So the day finally came;
No ruptured back muscles?
No jobs to do for Mom and Dad?
No torrential down pours in the forecast?
Well hot damn! I have a green light!!!!
So I started on Friday. I purchased 2 4x4 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood at the local big box lumber store (RONA). They have a policy that they lend you their trailer for free for up to 2hrs. Good deal! Can't fit too many sheets of ply in the Imp!
So I got the plywood and I bought some supplies like decking screws, acetone, rollers and a painters pan with plastic liner inserts. (More on that later)
I started at about 3pm. I diligently took measurements and did my best to make the right cuts the first time. It turned out.. well.. I will say; "OK". I may have enough wood left over to redo the casting deck platform as it is a little wonky looking... too much space between the edge of the wood and the side of the hull.
So Friday consisted of me cutting out all the wood parts. I stayed with only the essentials; Stringer, floor, casting deck. If that looks all right after glassing, then I will use what I have left for the extended locker and lids.
Saturday, I went to my friends house to pick up the mystery fiberglass supplies. I say mystery as he did not know if it was polyester or epoxy. Turns out that it is polyester. It is called CADOX M50A. This is what I kind of feared. From everything I have read, epoxy is the way to go. But beggars will not be choosers in this case. The matt was incredible. It is the thickest stuff I have seen. I believe that it is 18 or 20 oz. He uses it at work to make molds for custom cement panels and pieces. So you know its strong!
I grounded out the remaining crap that was left over from the rotted out stringer and floor. This took MUCH longer than anticipated. But I know that prepping to the nth degree is well worth it.
By the time 3:30 rolled around, I was ready to lay some peanut butter in the stringer groove. Sharp scissors are a must when making this concoction. I chopped some matt nice and fine into the painters pan and added some resin. I have never done this, so I was not sure how much I would need. Once I had the resin and matt mixed, I then added the catalyst (Hardener). I was cautioned by my buddy that it only takes a few drops. I was cautioned on the boat restoration board that 1% is the proper mixture. Well... they were right!
I slopped it into the groove and stuck the stringer in the sludge. I used an old plastic putty knife to slather it in. It worked quite well until the glass started to kick. "Kick" means that the hardener is starting to do what it is designed to do. Is gets super heated through the chemical reaction while it hardens like The Rock of Gibraltar. Did I mention that is gets super heated? My poor plastic yellow putty knife... May it rest in peace.
So I have to say that it went quite well. The next part... no so well.
At this point I am feeling kind of cocky and I thought that perhaps I was born to glass. So I cut a 9 foot by 16 inch length of matt and this was going to cover the stringer and give it added integrity. Yes.. one big honking' piece of matt.
I acetoned the area and I mixed a big bunch of resin and catalyst. I used the nice little foam roller to lay on the resin on the hull. This spread nicely. I then laid the matt on to of this wet area. Pulled it tight with no wrinkles and started to roll on more resin. At this point I noticed chunks being left behind as I rolled along... what was that? AAaarggh! It was my nice little foam roller disintegrating from the chemical concoction that was the resin. I switched to another roller... a yellow one.. like my putty knife.
well, to make a long story short. I mutilated the job. The top of the stringer would not bond to the glass matt. Every time I run over the matt, it sticks for about 2.5 seconds and pops up about 1/32 nd of an inch. This is the running theme for the length of the stringer. Did I mention the bubbles?
At this point I am questioning the decision I made to use one whole piece of matt. Good thought but WAY too late! I did my best with the mess... and I still must say.. I mix a hell of a resin. It took a while to kick! I would say that it kicked after about 25 mins. This is supposed to be the sweet spot as if it kicks too quick, the result is too brittle.
Tomorrow's plan is to put in the floor. This time I will use strips. And I will take my time. First I have to stop at the hardware store to pick up something better to apply the resin. Something that wont melt or disintegrate.
I will snap some shots tomorrow of the carnage.