First Stripping of the Aft Interior

Aft Stripping photo from the Gopro

Getting ready to epoxy in the first 1/4 inch strip of Okoume marine plywood.

Exciting day today. I started to strip out the last open framing on the tsunamiball. I started by spending almost an hour vacuuming out all the nooks and crannies and taking a photo photos. I’m a little sad to say goodbye to the framing elements, but excited to get this show on the road.

I am using screws instead of staples for the initial layer. The staples apply too much lateral force on the thin plywood, which tends to split out the 1 1/2 inch wide strips that are under quite a bit of pressure to flex into position. Today, I started using lath screws because I like how the flat underside of the screw applies nice even pressure on the wood. Unfortunately, the lath screws make a bigger hole than drywall screws. The larger hole is an issue here, so after splitting out a few strips I switched to drywall screws and was careful about not driving them in too far.

This first 1/4 inch layer will be a great foundation for the next layer, but is not inherently strong.

I didn’t have a lot of time today, so I just did a little. The work went much more smoothly than the first interior curve. This time I worked extra hard to smooth out every surface as best I could beforehand using a 2 inch sureform shaver. The prep work always makes a difference. I also work with a cadence and patience that I didn’t understand when I started this project. The epoxy has a rhythm. You mix a small batch (here I am doing a 4 part epoxy: 2 part hardener) and then you have ~25 minutes of work time before the epoxy starts to kick off. I make sure I have everything I need before I start. I mix and go. At the end of the batch I usually use the last little bit of epoxy to patch any gaps from the day before. Its a nice pace.

The next day I start by removing all of the screws from the previous day and cleaning any tools that need care, making sure all of my batteries are charged, etc. Then pattern out any of the key strips I have to make to finish any sections started the day before. I like to cut a bunch of key strips at one time on the band saw instead of freehand cutting in the boat. I take the time to trace the exact element I need, cut on the band saw and then do a final “fit” with a hand plane, which straightens any of the wavy lines I may have cut with my over-caffeinated hands.

Its a nice rhythm. I feel lucky and content when the pace of the work matches the speed of the tools and the set times of the epoxy. Today was a good day.

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