Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I started the super structure interior

Because I am swamped with paying work, I've taken a few days off of the build. Hurricane Sandy has changed that, and caused  major slow down in my work, so I'm back to the important things in life... the boat build. I have to say that while we are four or five hundred miles from Sandy, we had 25 mile per hour winds sustained last night while  she came ashore.

To begin the interior, bolting lumber to the metal frames is the first order of work. To make it seem like I was getting something done, the first attachment I made was to bolt lumber to the ceiling frames. Because of the camber of the ceiling frames and not wanting to piece things together, I had to use a 2x6 for the ceilings. It seems like a lot of waste, but all the off fall was ripped again for the side wall frames.

The barn is about as full as it can get and the only place to set up my table saw is under the roof of the aft deck. I had to position the saw so I can make long rips through the door of the salon.

The basic method of getting the ceiling beams done was to clamp the 2x6 to each end of the frame. I then used a scribe set for the gap between the 2x6 and the frame at the center of the frame and scribed the top ( roof  ) side of the cut. Because the frames are so long, and the curve not that radical, I was able to use a circular saw to cut shy of the line. The cut put the saw in a bit of a bind, but it was not too hatefull, and that's what tools are for. Once the roof side was cut to shape, I re clamped the board to the frame, set the scribe for 5/16", and scribed the interior side of the cut. Once again, I used the circular saw ( vs the band saw ) and made the cut. All the boards are being held proud of the steel frame about 5/16" so foam remains on the frame flange after the foam is trimmed. With the board now cut to fit, I applied a bead of polyurethane adhesive and re clamped the board. I then use my right angle air drill, and drill through the existing holes in the steel frames. Next I use a hammer to drive the 1/4"x2" carriage bolts home, followed by a flat washer and a nylock nut, then tighten all the bolts using a 3/8" air ratchet

Gluing the lumber to the frames in addition to bolting might seem like over kill, but bolts have a funny way of working loose in lumber, and since the adhesive is not that expensive, I think it to be good insurance to prevent a squeak.

As I type this post on this rainy Tuesday, I have all the ceiling beams finished in the wheel house, salon, and aft deck. I also have the wheel house walls and windows complete, and am getting ready to start on the salon. Another full day, and I should be finished bolting all the lumber in place.

I have an insulator  showing up in the morning to give me a price on foaming the interior. I'm going to foam the interior down to within a couple of inches of the weld zones.

While I still have the boat in the shop, I'm going to also install the Cherry plywood at the window opening so I don't have to deal with that at the cold boat yard. I'm  using a clamp ring for the window installation, so I have to have the finished wood in place in order to install the windows. The window installation is also complicated by the fact that  the maximum wall thickness at the window is 2 1/4", while the frame thickness of the boat is 3 7/8". It's kind of a strange deal to describe, but on the salon windows and the side windows of the wheel house, the windows will be set in by the difference. The front wheel house windows will be flush with the  interior as I was able to make the tabs work out to 2 1/4" wall thickness.  It will look OK as I'm going to spend a righteous amount of time getting the trim right, but it does add a whole bunch of work to the window trim job. I'm not quite sure how the finish window trim will look, but I'm going to use each clamp ring as a template before I install and make a pattern out of paper board for future fabrication of wooden trims for the windows.

The weather had for sure turned  here, but I have plenty to keep me busy getting the super structure in a more finished state. Taking the super structure as far as installing the windows before she's landed and welded in place has entered my mind, but I think it too risky. I can install lots of the trim, some of the ceilings along with some wiring and a host of other items before I have to commit to taking her out of the barn. While I'm aching to have her assembled at the boat yard, all of this work goes much faster while she's in the barn.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

The list

Before Johnny Cash died, he gave his daughter Rosanne a list of, in his opinion, the most influential songs of  his life time. Cash made it a point to make sure Rosanne recorded  some of these songs, and having  heard many cuts from her album, "The List", I can say it's a good one. My list has finally been written regarding the old boat build, and it consisted of : #1- Finish painting the super structure. I now wonder why it's taken me so long to  finally put together a list now that I have finally checked the list clean.... I'm finished painting the super structure. The paint pot is on the back shelf, the boat is unwrapped, the shop has had two months wort of sand blasting, grinding, and over spray blown out of it. You know it's dirty in your shop when you have to use a leaf blower to clean it out.

