Some of you may be aware that our main mast for the boat was hit by a mad woman driving a Toyota fortunately no one was injured but the Toyota was severely damaged and we had some marking on the mast.
now our problem was that the mast had been undercoated so we could not see what damage had been done, so all the paint around the damage points was removed and we found that some of the glass had been damaged
so a decision was made to lay another layer of glass onto the mast yes belt, braces, and probably totally over the top but better now than later
Tools in the workshop sanding
I have often been asked about what tools I use in the work shopped why I picked that make
So today I will be looking at the sanders and grinders we use, ones we no longer use and ones I wish we could still get.
We have 3 main types sheet sanders either 1/3 or 1/2 sheet sanders
random orbit 150mm sanders
and belt sanders
Now I am all for using cheap tools that you can throw away when working with epoxy, but I have learnt that with sanders you need to spend a bit. Sanding epoxy is hard on any tool and when the stuff is as tough as ours you do need tools that will cope.
So here we go oldest first, My oldest sander (pic 1) is a 1/2 sheet sander made by wicks diy when they had their tools made by aeg and others. It has given good service I believe I got it around 1999 but it is starting to have seen better days I will be looking at a replacement for this.
My oldest belt sander (pic 2)which is alas no more was a Ryobi Industrial belt sander it was powerful fairly light for its power and size and something you could use all day, Ryobi decided to stop producing it as they lasted too long and never broke down until they were absolutely busted to hell. this has now been replaced with a Makita 9401 (pic 3) a real brut but very heavy and busts belts within seconds if you don’t use genuine grade belts in the 80 grit range
Random orbit/circular sanding
We have had quite a few sanders in this range using cheap diy black & dealer to makita. The black and dealer only lasted a few times before it was found to be to under powered for the work it was asked to do we then went to dewalt DW443 (pic 4) . now we were told that this was a really top notch sander and could deal with anything we could throw at it, to date it is the one tool that I have been totally disappointed with and the tool that made me ban Dewalt as being over priced and underperforming rubbish
next are the two mainstays of the sanding world for us they are both Makita the 9227CB (pic 5 )which has a 150 pad attached and is a real heavy remover of material , so much so that we only use up to a 80 grit paper normally running a 120 grit paper on it.
The next is the Makita BO 6040 (pic 6), now this machine was bought in about 2013/4 and has been in use daily it has been dropped banged abused and worked dame hard we should have been taken to court for abuse. It is one of the best machines I have bought and I would by another tomorrow except that Makita have stopped making it and bought out the 6050J to replace it but they had to bring out a new pad system as well which does not work with the older machines well cocked up makita you were doing so well up until then. So old machine is being repaired and we will try the new one but because of the pad I am not on Makitas side at the moment.
When sanding epoxy we try to keep the papers sharp by using course grit and going down in lots of stages to the grade we want, change papers often and blow the dust out of the machine
Question how do I tell a good epoxy from a bad one
I am always asked how do I know if I am buying a good or bad epoxy, i hope this clip helps
Drilling and Tapping
We are at that point were we are having to look at making up the ballast keel (box).
The box is going to be made of 22mm mild steel with stringers that are out of 60mm plate which is to be drilled and tapped with 22mm holes. when the box is made up we will fill the voids with cement and lead.
The box will be held to the boat with 18 mild steel studs wrapped in ptfe tape and lithium based water pump grease
Total ballast weight will be 5000 kilos
We are in the middle of preparing the hull of the boat to put the covering of bi ax cloth and epoxy resin keep looking in for our up dates on this.
Looking at another boat
I am looking at another boat to get me back on the water while i am building so heres the journey so far.
Firstly we have found several boats we like the look of on e bay one is a junk rig which is what we are building
Next is trying to arrange a day to go and see the boat , this has proved very difficult but i have joined air bandb and found a bed and breakfast near the boat will give you an update on both
heres the result click the link barbican report 1 to see report
We have started to cloth the hull
Recently read from WEST that you can only use epoxy when it is hot enough to wear only a tee shirt. this may be true of WEST , no scrub that it is true that west products are based from our workshop because they are old fashioned , hard to use , a pain to mix and you have to be careful of the temperature. Also they are made of the cheapest base materials around, how do we know this MAS recently got permission to make a west equivalent
With this product it is a 5 to 1 mix, it gets hot in the pot and it has blush issues but its dirt cheap 6 kilos at around 55 gbp
But because of the issues with it we will not be stocking it unless asked. Having said that we do have two packs in stock but will not re stock unless asked
So next time you buy west think about the large office and reps that you are supporting and work the pricing back to the factory gate you will find its about 5 pounds a kilo or less and that now days = rubbish material
Further to this west recently had a pop at our sales pitch in which we say all epoxy is basically the same which is something we stick to in that epoxies designed for your project will stick stronger than the substrate and you should concern with are they waterproof some are not and how easy is it for you to use. one of their points were some epoxies were aviation grad and can not or should not be used on boats, bull if you can afford it its has been through so many tests and comes with so many certificates you can use it it just does not make economical sense because what your paying extra for is the testing and certification of the epoxy
They also mentioned epoxy in paint and cement. if your buying from a good company and you tell them your project you won’t get these, as they are epoxy binders not epoxy glue.
