but unfortunately the offer was not accepted.

When the temperatures broke the rain moved in. On the reasonably good days I continued to work on small fairing jobs, mostly stuff that I had missed initially. I do that quite a bit. Think I’ve covered everything when I haven’t.

In late September I started to ready the boat for the Awlquick Epoxy Primer shoot. While it was raining outside I busied myself with washing the entire deck surface with a 3M Scotchbrite pad and cleanser. The next day I came back and vacuumed the entire surface.

Got a fair amount of water down below

Washing the decks

I ran 3M Masking Film along the inside edge of the toe-rail and left it wrapped up to be pulled down over the hull right before I started to paint.. After that I started masking the ports and hatch openings. With those items done and ready to go I waited for a clear day with low humidity.

3M products everywhere...

Masking start

Nifty tool

Stern paint protection

The next day I came back to finish up a few more Awlfair spots that needed sanding and discovered that a helper had climbed up on the boat and was waiting to give me a hand.

I’m not sure how he got up there.

Found the next morning

I was glad to have the company. I let him make sure that I completed all the items on my work list.

I think he had a hard time read my handwriting

Helping with the lists

Tuesday, October 4th provided the right conditions here in the Mid-Atlantic. I had all my tools and supplies in crates and boxes ready to go. Threw all that into the truck, hitched up the trailer with the generator and compressor and headed for the boatyard early.

Although it was a beautiful early Fall morning I quickly discovered that it was “raining” inside the shed. There were large amounts of condensation on the ceiling of the shed that were dripping onto the deck.

I put on an old foul-weather jacket and went along the deck smacking the fabric trying to get most of the moisture to fall off. Which it pretty much did but I still had to wait for a a couple of hours for it to become completely dry.

Off to a late start for the day

Morning condensation

Next on the prep list was to wipe the surfaces with Awlprep Plus Wax & Grease solvent using the infamous two-rag method. That accomplished I went back, starting at the bow and working aft, and vacuumed the surface. That was followed by a complete wipe-down with tack-rags. Burning through the day though.

With everything ready to go I suited up, put fresh NIOSH filters on my respirator, mixed painted and prepped the spray gun and ran the air-hose in carabiners suspended overhead on the centerline of the shed so that they would drag along the deck.

Painting commenced and pretty much went well. Shooting primer doesn’t take much technique so I was safe there. It did however take longer that I thought it would. I waited 1 hour between coats to go back and apply another coat and that was too long. Thirty minutes would have been fine for walking on the previous coat.

Anyway, I didn’t finish the second of three coats until 6:30 PM. With the amount of time that it would take to wait and then shoot the final coat I would have been working in the dark. Time to go home.

I cleaned up the tools and materials, closed up the shed and pulled the trailer home with the plans to start in early the next morning.

Waiting for the shed ceiling to dry

Paint mixing setup

Wednesday was another nice day. Without the condensation issue from the previous day. I quickly got things set up and finished the third coat.

The results were fair. I knew that I would find areas that showed slight imperfections but there were more than I anticipated. Mostly pinholes that blew open when I ran the spray-gun over them.  I mentioned that to my friend who painted the hull and he smiled wryly and said that was why he shot two primer coats...

I’m off to fly over Hurricane Matthew to the Dominican Republic for our regular medical mission work for the next week so round two of the sanding, fairing and primer work will have to wait for week and a half.

Although I approach this project as a hobby, it feels good to get the big things done.


Drastic change

Job done

Looks good from a distance