Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Summer Hibernation

Ohio weather is all about extremes. I hibernated in February when it was so cold that even the dog decided he'd rather test his bladder capacity to the degree that we were concerned about an imminent explosive decompression event, something so horrid that one would not wish it upon anyone, and we're in the same situation now with the Summer heat. 105 degrees, is what the "heat index" says. Hot enough to melt the Sun, says I. Another reason to test the outside limits of his CBCI (Canine Bladder Capacity Index), says Hogarth.

I've been gathering up the testicular fortitude necessary for the next step in the construction of the kayak for the last week, and tonight I finally worked up the nerve (aka was bored enough) to make the first big step of the most frightening job yet: gluing the deck to the hull. This is one of those steps that has the potential for totally ruining the whole project, so it was with a great degree of trepidation that I mixed up the first batch of epoxy.

It seems like it will work a bit better if the boat is on its side, so I strapped it in place on the sawhorses:

The straps towards the front are holding the deck tightly onto the hull in the areas where I couldn't get inside to use the copper wires to hold it together. As construction progresses, access to the interior of the boat is becoming more difficult. Always being of the sort to get the easy stuff out of the way first, thereby giving myself a fantastic excuse to procrastinate on the next steps, I did the area inside the cockpit first. The bow and stern areas are going to be a nightmare of trying to squeeze into the hatches to get fiberglass tape and epoxy way up in there.

This is the edge that I'm working on:

You can see the copper wires holding the deck and hull in place together. Thus far, the wires have been removed when they were no longer needed. These wires, however, will stay in forever. I have to make a nice big fillet to ease the radius of the deck-to-hull joint anyway, so it's no big deal to cover over the wires at the same time.

Once the fillet was in, I laid the fiberglass tape in place:

I then had to wet down the tape with unthickened epoxy:

That wasn't too bad since I could get down into the cockpit opening fairly easily for the most part, but it will require a different technique when I do the fore and aft sections. In those cases, the instructions suggest rolling up the fiberglass tape and soaking the roll in epoxy first. You then unroll the wet glass along the length of the seam. It sounds like a right fine recipe for a mess, but there isn't much choice. That bridge will be burned when I get to it, I suppose.

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