Random Comments

Change of Plans

posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:19 PM by BransonDave   [ updated Apr 17, 2012, 5:19 PM ]

Well - here it is almost 6 months later.  I did not acquire the Sea Lyon.  It looked like a great project but the Admiral just could not get settled in her heart about it. 
So in February, I am looking over the web for project boats and find a 1956 Chris Craft Capri 21" ( my dream boat built in the year I was born).  It was complete and had been in storage for almost 40 years and at a price this hamburger helper budget could handle.  On the first of April, the Admiral and I traveled to Maryland , acquired the boat and brought it home.
It has never been registered so it did not have a name.  We call it "Renewed Spirit"
So I will be starting a new site specifically for her reconstruction.  Let the saga begin again.

Finally - a solution for a new project

posted Jun 18, 2011, 6:53 PM by BransonDave

I have been chomping at the bit to start a new project but had a space issue.  I cannot get Midnight in the garage due to the trailer length and width.   We did not want to leave Midnight on the dock due to a concern of local mischief. 
I have parts including a windshield for  a modified enlarged Tahoe that I want to build with a Riva style transom.  The plans are spread out on the bench and I have studying them diligently to get started.   There is a wonderful one of kind project boat that I have been looking at for a year. 
But Midnight is consuming shop space. 
So yesterday, the Admiral and I are at the dock with the family.   A fellow dockmate just installed a new canopy over his pontoon boat that lifts out of the way but then lowers down over the boat when the boat lift is raised.  Upon investigation, I find that the fabric curtain has a cable grid built into it which locks down to the dock.  This secures the boat boat from mischief and protects the boat from the weather.  Whalla, my problem is solved
I can now leave Midnight on her lift at the dock where she is far safer.  I seem to continually damage her launching and loading.  She needs to stay on the water.  In the winter she can come out and be parked on boat cradles in the garage off of her trailer.  
So now my shop is clear and I can start the new project. 
I will be in Wisconsin in Sept and go look at the project boat.   If the pattern wood is still good, then I will do it first so I can have the funds to pay for the big modified Tahoe.  
HiHo, Off to work I go.  HAHAHAHAHA.  

And Done

posted Apr 3, 2011, 6:27 PM by BransonDave

Well, it has been a few weeks so it is time to catch up.   I did refinish the deck with SM1000 but the finish was mottled from the multiple layers of epoxy underneath.  So in one fell swoop, I grabbed the belt sander and 6 hours later the entire finish was removed from the deck.  All of it, all the way to wood. 
I refaired the deck, stained and resealed with 3 coats of CPES.  Five coats of MAS low viscosity was then applied.  I chose to go with the MAS since it has no color.   Part of the reason I was dissatisfied with the deck was the color of the non stained wood.  The SM1000 and underlying epoxy were tinted.  The grey SM 1000 and amber epoxy almost colored the non-stained wood as if I had stained it.  There was little contrast.  So the decision was to use MAS because it was clear.  Then came the decision of what clear to use.  I had to use a clear product as well.  The choices were Awlgrip, Perfection Plus two part and Dupont Imron (marine grade).    All are great products but the shop where I was completing my clear coating was familiar with Imron and its application so I chose it.  This was more for my comfort to insure a good finish rather than a difference in the products
On our first coating of Imron, the deck was covered with thousands of pin holes.  Apparently, the wood had outgassed with the first layer of MAS  embedding a lot of air in the first coating.  As I faired the epoxy, I had exposed a lot of those air spots.  We had a choice of either removing the Imron and recoating the deck with fresh layers of MAS or use the Imron to fix the issue.  From a pure time savings, we chose to stay with the Imron. We applied 6 coats and then refaired.  Then 4 more coats, sanded and polished.  I still have  a few pin holes but I am most satisfied. 
I am so satisfied that next winter I will redo the topsides to match the deck.  The interior will not be redone due to the hassle of removing everything. .  
A word to the wise.  I used the blue painter's tape rather than automotive tape.   The glue on the blue tape melted into the surface of the topside SM1000 clear coat.  I had to resand and rebuff the areas where the tape messed it up.  So don't leave the blue tape on.

Colonel Sander at it again

posted Jan 29, 2011, 2:05 PM by BransonDave

Well, I finally got down to brass tacks and stripped the decks down from the front cockpit to the stern.  There were several spots where the finish was cut thru when I last buffed it out.  This means it was way too thin.  You simply cannot touch a spot up.  The whole deck area must be redone.
I am still using SM1000.  I thinned it down at least 30% for the initial coats.  The whole deck was sanded to a grey color with 220 grit but I careful to not cut thru into the stained wood.  Managed not to.  The SM1000 was rolled on with the little foam rollers you can get from Walmart.  It went on with orange peel but due to the thinness it leveled out very nicely.  The trick is to get the whole area covered and then using only the weight of the roller go over it until all ridges are rolled out and all thin areas are fully covered.
The temps are hovering in mid 40s which is giving me some time to get a second coat on.  I waited overnight and applied a second coat without having to scuff.  It laid down nicely.  If the first coat had cured the second coat would have pulled up like oil on water for it would not anything to adhere to .  Since it laid down, I believe I have a good chemical bond.  I will apply a 3rd coat later tonight and one final coat tomorrow.  If it continues to lay down like it is right now, I will only have to buff out the dust bunnies.  Just cannot seem to get rid of those things.
And just to add insult to injury, I pulled the shaft, strut and shaft log to repair the keel leak and locate the rubbing noise.  I found the cause of both.  There was a little lip inside the shaft log where the piece was forged.  The shaft was rubbing against it .  During times of fast acceleration the shaft would wobble under the torque a little and bang on this spot which is what caused the keel to delaminate at that spot.  So I removed the slag, bore out my shaft hole and working on relining it right now.
It is amazing how much we have to do with these boats.

