PrevUp Next

Here is a peek at what the boat will look like when finished. I started sanding the hull tonight. It was a learning experience.

First, I started with an 8" angle grinder fitted with a softpad and a 36 grit sandpaper. This was suggested by a website I recently read. This turned out not to be a good idea. The softpad took off the epoxy quickly but it also took off the softer wood quicker, leading to a wavy surface. At one spot it was nearly deep enough to regret. This tool turns out to be actually best where the substrate is harder than the paint or glue being sanded off. Examples are sanding the finish off of steel or antifouling off of fiberglass.

Next, I tried a palm sander. This tended to give a flatter surface but was slow going, even with the 36 grit paper. I figure the palm sander is better for sanding between finish coats.

Third, I got out the belt sander and installed 80 grit paper. This worked quickly to remove the old epoxy drippings and also leave the wood smooth and flat. I ran my hand over areas that I just sanded and felt for the humps and valleys. I made further passes as appropriate to diminish them. I was also able to smooth out the mistake from the angle grinder. The belt sander works really good but the most important thing which I learned a long time ago is to keep it always moving. For the rest of the hull I plan to use the belt sander.

After sanding smooth, I mixed West 207 special coating hardener with the resin at the specified 1:3 ratio and painted it on the surface. This will soak into the wood overnight and cure in the hot Alabama weather tomorrow. I'm thinking I will put at least two coats of this on, sand smooth, then apply varnish.