Bridgedeck, Taping hull joins and bulkheads

Port underwing join taped and bogged.

Posted by Paul

Today was a tough day. I thought I might get both hull to underwing joins coved and taped today but I worked all day (7 hours) and only managed to get one done. I did manage to bog the tapes though. It took me about 5 and half hours to sand back the rough spots on each join, then to cove just one hull and run 2 tapes over it. I realised there was not enough time to do the other so I decided to bog the tapes instead. This has 2 benefits, first I get a chemical bond of bog to resin and also I avoid having to either sand the tape before bogging or using peel ply today. I had enough trouble getting the tapes up that peel ply (which was going to be the way I went) was scrapped and the bog went straight on.

The sanding was relatively painless, it took about half an hour on each hull. On the underwing work I discovered that sitting in an office chair on wheels saves a lot of backache. Once I had the sanding done I set about coving the port hull with a fairly large cove. I was going to make an even bigger radius cove than I eventually settled on but I quickly discovered that with the larger radius I would use way too much coving material.

It took me about an hour to cove the join and having finished it I started on the taping wet on wet. Initially I was going to cove both sides first but time was getting away from me so I decided to tape first and if time permitted I could start on the other side. I used the wombat to wet out the tapes as they are 8 meters each and this was much faster.

Again using the chair to move along the join, I started laying the first of the 2 tapes. I opted for 200mm and 300mm tape on the underwing joins even though the plans only call of 150mm and 200mm. Piece of mind is worth the extra few kilos.

Laying tapes completely upside down is a tough job! Gravity works against you on a multiple of levels. Firstly it is back breaking work, even using the chair. Then the tape is very difficult to get to stay up especially at the very start. I had to clip it up to stop it falling straight off again and the slightest loss of tension on the tape and the whole tape starts to peel back and fall. I went through this a couple of times until I hit upon the idea of rolling the glass down with a paint roller in one hand and the wombat roller with the glass on in the other until the whole tape is down then back over the entire tape to complete the adhesion and get out any air bubble. Surprisingly the second tape was even more difficult to get to stay up. I thought it would adhere to the tape already laid but this didn’t seem to be the case and it took a long while, all the time my arms and back aching. And don’t get me started on explaining how hard it was to get the tape to go around the curve of the deck and stay lined up with the tape over the centre of the join. In the end I gave up and just let it go off centre especially the 300mm second tape. I still had the first tape completely covered and it completely covered the cove.

As I was laying the tape onto wet cove this seemed to help the first layer stay up but it also meant that it was impressionable and I got a few dints in the wet cove. Not a big problem as the bog will fill them nicely anyway. I did manage to roll a few of the dents out but in the end I felt I was making more dents than I was fixing.

Then as I was laying the bog, our old friend gravity re appeared and I dripped a lot of bog on myself. It didn’t seem to matter how thick I got it, I still dripped on myself off the back of the trowel mostly. I found the really thick bog was harder to apply so I opted for a wetter mix as I was getting quite tired and sore by this stage. I think I will have to retire the grey pants I imagine they will stand up in a corner on their own.

I think it will all sand out fairly well, and the chair will make that work at least a little easier but I am not looking forward to it, and after today I am not looking forward to taping the starboard underwing to hull join either. It will have to wait until next weekend as I wont get another chance to work for that many hours in a row until then and this really is a job to be done start to finish in one go or otherwise I need to sand in between and I want to avoid that.

I am sure I will find some smaller jobs to do during the week.

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