Thursday, June 4, 2009

Now back to the project...

Now, where were we?

Ah, yes! We had just flipped the hull over for the first time after glassing the outside. So now we have to fair the inside. This is proving to be no easy task. I can't really use a power sander because of the concavity of the hull; the random orbit sander will actually create more problems for me. So, that means I have to scrape and then sand by hand.

I tried using my cabinet scraper (the round one) but that really doesn't have the body to be able to clean up the epoxy that came through the staple holes. It also requires sharpening more frequently and it really generates a lot of heat! I have burnt my fingers enough on that thing trying to fair this hull. So what to use?

I know, a modified paint scraper! You know the kind. Plastic handle with a square blade with four cutting surfaces on it. You can switch to a new cutter when it gets dull. Not me though. I'll sharpen it myself. Before I could use it in the hull of a canoe, I had to round the cutting edge. The steel it's made from is relatively soft and it shaped easily. It also takes an edge pretty quickly. I just use a file to dress it up every few minutes and I'm back in business.

I learned a valuable lesson using the paint scraper. Initially, I was holding the handle at a very low angle (almost parallel with the surface I was working) and this was knocking down the high spots. However, it wasn't really cutting cleanly. Rather, it was fairly rough after the initial runthrough. This was also very hard work. I changed the angle of attack and actually raised the handle to about 46-60 degrees from the work surface and magic happened! Long, curly shavings came effortlessly off of the blade. Unfortunately I was about 3/4 of the way done with the scraping when I figured this out, but the last 1/4 went incredibly fast and finished better.

Scraping complete!

Now that the scraping is complete, I need to sand and fill and sand again the inside in preparation for fiberglassing.

Stay tuned!!!

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