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Project Log:  Saturday, April 7, 2012 (and Preceding Days)

During the week, as time allowed, I applied several base coats of gloss varnish to the pilothouse and helm console surfaces.  Each coat required about two hours to complete, between sanding, cleaning, and varnishing.  I sanded with 320 grit between each coat.  By the beginning of the weekend, I was happy with the amount of build and smoothness of the base, and deemed the surfaces ready for their end coats of satin varnish.  If I'd wanted a gloss finish, or if I'd been using a more open-grained wood like mahogany, I'd have applied several additional gloss coats, but 4 base coats on the smooth, tight-grained cherry was enough to prepare the surface for the satin varnish.



During these buildup coats, I found it a challenge to stay ahead of the varnish and a wet edge, since in several places two or three different surfaces interconnected and demanded varnish at the same time.  So for the final coat or two, I elected to mask off a couple areas to make it easier to apply the satin varnish, which I knew from experience would actually start to dry even more quickly than the traditional varnish.


Before varnishing, however, I had several other things to do first.  To begin, I completed the stuffing box and propeller shaft installation.  With a new hose to replace the one I ruined last time, I carefully marked and cut the hose to length--successfully this time thanks to the extra 12 seconds I took to mask around the hose for a straight line.

Afterwards, I installed the hose and stuffing box, then permanently installed the split coupling and secured the whole arrangement to the engine, completing the task.



An earlier test-fit of my new opening hatches in the main cabin and galley showed a need to build up the deck slightly, as the modest camber left small gaps around the hatch flange.  To this end, I carefully swathed the hatches in masking tape as a release agent, and pressed the hatches into a bed of thickened epoxy on deck, holding the hatches with weight to ensure a flat bonding surface when all was said and done.  I left the epoxy to cure overnight.


During the afternoon, I milled several sections of various trim profiles for the galley and main cabin, working off a list that I'd compiled some time ago.  For now, I milled profiles for the dinette seat fiddles, dinette backrest shelf fiddle, galley counter fiddle, and some trim for the edge of the cabin trunk where it met the sidedecks.   I completed the various milling operations, but left final sanding of the trim blanks till next time.

To wrap up the day, I applied a coat of satin varnish to the windshield, dash, and helm areas, as well as the aft bulkhead of the pilothouse.



Total Time Today:  10.75 hours (Including Time Spent on Preceding Days)

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