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Everything posted by Zach

  1. Ya might investigate Hull Guard Extra for your base before awlfair after grinding rather than 545. I've been rather pleased with what it covers from porosity compared to 545, as the mil-thickness you can build in a coat makes it act a bit more like thinned out gelcoat.
  2. Zach

    Spraying the inside

    Awlcraft 2000 isn't bad to shoot interiors with and doesn't yellow... and if you do a clean job of the bead board spraying, you can do a chemical tie coat to the 545. Not that sanding bead board is hard, it just takes forever, and tacking down to get the dust off to keep from orange peeling isn't exactly easy. The plus with awlcraft 2000 is you can touch it up later with a little preval sprayer, and can be brushed (barely) into small dings.
  3. Zach

    Gear Heads Only

    Drag link socket... If you have a bench grinder you can do a bit of fitting work. If you've got slotted oval heads, the flat bottom of the flat head, isn't always totally flat, so you can grind both a little radius, and a negative draft into the sides of the face so they key up a bit better. You want just a touch of negative draft in the sides, rather than a taper or dead nuts square. Sharpie mark the end, rub it in the slot and look for contact til you are happy...
  4. If it takes more than a few revs to get started you may have a bad diaphragm or seal in your fuel pump and sucking just enough engine oil to make your smoke. If they rebuilt the block and head, but uninstalled/reinstalled the fuel pump that might be one to study. Late timing does white smoke too, and is more of the hanging lingering type than too much fuel. But I'd put a tester on your coolant cap and verify that you aren't making pressure from a head gasket leak, as a diesel without glow plugs doesn't take much of a warp to have a one way leaker on a head gasket.
  5. Zach


    ABA hose clamps.
  6. Be careful of the chunks if you overcoat what you've got... anywhere you sand over and the paper still loads up, is more uncatalyzed stuff than not. In that if the it has only dried out/solvent evaporated, and even in real thin film have a tendency to lift down the line. I'd sand down til you can see through it, take a sopping wet rag with T0006 and make sure that what you leave doesn't lift color onto the rag. Normally it's the bottom of the mix cup, so where ever you did last or left thickest shows any chunks. I use fiberglass window screen for a first pass filter, on sprayable and highbuild, though for small quantities you normally can get away with a filter cone with a few cuts in the mesh and stirring highbuild mostly through the mesh, picking out the chunks as you go. Bit of a pain... Had a guy working for me for a while that liked rolling sprayable fairing compound and did a side of a boat, strained it through a 5 gallon bucket grid... with rather predictable results as far as the chunks go. End up with little white dots and holidays that are uncatalyzed and spend half a day changing paper on long boards loading up the grit. "did you filter it?" Of course... "What did you use..." Holds up something you can drop gravel through.
  7. Shoot some pictures. I just got done gel coating a cabin top, after laying a layer of veil mat and filling lows with offcuts, grinding with a 7 inch and 36 grit... pad sanding with 8 inch 40 grit. DA with 60... You can't really do that anywhere near by hardware attached to the deck, it's not all that hard, just a lot of work for a guy with the occasional carpal tunnel flare up. Catch is that it helps if you've got a shed full of burned up grinders. Grinding the sticky off is a heavy touch, floating it out is a light touch... pad sanding a heavy touch. DA a light touch. Then once you can see "it" long boarding with 40 hard enough to see the high, pad sand down til they aren't... with 40 once again. The gel fills the pin holes, but if you are rolling it, it's a 2-3-4 coat process before you add wax, and then tomorrow I've still got a fair bit of acetone wiping and heavy sanding to get back to where I see veil in the high spots. Straight glass work, is straight paint work. Veil and Gelcoat is a cheap/fast filler... but it is harder work than any other option. If you have localized issues, then it is a much smaller job than my earlier post about fairing and paint work, and i'd be in the camp of spot repairing and getting a good 545 surface built up where it needs to be. Then patching in your top coat and getting a look that the gloss surfaces look good, less the patch.... Then buzz out everything, fix the dings, and roll some fresh top coat over it.
  8. Zach