MAS is still the first company that came out with a truly blush free product that was designed for boat builders
It may interest people to know that the rep from west who spouted this rubbish went on to list everything he has done but I noted no boat building in the last five or so years but a change of tack to a sales man even stating that you should buy their mixing sticks because you might contaminate your epoxy, if their epoxy won’t stand up to a bit of dust , and we add that stuff to thicken our mixes, then you should not be using it, such blatant forced salesmanship.
Anyway back to our clothing note the date December 15 – January 2016 and the woolly hats.
Firstly we cut 450 gram biax cloth to drape like wall paper, you can put an over lap if your using one layer but as we will put on three layers or so we but jointed the runs
We then mixed up 2 litres of low vis resin with 1 litre of medium hardener and poured this on top of the cloth and pushed it through with steel spreaders, the poly ones we brought broke I think they were meant for another use so we went back to steel. As we came to the end of each bucket we simply added more resin and hardener eventually we had 5 litres on the go but we were able to get it all on the cloth and soaked through without to much going off
Glueing Up The Stem
Well we have been busy in the workshop. I have now completed the woodwork for the stem. This was made of laminates of kerurin and Douglas Fir sandwiched with MAS epoxy Flag and Medium hardener with workshop mix to thicken.
Picture one below shows how we cut the douglas fir across the grain to allow it to take the curve without splitting, the reason we cut the outside of the curve was to allow the wood to open up so when we pushed our epoxy mixture into the wood it set hard holding the curve as the cuts could not close up again.
Pictures 2 onwards are of glueing on the keratin cap we used lags to pull the wood to the curve these were coated with vaseline so we could get them out easily after the section had set these holes were then drilled out to 10 mm getting rid of the vaseline and having 10 mm dowels glued in
Southampton Boat Show
We will be at Southampton boat show stand F31
We will have all our mas range of epoxies plus natures head composting toilet and an air head unit for you to judge both units against each other
The air head was used for approx 20 months and we were asked to replace it due to many faults that were found with it The previous owners are now much happier natures head owners
We will also have some end of season prices on Safire grills
And we will be taking orders for anti fouling
osmosis neptune 34
33ft sailing boat (1974, Neptunian 33).
It had a professional osmosis treatment about 11 years ago (Gelshield?), but close inspection this winter revealed that large areas of the coating had failed to adhere to the GRP. The failed areas could be removed easily with a wallpaper scraper, whilst the rest had to be ground back.
The bottom has been high pressure steam cleaned several times and has been kept dry throughout the (surprisingly) warm, dry summer here on the south coast. Moisture readings are around 4 to 8% as of two weeks ago.
Close inspection of the bottom shows the laminate is quite ‘fibrous’ which lead me to think that the first coat might benefit from being ‘low viscosity’ in the hope it might ‘soak in’ a little.
The hull was mechanically peeled 11 years ago removing around 2-3mm of the gelcoat and outer CSM layer. However there are a couple of areas (0.5×0.5m) where the first woven roving layer has been damaged. These areas I believe would benefit from having a layer of glass applied.
So this is ‘plan’ at the moment, but I would appreciate any thoughts you may have:
1 – Coat all over with LV + Slow
2 – Place biax cloth on to damaged areas once first coat is ‘tacky’.
3 – Saturate cloth and re-coat whole bottom with more LV + Slow (Med?).
4 – Fair any divots, the glass weave, the edges of the patches and up to the gelcoat at the waterline. (10/20, Flag + Med?)
5 – Four or five coats of Flag + Med
I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:
1 – Is there a better way of doing this?
2 – What quantities of LV, Flag, Slow, Med Hardener, 10/20 Mix will I need? I don’t mind having stuff left over, but don’t want to be short. The area of the bottom is around 29 to 32 square metres.
