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Monday, October 01, 2007

I Love the Smell of Resin in the Morning

While we wait for the paint to set up on the small boat, I am finding time to get back to Westsail projects. Forward Salon Floors With the final descision made on floor height in the forward salon, the floor pads can be glassed in. I did the final shaping of the foam and glassed them to the side of the hull. I had just enough resin left in my last 5 gallon bucket for the job. As before, the pads are structural foam (Airex C70) triangular wedges with one side shaped to the curvature of the hull to give a nice flat and level 90 angle on the opposite surfaces. The 90 corner is given a large round-over so the glass will stick to it nicely. CoreBond is used to stick the foam to the hull (and fill gaps) and three layers of glass are laid over the foam onto the hull. Staggered about two or three inches. Working with CoreBond is a little tricky. Its primary purpose is to bond foam coring materials to fiberglass (as is often the case when building a cored boat). It is a two part material (catalyzed with MEKP, just as the resin) that has the consistency of a light putty. It is lightweight and has very good resistance to sagging or running. This is important when bedding the foam pieces in place because you dont want them to shift when you turn your back. The CoreBond holds them in place just nicely. Then you can use putty knifes, toothed squeegees, trowels and tounge depressors to help shape the CoreBond that "smooshes out" to fair and fill gaps. Once in place, laying the wet fiberglass over the wet CoreBond will enable you to smooth out any bumps and troughs and achieve a chemical bond between the two. The trick comes in that the CoreBond tends to set up faster than the glass resin, and, it is not very easy to gauge the amount of catalyzst to use on the CoreBond (the MEKP catalyst comes as a dark green thick putty). So, you must not overwork the CoreBond and work faster with the glass if you want that chemical bond. So, this is the LAST of the permanent installation of the floors. Except the engine room and hallway. Those are being saved for last, as, the cockpit floor will be used to move large parts/pieces into the boat, and, therefore, will be the last area of the boat to get floors and walls.
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