Saturday, June 7, 2008

Trimming the glue

It must have been a productive day, I ache all over. This reminds me of building my house in '75, for six weeks I went to bed every night in pain and woke up every morning in pain. These days it's my lower back and wrists and hands.

I took my bike out this morning for a ride around the Harbour, I took the road along the coast to Black Hole, and stopped along the way to follow a trail that looked like it lead down to the shore. The trail wound through the woods and finally petered out altogether. I could glimpse the ocean through the trees but there was no trail leading down that way and I didn't want to take a chance on not being able to find my way back. So I gave up and turned to return to the road.

Wow! When I turned there was a beautiful little waterfall and rock grotto right there. I completely missed it on my way down, and only saw it when I turned to go back. Quite amazing.

It was so nice to have my bike out again, the roads through the woods and the Harbour are perfect for it.

I stopped at the Garden House on my way back to do a little work on the kayak. The glue in the seams needed to be shaved, ground or sanded down. Mike left his spokeshave for me to use on the deck seams. He had also told me to buy an axe file which I did, but I had left it back at Fritz's house.

The spokeshave worked very well, but a lot of the epoxy is quite hard now and needs more than shaving. I went home for lunch and afterwards returned with my file. I filed the seams until I was satisfied that they were fairly well rounded off.

The next step is to glue and fibreglass the underside of the deck. I untaped the deck and removed the last remaining wires. However, the deck was stuck in one place, I couldn't move it. Some of the epoxy had leaked through the centre seam onto the bow frame and glued the deck to the frame. I was supposed to put down wax paper to prevent that from happening and didn't so I am lucky only one spot was glued together.

I went back to Mike and Ruth's to see if they were there and if Mike could tell me what to do or help get the deck unstuck. Mike brought his handy Japanese saw from Lee Valley Tools and was able to saw through the glued part to release the deck. Ruth came along also to see how the kayak was doing, she was impressed. Always helpful to have others think you're doing well.

We lifted the deck off the hull and moved the hull down to the floor and lay the deck upside down on the horses. We looked it over. There are quite a lot of epoxy drips that will have to be removed. The spokeshave won't get in there and Mike thought the file wouldn't be enough, the epoxy was quite hard. He thought I would need to grind the drips off. So he went back to his place to get a grinding wheel to put on the drill, and in the meantime I measured and cut some reinforcing strips of plywood to go fore and aft of the cockpit.

The grinding wheel worked OK on the epoxy drips but it was hard work. I had to wear the face mask to avoid breathing the epoxy dust and the drill and grinding wheel were heavy to hold and guide. I had to be careful not to grind the very thin plywood of the kayak deck.

Eventually I had done as much grinding as I thought I could. Some drips were too deep into the hull (there were drips on both the deck and the hull) to get with the grinder. Then I mixed up some epoxy and glued the plywood reinforcing strips to the underside of the deck. I looked at my watch, it was 6.40pm! Time flies when you're having fun! Or something...

The kayak doesn't look so much like a kayak anymore, with the hull and deck separated and the deck upside down. It'll be awhile before it goes back together again. And the Garden House is filling up with epoxy shavings, time to bring back the broom and clean the place up a bit. As Mike says, the Feng Shui of it all is important too.

Mike says that properly there should be fish (salmon) carved into the bulwarks and sides. He has one that he did on the rear bulwark of his kayak. This is to keep the boat afloat. I don't know if I can do that. But I think I can sweep the Garden House.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne!

Way to go! I think there's a lesson to be learned from your venture toward the sea and your return. If I may, it's that there is a lot to be learned from the going, but also that there are unexpected gifts when you return the way you came. IE, the waterfall.

Applause on your kayak progress!

I suggest good old aspirin (taken with food in your tummy) for your aches and pains.