Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Laminating Deck Beams (5)

I managed to find time this morning to laminate the first deck beam; weather conditions were perfect, with plenty of sunshine and hardly any wind. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes.

I placed a large bin bag over the jig and taped it into place; then I applied slightly thickened epoxy to the battens by means of a cheap painter’s brush. There was no need to have a ‘gluing’ platform, because it was easy to spread the epoxy on each batten, one at a time; then bend it around the jig so that it was temporarily held in place by two large upright screws, one at each end. (My jig was laid flat on the work bench.) When all 8 battens were made level, I used 5 clamps to gently squeeze them until they fitted the jig exactly. I did not over-tighten the clamps, otherwise they would have been starved of epoxy. Finally I cleaned the old paintbrush with acetone and washing up liquid.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for me, but I hope I’ll be able to find time to make another beam. I originally thought it would be necessary to leave each beam on the jig for 48 hours, but it seems that most Paradox builders believe 24 hours is enough time for the epoxy to harden. Taking this as reliable information, means I’ll be able to produce the beams at twice the rate.

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