    Epoxy, Screw Holes and Wood

    Yup. If you've got a lot of the same hardware to do... stanchions, etc. Hardened drill guides in an inch and a 1/2 wood with a piece of carpet tape on the bottom will make your backing plates match too... A lot of boat stuff is 1/4 inch, and a drill guides are reusable, just make the holes in the block a hammer fit. Aircraft bits and a pair of bullet levels get close, but a drill guide in a block stuck to the deck means it matches top to bottom. May not match the bevel of the level on the inner skin if a lot of fairing has been done on top, but the bolts will hit the plate in the same hole up to 2 1/2 inches or so of depth. Cheers
  9. Zach

    Epoxy, Screw Holes and Wood

    If the width of the board is wide enough to do it... take a forstener bit, and go a 1/4 inch deeper than the screw you are using. Wet down the inside the hole wih neat resin, then back fill the hole 3-4 diameters larger than the screw with west and milled glass fiber. The next day, come back, drill and tap the epoxy plug for a machine screw, rather than a wood screw... you can dunk the screws in epoxy and get a better bond if you want. I power - tap the holes freehand with a tap in a drill small cordless drill. The epoxy on the screw remakes any issues with the threading. To remove, take a soldering iron and hold it to the screw head. Once it's too hot to touch they back right out. Works well. Buddy of mine cats into place mounting bolts for pretty much every piece of hardware they use on the cold molded plywood boats, including the engine mounts, so once you get a system you like it scales up and down readily. Just don't use a wood screw, machine screw is where it's at... I agree that if it wasn't cherry, it wouldn't be worth the bother, but that'll hold ya. Cheers
  10. I know it Al Paca. I've got 14 bent up stanchions and bases sitting in my shed, and I'm eyeballing the not so unsubstantial cost to buy a new matched set once I'm finished up. A stack of boat bills a 1/4 inch thick doesn't go very far on new stainless and deck hardware.
  11. Fill what you can with 3M vinylester before you prime. Don't prime 50 grit, prime 80 grit. 60 grit is the sweet spot I like in that it doesn't take much material removal to get to 80 grit. Awlquick is not the right choice for filling crazing. It is very soft, and you need to thin it close to 50% to get it to lay out. It solvent pops if you let it puddle, so trying to fill defects on a horizontal surfaces gives more pin holes later in the process. Thin enough coats you can roll two coats in a day. Thick coats, takes three days for the surface to stop moving. You can sand something slick as a babies butt if you roll it on unthinned, and on the next sanding after priming with 545... hit a high spot that was dead smooth a few days before. Don't push it to be high build primer unless you give it time. Awlquick is about a third the way from 545 toward high build primer and 545, in that it builds twice as thick per coat as 545 but solvent pops if you try to roll it thick, or not thinned enough. I normally use half and half T00031 and T0006, thinned 35-50% if I'm rolling. It excels in rolling small areas, without any thinner, but again... takes two or three days for the solvent to work out. If you sand it, and it smells like thinner stop sanding because the surface is still moving. What I would do, is a layer of 545 applied with a brush and a squeedgee into the open porosity, X it off with the brush, squeedgee the surface after a minute or so to break the surface tension and so that the bubbles over the holes pops, then roll a build coat on. Then a second. Then inside the recoat window roll on two full wet coats of ultrabuild. Then come back and sand that with the same 50 grit. Once you've got the lions share of porosity and defects filled, you've got a locked down white surface that a will hold a pencil line to do any filling work with awlfair, then... use your awlquick to get up to 220-280 grit and 545 your way out. Any bigger defects or slight lows you can dish back to gelcoat, and use 3M vinylester for a spot repair and get back to priming the same day once you are in awlquick. For small stuff I use a dremel and a carbide burr and dig out a divot and fill them with Awlfair for the small pin holes. Once you are white with the ultrabuild, it is very easy to see where your defects are and a carbide burr makes it hard to miss. The big thing is not to have missed spots when you get to awlquick, as awlquick is much softer than awlfair and you get sanding halos around things, with a bright red dot in the middle. Do that before awlquick, and no dots or shadows in the 545 to see. Nice. Awlfair is a lot easier to cover if you buzz it over with 180-220 grit before awlquick. It'll show you any feather edge issues and make it a little bit lower and harder to hit later on. Gist is, don't spot prime high spots... so make your red filling, a little bit low and you won't burn through on dark colors. 