The weather’s been colder, and it’s getting harder to pump epoxy from the containers. I’ve made a hot box to keep the containers in, and I’ve been using a low-powered light bulb to maintain a reasonable temperature in the box during the week, and then for the weekend I use an incandescent bulb given to me by Chris, to bump up the temperature a bit, to get the epoxy up to a better temperature for pumping, but also trying to not let it get so warm that during the curing I see any amine blush caused by the falling temperatures.
For recent epoxy work in the boat I’ve taken to placing a small electric heater in the boat and then covering the boat with a tarp and blankets for a few hours at the end of the day, to give the epoxy a good chance of curing without mishap.
Over the last month, added the final floor timbers, and I’ve made and installed the knees, laminating them out of strips of left-over hoop pine. A pattern was made and fine-tuned, and this was then used to make a jig that I could clamp and bend the glued strips against.
The following weekend I sanded, epoxied, and installed the finished knees. A simple breasthook, and the supports for the main mast thwart have been shaped and glued in place. The thwart has been dry fitted, but there is still a little bit of work to do on this to get it as tight as I would like. Once it is finished I will be fixing this to the supports with a couple of bolts through each support, making it easy to remove to maintain. It is my intention the shape a semi-circle slot in the thwart to rest the mast against. The thwart will also be used to locate any hardware associated with the main mast.
I’ve glued up the pieces that the Mizzen mast will slot through, once I cut the appropriately sized hole, and fitted them in between the stringers that will support the thwart at the aft end of the centreboard case.
Then it was on to making and fitting the stringers that will support the seats against the hull. Resting a level across the longitudinal bulkheads, I scribed a line along each side of he hull, marking where the stringers had to be fitted. Wedging everything in place, I completed marking the position of each stringer, and once they had been removed I epoxy coated these areas along the hull. The stringers were then glued up and fitted into the hull.
The last job to be completed before turning the boat over again was applying a couple of coats of epoxy in the areas that will be covered by the seats. Corners and edges were brushed. Everything else was rolled, and then tipped with a disposable brush, to get as smooth a finish as possible. Again, to help the epoxy cure I placed the heater in the boat and covered everything with a tarp to trap the heat.
The boat is now upside down again, and the base of the centreboard case has been finished, with the sides cut to level with the inside of the case, using a router and a rasp, and then sanded, epoxied, and taped.
I’ve started experimenting with scrap wood and my table saw, to work out a good way to make the diagonal cuts needed for each length of timber to be used in the birds mouth masts, but first I have to do some more sanding, and paint the bottom of the boat – something that will keep me occupied for the next little while.