Dagger cases, Glassing

First Dagger Case Half Outside Glassed

Today was a most satisfying day. I am always stoked when I get more done than I had set out to in the morning. I thought I would have an easy day as I really only intended to glass the outside of the dagger case and put it back in the mold to set. But I got the work done so fast I felt I would like to get a little more done, so I glassed the inside of the foredeck turn. It has been sitting on the boat since I glassed the outside waiting to be taken off and glassed inside. The inside forward hull parts also need to be glassed but I will do that the next time I get more done than I anticipated or when it cant wait any longer, there is no great hurry yet.

The first thing I did was remove the peel ply from the inside glassing. The inside will get another coat of resin (actually a couple of extra coats to add thickness to accommodate any rubbing of the dagger against the case) so having the peel ply will mean I wont need to sand. Then I unscrewed it from the frame and removed it so that I could glass the outside. The resin on the inside is still a little green, it actually takes about 3 days for it to fully cure. The case half is still flexible, meaning you could still bend it out of shape until the glass is on the other side and it is fully set.

It is important to note again here, that with any strip planked job that needs glass on both sides that the piece MUST go back into the mold to fully set, you might remember that I did this with the side deck strip planking, I glassed the outside on the boat (the bulkheads are the mold) then I took it off the boat to glass the inside and immediately put it back on the boat to set whilst the glass was wet. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. The reason is that the balsa and hoop pine veneer can easily change shape with a change in temperature or humidity and until the glass is fully cured on both sides of the job the piece will not be a stable shape, so it must go back on the mold to set in its correct shape. The risk of not doing this is obvious, that if it sets out of shape you will have major problems as you wont be able to reshape it once it is set. And on things like dagger cases you want it to be exactly the right size, a too loose case (better than too tight which needs no explanation) the dagger will rattle and bang in the case but this is infinitely better than a dagger stuck in a case. Once both sides are fully cured then the job will be as rigid and stable as can be and as solid as a rock.

I turned the case half upside down over 2 drums and rolled out glass over it and cut it to size then rolled it back up and put it aside until I am ready for wetting out. I then gave the outside a quick sanded clean, glue dags and a little unevenness in the joins here and there but so small the sander took them out. I then coved the sides of the sheave rope slot piece. I left that to tack off a little and unscrewed the foredeck curved section and gave it a sand up, again glue through the joins and unevenness of one plank up against the next either higher or lower. I then rolled out the glass again and cut it to size and shape.

Then back to the dagger case I wet out the glass on the outside. I started by giving the coves and the area in front of the cove, the curved section a coat of resin on the case by folding back the glass first, then I folded the glass back over and brushed resin onto the glass from the front back, then once I had the forward part wet I went around to the other side and brushed resin onto the glass behind the sheave strip. Once the entire cloth was wet I squeegeed out excess resin and rolled it with the detail roller and left it to tack off a while before putting it back in the mold to set for the next couple of day.

With the case half glassed I mixed up some glue to back fill the gaps in the foredeck inside. I intended to fill it then leave it to set and give it another sand before glassing it tomorrow or later in the week. But just as I was finishing the glue back fill a friend Sam arrived to say hi and to give me a hand. Sam and his brother Amnon are going to build a Spirited 380 (A Craig Schionning design) later in the year and both have asked that they help here and there to get used to the materials which I am most grateful for and today’s timing was superb. I had told Jo I would be home around 3.30pm so we could go for a walk on the beach and it was about 2pm when Sam turned up, so with over an hour before I was planning to leave, I decided there was time to get the glass on the foredeck with the glue still wet. So with Sam’s help we placed the glass in place and started on the wet out, Sam with the squeegee pushing the resin out onto the glass, me with a brush.

Once it was completely wet out and had the detail roller over it we turned it back over and put it back into place and I screwed it down, we had already placed the dagger case half back in the mold and screwed it down before we started wetting the foredeck glass. So at 3.30pm I had finished more than I had set out to do for the day and was getting home on time. Thanks Sam.

Jo and I went for a lovely walk at Terrigal beach, it is also a small harbour with a few boats in it which is always nice for me, I don’t think I will ever tire of looking at boats, and we walked for an hour or so. We had a northerly this weekend and the temperatures were back up in the mid 20’s and absolutely lovely (we went for a similar walk here last night and decided to do it again today but a little earlier and for longer), and after we launch it is the sort of thing Jo and I expect we will do every day around dusk just before a sundowner back on the boat or a beach bbq. While walking we chatted about how things are starting to turn around, Jo’s business is almost back with stock on its way after the disaster with the bum shipment that has crippled us for the last 6 months, and I am in the process of starting a new business related to my exposure to the boating industry through this build and this website but more on that a little later. Things are looking up. Life is good.

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Paul