Sunday, June 17, 2012

Attack of the Gloss Monster

The plan for this past weekend was more exterior varnish. The weather, however, was a bit too cool on Saturday with a seabreeze. Since I had a carload full of varnishing supplies, I shifted gears slightly and applied varnish to all the interior wood. Stepping inside the cabin this morning was quite a shock. The woodwork had previously been coated with a single coat of varnish thinned 50% to seal it. It looked like wood but nothing special. The new coat of only slightly thinned varnish created a huge increase in the gloss factor. The interior was very bright. It looked nicer for sure but it was bright bright. Too bright. This morning I applied a third coat to the slightly tacky interior varnish which was tricky because it was hard to see the surface with all the gloss. I was applying more by the feel of the brush than by any wetness I could see. It looks much nicer but I will be happy when the rubbed effect coat gets applied. Not much more to say. Quite a few hours with a varnish brush in hand. Next week I will be away so there won't be any progress to show for at least two weeks. Hopefully I will have a new stovetop to show off for next blog post. Em tasol wantoks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Varnish weather

A retired boat friend of mine has often told me that when varnish weather comes, I must drop everything and varnish. Those days are just too rare to waste. Everytime I wait for a good varnishing day I remember this. I am convinced that a well varnished boat, ready for launch in May, working solely on the weekends, is an impossibility. All the more reason to find that spot of land and build the boatbarn with a radiant heated slab floor so I can varnish at will; preferably in February. Last weekend was a total washout. Literally. Rained cats and dogs all weekend. Even the basement was flooded so I couldn't work there. (not that I have much to do there other than cleanup and I save that job for a 'rainy' day... After a week of rain, the weather broke and we had beautiful weather. Heeding my friend's advice I started varnishing. The toerails were getting desperate, particularly along the top edge that sees the most sun. Given the time, I would probably consider a complete strip. Given what I had, I spot sanded the worst areas and gave myself a year or two before I need to reconsider a complete strip. The toerails, companionway entrance, engine instrument panel and compass holder all received two coats of varnish. While I had the brushes out, I gave the saloon and V-berth soles two coats of clear urethane. There is a bunch more small stuff that is begging for the varnish brush and I hope to keep at it all summer and maybe get ahead of it a little. There is always something more fun to do but I am going to have to devote the time or else face the wrath of the Neglected Varnish Gods. They are never fun to deal with. It is a pretty boring week picture wise. Hours of sanding and brushing. That about sums it up. On another note; I have been agonizing over the choice of a galley stove. I think I have finally decided on one. My inital thought was to go with a three burner drop in stovetop. I always knew I wasn't going to give up enough space for an oven. I would love an oven to bake those cookies on rainy/foggy days stuck on the coast of Maine, but I am afraid I will, like Pooh, eat too many cookies and cakes and have trouble exiting the cabin when the time comes. After some investigation I realized three burners was out of the question for the same reason. Too big; and I really won't need the third burner all that often. Plus, I have a gimbaled sea swing stove that I can use in a pinch if I really HAVE to boil the pasta, stir fry the vegetables, and warm the sauce all at the same time. At that point I still had a bunch of choices left which I narrowed down to either a Dickinson or Seaward model. I was looking at the two dual sized burner models but even they were a little too 'thick' and were going to restrict the length of the port settee berth. The Seaward: And the Dickinson After a fair amount of searching around for what is deemed the 'best' or 'mimimum' btu output to look for. I settled for the Seaward 2276 with dual 7000btu burners. By all accounts they are big 'enough' to do the job and the stovetop is quite thin and there is still a chance of a full length berth (sticking my feet under the stove) on the port side. I expect to be placing an order for one, "any moment now". Along with the foot pumps for the water supply which will make the water system 'nearly' operational. Until next week then, ;-)