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Project Log:  Monday, November 1, 2010

In the course of some email correspondence with a fellow Fisher 30 project owner in England, the suggestion was made to perhaps try a power planer on the Treadmaster nonskid.  I thought this sounded like an interesting idea, so I gave it a try.

The planer worked quite well.  I began up on the coachroof where I'd left off the last time, and finished removing the bulk of the Treadmaster in only about 5 minutes.  I only planed deep enough to remove the product down to the adhesive layer, as I didn't want to cause undue damage to the substrate, but the overall effect was about equivalent to the other removal methods I'd tried--but far quicker and easier.  I lightly scalped the gelcoat in a few places as I got used to the tool in this application, but these areas would be easy to fill and fair later.

Satisfied with the process, and with improved technique, I continued on the starboard side deck, and then the port sidedeck.  The decks were relatively flat across the beam, but since the deck followed the sheerline there was a sweeping curvature in a fore-and-aft direction that, in places, prevented the planer's blades from reaching the surface, as the table was long enough to more or less suspend the blade over the slightly curved surface. 

Nonetheless, the process remained effective, save for a few areas as described above and along the very edges and corners of the deck, where access was too tight for the tool.


With both sidedecks mostly rid of their Treadmaster, I continued on the foredeck.  It was clear that the planer was becoming dull; I knew that this  job would be hard on the planer blades, but was willing to sacrifice blades for speed and ease.  Removing 1/4" of cork, binder (adhesive) and whatever else made up this durable deck covering was clearly taxing to any blade.  However, eventually I realized the planer wasn't doing much of anything, and, inspecting the blades, I found them worn away completely.

Down on the bench, I hoped to remove and reverse the blades--the original set for this tool, as it's a tool I only used infrequently.  However, I found there was nearly no recognizable sign of the blades remaining.  Both blades were work down to absolutely nothing, and also chipped and broken, which precluded the possibility of reversing them. 

With no spare blades in stock, I had to call it quits.  Still, I'd made good progress, with only about half the foredeck remaining (plus some small cockpit areas).  I still had to remove the remaining bits that the planer couldn't reach, plus the adhesive, but this chore would be much easier without the need to remove 1/4" of Treadmaster first.



Total Time Today:  3 hours

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