Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Glassing inside the sheer seam

The instructions say to fillet the other sheer seam next, but rather than keep turning the kayak from one side to the other to the other to the other, I think I'm going to leave it on this side and skip to the next step, laying down fibreglass in the sheer seam.

I went through all the pieces of fibreglass I have and selected a couple of pieces to cut strips from for glassing the seams. I should be using fibreglass tape for this step but I thought I'd just use strips I cut myself. Measuring roughly how far I can reach into the kayak from the cockpit, I estimate that I need 75" of two-inch strips in each seam. The instructions say two layers, so that's roughly 300" altogether. I cut the strips and set aside the ones for the other seam.

Keeping in mind the mess of glue everywhere yesterday, I cover my flashlight and headlamp in plastic wrap to keep the glue off of them. I cut several pieces of wax paper and paper towel to have handy if I need them. Once again I wrap my arms and head in plastic bags and don latex gloves and respirator. I'm ready to face the glue.

I mix some thickened epoxy to lay down another fillet of glue in the seam. I don't need my tool for reaching up into the kayak today because I am only laying fibreglass as far as I can reach without it, so using the syringe is a little easier. Laying in the fillet of glue goes fairly easily. Then I lay a strip of fibreglass down on top of the glue. This step is messy because I am not using fibreglass tape that has neatly sewn edges, I am using rough cut strips that very quickly start to shred in contact with my sticky latex gloves. There are wet fibreglass fibres everywhere, sticking to everything. The second layer goes no easier. It doesn't look like the glue is soaking through entirely so I quickly mix some unthickened epoxy and squirt that over top of the fibreglass and use a small paintbrush to spread it.

Other than clean-up, that's it for today. The rest of the day I spent reading, taking pictures of flowers and wandering around the old field near the Garden House. I was looking at the dense growth of alders on the other side of the field, it is so dense that you cannot walk in there, and I cannot see how far it goes. There used to be another field beyond this one, but it is now overgrown with the alders.

I found irises, mallow and morning glories in the field, as well as buckwheat, blackberries, blueberries and chives. Once upon a time someone planted things in this field and they have taken off on their own.

I remember when we dug up and planted half of this field as an organic garden, we used seaweed we gathered from the Harbour for fertilizer and straw for mulch. We were a bit idealistic about our ability to manage a huge communal garden, that was probably the first and last communal garden on the land.

On my way back into the woods, Ruth stopped to talk to me on her way home from work. She asked if I would be interested in drumming for her dragonboat team. It sounds interesting. You have to be a breast cancer survivor to paddle on the team, but apparently the drummer and steersman don't have to be, and they are short-handed. Of course, I don't know what kind of drummer I would make, I have hardly any sense of rhythm.

Mike has gotten some more plywood to use for bulkheads and coamings around the cockpit, I will need to talk to him about how exactly to measure and cut the coamings. Maybe there is a template somewhere for that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anne!

Hope the fiberglass strips you cut yourself worked as well as you hoped they would and that the next step in kayak-making is ready for your willing touch. Best wishes for the next step.

Drum well for all the women and men you represent! You can do it.


Zabetha said...

Hi Barbara

Thanks for all your support, sometimes it really helps! As you will see in my latest posts, the kayak is really coming along now, the end is in sight!