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Project Log:  Sunday, July 8, 2012

I got an early start on the masts.  The day was perfect for the job ahead.  After removing the plastic socks--there had been dew overnight, so I was glad I'd covered the masts--I sanded both spars to clean the metal one final time. Then, I used some small stuff to hang the masts by their ends from sawhorses, and hung the spreaders from a couple ladders to provide access to all areas.

This complete, I cleaned the masts with etching cleaner, then applied Alodine conversion material. These steps ensured the best possible bond between the primer and the aluminum.  There was little or no visible difference in the masts' appearance after these steps.

Drying conditions were excellent, but I used compressed air to help accelerate the drying process, particularly around the remaining hardware and in the recessed mast tracks, which faced downwards and tended to collect the water from the rest of the masts.  In between, I set up the spray and breathing equipment for the next steps.  By about 0900, the spars were dry and ready for primer.

I spray-applied one coat of the Cor-Spec chromate primer, as directed, then left the spars to cure for about three hours.  Temperature and atmospheric conditions were ideal.



After waiting the minimum time as directed, I returned to work and sprayed on three coats of Alexseal silver metallic, finishing up a little after 1400.





Worried about dew overnight, I managed to shoehorn the masts into the shop late in the day, after the paint had tacked up.  I had to ask my wife to help, since there was no way I could move the masts alone in their delicate condition.  The mizzen was easy enough, but the mainmast was too heavy for her to lift and carry to the shop, so in the end we used the tractor and bucket to lift and hold one end while I carried the other.  I was glad to have made the effort, as there was some dew (lighter than I had worried about) overnight, and I was happy not to have had to worry about it settling on uncured paint.


Total Time Today:  5.25 hours

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