This week I made 2 new sanding tools, I made a shorter sanding board because the long board is a little hard to use on the underwing sections of the hull because it is too long and you only end up using about half the board, so I made another board about half the length to make life a little easier.
I also got a pool noodle and made a round sanding block to sand the chamfer join. I originally thought it would work best by wrapping the sandpaper around the noodle like a bandage but this does not work as the edges catch and it is hard to maintain a smooth round sand paper surface. It works best (and needs less sandpaper) when you run the paper down the length of the noodle. I tried using it without hookit attached and every time you put it down you lose the paper and have to reposition it before you can use it again. I attempted to resin hookit to the noodle but it didn’t stick well, so I taped it with cloth tape (hard wearing) instead. I originally wasn’t keen on this option because it meant that the edges of the hookit would be useless and the sandpaper would not stick to it and s a result not retain its round shape around the noodle and jut out where it wasn’t in contact with hookit. But this turned out to be better. The straight edge that the paper not in contact with the hookit made was perfect for sanding the flat sections closest to the turn of the chamfer panel join as well as the rounded join in the same motion.
So on Tuesday I sanded for about another 2 hours with the new shorter sanding block on the underwing section of the hull and thought to myself that I had probably finished the sanding for now. I had already done what I thought was a good enough job on the outboard side of the hull. Anyway, I washed the hull down (just with a water and a towel) to remove all of the dust.
The next day (Wednesday) I decided I could do better so I got to sanding again and did another couple of hours on both the outboard side and the inboard bow and stern sections (the visible parts of the inboard side). The I washed the hull down again. Satisfied that I had done about as well as I could on the fairing.
Thursday, same thing. I decided I could do still better and sanded for about another 2 hours. And washed the hull for a third time. Oh and today we got a lovely surprise in the mail. 2 Schionning polar fleece tops which we will wear with pride when sailing on MM or at boat shows or the muster. Thanks Rob, Sam, Dianne and Wendy at Schionning Marine.
And today (Friday), I couldn’t resist and sanded even further. Another 2 hours. 2 hours seems to be my limit on the torture board. I get very sore shoulders upper arms and hands from gripping the boards and moving it back and forth. It was starting to feel like this could go on forever. I dream of having a boat that people admire (as I am sure all builders do), so that entering a marina in her will be like driving into a car park in a gleaming red Ferrari. And each day I looked at the work I had done and went home satisfied that I had done a great job and MM is going to look great, only to decide the next day that I should probably do more. In the end I think fairing is finished and done well enough not when it is perfect because it will never be, but when your body says, no I wont be doing any more sanding for a while!
So this evening I decided that enough is enough. I have sanded about as well as I can and I have decided that it is time to add the highbuild and see how she looks. If I need to add filler and sand more than so be it, but for now I am moving on.
In all I spent about 3 weeks (about 30-40 hours) sanding and used all of the sanding tools in the picture below. I used the rotary random orbital first as it had the best cutting power. The danger with it though is it has a small footprint so the big danger is that it would dig very subtle holes all over the place, even though I kept it in motion the entire time. Then I would use the Bohler to sand the panels very close to flat and also use the regular orbital on localized high spots before using the torture boards. Here and there where the high spots were still too high to keep at them with the torture boards I would use the Bohler again. Then when I had the hull almost as smooth as I thought I could get it, I worked on the chine turns again with the flat orbital for all but the concave chamfer chine, which needed the noodle. The noodle worked extremely well, and this part of the job only took half an hour. Then finally I spent the last few evenings using the torture boards to get the panels flatter and the chines as straight as I could get them, each day finding a little more I could do.
So tomorrow I will mask the hull off (using thick black plastic sheets) to prevent runs and drips on the sections I am not going to do (about 200mm from the edges on both sides wont be highbuilt as I will be glassing the next sections onto this area). The other advantage of masking is I will end up with a straight line to feather out which even if visible will look ok. On Sunday morning I hope to get a coat of resin all over the hull and then in the evening I will get the first coat of highbuild onto the hull. I cant see that a coat of resin then a coat of highbuild (even though it will be less than a millimetre) wont result in a smooth flat surface. Lets hope so.