On the one hand, I love the results. For example, the laminated boomkin I am about to create. On the other hand, I'm acutely aware of the toxic nature of epoxy, and the very real threat of an allergic reaction. I had an allergic reaction to penicillin once, and don't care to repeat the experience.
So I'm very careful to wear long pants and long sleeve shirt, with gloves (I like the more expensive nitrile gloves), and mask; and to work in a well ventilated area. And I urge my readers to do the same, if they decide to try this at home.
With that sense of caution, I strapped on my chemical warfare armor, and got to work on the next stage of my boomkin build.
I'd given my steam bent hickory 2 days to cool and dry. The Wood Handbook says drying is an important part of the wood retaining its new shape, so I didn't rush it. The photo below shows the wood still clamped to the the form.
BEFORE unclamping the wood, I drew some 'index lines'. These were pencil lines that I hoped would help me reassemble the pieces correctly.
First, I drew a pencil line, straight across the top of the 5 boards, at the far end. I'd use this line to make sure all 5 boards were lined up properly, in relationship to each other. When the boards were lined up properly, the lines on all 5 boards would also line up.
Second, I drew another pencil line, on the right face of the right most board (in the photo below), right next to the first form. When all 5 boards were glued together, I'd use this line to make sure the whole assembly was lined up correctly on the forms.
This is a very important step, I think, but I hadn't seen it mentioned in any of my boat building books. Luckily, I'd learned a similar lesson the hard way when building the station molds for Cabin Boy. Fool me once!
|Don't forget to draw index lines before|
removing wood from frame!
|With clamps removed|
- 'wet out' the two sides to be glued with an untracked epoxy/hardener mixture.
- apply a layer of thickened epoxy/hardener mixture
I set up an epoxy workstation, as seen in the photo below.
I used two plastic paint roller trays (purchased at HD for half the price at WM). One tray was for the unthickened epoxy, and one for the thickened stuff.
There's no hard and fast rule for adding thickener, but the idea is to end up with something with the consistency of catsup.
I thought I could roll on both, but the thickened epoxy was a bit too thick for a roller. I used an old paint scraper to spread the thickened epoxy as smoothly as I could.
I mixed up the unthickened batch, using a digital scale to get the proportions right. I used 4 oz of epoxy for each batch, with .8 oz of hardener.
Then I rolled it onto both surfaces, to 'wet out' both surfaces.
Then, I added thickener to the remaining epoxy, and spread it onto one of the boards (the right one, in this photo). If I noticed any holes in knots, for example, I was careful to fill them with thickened epoxy. There were just a few small knots that needed this treatment.
Finally, I put the two glued faces together, lined up my index line, pressed the boards together with my hands, and quickly moved on to the next two faces.
|Both boards 'wetted out', and one slathered with thickened epoxy|
However, it was no big deal. Even though the boards weren't clamped together, it was easy to roll the 5 glued boards together on their sides, and slide them into the curve of the form.
I also added a few additional clamps between the forms, wherever it looked like the joint needed more pressure. Every clamp I own is in action in the photo below. If I'd had more, there would be more in the photo!
One problem: what to do about the squeeze out on the bottom?
I don't have a solution for that one. I'm sure it will be a big mess that I will complain about, bitterly, in a future blog post, but I don't know what you can do about it. If anyone has a brilliant idea, I'd be glad to hear it!
The whole process took about 1/2 hour, which was well within the bounds of the 206 hardener. I'll give it a good 24 hours to dry, and pick up the story from there. The next step is shaping these glued up boards into something that looks like a spar. I really have no idea how I'm going to do that, but I guess I will think of something...
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