Friday, October 9, 2020

Cabin Upgrades (Part ii)

Upgrading the Cabin Table.

Hit the first snag this morning, having a hard time finding 1/2" Marine Ply. Lowes - none and no idea when it will be available. Home Depot - none. Now looking at specialty stores. I considered using Coosa board but it's over $200 for a single board of 8'x4' so more online searches. 

Found a Dixie Plywood and Lumber Co near Fort Lauderdale. Reached out to them and awaiting a reply - not hopeful as I have tried that with two other companies and no reply after 3 days. We'll see.

Found a vendor in Fort Lauderdale, will contact them in the morning - Saturday.

Weather looks grotty for the next week, if they have the plywood in the morning, I'll check the weather and head down there. But first I'll stop at Lowes to see if they have any suitable ply in stock, it doesn't have to be Marine Grade Ply as it's going to be covered in resin, just has to be decent laminations and glue. If lowes has it, then I'll see if the Fort Lauderdale has anything in stock better, and consider driving down there to check it out.

Have to call the Ford dealer in the morning, I scratched our truck, very gently, but we can see the scratch. Not sure if it's covered by our 'Ding' warrantee.

It wasn't :(

No luck with the Fort Lauderdale vendor. Heading up to Lowes.

Well, Lowes came through! 1/2-4-8 TC BLONDEWOOD PLYWOOD $37.99 and they cut it so that I have two 26.5" x 41" panels, and some left overs that I'm sure will come in handy somewhere/someday.

Of course, I get 5% off that price using my Lowes Card :)

Here's the two pieces I'll use for the Table with the Template sitting in front of them.

The Template was about 1.5" on the narrow side when we test fitted it on the boat, so this shows the correction.

Time to glue and brad the two pieces together. Then I'll cut out the Mast relief.

Both panels sanded (for gluing) and the top panel marked up from the Template.

The mast relief is about 1/4" oversized to allow for the resin thickness. Not sure how  thick it will be around the edges, but 1/4" should be plenty. Ideally the table will not touch the mast.

Charged up my nail gun and loaded with 1" finish nails.

Clamps all ready.

Lunch then let the gluing begin.

Wood glue applied, pretty sure  it would be enough.

Used a spatula to spread it over the whole surface and ensuring that the surface edges were covered.

I have the AC unit running in the garage as it gets pretty hot and humid without it.

Glue takes 24 hours to cure.

Panels attached to each other. Every clamp I own was holding it together.

Then my DeWalt finish nailer easily set 1" brads at 45º from the vertical just to make sure they did not penetrate  the top surface.

Now to wait the 24 hours for it to cure. 

Next step is to clean up all of the edges and cut out the mast relief.

Removed all of the Clamps and turned the top over, minor goof. Even though I used the nailer at 45º, the nails just showed on the top side :(  I didn't check that the nailer power was not on high. No biggy, I just used the wrong end of a nail punch to knock them back down. Sanded up just fine :)

Started sanding the edges flat where the two pieces were about 1/64" different in size. Took about an hour to sand them down.

Next step is to cut out the Mast Relief. Jig Saw and Sander should get that done.

Well, the Admiral (Peggy) had an idea. She asked if I could make the gap between the table and the mast slightly bigger so that it's easy to wipe the table down, including between it and the mast. Good Idea! Consider that done!

TraLa! New Table top woodwork complete.

After cutting the Mast Relief (oversized as requested) all of the edges were chamfered with my router, did have a minor issue.

I have two routers, one I use for hand routing and the other is fitted to a really nice Bosche Router Table, however the Router Table takes a while to setup and I thought this was a job for the hand router. Would have been except that it had broken and I didn't realize it. The clamp that locks the depth of the router bit had cracked. I did a test cut on a scrap of wood and that was fine. As soon as I started the cut on the bottom edge of the table, the router bit depth loosened and instead of a 3/16 cut, it was more like a 1/2" cut! Grrrrr. Fortunately, or because of past experience, I had started the cut on the underside of the tabletop and on the edge opposite from the mast relief. No harm no foul. So I pulled out my router table and we completed the job using that. 
Once the routing was finished, I sanded the edges, filled the divots and any (very few) voids between the plys. Then, once the filler (spackle) was dry, I sanded the whole thing down, looks pretty good.

Next:- Base paint with an Alkid paint, I'll roll on a pale base paint, sand that and apply a second coat before a light sanding.

Selecting the Resin

I have been researching the resin options, methods and suppliers for several weeks. Final choice was to use TotalBoat Tabletop Resin. They have been around a while and are great suppliers of all types of resins. I watch a lot of Boatworks Today videos on YouTube and he promotes TotalBoat products (and several other vendors, but the Resins he promotes are nearly always TotalBoat) .

After watching a lot of videos I figured out the method to use.
  • Prep the table top (the primer should be fine)
  • Setup a workstation with a drip tray to catch the surplus resin run off
  • Make a Tape Dam around the edges of the tabletop
  • Mix batch #1 of resin and makeup 3 cups of colors and 1 of clear resin
  • Apply 1st layer of colors and clear and style (arty bit) the top
  • Remove the tape dam and wet the edges to allow for overflow to carry the art over the edges
  • Eliminate any bubbles with heat gun (my heat gun should do the trick)
  • Allow to dry before adding 2nd or final coat of resin
  • Allow to cure for about 72 hours more is better.
I enquired about issues doing this in South Florida. TotalBoat responded: The resin work time would be reduced to about 10 minutes !!! 

That's Doable, but time really flies when it's fun. We would be better off waiting until the weather cools. The average low temp in South Florida in December is in the low 70s, and that gives more like 30 minutes till the resin 'kicks' and becomes unworkable.

That gives me about 6 weeks of delay time. But will also allow time to get all of the supplies ordered and on site (the workstation is my Garage)

Peggy did have an 'outside of the box' idea - we could rent a refrigerated truck! Or, we could head up the coast, around the Jupiter area where it gets cooler much sooner. Perhaps stay in a motel. The resin  I have chosen is VOC free, so we would just need to be really careful masking off the work area. Great ideas, but I would feel more comfortable working at home.

So, we're delaying work until it gets cooler. Meanwhile I'll order the supplies.

  • 1 Gallon Totalboat Tabletop Resin $65
  • 2 Quart Totalboat Tabletop Resin $50 (because 1 gallon is not enough)
  • Mica Black Diamond Pigment Set $18
  • Disposable Mixing cups $9
Total cost $150, this had better be good!

Stay tuned for progress reports. If you have done anything like this, please leave a comment with any suggestions. 

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