10 March 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
The photo is from around 2001 when Keith Lamb was working on the galley in California. The green laminate suffered later demise due to exploding batteries, stove fire, and spilled epoxy resin. Now we get to put our own laminate in the galley and finish the build.
Laminate samples came in from Formica and Pionite. They will be compared to other samples coming from Wilson Art and Nevamar. In the mean time work continued on the stairsteps. The cabinet doors were glazed with 1/8" lexan. The white backing on the lexan had become oxidized and I found ethanol brushed on, allowed to soak with maybe 2 or 3 coats, softened the backing, and then it could be teased off while brushing more ethanol under the peeling skin.
The little blocks that support the new stairsteps were glued onto the sides of the the ladder way into the galley. The steps were tried and sorted to each position. Although they looked identical, each step was a little bit different and fit in one place. I was chagrined to find the top step canting a bit aft and I thought I must have glued its block out of position. It was built that way originally. When the boat was first launched, we found it squatted aft, due to all the modifications made to the original design. This top step was way off, though.
Some painting was done with arctic white and a brush. It did not come out well, but I was trying to avoid the health danger of spraypainting. I started in the dinette painting the overhead first, then down to the seats. I worked my way forward into the galley over the course of a few days, painting the cabinets, everything except the sole.
The laminate samples from Wilson Art never came in. I "chatted" online and their customer service rep sent out the samples. I was surprised when they showed up the next day, they had been overnighted. They were also larger than the other samples. There were probably half the total of 22 samples that we rejected right away. Things that looked possible on the computer on the internet did not look the same in sunlight. We ended up with two samples from Formica that seemed to work well with teak trim and white cabinets. They were kind of generic bluish and some flecks of white and brown. Sky Terra and Indigo Terra. In matte finish they are standard laminates with no extra charges. A 4X8 sheet is less than 100 dollars at Home Depot.
I reinstalled the cabinet doors, now glazed with 1/8" lexan. The new stairsteps were glued in place, except for the lowest one, it will be installed over the oak sole. Some of the lexan had damage that only became apparent after removing the protective plastic coating. This coating was dried in some places and wouldn't come off. Captain Kris had worked with some of it that I gave him and scraped the plastic off. This gouged the lexan. I found that ethanol softens the plastic and it can be removed easily. My problem was some paint flecks from long ago were dried on the lexan, also there were abrasion marks. I've had this stuff for 8 or 9 years and it's been moved around and that accounts for some of the marring.
I had a kit for refinishing automobile headlight lenses. It was from Turtle Wax and included several sanding pads, a polishing lubricant, and a polishing liquid. Using it on a relatively innocuous abrasion resulted in that whole area of lexan becoming semi-opaque. I ended up finding a method that worked relatively well. The area was wet sanded with 600 grit wet/dry paper until it was uniformly matte. Then a polishing wheel in a drill and the Turtle Wax polishing liquid were used to clear up the surface. If you can get plastic polishing liquid and a buffing wheel for a drill, you can forget about the Turtle Wax kit. The polishing wheel came from a metal finishing supplier in Long Island. We will have further exciting work on the galley sink later. It is a mess, but a replacement stainless sink is quite expensive.