Hi Guys and Gals,
Well, this is the period I mentioned a few weeks ago when lots of hours of labor results in little visible change to our Scamp plug. Fairing the exterior planks is one of those boring, time consuming tasks that seems to take forever yet is critical to the intrinsic value of the finished boat….smooth, flowing mirror finish planks don’t happen by accident. Basically you start by applying a thin layer of fairing putty, then sanding all but a couple hundredths of an inch off again. Then repeat the procedure with progressively finer sandpaper until you fingers bleed… Really! Then when that feels smooth, do it all over again with layers of specialized catalyzed sanding primer. This time sand it all off again except for a couple of thousandths of an inch. Finally when that feels good spray on a top coat of finishing primer and that down until translucence so the under laying primer just starts to be exposed. Sandpaper grits started with 150 finished with 320 grit.
By now you know we are a small, family based boatshop so don’t have the luxury of taking one person away from building our usual backlog of Melonseeds, Whitehalls, etc to sand 40 hours a week on the Scamp plug. So we searched around and hired ‘Tug’ Tuggle, a career Airforce technician whose specialty was fairing aircraft. After he retired from the USAF he worked for several yacht manufacturers building molds and tooling. ‘Tug’ knows his stuff and has the patience, skill and ‘eye’ to see miniscule imperfections on a complex structure and bring them to perfection. Anecdote; Tug mentioned that when he worked on high performance aircraft he would requisition ‘Airframe fairing putty’. But when he opened the can of ‘Airframe fairing putty’ it smelled and looked suspiciously like ‘Bondo’. Just to make sure our Scamp turns out the best it can be, we were careful to call our compound ‘Airframe fairing putty’ and not bondo! ;<) p.s. It’s actually Fiberlay #1301 polyester fairing compound.
The changes shown between the above four images represent 76 hours of ‘Tug’s labor! Making both keelsons precise duplicates took ‘forever’. Notice that the inside and outside angles of the keelsons are different, mirror images. These angles are critical to permit the two piece clamshell hull mold to open and release a new hull.
You haven’t seen our ‘glass shop yet which is located in the industrial sector of Tacoma… here’s a sneak peek:
Next week; Waxing the plug and laying on the first couple of layers of vinylester gelcoat and skin coats of fiberglass.
Dave and crew at GHBW