80 grit awlfair you can sand off a coat with roller stipple and still feel scratches in awlquick. You can't feel 80 grit scratches, in a coat of awlquick, covered with awlquick. Tis the nature of things. Don't leave 80 grit until you've got a coat that is evenly yellow with no surface defects. I like 3M dry guide coat. You can refill with west graphite powder, but the red rubber nipple top works well as an applicator. A 16 inch short board with 3M green production 80 grit is handy for cabin sides. A few passes makes a big difference over any awlfair fills. Otherwise you can have a game of never ending high spots that turn pink when sanded. Once you have the surface yellow, you can put on 3-4 coats of 545, you won't burn through in a single easy sanding. If you put on 2 coats of 545 and burn through both times you still have to put on two more coats of 545... not to burn through. The roller stipple takes a lot of material to sand off, so just keep adding material until you are in the clear and you'll sand out easier. It is the nature of things, as a 2 mil build won't let you cut with a sandpaper that takes 2 mils of cut... Go around and put on 3-4 at the first go, and you have a lot higher success than doing two. You can use red scotchbrite or a soft interface pad with 320 grit in between coats just to take most of the shine off if you want... but just doing a crack of dawn rolling once the dew breaks, and another at 11... and another at 3... and another right before sun down can get you salvation if you make a day of it. Grab some T0006 and play with it. Thin enough coats, can get you moving quicker to build... once you go finger print dry it may as well be sprayed. It doesn't have to level so long as your base in awlquick is straight, it just has to get a mil thickness thick enough to stay inside the scratch depth of your paper. I have no problem using Awlquick, and use it like it has an expiration date... I've got a 2.8 gallon pressure pot, with 30 foot hoses so it is nothing to spool up 6 or 8 kits of it in a day... but it's main claim to fame, is the ability to spray 4-5 coats and put a 10-12 mils on in a day that is all yellow. Sands easy, and is easily covered by white 545. Just know that the caveat is, that it isn't high build primer, and it is softer than the surrounding materials so you can't get a clean sand unless your are burning through to 545 into awlquick and no other color than... yellow. Don't use the gray 545 as a sanding guide, as any low defects missed will be black spots. Your surface temp out doors on gray is extreme, so your working time to cover will rip the roller fuzz off. For pin holes in 545, get some evercoat ultrasmooth, and blue hardener. A pint should do a dozen boats, apply it with a box cutter blade. I'd consider using Interlux 2000 for the non-skid walking surfaces just because you can make time with that product to build up. Awlfair is sweet to work with, but any time you can roll a coat and float up an even surface it makes time. I don't have a problem using west 407 on decks under nonskid, it's not any cheaper than awlfair at wholesale, but if you are paying retail works out less per mixed volume. I don't like 407 for the gloss bits, as the different hardness of different batches is difficult for folks that want to leave 40 grit quickly. 40 grit fair, and 40 grit flat, is flat. Doesn't much matter how hard something is, if it reads flat, it is flat. 80 grit on a DA with two different hardness side by side will tell you damn lies. Two week old 407, and yesterdays 407 side by side don't sand the same. For the overly pendantic working different grades and brands of sandpaper: I like p400 grit working up to edge lines and fillets in 545, just because it cuts a little bit less fast than p320 grit. Do be aware that any wet-dry paper you pick up has a different grading scale in the US than imported paper, so if you are working a cami paper on the DA, and hand sanding P-graded, the P graded paper will be s you can be coarser than you want. Same number but the P-weight paper is coarser... Meaning P320 is coarser than Cami 320, and closer to 280 grit. So one has 320 grit and the other has 400 grit to be the same scratch depth/grit size. Shooting hand sanded stuff that is a cami 280 grit, and because it isn't P400 grit, makes for a very visible difference if you DA everything else out with cami 320. Hand sanding with cami 320, and DA'ing 320 beside it the hand sanded area will look flatter in color, so hand sand 400 cami, into 320 DA and you get about the same color. Red scotchbrite can make a difference over your hand sanded areas, as it is p320, but has a randomizing effect to scratch pattern. On outside corners you can trap a piece of it under your DA, and rub it around at random and make some time without burning through. Really helpful if your surfaces are long boarded true... Once things are flat enough, any material removal is asking for the whole pad to take an even cut... so only the stipple burns off. That doesn't really make a spit difference if you don't mind putting on four coats of top coat, but if you are aiming to get done in two or three, it can be huge. Normally the fillets are what show the biggest issue. Straight lines in the middle of a curve may as well have a dash of flattening agent in them. Cheers, Zach
  12. Zach

