How to Build a Kevlar Canoe - II

“Sanding, Fill coat, Cutting ribs"

Here we have completely sanded down the canoe with a random orbital sander (60 grit).  We did go through the fiberglass in several spots, down to the Kevlar.  The "football" is just about invisible, however.  I think I'll try 100 grit next time, and be a little more careful.  I then vacuumed the entire outside, and mixed up epoxy (total of 15 pumps each side - 5 hardener and 10 epoxy).  I used a white roller (Home Depot) to apply the epoxy.  I did each side at a time, mixing two batches total.  I then followed up with a foam brush to assure an even coat.  I don't see any bubbles, but I do see lots of tiny "globs" of epoxy (pinhead size).

While that's curing (85F today, plenty of working time), I worked on the rib cutter.  We finally got the Variac working properly once I replaced the flaky fuse.  We cut the polystyrene to a 36" x 48" size to avoid the score marks.  The "active" section of the wire is about 42" long.  This is a 7.5A Variac; a setting of about 20 seems to do the job.  At the left is the "straight" cut forming the side that will be flat against the canoe bottom.  On the right is the curve cut - the topside of the ribs.  The fumes are very nasty.  We set up a large box fan to direct the fumes away from us.

Next step - what to do about gunwales?  Last time, I used a 3/8" Luan mahogany inwale and 5/8" outwale.  Tom used 1/2" Phillipine mahogany for both.  Since we're using cherry, I think we can get by with thinner wood.  We'll try 3/8" inside (with 1/8" routed scuppers) and 1/2" on the outside.  Tomorrow we'll cut the cherry into strips in preparation for scarfing.  I didn't try very hard to find 20' cherry!  After 8 hours, the fill coat is pretty well tacked up - only a few bugs!

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