Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Working With Resin or How Not To

May 2011
 I'm getting ready to lay fiberglass on my latest project and when it comes to resin and glass I just plain suck at it.  From this write up from last summers attempt I have my doubts as to how my new project will turn out!  
July 2010
Some out of states friends showed up, the writing should have been on the wall for the next morning.  My buddies took off for a Red Sox's game and I started the rehab of the Mad River Malecite with a head the size of a hot air balloon. Rule number 1: Don't party with out of state friends!  First thing off the router table and router I got for free from my buddy didn't fit the size of my round over bit.  I had to make a new piece so the bit could move up and down through the hole.  Plywood is my friend. 

Ok, next I beg my beloved to help me with the gunwales, feeding them through the router.  This goes fair to middling and I know I'll have some sanding to do but it's better than doing it myself.  By now the pain in my head is like a low and never ending explosion so  I decide the ol' Hair of the Dog theory should be employed.  The first sip almost never makes it down but I manage to choke my way through it although some hair from the dog may have been a better choice.  I deploy another and start looking over my task.

Next on the agenda is to lay a 1" wide piece of fiberglass along the top of the hull to cover the holes.  I mix up a batch of West and have several pieces of cloth which I drop in one by one as I use them into the batch bucket.  Ah yeah, they come out dripping all over my feet.  Rule number 2: DO NOT wear sandals when messing with resin. 

Ok, I have some rubber gloves on and the minute I start messing with the saturated cloth the fingers let go on the rubber gloves.  Rule number 3:  Get thick rubber gloves and don't rely on ones from a box lot from auction that the better half got.  So now I am standing there with resin dripping off the cloth onto my feet and lawn, my fingers are exposed to all the resin as I run them down the length of the cloth trying to get the bulk of it into the bucket and not on my feet cause it's moving all over the place like a piece of spaghetti, and the gloves are still on my hands!  Man, I'm thinking, this is a mess.

So, I successfully lay the first piece on and don't make TOO much of a mess on the inside.  I put two more strips on and call it good.  By now my fingers have taken on enough resin to fix the leak on the Titanic and manage to peel the useless gloves off my hands although it was a chore shaking them off my fingers into the garbage can as the resin was starting to setup.  Lot's of swearing. 

Now, my Hair of the Dog scheme had hit home and I had to take a leak.  Although I wiped my hands repeatedly with a rag it just wasn't enough.  Please, please, pay attention to Rule number 4: Never grab your pecker with resin residue on your hands.

There was some stickage, that was unpleasant.  What was down right uncomfortable came several hours later as my appendage got sore and very red.  My guess is from the chemical stuff from the resin.  It was similar to one of those hot packs you put in your boots to keep your toes warm except it's on your most prized bodily parts!!  Thoughts of ice packs kept cropping up but I didn't think that would work.

So, a few hours later I tip the canoe up as the resin had set enough.  Sure enough I had missed step number -1.  Rule number -1 is: Put tape on all the holes on the outside of the boat so resin doesn't drip through and down the hull.   I go get some nail polish remover and do my best to scrub the drips off but it doesn't work that well, too much time had passed.  All I could do was resort back to my Hair of the Dog Theory and hope for the best in the morning with my head and appendage.  The boat is back in the shed, the gunwales are being varnished and I'm walking a might funny still.  Pay attention to Rule Number 1.

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