Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paint, Paint PAINT!

I'm trying to finish the mast and mast-step painting as soon as I can.  The job is getting, shall we say, old.  By nature I don't like painting tasks whether house or other.  This particular effort has been such a learning experience and challenge for me that I got taken up in the personal skill improvement.  Well now I'm ready to move on.  Painting oblong objects is very hard.  I think I could paint the topsides of  Belle with no more effort.  As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I plan to summer after I spend the late winter and spring aboard her.

The Tornado mixer has gotten a lot of use lately.  Sure glad I "invested" in this fine piece of equipment some years back.  I have two guns that I like and one I simply can't abide.  The main tool is the Devilbiss HVLP.  It is a work horse.  Using the 1.3 mm tip I get a really nice finish.  I used the 1.5 mm tip for the epoxy base coats.  For detail work, I boat a cheap 1.8 mm miniature gun that has really good controls for fan and flow.  Turning down the pressure at the gun to about 50 lbs gives a nice job with average paint.  I have a Simco gun for the American Turbine 3000 that I own.  It wastes way too much paint in you can see from this picture.
If I can get a better gun for the AT 3000 I will use it. Otherwise, I really can't think of a use for such a wasteful gun.  It also puts a lot of rime on the finish that has to be sanded off.

So now the masts are completely finished being painted.  I have to re-attach the mast track bedded with 3M 5200 with stainless steel rivets every 4 inches for 25 feet on two masts.  That should be fun.  There is a lot of re-assembly for the mast heads and re-deployment of cables with appropriate damping tie-wraps all the way from top to bottom.  She will definitely be ready to splash by the end of the summer.  That to me is good news.
Well, pictures don't do justice, but it is a nice shiny finish!

Just to add a little on the paint selection for this project.  I chose Awlgrip because the mast color was given to me by Jim Leet of Marine Concepts as Awlgrip San Mateo Wheat.  I had two choices with respect to paint systems.  The first was original Awlgrip, a  traditional linear polyester polyurethane well respected by the boating community.  As for the other system, Awlgrip 2000, it is an acrylic polymer which ends up being easier to apply by less experienced painters. It also is easier to patch due to the "full thickness" nature of the paint.  I have used Interlux Perfection in the past which is one of the modern acrylic formulations. I found it and also Awlgrip 2000 to go on surprisingly well in the less than optimal environment I work in (e.g. outside, with humidity and wind). The most important advice: get a Zahn viscosity cup and a timer and use the reducer to bring the time between 18 and 22 seconds.  Be sure and turn the flow down on the gun so you don't get runs. Keep the strokes parallel to the work and make them overlap.  Patience and practice are the two most important ingredients! Safety first!  Full face respirator, work outside, and wear gloves and a Tyvek suit is the way to go!  If you work inside, you will need a positive pressure mask and a recovery system.  I don't want that sort of added expense.  Be sure to use an HVLP to limit the VOC escaping to the atmosphere and paint waste.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Planning considerations

I found this accumulator tank on Amazon.  I've spent a lot of money with West Marine. But compared to the $72 they want, at $42 with free shipping, I had to buy it.  This will help keep the pump cycling down.  

I finally found a Zahn #2 viscosity cup at a reasonable price.  This is a 3M M-50 which is the same as a Zahn #2.  It's nice to be able to follow viscosity directions directly from the Awlgrip can instead of converting to the Ford #4 on a table. I bought this on order from O'Reilly Auto Parts for $10.  As I have pointed out, An original Zahn #2 Stainless with certificate is $200. For me, this is close enough.

Right now, I have all but finished the primer application.  I have a very small area on one mast that needs to be re-shot.  After sanding this coat, I will be ready to shoot the finish coat.  First though, I will spray the mast step and hinge areas with   AWL-D6600Q AWLGRIP WASH PRIMER CF METAL BASE QUART and  AWL-D3300Q
This primer also serves as an etching solution. After application, the final two coats of Awlgrip San Mateo Wheat two part polyurethane can be sprayed on the metal as well as the masts.  
At that point the mast tracks can be beded with 3M 5200 and riveted in place.  Then Belle will ready to go into the water.
I replaced the trailer lights with GROTE INDUSTRIES LED Trailer Lights for Trailers over 80" Wide
They are much brighter and impervious to salt water.  It looks like I will have to change the brake lines on the trailer.  I have a persistent problem with air in line with one brake dragging and heating.  
In summery, I can't wait to try Belle out in the water.  It will be like a new boat I believe. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

We finished sanding and applying Cetol to all teak surfaces.  Sure is nice to have all that teak looking bright and pretty.