    Acrylic companionway sliding hatch?

    The new slider will be flat, so it'll be easy to replace the acrylic if need be at a later date. That'll take a little bit of finagling to get the height of the slides higher than the camber of the deck. Part of the desire is to have a hatch turtle that you can stand on, that is also flat. I'm thinking with the style pictured above, that the cover boards could extend forward and become the hatch turtle. I've got some 1/2 inch divinycell kicking around and a bit of leftover core mat, so the hatch turtle would be walkable. Right now the curve of the hatch has more camber than the the rest of the deck. It looks good, but trying to stand on it is like trying to balance on the top of a water pipe. Even with non-skid it tries to spit you overboard.
  13. Hi Guys, I'm curious about acrylic sliding hatches, as I'd like to build one for my boat. I'm in the process of putting a new deck on her and have a curved aluminum hatch that drips condensation, tries to throw you overboard if you stand on it, has a lip edge that catches lines... and doesn't have a dog house. So in the next couple days I'll be tooling up to change that. I'd like to know the span width of some of the late model production boats companionways, and the width of where the acrylic rides on the track, and if they leak everywhere in rain and spray, as most I've looked at in pictures don't appear to have much in the way of a drain channel. So far my noodling is to make a mold (screw some coosa board strips down from the backside to a plywood bench top make the part as one piece, with a cross bar or two temporarily tabbed to it so the frame stays parallel then work the core parallel to the part, and have a flat lid for it to form the dog house. It looks like most of the production boats are using 1/2 inch smoked acrylic, with an inch and a quarter to inch and three quarter overlap on the runners... So spitballing numbers, a 27 inch wide opening would be a 30 inch wide piece of acrylic. Anyone have any insight as far as how tight things ought to fit, or any known gotchas with this type design? A lot of pictures I've seen don't appear to have anything that holds the hatch slide downward and just lay into place, or have a tight fitting groove and god only knows where the drainage lines go. Other than the vertical clearance to the boards that form the top, anything to it? The new Beneteau Oceanis style designs are simple enough looking that I'm at a bit of a loss if there isn't a c-channel hidden inside a drain channel to hold things down, unless the front end under the dog house just fits tight enough not to lift at the back, but given the boards over the top sit an inch or so higher than the acrylic I've got a hard time believing that there isn't something holding things down tight, less a wave coming aboard lifting the slider and giving you an inch wide gap to wet down the interior... Cheers, Zach
  14. Zach

    Acrylic companionway sliding hatch?

    That may well do, just enough to form a bead.
  15. Zach

    Acrylic companionway sliding hatch?