I guess this is a milestone of sorts for me as I really now feel I"m on the down slope run of this whole deal. No more of the feeling of "this sucks" that I was beginning to feel as I kept attacking the paint job. No more blowing the dust off of me as I call it a night. The other night on  Wednesday, I painted until 1:00 am just so I could get this monkey off my back. Oh well, time to move forward.

The paint turned out pretty good, and I'm for the most part happy with it. I have a bit of orange peel going on, but it's not to deep, and can be wet sanded out. Although a bit late now, I  need to understand what cause's orange peel. I think it's from not applying a heavy enough coat. I've had problems with this paint not atomizing the way I think it should, so maybe there's more  going on with the problem being a few small details.  The wheel house looks excellent, and the aft deck also looks good.

I took a picture of the wheel house where you can also see the fore deck hand rails. when I put the hand rails together, I matched  the angle of the hand rail stanchion to the reverse rake of the wheel house windows. Now that everything is painted it finally shows proud, and I like the detail. Maybe I've been hanging around the paint fumes too much, but I think matching the angle is nice detail vs a plumb stanchion.

Just because I wanted to see how some more finish work would look, I put a few windows in their openings. The white I'm using is actually an off white. The dark windows make it look more pure white, but there's no  denying the windows look sharp in their openings. I'm so glad I went with radius corners.

Like I said before, all the remnants, tools and reminders of the paint job are put back where they belong. My weather window is fast closing on me, but I'm determined to get her to the launch site before the calender says it's too risky. The earliest I'll be ready is in about three weeks. The ideal schedule for me would be to have the hull to the boat  yard on a Wednesday, the super structure the next day on Thursday, and crane the super structure in place on a Friday. This would leave me the weekend to weld the two together, then back to work on Monday. If all goes relatively well, I should be ready to  go in about three weeks, but as I know too well things change. Before Thanksgiving would be the ticket, but early December also works. Like I said before, I'm cutting it close. Hopefully, some global warming will come my way and give me decent weather to work with.

Anyway, the list has been checked off.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

High build primer

The inside of the super structure was sand blasted, then received two coats of epoxy primer. The roof of the super  structure was sand  blasted, then received two coats of epoxy primer, followed by 2-4 coats of Acrylic Urethane. The roof of the super structure will eventually get a coat of some sort of non skid coating, but that won't happen until next year. The sides of the super structure is what I'm working on now, and is what everyone will see and touch, got sand blasted, followed by two coats of epoxy primer, then three coats of high build epoxy primer. Once I'm finished working on the high build, she'll get another coat of epoxy primer to seal the high build, then three coats of top coat Acrylic Urethane.

The high build primer is another step I added to only the sides of the super structure. The purpose of the high build is only to help one achieve a nicer finish on the top coat paint. High build primer is able to be built up quickly to a thick layer, then is easily sanded back down. The easiest way to describe it is by calling it liquid body filler.

Just by the nature of the beast, building the super structure created many imperfections in the metal. Every place I welded a frame, or cleat  on the  inside, a bump in the metal was created on the outside. These small raised areas or "bumps, are called weld print through. If you run your hand over the metal, you feel the bumps. The print through will be extremely obvious on the  shiny final coat unless hidden. My method of dealing with it is to hit each spot lightly with the grinder before sand blasting to lower the bump below metal. The high build primer fills the now recessed area, and everything gets sanded smooth. The high build causes the print through to vanish.

All the welds on the super structure were ground flush, and the high build buries all the grinder marks and allows me to sand everything flush. Because the metal has been  laying around a long time, some rust developed, and after blasting the rust away, some pitting was evident. The high build fills 99% of those holes.

