Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SUP Plug: Step #8

Taking it up to a polish.
After a bout of other work, I have been able to spend some time on the plug this week.
Our goal is to make a mold of the plug before Sunday.

This will be the first of at least two molds.
To get there, we need to sand up through the grits to about 1500 grit.
Yesterday, after a little more spot filling and sanding, we achieved the uniform shape we needed.
So today we gave the plug a even sanding with 120 grit paper then 220 paper.
Tomorrow we will do 320 grit dry then 320 grit wet.
Each finer pass we will do first dry then wet.
After we get to 1500 wet, we will use buffing compound and a wool pad to bring it up to a mirror finish.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Laser Trailer overhaul

Once we had everything off the trailer, prepping for paint is straight forward.  We used an orbital sander where we could and a wire brush where we had to.
We re-primed the frame and let it thoroughly dry.
We also took apart the wheel hubs, cleaned and re packed the bearings in good grease.
Next came spraying on a glossy black enamel paint.
While this was drying we worked on cutting the new bunk boards.

The bearings were dirty but still have plenty of life.

After a thorough cleaning we re-packed the bearings with marine grease.

Snug with no play, but not too tight!

With a leaf blower we flushed out a thousand acorns. 

Poor squirrel.

We scribed the bunks to the underside of the hull when it was upside down in the shop.  Then we used the big Silver band saw for the cuts.  After a coating of clear epoxy was applied, we used wide nylon strapping for the liners.
This was epoxied in place and the overhang was pulled down with brass tacks.

The Laser sits perfectly on it bunks in this position.  Now we just need to adjust the front bumper, add new lighting and wheels.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

While the Laser is off the trailer

While the Laser is getting a mani pedi we thought it was a great time to rejuvinate the trailer.
The paint was peeling and rust has crept around a bit.  The lights are shot and the wheels are dry rotted.

Last year when we got it, we gave the trailer a quick light sanding and sprayed on some primer to stop the deterioration.
Today once we got the lights and wires ripped off and the wooden bunk boards off we had a great opportunity to re-sand and prep for paint.

The rust is just on the surface so it is really an easy project.

A Laser trailer in need of help.

Rotted and rusty but the bearings are good.
The old bunk boards
The worn out electrics.

Stripped down and ready to sand.

Laser mani pedi

Now that the deck is gleaming white and the gel coat is hard, we wanted to address the hull bottom in the comfort of the shop.
We flipped it over on the horses and took care of a few items.
First was to remove the old State ID numbers.  They were peeling and not ours.
Next we filled in a few scratches in the hull with colored gel coat.  We didn't want to spend too much time on matching but the contrast is now not so glaring.
Then we got out the buffer and some compound and polished the hull.
Tomorrow we will instal the new self bailer and wax the hull.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Refinishing the Laser's deck

The kshe Laser we picked up at an estate sale is ready for the top coat on the deck.  In past posts, we addressed deck problems with the mid '70s laser.
After fairing and a layer of glass cloth set in epoxy, all that was needed was a sanding to prepare it for a top coat.
We could of just used paint.  In the past I have rolled on Interlux Perfection.  It looks great but paint is incredibly thin and for this project we wanted the body gel coat provides.  In the photos below, you can see the dimpled finish we were after.  It looks great and provides just enough non slip.
The weather has warmed up enough to spray the gel coat on the Laser's deck.
We can heat the space, but when you get this amount or resin air born, big ventilation is a must.  Of course we are using new organic respirators but you just don't want to hang out to long when the concentration is this high.
We ended up spraying about 2 quarts of pure white gel coat.

There are a couple of areas we will address tomorrow.  There are a couple of stray drips from the gun and possibly a couple of thin spots.  We will do any necessary sanding an give a light overspray to touch these areas up.

80 grit sanding gives the gelcoat a good bite.

Blown off and ready for masking.

The deck is now back to a nice uniform white.

Super nice!

Ugly before shot.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Back on Smith Lake

We had a quick trip to the South last week and visited the Clayton family on beautiful Smith Lake near Cullman Alabama.

Here we are trying to stay out of the cold cold water...
The water depth here is 200 feet and it reaches 264 feet in some places.

Tiny Junior looking out to sea.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Carbon Sequestration

We have a great thing going with our local carbon fiber manufacturing company, Zoltek.
Just arrived:
12 pound roll of 50k CF tow.
This will be wound into many paddle shafts and is used as reinforcement in Primoboardco.com skate decks.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sup Plug: Step #7

Sanding, fairing, sanding then another layer of gelcoat:
It would be hard to do these steps too many times.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

New skin on a Laser

We have a older Laser in the shop.
It has a sound hull that is fair.  The deck has issues that are common to older glass dingys.  That is; deck deformation.  It is not delamination.  These boats have a thin but solid glass deck.  It is not cored.  Because the deck is thin, over time, heating and cooling cycles make the skin undulate.
To bring the life back into this boat we needed to address this issue.
Our plan is to fair out the low spots with fairing compound and sand down the high spots.
We did this and today it was fair enough to take the next step.
We overlaid the entire deck with 7oz glass set in epoxy.
This brings the surface back to a uniform material and it makes the deck start to look good again.
After this hardens, we will trim the excess, sand and prepare the surface for a gelcoat overlay.
This will be in a future posting.
The Laser with fairing compound used in low spots.

Sanded and ready for glass

We are using low viscosity Raka resin with medium hardener.

The fabric is draped over the cockpit and will be trimmed out after the epoxy sets.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Silver Band Saw Running!

We needed it for a project so it finally got done.  The big band saw had recently been fitted with guards on the front side of the saw.
The top guard is attached to the traveling guide arm to accommodate various guide heights.
The bottom front guard is fixed but fairly easily removable.
There are no rear guards yet.  This will be remedied shortly.
Being on a budget, we improvised with tires for the saw.  We cut up an inner tube off of a large forklift curtesy of Jonathan W.
Next we wired up a two pole switch to accommodate the 240v wiring.
The saw is powered by a 2 hp motor.  No stationary steam engine yet.
At this point, I was a bit frightened to fire up the motor.  Having had limited band saw adjustment experience, getting the upper wheel set to keep that blade on track was a bit daunting.

But after a few quick on and off cycles it was fairly easy to see how the upper wheel adjustments affected the blade alignment.
So far so good.  The saw is happy and so am I.

The day we acquired the saw.

Cleaning out the Babbit bearings.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter Laser repair

We got a small repair job on a Laser with hull / deck separation anxiety.
The boat has lead a long life and the owner just wants to get a few more summer sails off the beach on a lake in Michigan.  To keep it above the waves, we needed to refasten about 6 linear feet of the joint.

On a similar repair to this we used thickened epoxy.  But the length of this one made me think 3M 5200 was in order.  It appeared that the initial bonding of the hull to deck in these old Lasers was with just the laminating resin  (ester based not epoxy).
The 5200 took a while to cure in the cooler temps, but after a week and some sprits of water to help with it's water curing properties, it set up.  It is now the strongest part of this hull for sure.

Also a nice curvy and slippery hull.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

USCG case closed

"Mr. Kreutz-

These photos satisfy our compliance requirements and so your case is closed.

Respectfully, Louis Novak
Subject: case number 13R5134"

This short note brought to a close a long process of getting the Mississippi River Skiff legal in the eyes of the USCG.

Most of the delays were on my end, getting the initial tank test of the skiff and doing the proper calculations.
Additional delays had to do with getting an acceptable capacities label.

The next project will be to talk to the State of Missouri and figure out how to get Manufacturers Title so the boat can be legally sold.
Stay tuned...