    Thanks for that guys, sounds like a uhmw slider screwed to the underside, with a drip edge might be salvation. I've always wondered about the teflon tape self adhesive stuff that some shops sell for sliding hatches, so it may be that it's a double number. It does actually remind me of a boat I looked at a few years back, a condor 40 trimaran. It had a hatch on rails much wider than the companionway, with a heavy weight plastic with a straight slot cut in it... but the rails and hatch were 6+ inches offset outboard of the opening into the boat. It was a chin scratcher at that moment, but in light of new information it makes sense.
  16. Zach

    Festool abrasive for gelcoat 6 inch, but the mesh cuts fairly easily if you have a pair of shears you don't care about... Have a picture of the crazing/experiment area? Cheers, Zach
  17. I'm a fan of starter batteries, and the blue sea add a battery kits. Dual 12v house batteries on small boats. Gist is that if you lose a cell in a single 4d or 8d 12v battery you are dead in the water without the voltage potential to do anything about it. If you have two 12v in parallel and you lose one cell, you still have the voltage potential to start the engine by disconnecting the bad battery from the house bank. If you've got oversized cable ends on a screw post battery, you can be mean to the starter and rewire for series if you just have a low charge voltage, sometimes you can get a clicking relay to make with a screwdriver or knife blade to the solenoid, and once started pull the cable. Gist is wire it as a single, and add the jumper to the other battery. Rather than taking from the ends of the bank, temporarily move it to one battery with the helper giving to the ground. Once you've got one battery up to charge, shut her down and reconnect the house as it should be. A single 12v battery as house/start doesn't have the potential to self-help, if either a bad cell, or a low voltage charge. A lightening strike may not get your starting battery if you get hit, and the switch has an air gap. I'm a fan of having a spare VHF, with an emergency antenna coiled up in a pelican case, in light of a lightening strike. Have had a few commercial fishing friends have everything fried on board, and the few that carry spares have had a lot less rough go of getting back running. I'm a fan of seeing a 12v optima or gel cell by or in the nav station that isn't in use or connected, but kept charged just for that reason, preferably up out of the bilge well above the waterline. Friend had a trawler lose power, and grounded out on a shoal in a squall at the bottom of each trough and had the masthead lights wiped off. Said that when the cabin house windows stove in, he was glad to have a battery around to get on the vhf being otherwise dead ship. Big difference between "dead ship" and having spent the time to put yourself in the path of getting lucky to jury rig things back alive. No big deal at all if you've got an around the can racer, or buddy boat port to port... but doing near shore hops I like to see the hundred bucks every 5 years stored as insurance as a seldom used gel cell. Last failure method I've had is having an terminal on a 1/2/both switch go bad. If you've got low voltage alarms, and battery monitoring you can be aware of it as it happens. If you've got a simple boat with a single volt meter that lights up off the alt terminal, then you can be unaware that you've got a stone dead battery either start or house, because you aren't using the stone dead battery. If the battery switch feeds both the main panel, and the volt meter. Turn to both, and you've got what amounts to a dead short between the battery that has a charge and the stone dead one... so in the time it takes to debug why the engine still won't start on both, you've got the charge being equalized between the good battery and the flat one. The Blue Sea charging relay can help prevent that... In that I'm not entirely sure that my burned out 1/2/both switch didn't burn up while figuring out what was going on as I lost #2 contact on a switch and could start the engine with it still on both, once the switch contact burned up. The ACR relay separates things, and a separate battery switch to involve the emergency starting battery allows the failure method not to include rapidly discharging your get out of jail card...
  18. Looking good. How tight of a fit did you have between the top of the rudder and the bottom of the hull? 2 layers of biax, plus 2 layers of scraps is close to a 1/4 inch. I'd make sure you are still in the margins of what will fit if you've got a cross pin in the rudder shaft for the quadrant before you do your final fairing, as an 1/8th of putty, and an 1/16th of interlux 2000 can move things such that bottom paint won't fit. Grin.
  19. Zach

