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Monday, December 11, 2006

Star Wars

So, as the floor joists are nearly ready to be permanently installed in the westsail, some more tools are in order (tools are always good!). The joists will be set in place with Loctite H3151. This is a two part 1:1 methacrylate type of structural adhesive. I would have preferred to use the Plexus version, but my supplier does not carry it. Now, as you may have seen me say earlier in this blog, methacrylate structural adhesives are STRONG stuff. Under stress, the substrate will most likely fail before the adhesive does. And this stuff can be used to bond almost anything (except rubbers). Now I have used this stuff in 50ml cartridges. It requires special mixing tips. And, with a manual gun, it is very difficult to dispense. Your wrists are quite sore when done. A lot of this stuff will be used on the Westsail, so I will be using it in 400ml quantities. So if the 50ml is tough to dispense, I would hate to try dispensing the 400ml. While Loctite does make a manual gun, I would prefer to save the energy required to dispense the stuff for use with other things. So the picture you see here is the special dispensing gun. Air powered. We anticipated using air tools for the project, and already had a 50 foot retractable host reel and some extension hose. This last weekend I rounded up the necessary fittings to hook everything up. The hose reel will be mounted at the top of the stairs next to the boat for easy access and cleanup. A note on the H3151: most formulations of these type of adhesives are fast-setting. Like 5 minutes. This one is formulated for 60 minutes working time. There is also a formulation that provides for 90 minutes. Use as much as you can because once you break open a cartridge, it is toast after a day. Be sure to have plenty of mixing tips on hand. Star Wars? Doesn't that gun look like a blaster Han Solo would use?