3 – There will only be 2 of us working on this, so I doubt it will be all done in a single day (?). Therefore what are the checks to gauge the minimum and maximum re-coating times? If we exceed the re-coating time, what preparation of the previous coat is necessary before we could proceed with the next coat?
4 – Do you (or can you) add colour to the final coat?
5 – Does a ‘tie-coat’ of antifouling have to be applied when the final coat of ‘Flag’ is still tacky?
6 – What is the best type and size of rollers to use
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS
Once You have Hull Prepared Ie clean and dry that is where we will begin
1. split the hull into workable areas don’t try and do the whole lot at once
2. using a brush coat the areas of divots with low vis and medium then make up some putty with flag medium and workshop mix fill all divots leave slightly proud 24 hours to 36 hours later sand back
3. using bi ax cloth hung like wall paper secure top edge with duck tape or similar wet through the cloth onto the hull using a 4 inch roller continue to press the cloth against hull and wet through the cloth burst any air bubbles that are under cloth smooth cloth to hull with spreader
4. start next sheet or area when you finish roll remaining epoxy on to area previously done then mix up flag and medium and over coat previous areas (if you can mark previous areas with thumb nail go straight on top if you have had to leave it and its set hard scratch the surface with sand paper until it is grey all over, roll next coat on.
5 build up 5 or six coats you can roll on when its still sticky but be careful you don’t move the cloth.
6. once you are happy with coverage and you have completely buried the cloth you have put on you can fair in the water line with flag and medium with 10/20 mix this is fairly easy to sand but will need a seal coat of epoxy
7. Leave it to cure off a week to 10 days depending on weather lightly sand all over until surface is grey opaque this is your key for your anti fouling (if you sand and paper is getting clogged or it won’t come off as fine dust give it another day or two)
8. roll on antifouling
9. you can colour last layer of epoxy with acrylic paint but I would not bother its going to be painted over
10. over coating straight on top with next coat of epoxy if you can mark what is there with your thumb nail if not abrade to give good key coat
you will need 30 litres of epoxy i would order 22.5 and see how you get on 5 litres of workshop mix and 2.5 litres of 10/20 2 litres of biosolv for tool cleaning if you think med will be too quick for you you can use slow or a mixture of slow and medium
Low Viz Resin
We now have low viz resin back in stock
natures head fitting
As many of you know MAS is a very special epoxy not cheap but it is the best on the market and weight for weight it is better value than the competition as there is no washing down and no wax blush to remove
Remember 7.5 liters of MAS is approximately 10 kg in weight
How ever there are still a hard core of Epoxy users who like to stick to things they know so we have brought in a 5 to 1 mix epoxy that is totally compatible with WEST, you can use the same pumps as west same additives you can even cross mix ie use our hardener and west resin or or resin and west hardener
How ever there is a down side you will have the same issues as you get with WEST
1. mixing , you are mixing a much smaller amount of harden into the resin so you must make sure it is well mixed
2. You will have problems with heat in the chemical reaction, so mix small amounts and use shallow trays
3. you must wash down between coats and remove the wax and blush
The Good Points
1. you can use WEST products with this
2 its about 30% cheaper than WEST
pictures from METS
Thought i would drop you all some pictures of us setting up at METS 2014 and thank everyone for coming along and seeing us
A special thank you to the lovely Liza who was such a big help to me
There was a big interest in the composting Natures head toilet please get in touch if you want more information or you would like to purchase . we are looking for out lets on these and will drop ship for suppliers.
MAS at METS
Natures head -v- Air head
I am constantly asked why we chose natures head against air head
well when we went to look at all the options open to us I thought the air head was not tough enough to stand the test of time and did not have a goodno questions asked guarntee. Natures head gives 5 years
The other problems were the plastic that these are made from although both strong the air head is white and white yellows with age and as we wanted something that went well past the 5 year guarentee that we give we believe that the marble effect stands the test of time and there were nagging doubts that i could not quiet put my finger on
The final reason was the numbers that are in use Natures Head appears to have many more satisfied users than the Air head and the final cut was cost air head was £100.00 pounds more expensive and at the end of the day its a toilet not something that will be on view to everyone
I hope this has answered some of your questions
It seems that people are having a little trouble finding the correct compost to start off their Natures head
I use the following Irish Peat Moss (the basic one with nothing added) it comes in a large bale and should be enough to last most people a couple of years
I shall put a picture up of the one I use when I next go to our local garden center