Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Float fairing continues #5

(Non-F22 info: we attended my daughter's high school (Bothell High, class of 2007) graduation ceremony last night. Congratulations, Cindy - we are proud of you! Yeah I know - Dad is being dorky again. :) )

Working in and around family events, I've gotten a few things done on the boat project.

The starboard float hatches, have all had the foam edges dug out and filled with putty. I started with a wire wheel on a dremel and finished the dig-out with a narrow wood chisel:

This went easier than expected -- I am definitely beyond the 3/8" min depth called for. Next I filled the edges with putty, and the next day after it was all cured I sanded them down to a rough smoothness:

I am pretty excited about how the hatch holes turned out -- they (almost) look professionally done. (I try for that effect with everything I do, but alas...). You can also see in the above pic, that I finally trimmed the beam-to-float location dowels down to size.

Another thing that got done, was the takedown and dismantling of my heat lamp fixture. I needed to get it out of the way, to make room for some chains to hang the floats from while painting, and it's not going to be useful anymore, I think. The heat lamps themselves will probably come in handy though.

I am also still fairing on the outside side of the port float. The weather has been uncooperative (rainy, chilly) these past couple of days, and trying to sand not-quite-cured fairing compound is a waste of time and sandpaper. Ah well. You can see from this picture, that I am mostly down to some very small imperfections:

I do have one builder's tip. When joining my floats, I used tie-down straps to help pull the upper float half into alignment with the lower float half. At the time this seemed a reasonable thing to do, but I now think that that procedure was responsible for producing some of the low spots that I've had to spend so much time fairing out. If I had to do it again I think I would spend more time getting the float halves to line up "naturally", so that the innate fairness of the float halves is preserved as much as possible.

I have been making my own "mortar boards" for mixing fairing putty, by covering up cheap plywood scraps with masking tape. At first I was thinking I could peel off the tape and re-use the wood, but it's just not worth the trouble. So I've been mixing lots of little batches, and stacking up the old junk boards. Time to throw these out, I think:

I've also purchased several gallons worth of Alexseal Super Build Primer, Converter, and Reducer. Expensive stuff! But I'm all ready to start priming, once the fairing is over.

Finally, I took a few pictures of the inside of the starboard float, by holding my camera down inside the access holes. Some turned out okay, and I figured I would post a few for fun. Here's the bow, looking forward of course:

Aft beam bulkhead, looking aft from the center bulkhead:

And the center bulkhead, looking forward from the aft beam bulkhead:

That's about it for now. I'm hoping that my next post will have a picture of a float covered with primer.

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