Building Logs

Step edges and duckboard frames.

Posted by Paul

On Thursday afternoon I got the other conduit glassed on. This conduit is for wiring such as the outboard controls and also to add more stiffness to the duckboard. With this glued and glassed on yesterday I cut the duckboard frames to shape after setting out their position and marking them on the boat to make it easy to glue them back on. This took about a couple of hours as I had a headache all day so I was not working at full pace.

I got them glued on but did not attempt to cove and glass them wet on wet. I left them to set and started ripping the step fronts from a sheet of foam. They are about 10mm thick and 40mm high, the width of the sheet. I set a fence on the saw and just rip them off. I am conserving foam now too as I still have the rudders to make and then the nose cones of the bows but I think I have just enough to finish all of these tasks, including front edges for the cockpit seating for the LED rope that will wrap around the cockpit under the seat edge.

Whilst I was as careful as I could be when cutting out the step treads, jigsaws sometimes run ever so slightly off line, even one side of a texta line to the other is a mm and what looks like a nice radius step still has imperfections. When I dry attached the foam edges I noticed that the natural curve of the foam bent around the front left a void here and there. Instead of using screws to pull it in to close them up I decided it would be better to let the foam take its natural curve and fill the voids with glue, rather than pull it tight to the edge and fill the void over the glass with bog.

I got them glued on and decided I had had enough for the day, my headache getting the better of me.

Today I got the duckboard risers coved and taped but because I did not get them on wet on wet yesterday I needed to give the joins a light sand to remove glue dags that would cause lumps in the tapes. After that I coved them I left the coves to go off for a little while to set.

Whilst they were setting I got a router and rounded the edges of the step fronts after removing the screws. Once the edges top and bottom were routered I got the orbital sander out and sanded the foam smooth.

I then wet out the tapes a few at a time and taped each of the risers into place. These were very slow and difficult to tape because of the conduits. Each one took 10 minutes to tape both layers and there were 8 so an hour and a half later I had them all done. I decided it would be just too difficult to get peel ply over the conduits so I only bothered to peel ply the vertical back edge tapes. The conduit will eventually be hidden under a false bottom to each hatch space so they wont be seen.

I also attempted to glass one of the foam step edges but I could not get it to stick to the foam. I removed it before it set with bubbles everywhere. I think I will need to coat the foam with epoxy and let it tack off before attempting to glass it again. I will try and get that done tomorrow.

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