Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rudder and Stock Saga

After adding more tape around the edges of both the stock and rudder I gave them a day to harden; then I smoothed uneven surfaces with a course, flat file. In preparation for skimming the surfaces with thickened epoxy I lightly abraded them with the same file. Afterwards I used a squeegee to spread the epoxy so as to fill minute hollows between the weave and the weft of the woven roving. Where it was not possible to use the squeegee, such as the forward facing area of the stock, I used a paint brush to apply an even layer of thickened epoxy.

As this was the first time I’ve tried the technique I await with some apprehension the result when it has hardened. How much sanding will be needed to make surfaces really smooth, and how many more coats, if any, will be necessary to bring about a professional finish? That remains to be seen.

I can anticipate several days passing before both the stock and the rudder will be finished; that’s not because there’s a lot to be done, but because between each application of epoxy I have to wait at least 24 hours.

Such a process could well go in parallel with making other parts of the boat the same day, but demands on my time often do not permit it. Unless the weather is warm and fine, and I am able to spend more time on the project, I can see building my dream boat will take a fair while.

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