Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sand and Dust

I remember the time - I was 16 - when I was a second year shipwright apprentice in the boathouse of Sheerness Dockyard (1955/6).

The time came to sandpaper the boats we had built. There were eight of us and we had split into two teams of four and each team built a boat.

We sandpapered by hand and it seemed to take for ever. There was no thought to masks or goggles, and we rapidly became covered in mahogany dust.

In my present reincarnation I can make sanding-dust at an alarmingly fast pace, but have bought a modern and highly effective respirator - I also wear proper clothing and head gear. 

The sander has to fight its way through the hardened glue before I hit wood and the glue dust is particularly nasty stuff the inhale. Here's a close-up of the glue on the planks:

The lesson to learn is to get off as much glue as you can before it sets, as sanding the glue off is a long arduous task.

Here's a view of Work-in-Progress:

On this picture you can see the two rows of screws at the stem. Previously there was only one row of screws as I simply needed to hold the plank in place before the glue set/cured. Before sanding I removed the screws and properly countersunk the holes. Next I drilled and countersunk (countersank?) the second row and then screwed in the two rows of wood-screws. 

Similarly, at the stern, I carried out an identical operation to give two rows of screws:

As there are 150 planks on Seagull, and each plank has 4 screws (2 forward and 2 aft) you can see that means drilling and countersinking 600 screw-holes and then screwing 600 screws into them. I shall then need to fill the screw holes with filler and sand them down to conceal the screws

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