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Project Log:  Saturday, October 16, 2010

The major demolition was nearly complete, and already I was starting to look ahead to the grinding, sanding, and surface prep portions of the project, which would follow closely on the heels of the completion of unbuilding.

To that end, I spent part of the morning cleaning up and organizing the shop a bit.  Shop bay 2 tends to end up being a bit of a catch-all for various equipment--shop-related and otherwise--and general clutter that accumulates there as part of my effort to keep the wood shop and shop bay 1 clear of such detritus.  With some messier work on the horizon, I wanted to keep the area around the boat as free and clear as I could to reduce cleaning nuisance.

Later, I vacuumed up the dried mud bits inside the boat, the result of my spreading around the still-wet product some weeks ago with this intent in mind.  Any further silt and dirty residues inside the boat would be addressed during the interior sanding, coming up soon.

The decks featured old gray Treadmaster non-skid appliqué.  The Treadmaster was badly worn in several areas, slightly loose and curling around some of the edges, and generally in not-so-good condition; plus, it was ugly as anything, and far too aggressive for my tastes or needs.  While I appreciate the excellent nonskid qualities of this product, I've never liked it and didn't want it on the boat.  In any event, with the entire deck to be refinished, the old material had to go.  Though I was well acquainted with Treadmaster in a theoretical sense, I'd never actually worked with it, nor had to remove it.



This turned out to be an unpleasant chore.  I'd not anticipated it being fun, exactly, but neither did I expect it to be quite so slow and difficult.  I started on the coachroof, which featured three long sections of the Treadmaster.  With a heat gun, I warmed the surface, hoping to loosen the adhesive's bond with the substrate, and used a heavy angled putty knife to lift and scrape away the cork-based nonskid material.

I'm not sure what the adhesive was, but it was very tough:  it seemed to be more along the lines of a semi-flexible polyurethane-type rather than an epoxy-type.  As a result, while heat and scraping ultimately worked to remove most of the material (but not the adhesive residue), the process was not only slow, but far more difficult physically than I'd expected.  The heat served only to make the removal of the Treadmaster possible, but not easy.  In fact, it required plenty of strength to push the knife beneath, while holding the heat gun at the same time to release (in a manner of speaking) the adhesive ahead of the blade.

During the afternoon work session (3.25 hours), I managed to remove two of the three sections of Treadmaster covering the coach roof--not the progress for which I'd hoped at the beginning.  In addition, there was still plenty of extremely well-adhered adhesive still on the deck, which I'd remove during later sanding steps. 

As a result, I decided next time to try simply sanding away the Treadmaster on a test area, since I'd have so much sanding ahead anyway; frankly, I thought prefer sanding to the difficult scraping, and perhaps the cork would sand away easily.  In any event, I was less than enthused with the idea of facing another several days of the arduous scraping I'd just endured.


Total Time Today:  5.25 hours

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