Lately I am not a fan of measuring time in any traditional sense. I am working hard, but it is sometimes hard to see. The boat is slowly getting thicker, but to most people, it looks pretty much the same from day to day. No more huge jumps or easy milestones on the immediate horizon, just work.
So instead of focusing on milestones, I am just appreciating the process. It makes for boring blog posts, but it is the right thing to do right now. Every day has lots of rhythms and steps before I can even start putting wood on the boat.
Each day starts with sanding down the previous days epoxy and examining the stripping. This fun, but careful work with a 20 inch belt sander. Next I disassemble and clean off all of the epoxy from my staple guns, and oil them.
Knowing what I intend to put up for the day, I check my available strips; do I have enough of what I am putting on the boat? I need full strips and smaller strips, which were cast-offs from the previous day. All of the strips need to have 30 degree ends, so I cut anything I need from full sheets of plywood and trim down anything from the day before. If I am cutting fresh strips, this could take an hour or more just to wrangle the full sheets into stacks of 3, screw them together, cut full sheets into halves, and then setup for the final sizes.
After cutting, I put on my epoxy clothes, start the compressor, fill my chill bucket with ice to keep the epoxy cool, and check my supplies. I have red cups, china brushes, composite staples, drywall screws, and spatulas to keep on hand. I swop out batteries for my trim saw, and make sure I have pencils in my back pocket.
Next, I am on the boat, cleaning each and every edge that the new strips will set against. This is rasps, files, and chisels. Remove all of the dust and shavings with a brush or vacuum.
Each morning is firmly connected to the day before. A lot of time is spent in this clean up and preparation step. I have to appreciate the importance of this time and not just focus on stripping the boat.
After all of this… I can finally put strips on the boat.