Once the high build  primer is sprayed on, I give it at least a day to cure before I start sanding. I use air tools for all my work. My preferred sander is a six inch dual action sander with a hook and loop pad that can accept a shop vac to eliminate the dust.  I first sand the panel using 220 grit, and sand any bad spots until I start seeing the under lying  epoxy primer. Once I have a panel sanded to 220, I go back over any questionable spots and add a bit of filler, the sand the filler to 220. Once I'm happy with how things feel, I sand the whole panel to 400 grit. This sanding process takes some time, but it's not hatefull, and goes rather quickly. The super structure is different than the hull in regard to  how it's built and how it will look, so I don't feel as if I need to long board sand it to make me happy.  Once the panel is final sanded, and blown off with compressed air, is is now smooth enough that it  begins to show a reflection. I know things are going in the right direction when primer shows a reflection

As one is sanding with the 400 grit pad, the only way one can find imperfections is by feeling them with your hand. Eyes just aren't good enough. The surface really is glass smooth, and any bump or ripple is easily felt by touch. The goal for me is to have a respectable looking paint job that will be easy to keep clean. While most areas seem insignificant, those small holes and marks will trap dirt, and ultimately speed up the demise of the paint. Because I'm going to be the one who's eyes are going to be looking at things the most, I want it to work for me. As long as the surface is smooth and flat, buffing, polishing and waxing will work well in keeping the paint looking fresh for years to come. This could easily be a 15-20 year paint job.

High build primer is a porous coating and needs to be sealed with epoxy primer before the final coat of Acrylic Urethane is applied. The filler I am using also needs to be sealed, and there are some spots where I sanded to bare metal. There is no way around one more coat of epoxy primer, but that's a good thing and a small price to pay to make sure the job is done right. Once the last coat of epoxy primer is on the boat, I have 72 hours before the primer gets too hard and will not allow the top coat to chemically bond with the primer.  If I wait longer than 72 hours, I'll have to scuff to get a less than ideal connection between the top coat and the primer.

It's Sunday morning as I sit and type this entry, and the salon is ready for top coat. I still have to sand the wheel  house, but the trim, eyebrow, and all the difficult stuff has already been sanded and faired. The only thing left to be done on the wheel house is the flat panels, and that can be finished in four or five hours. I'll probably seal the super structure with primer early this week, and final coat the super structure by the middle of the week. I have one large area of "orange peel" I need to re paint on the hull, so I plan on sanding and painting this coming Saturday. As long as things go close to my planning, I'll have all the painting COMPLETELY FINISHED  by next weekend and I'll be able to  unwrap the hull and the super structure.



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Getting closer

I'm getting a little closer... with finishing the paint that is.

The  roof is now painted and is all white and shiny. Too  shiny if you ask me, and I know for a fact that it's going to be dangerously slippery once it's outside and able to get wet. I've always had a plan on doing a non slip  coating,  and I still do plan that treatment, but I'm going to wait until next year prior to launch. I know I'm going to do some damage to the roof paint during the finishing, so I'll repair those spots as I go and once she's in a punch out state of being, I'll final coat with non skid.

The roof was a pretty straight forward job: blast any rust spots and all grinder marks and welds to white metal, blast the whole surface to roughen, then two coats of epoxy primer, followed with three coats of Acrylic Urethane top coat. In order to make painting the super structure sides a bit easier, I painted under the soffit, and the side trim on the wheel house and salon. By painting down the super structure sides this small amount, I have a good spot to tape the roof off from and will have no visible parting line.

It's Saturday morning as I sit and type this update, and the super structure roof is taped off and covered with poly sheathing and tarps. I'm getting ready to start the body work on the wheel house and I should have it ready to final blast sometime today or tomorrow. Taping and protecting the roof from the dust, grit and over spray from the final stage of work took me about two hours, but it's done and off of the list. The next time I see the roof, all the painting will be finished, I'll be happy, and I'll be doing work directly related to getting her out of the barn.