Saturday, April 28, 2007
One more coat of varnish on the deck and I think that's it for varnishing.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
A self portrait:
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Refuelled with a BBQ'd burger & my homemade "Raven Ale," I began again the varnishing process. This time around I paid better heed to the instructions of Martin Step. While I cleaned up after supper, I filled the sink with hot tap water and let my container of varnish sit in there to warm up. With warmed varnish in hand, I headed back to the garage and began applying the second coat. Starting on the right side of the stern, I applied a brush-load of varnish in a horizontal stroke about a foot long. I spread this from deck peak to sheer with vertical brush strokes across the one foot section, then smoothed this out with gentle horizontal brush strokes. I then moved to the hull and did the same thing in a one foot section, then moved to the other side & repeated the process. I ensured that my brush strokes overlapped each section in order to blend the edges between sections. I used the station locations (conveniently indicated by the staple holes) to ensure that I did only 1 foot at a time and to keep track of where I was when moving side to side. I worked quickly and proceeded the length of the kayak in under an hour and a half. Another difference from last night is that I wore a mask with a carbon filter so I did not feel quite so overwhelmed by the fumes, though my eyes burned a bit by the end. Once complete, I left the garage and will not go back to avoid disturbing any dust until at least a couple of hours have passed as advised by Martin Step. Also, I went back to the house by an indirect route to minimize the amount of fumes that enter the house (which got to be quite a bit this morning when the door was being opened repeatedly).
The garage will be kept warmer overnight tonight, and hopefully there are fewer runs and sags, so I am hoping that I can sand then add a third coat in the morning. In the morning I should probably take the kayak down and flip it over on the cradles in order to see how good of a job I'm doing on the bottom. If it seems to be coming out OK, I'll hang it back up and do the whole boat again with it suspended from the ceiling like the last two coats. I suspect that this hanging method is more commonly used for spraying varnish rather than brushing.
From the bow:
From the bow at the waterline:
Last night I applied, again with Rob's help, the first coat of varnish. I suspended the kayak from the ceiling so that I would be able to get at all sides, top and bottom at the same time. The whole kayak was lightly wiped with a tack cloth, then varnishing started. I am using the Flagship Spar Varnish purchased through Kisseynew Canoe Company. Once the can was opened, we poured the gallon of varnish out into 3 collapsible bottles (to minimize airspace in the container) with the remainder going into a glass jar. The remaining air in the containers was displaced using Lee Valley Finish Preserve. The varnish was strained through a disposable varnish filter then we began brushing the varnish on using disposable foam brushes. Rob worked on one side while I worked on the other, doing both the deck and hull, maintaining a wet edge as we proceeded from stern to bow down the kayak.
It seems that I put the varnish on heavier than Rob did & my side has the sags and runs to show for it. This morning I reviewed the varnishing instructions in Canoecraft and The Strip Built Sea Kayak. Some tips I have to keep in mind are to NOT go back and attempt to touch up a spot after a few minutes have passed & not to try to put on to heavy a coat.
I'm not too sure about trying to get the underside done at the same time. It's hard to get a good coat underneath and to really see what you are doing. I think for the subsequent coats I'll focus on the deck then once that has dried, flip it over on stands and do the hull. Maybe.
I'll give the boat a couple more hours of drying time then wet sand with 220 grit to take off all the drips, runs, sags, and dust that are in the first coat.
Here are a couple of pictures from this morning.
Now while the varnish dries I'm going to re-read Martin Step's varnishing advice from Green Valley Boat Works.
Friday, April 13, 2007
That amount of cord should be enough for several kayaks. Anybody want to go together on this, or buy a portion of the cord off of me to help defray the costs?
I suppose I'll probably head down to Eb's and see what they have in more standard black deck line. I'd prefer to buy locally anyway, but they don't carry the reflective stuff (at least not the last time I checked).
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Kayak To-Do List
2. Install mobies
a. Mark location
b. Mask surrounding area
c. Cut patches of glass cloth for reinforcement
d. Epoxy in place with thick epoxy & fillets overlayed with glass cloth
3. Build & install cheek plates
4. Build & install bulkheads
5. Build & install bulkhead footbrace
b. Fill with thickened epoxy
c. Re-drill holes
d. Attach hook with thickened epoxy
e. Install bungee (after varnish)
7. Install backband
8. Carve seat from minicell foam (underway)
9a. Touch up spots with epoxy
i. Rub to a gloss
11. Install soft padeyes
12. Install deck lines
12a. Build sliders for holding stuff on the deck (they are reputed to work much better than bungees).
13. Install bungees into mobies
14. Install weather-stripping into hatch seal channels
15. Carve & install handles/grab loops for bow & stern
16. See if it floats
The item(s) in blue have been added to the list. We also need to get a few things before it's done, or before we take it out on the water. I still need to buy deckline (the reflective stuff would be nice), a paddle float, & a pump. Currently, a custom-made Snapdragon spray skirt has been ordered through a friend that happens to be their local distributor.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
In the photo above I have just started with 80 grit on the hull. The spots that still have the gloss of un-sanded epoxy are low spots. Since my fiberglass job was imperfect, there are areas where I cannot remove all of the high spots without sanding into the glass cloth, something to be avoided. I have the dust collection bag container on the back of my sander removed and vacuum hose connected in it's place. With the sander connected to the shop vac the majority of the dust is collected. The use of a HEPA filter in the shop vac prevents the vacuum from simply acting as a dust pump & exhausting the very fine dust into the air (where it would be inhaled: the finer the dust => the more it goes through a regular filter => the deeper it is carried into the lungs). This reusable filter is highly recommended and will protect your shop vac motor as well as your lungs.
To avoid breathing in the dust that is not sucked up by the vacuum (a fairly small proportion) I wear a dust mask. If working with epoxy which is not fully cured, I use a more substantial mask with carbon cartridge filters.
Now with the boat entirely sanded it doesn't look too pretty anymore. In sanding I found a couple of spots where I would like to touch up the epoxy. One of these spots is at the area surrounding the paddle park hook that I installed. Another is at the tip of the stern where the bow and hull were joined - the halves did not meet perfectly there and as a result the tip has a small gap (perhaps 3/16" long) on one side that remains. The third spot is at the location of the bubble that kept reappearing when glassing the outside seam and the subsequent fill coats.
My plan is to touch up those epoxy spots, let them cure then get them faired into the rest of surface. With that done I can then clean up the shop, rid my life of every speck of dust (ha!) then begin the varnishing. In the meantime, here is an article on varnishing courtesy of Martin Step at Green Valley.
Since I cut a bit outside the lines with the saw, I used a wheel in my drill designed for stripping paint (about 5-6" in diameter, found at the local Canadian Tire). This wheel seems to work well for the task and I think it will do the job of shaping the top to fit a bum. One has to be careful in using it though because it does tend to catch and want to gouge if the angle is held too high (this is why I practiced with it on the bottom!). My next steps will be to follow the seat carving instructions laid out on the Shop Tips section of the One Ocean Kayaks web site.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The replaceable blades are double edged. I have reshaped one side of the blade currently in the tool so that it is curved. I used the flat file for reshaping but this could probably be more quickly done with a grinding wheel. A curved blade allows the tool to be useful in concave areas, a rather handy feature for the interior of the boat. Another tip is to take the sharp corners off of the straight scraper blade. The sharp corners, if left on, tend to catch and gouge or slice into the epoxy. To remove the corners, simply round them off with the flat file.