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Project Log:  Saturday, January 8, 2011

There wasn't much I could do aboard till I got some materials, so I decided to begin work on the caprails I'd already removed.  I didn't plan for these rails to be off for very long, as I wanted to get them reinstalled and the hardware back in place quickly so the need to keep open access to the fastener locations didn't hold up other interior work.

The four sections I'd removed so far were in generally fair condition, but there were minor cracks at the ends, and in one case a more serious split right at the half-lap joint.   This split had been pre-existing and wasn't caused by the removal efforts.

The first thing to do was to remove all the old sealant and other debris (fiberglass tape, hardened fill material, etc.) from the bottom sides of the boards.   For some reason, I failed to photograph the underside of the caprail boards in detail before I removed this material, but the two boards from the port side not only had lots of the black sealant, but also featured those sections detailed during January 7th's removal where the fiberglass tabbing and concrete-like fill material had stuck to the boards.

I used a carbide scraper to remove the sealant--which came off cleanly and without undue residue--and a chisel to remove the fiberglass and related materials, which, in combination with the sealant beneath them, created a formidable bond.

There were several old fastener holes from hardware that I didn't plan to reinstall, and other areas requiring repair, so I prepared the boards as needed to accept bungs to seal and plug the unused fastener holes and to allow me to glue and seal various cracks and splits.  As with the exterior bulwark trim, I wanted to reuse the teak, with no desire to mill new material.  The existing boards weren't perfect, but I hoped to stabilize them and thought that they'd end up looking pretty good when all was said and done.

With the boards prepared, I mixed up some epoxy containing teak dust for color, and cabosil for thickening, and installed teak bungs as necessary and made other repairs to the boards.  I set the boards aside for the epoxy to cure.

Next, I attacked the large pile of teak bulwark trim boards.  As with the caprails, these boards featured various amounts of sealant on their back sides, and weathered old finish on their exposed sides.  I'd already made a number of repairs to the worst sections of trim, though I anticipated there'd be more minor repairs to be effected to other boards.

Working on several boards at a time, I scraped away sealant from the backs as needed and sanded both sides of the board clean with 80 grit sandpaper, removing old varnish and other finish from the exposed side, and cleaning up the back sides to remove vestiges of sealant.  Only small portions of the back sides of the boards would be exposed when installed, at each freeing port location.  I began with the boards from the forward port side, which had the worse accumulations of sealant on their backs.  Most of the other boards had little to no sealant to remove.

Each board required about 10 minutes' work to scrape the backs, sand the backs, sand the fronts, and sand the edges with the single grit.  Since this was the most labor-intensive part of the overall restoration of the teak, I decided early on that I'd just go through the whole pile of 18 boards in this manner, cleaning up all the boards to this level, at which time I could assess the need for further repairs and hole-plugging before continuing with finer sanding efforts to prepare the boards for varnish.

Each set of photos below shows the same set of boards, in the same order (though in some cases the boards might be end-for-end in the after photos), showing both backs and fronts.







Total Time Today:  5.75 hours

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