Now here's something I have been needing to do for a long time.  I towed Belle over to Gober Welding in Lilburn where Don did a fabulous job TIG welding my cracked mast hinges.  Note the re-welding of the mast support which had broken and was letting the mast slide off due to alignment.  All welded and a perfect 90 degree angle.  I plan to pad them with carpet as well, to prevent chafe on the (newly painted) masts.
I got the new Flojet pump installed.  My last two pumps costs $160 and came to sad ends, freezing or burning out when left on.  This pump cost $39 on EBAY.  I can afford to replace it!
This is a view of the port 21 gallon tank with flexible pipe coming across to the selection valve and pump. I plan on adding an accumulator tank (24 oz) to prevent frequent cycling of the pump...later. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

This is what it looks like all decked out ready to spray the toxic paint known as two-part polyurethane.  I had a tough day getting ready to spray the primer. Learning all the tricks for doing this job right is more than stressful.  After causing several runs I learned the correct setting of the pressure at the gun.  It is about 30 lbs.  Bottom line: better to go skimpy than to wet out to saturation. Here are some other problems I encountered.  I placed the masts too close together so ended up bumping and scraping the finished surface.  Also the masts are oblong.  I should have turned it up vertical so as to get a larger surface area to the fan of the gun.
Now I have the wide sections of the mast lateral. Also I have the masts separated so as to have room enough to work.
Here's what I am using.  Awlgrip D8001 545 Epoxy Primer white base and D3001 545 Epoxy primer converter.  The Awlgrip reducer T0003 is used to reduce the viscosity to 15-18 seconds using a Zahn #2 viscosity cup.  I have a Ford #4 which tables indicate is 10-13 seconds.  Here is a picture of the Ford cup.  I used a stopwatch to measure the time sequentially reducing the thickness and rechecking.

I got a lot of help understanding how to do this job from an expert adviser. Dan Flaherty is a skilled painter and master craftsman retired from owning a very successful marine service business.  He now works in his retirement at Marine Concepts.  The most important advice Dan gave me was:  BE PATIENT.  I agree. Many mistakes happen and quality is affected adversely when anxiety and rushing leads to rushed fumbles and clumsy missteps.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It Doesn't Look Like Much...

This is not a very good picture. But the centerboard trunk is done.  Actually, if I do say so, it looks better than before.  The increase by 4 inches is simply unnoticeable.  I used the stud finder to find the battens which the trunk screws to.  How did I live without this fine instrument all these years?

And the wiring...It may not look like it, but this is as neat as it gets.  All the old stuff that was on the floor is elevated to the bridge deck.  This includes some 6 NMEA talker and listener buss lines going to terminals and various instruments.  For instance.  On the talker line is the autopilot.  The second com port goes to the EPIRB and the VHF radio for digital location. The SeaTalk buss is used to manage the Autopilot from a wireless pendant that I were around my neck.  As an old friend once said, "it's and amazing maze!"

When I started over to get my mast steps welded I found that the brakes were hot from seizing up.  I'm taking it back to the shop tomorrow to see what's going on.  I suspect the emergency lock is activated because it looks like the cable is displaced a little.
Then we will get the mast steps welded.
The next big project now that the masts are ready is to prime and paint them.  I'll report exactly how that goes when the paint supplies arrive.
Then the mast tracks will have to be bedded with 3M 5200 and riveted to the mast.  After the mast steps are also painted, I will consider this job mostly done.  Whew, what a lot of work.  However, my staycation has put me way ahead on the summers work.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The project for Saturday was building the new (and expanded centerboard trunk cabinet.  Here I am tracing the general dimensions of the old board.  Of course the new trunk has to be 4 inches higher to accommodate the elevated turning block and multipart seal.  Another kink is that I could not find a 3/8 inch piece of plywood full 4x8 so this 60 inch piece is 2 inches short.  I will lap a splice in that will look as if it belongs there.

Here I am finishing the cabinet. It is framed on 3/4 inch square blocks.  The nail gun came in handy.
Here.s the finished project.  Shims are still drying inside the cabin.

  The masts have many wear spots and stress cracks.  Epoxy fairing compound will dry overnight and be sanded tomorrow.  Karen spent long hours sanding the "sticks" today making this progress possible.
Masts all patched and waiting to sand tomorrow.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm working on several projects at once (as usual).  Here is a picture of the floor boards. They are out due to the repair of the floor.  I had entertained the idea of replacing these boards.  When I found out that the cost of a 4x8 sheet of teak and holly runs $250 plus $169 shipping, I thought better of it.

This is the view after saturating with 100% tung oil
I considered teak oil but this seemed to be the best choice overall.

I'm working on refinishing Belle's masts.  There are many scraped and dinged areas that need painting.  And the aluminum rivets are failing starting at the bottom of the main mast. So I am removing the track, repainting and re-attaching the tracks with stainless steel rivets.  
Also, the mast step weld shows signs of cracking.  I am taking it to a welder to have it re-welded. Then it will bed re-painted.  Reports to follow.
This is the broken mast support. It will be re-welded along with the mast steps.