Shorter Days

posted Oct 29, 2010, 4:29 PM by BransonDave

Well, my days are running shorter and shorter and colder and colder.  We finally had that killing frost this morning with temps in the upper 20's.  Rebounding to mid 70's over the weekend and then dropping off again. 
So, I reckon I need to RUMBLE a little this weekend for it may be the last
Both Gathering events for 2011 are now official so I anxious to get Midnight in the air in the shop and repair that shaft hole and do some other cosmetics
But for now, LET"S RUMBLE.     I have a 100 mile round trip planned for Saturday and who knows what will happen on Sunday after church.

Brings tears to your eyes

posted Oct 18, 2010, 5:34 PM by BransonDave

Yes, that is what the writer stated about Midnight at the Mahogany and Chrome event when he captioned his photo of her. 

Award Time

posted Oct 5, 2010, 6:21 PM by BransonDave   [ updated Oct 5, 2010, 6:27 PM ]

Ok, Midnight attended the Heartland Classic "Mahogany and Chrome" event on Grand Lake, OK this past weekend (Oct 1-3, 2010).  This is a regional event of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.   I am a member of the ACBS and attended the show primarily for fellowship with other mahogany owners.  Despite asking for Midnight not to be judged, she was.  She did not win the "Best Contemporary" award but did bring home a prize
Yep, Midnight got the "shiney hiney" award otherwise known as the Handsome Transom Award.  I am getting quite a chuckle out of this but at least Midnight was recognized.

Sample of repolishing

posted Sep 13, 2010, 7:00 PM by BransonDave

Well, I finally finished.  It took about 30 hours to repolish Midnight.  To get it perfect, I will have to sand it back down to the epoxy and build back up.  But for now, this is not bad.     The deviations in the reflections is due to the epoxy joints swelling with the summer sun. The true fairness in the deck is gone until I totally resand.  The grain is back alive again and I am pleased. 

The Gathering is near so what do I do..

posted Sep 12, 2010, 8:20 PM by BransonDave   [ updated Sep 13, 2010, 6:19 AM ]

Yep, that is right.  I am sanding again.  I just could not tolerate the mess of the finish I have.   Others state they cannot see what I am talking about.   But the topsides are covered in sags and runs.  The deck is covered in orange peel and sags.   Yes, it was polished to a satin finish.  But I spent too much time getting a smooth and fair hull and epoxy encapsulation to live with this.  So here it is 10 days before the Gathering and I am busy refinishing the hull.  I must be crazy.
Two days ago, I brought Midnight back into the shop.   I started on the topsides and have them finished as of today.   Some of the sags are still showing but at least the finish is right and there is no orange peel left.  I worked on the deck all day.
The 25 minute video shows me working a small area.   I am doing this to the entire hull.  The process is a follows:
1. Sand dry with a RO and 220 grit.  I used only the weight of the sander to only level the surface.  It is easy to see when the orange peel disappears.  I would not recommend going any further in the sanding than to remove the orange peel.  The low spots in the peel will remain bright as you sand until you just get to that point when you have the surface smooth.  Then everything turns grey.
2. Wet sand using a foam backer and 600 grit on a air powered DA.   This grit is aggressive so I had to be careful for it finished whatever I did not get with the 220.
3. Wet sand with 800 grit
4. Wet sand with 1500 grit
5. Wet sand with 3000 grit
6. Polish out using a foam pad and marine finishing compound.

If you do not get all the sand marks out from the 220 you will have dull areas in your finish.  The compound just cannot take out scratches that large.  The solution is to go back and resand thru the grits starting at 600.  The second time is generally sufficient to get it all.  I had to redo several areas but it is a learning process of how long to sand with each grit.  You cannot see the changes so it is a matter of practice.  I found that if I sanded an area until some white dust coloring appeared in water then I got it right.
So here is the video of me working out a small area.

Well, my inexperience is showing

posted Sep 7, 2010, 8:21 PM by BransonDave

I have been posting some updated activities since the launch but just noted that they are not in the proper timeline.  I have been cleaning up some blank posts and using them for my updates.  It appears the posts were plugged into the blog according the time the original blank post was set up.
Sorry, but I messed up.  I promise the remaining comments will be in the correct time line order.

1-10 of 118