Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bottom Job drags on

Since the last update I've continued focusing on the bottom job, and I am only a few days away from finishing the main grinding of the port side. I usually work Monday through Thursday after work until dark. Weekends have been on hold until I am fully settled in here in St. Augustine. I couldn't work all last week due to travelling for work, my first week without getting anything done.

I had some technical difficulties with my grinder two weeks ago so I spent that week sanding the previously ground starboard side down smooth with a 5" random orbit sander using 40 grit pads. This smoothed out the grinding marks and faired the hull somewhat. I am about 2/3 done grinding the port side. Once grinding is finished, then I'll give it a good sanding and I'll be done with the hull for a while.

Starboard side after grinding down to bare glass and sanded smooth

Port side grinding progress:

Space man at work


Ausitn said...

Can you tell a huge difference between the 5" Random Orbital w/ 40 grit, and the angle grinder w/ soft pad? I've been using my 5" Porter Cable RO sander w/ 40 grit to do the whole job so far... it's miserable!!!

I was going to use the grinder/soft pad combination, but was afraid that it would be too aggressive. It's been really slow going.

Erick said...

HUGE difference. I started out using the RA when I was just expecting to take off the paint, not the gel-coat as well. It was excruciatingly slow, but did the job very smoothly and was pretty much error free. Once I realized I needed to take the gel-coat off, then came the grinder. It takes some getting used to, but with the correct technique you can go much faster than the RO and have a relatively smooth surface. You must go back with a RO to finish it off and smooth it out further, but that takes half the time the initial grinding does.

austin said...

blah! I was afraid of that. I have the starboard side pretty much done, too.

We're talking about the same kind of sander, right? I'm using a dual action disc R0 sander(Porter Cable 7335), I was hoping that the only difference would be that the sander offered the wobbly action in addition to the spinning grinder motion. I know that the grinder spins about 10x as fast too.

I'm not sure how I feel about this revelation. On one hand, I may have spent the last 25 or however many hours using an inferior tool,and been terribly inefficient. On the other hand, I may have discovered how to be twice as productive on the next half. ah!

Hopefully the grinder will at least be lighter... I'm really pleased with the 7335, but it sure does get heavy when it's over head for long periods of time!

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Getting there! Great job.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Looks like a real nice finish.

What are your opinions about using a peeler type system?

Again, looks like some nice results.

Keep on course!

Erick said...

I would have considered a peeler if I was just removing the paint. I use a chemical peeler to remove the old stain on the interior woodwork; but I needed to grind down to bare glass on the bottom so a peeler wasn't in consideration.

Erick said...

Or do you mean the power-tool gelcoat/fiberglass peeler? I checked with the guy in the area that does the peeling jobs and it runs about $30/ft to peel a boat. Just too much money for me right now. I'd rather put in the labor to grind it out and use that money for other things on the boat. If I could afford it, I would use the peeler.