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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Math is Hard

You wouldn't expect to hear that from someone who graduated with a degree in math and physics... Now, I ain't a boat builder, or house builder, or have a lot of experience at something like cabinet making, but I got B's in high school geometry. You know, where you learn all the rules for angles?
Well, this weekend I was assembling the framing for the upper V-berth bunk. It is basically a paralellogram with an angle of 28 degrees. So, this means that the miter saw would will get heavy use when cutting material for the corners. For some reason, (maybe because I havent really used geometry since high school) I kept getting the angles wrong. Sometimes I would inadvertently flip the piece to be cut and/or cut the angle on the wrong side. When dealing with square cuts (at 90 degrees), flipping a piece usually doesnt matter. But, once you are off that 90, a whole new world is opened up.
And, to make matters worse, after correcting the mistake, you end up cutting off twice the amount of material than you would otherwise. And, the more the angle is off the 90, the more material is wasted. When dealing with "not-the-most-cheapest-stuff" like Coosa board, it gets a little frustrating.
I am hoping more experience with the miter saw will get me over this hurdle.
In the meantime, there is a pile of odd-size Coosa board triangles next to the miter saw that is multiplying (at least I remember how to multiply).


Gary said...

Hello -
I'm in the process of finishing a westsail 32 kit boat that has never been launched. I have to sand the deck and repaint as the gelcoat is in bad shape with a lot of cracks. I tried sanding with my little Dewald RO sander but its pretty inefectual. Could you recommend a sander please?
Thanks for any help!

w42 said...

Hello Gary,

Great question. It depends on what you are seeking to do with the gelcoat. If you are seeking to "remove" the gelcoat, a RO sander wont get you very far. You need to grind it off with grinder, or find someone with those "gelcoat planer" devices.

However, if simply you are filling and fairing cracks in the existing gelcoat, a RO with aggressive grind/sand disks, like 24 or 36 grit, should work. I used a 6 inch Porter Cable RO (corded) with 24 grit to remove nonskid and fair the deck on our 28 footer. That worked pretty well. I initially tried 80 grit and that pretty much did nothing.

Hope that helps

Gary said...

Thanks for the reply!

Which Porter cable do you have?

w42 said...

We have the PorterCable 7366. Its about ten years old and has really taken a beating. We also used it to sand off bottom paint a few years ago.
5 speed. You can get a dust hood for it. A bit on the heavy side.

Gary said...

Thank again for all the help.
My next dilemma is how to paint the decks....

I was reading up on your small boat makeover and saw that you used Sterling.
I'm leaning towards interlux high build primer and perfection for the finish coat. Have you had any experience with this stuff? My reasoning is that it will be easier to roll and tip this paint than the awlgrip.
I'm very nervouse about painting the deck. I hope I don't screw it up!

w42 said...

Never used the Interlux 2-part polyurethane. However, as with any paint that is high gloss, proper preparation is the key. Application to a rough unfair, dirty surface, or, poor application can really screw up the paint job.

A boat a couple slips down from us quickly rolled/tipped LPU on his decks, with the boat in the water, without sufficient prep and it really looked bad. It probably would have looked better had he applied single part enamel with a brush.

good luck.