19 September 2014

Brightwork - part 1

Traditional hot rodding has a ball and chain type mentality,
a lot of work per mile,
however there's a satisfaction 
that a part of history is kept alive,
be it style or techniques.
I've fallen in that trap with most of my hobbies you've read about,
and this little whaler is getting it's share of sweat equity.
The kids will either embrace it or think I'm crazy!
My go to analogy in building is the movie Iron Giant,
when the robot parts have the power to accumulate on their own and assemble themselves.
Many times I feel there's a strange coincidence
on how parts are found that are meant to be together.
It nurtures a sentimental value in a thing.
For instance,
the wood seat pieces were thrashed from sun and neglect.
One day the kids and I happened on a going out of business sale.
A cancer-stricken woodworker - Quimby Carpentery,
(which happens to be our street name)
had the exact mahogany needed for super cheap.
It was really meant to be.
Of course only enough wood to replace the worst pieces,
the others had to be refinished.
This is where that traditional thing kicks in.
New boats like new cars are simple,
lots of gel coated fiberglass, plastic and stainless.
Easy hose-off maintenance.
Older boats tend to have wood and brass that needs constant attention,
this is called brightwork.
There's an environmental responsibility in saving this old hardwood.
If ancient forests and habitats were pilfered,
then it deserves our respect.
You'll no doubt see a future project from the replaced seat.
Amazing how faded wood is rejuvenated after sanding,
and some old school varnishing.
Years ago I apprenticed under a couple salty captains,
each with their own tried and tested methods.
One thing they had in common was Epifanes Varnish.
This made the decision of varnish vs polyurethane,
and all the different brands and mixes easy.
Dang this stuff is pricey!!
I did modify the traditional application to my own hack methods.
A DA with 80 grit ripped off the old varnish,
and cheap 3" rollers were used to roll on the gold.
Man the smell brought back memories.
Even with the best bristle brush,
the technique for a smooth lay is difficult to master.
I had to try rolling and super happy I did.
Everything about this project was rushed.
In one hot day I applied 3 thinned coats,
only giving enough time to get tacky,
no sanding inbetween.
In addition the tops were double coated each time.
A sure recipe for failure.
Captain Cecil would be rolling in his grave!
Less then 24 hours later 
the resins had dried up enough to assemble,
and the sheen was almost perfect,
except for the typical flies.
I should have stained the bleached out hatch cover,
and yeah painted the hull interior!
Later on I'll add a couple more varnish coats to fill in the grains,
but for now the wood seems fully encapsulated.
We just want to get it back in the water!
The engine was also cleaned up.
I tried to get rid of that old man rattlecan.
If you look closely there's also a new panga-style tiller seat,
didn't want to waste that scrap!

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