    Race boat flooring

    That's the stuff. Having it pre-finished in gelcoat makes for a quicker job. Not that fairing in a flat panel is a big ordeal, just that unless you take the time on the bench to glass up a foam core panel and get it to a high grade finish before tabbing it in, folks get tempted to do some finish work inside. Ideally you just grind back the primer, off what needs to be tabbed in when you take it to the boat. As much as I love running pad sanders inside boats, making snow storms of glass dust and painting my way back out the companionway... the prefinished panels remove a lot of that temptation.
  20. Zach

    low friction shroud cover

    If the boom only clears by three inches... Would reducing the diameter of the sheaves get you clearance? As an inch is a mile, if you only miss with hard parts by three inches! It might be the only time that a smaller diameter higher rated sheave would reduce friction... Grin. Other option would be a soft eye on the boom, with a tag line to hold it forward between the current bail and where it wants to be to be in the clear.
  21. Zach

    Tabbing in bulkhead, advice on cloth

    That is mat. See the small lump roughly half the radius of the circle end down the bulkhead? That is where the round bit got stuck over, wet out and worked around. Not that you can't use biax, it just takes a few extra darts to do that, and you want 10 stitch per inch biax, as the 8 stitch stuff doesn't hold together when darted. Clean glass work there. It moves the stress riser of the top of the bulkhead corner out a bit with the tabbing extending up, and round makes it harder to peel off from a square point edge.
  22. Zach

    Solar Output Lower Than Expected

    Speaking of fuses... Do you have a fuse inline to the panel? I helped debug a low output situation for a friend, and it turned out to be a bad fuse holder. The fuse was inside an MC4 style connector. It was stamped for the amperage he bought, but the replacement had a much larger cross section filament. I'd get things up on a sunny day and either by hand go around every inch of the system and feel for heat, from the panels to the wiring. The tell for the fuse holder, was it was sitting in the shade of the panel but warm to the touch compared to everything else.
  23. Zach

    Cockpit locker latches

    Hi Guys, Doing some renovation work in the cockpit, currently have no latches on the locker lids. I'm looking at these: I've had on other boats with the surface mount hasps that comes over center with room for a pad lock, but they bang your shins even if in a recess. It looks like a few Hallberg Rasseys used a similar spring loaded pin. Curious if this style gets packed with salt and becomes non-operational? Thanks, Zach
  24. Zach

    Race boat flooring

    Something I found helpful on boats that lack tabbing on the underside of the plywood soles, is to run around them with a saw and leave a 6 inch or so lip around the outer edge. Then grind the underside and glass up the tabbing. Once kicked, remove the plywood lip and gives you a shelf to lay the new sole onto. I like Nidacore panels. They sell an 18oz woven roving in white gelcoat panel that is premade if you can work it out of a sheet. An inch is a good number for clear span. I clean up a 4x4 and cut a roundover onto one edge and wrap it with packing tape to make fiberglass angles for recessed hatches. Divinycell H80 works as well, but if you glass it up into full size sheets it is handy to do both sides at once so things don't warp. Though if you have a good sheet of 3/4 plywood you can do one side at a time if peel ply, plastic sheet and then lay the 3/4 ply on top with around 10lbs per square foot of weight til things kick off... Less of a fire drill but more time than doing both at the same time.
  25. Zach

    Name that valve/seacock

    I do what Zonker does and just grind the bastards off. Main reason, is I haven't met a mushroom that has a backing plate that needs to come off... and they aren't long enough to be re-used, if you put a backing plate on. So... No mucking about. I use a 36 grit grinding disc. About the time the color turns purple it is hot enough that the 5200 or whatever goop is bubbling and will let things release easily. Pipe wrench on the inside to twist clockwise or counter clockwise while still hot and a pry bar under a handle normally pops them out in an easy motion.