Saturday, June 19, 2010

Too hot for varnish

Too hot for varnish but I did it anyway. I just couldn't wait and the liklihood of a cooler day with summer around the corner seems unlikely.

The varnish was starting to fail in many places on the toerail because I only had four coats down from last season. Now with the cover off it wouldn't be long before it completely failed. I am tempted to let it turn gray and sand it later but I can't do that to my nice toerail yet.

As it was, I sanded pretty aggresively and could have done more. A real complete heavy sanding is on the to-do list but not this year. With temps in the high 80's I thinned out the varnish some and crossed my fingers. It is not a stellar job but the wood is covered. Now I can only hope to get another 6 or so coats on it soon...

I used a tape designed to resist abrasion. I wish I could remember what it was called. I bought it through McMaster and Carr last year. It worked really well at allowing me to bump up against the hull with the orbital sander and not hurt anything. It worked only a little better than marginal as an edge to keep the varnish from getting on the hull. It worked well enough but I probably shouldn't have been so cheap and lazy and laid down real masking tape for the varnishing part. The abrasion resistant tape wasn't cheap, around $20-30 a roll, and the roll wasn't quite enough for my 56 feet of toerail x two edges but I think it was worth it. I would use it again.

I really can't call varnishing 'progress' as it should be a yearly maintenance thing. If anyone else is concerned over the pace of my work you are not alone. I think I am at the limit of what an apartment renter that commutes an hour to work can really accomplish. This is probably not the sort of boat for a person like that (which is me at the moment). Even with no new construction I think the yearly upkeep requirements would tax my schedule pretty hard. The weather, the distance, the lack of time all contribute to the endless delays.

The varnish and other yard duties was all I managed today. Tomorrow I have some other unrelated boat work that needs to get done so this is going to make for another pathetic boat work weekend.

I think after I finish this blog posting I am going to email my realtor friend about finding some buildable land for a boat barn. I was hoping to find a real home for the boat and me but now I think I just want something for the boat. I need a permanent shelter to get the spring chores done before Fall and have all the tools and materials in one spot. A bunk, a hot plate and a composting toilet and I can move in alongside the boat. What could be better?...

I can handle faded gel-coat and gray wood in my current circumstances but that time is now past and I am going to have to step up my game if I am going to keep up with my boat as it gets closer to 'completion'.

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