Side decks, Strip planking

Gluing the planks

Posted by Paul

The hot weather has arrived. I faired up most of the planks during the week, Wednesday was very hot so I didn’t get much done and yesterday I went for my motorcycle license. I passed. Today was also very hot, its only the first week of October and we are already getting 30+ days. And it is magnified in the steel shed. We are going to have to see about getting another door or window installed to increase airflow through the shed. Up on the deck of the boat it feels 10 degrees hotter!

So today I started to glue the planks together by squeezing glue into the joins with a scraper. The trick is to get the glue runny enough to easily go all the way in between the joins but not so runny that it just drips right out again. And the wider the gap the thicker the glue needed to stay in. So I varied the mix thickness all day depending on the gaps, deliberately bypassing wider gaps if the mix I had was too runny and coming back to them later with a thicker mix. For those that don’t know, to make a thicker mix I use more 411 power, the ratio of resin to hardener is fixed and cannot be messed with but the amount of powder is variable.

In such heat I cant mix up too much glue at a time or it will set in the pot before I have had time to get around to getting it all on. Which is fine as I needed to vary the thickness with each pot anyway. After I have done about a meter I go inside and scrape any runny glue that has run through and is dripping out. I put plastic down before I started to help keep the drips off the floor. I have peel ply on the soles but glue makes it hard to get it off. I wait for a while before I run the glue into the gaps from inside so that the glue on the outside is going rubbery, this stops the glue from being pushed out the front when I push glue in from inside.

The glue looks a lot messier in the pictures than it is, and once it is set I have to sand it smooth for glassing anyway but the smoother I get it now the easier it will be to sand later. I will sand and glass the outside on the boat, then once that is set I will take the curved panel off the boat to sand and glass it inside.

I glued the curved deck from just in front of bulkhead 6 to the bow. I have not fully formed the shape at the stern so I thought it might be easier once the rest of the planks are glued to each other so they cant move much, then I can remove the strips holding them to each other and reshape the stern before gluing that section. That is why some of the strips are still unfair at the stern.

Tomorrow I will remove all of the fairing strips and all but the very top and bottom screw in each bulkhead and glue these sections. Then I can sand it in the afternoon if it is still hot tomorrow, although a cool change came through and the temperature dropped from the mid 30’s to about 20 today. Once the curved deck is sanded I can glass it. I may even apply a thin layer of bog whilst it is green and sand it on the boat so it is fairly fair (is that correct grammar?).

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