The Laminate Delay
27 March 2012 | Bodkin Inlet/Chesapeake Bay
I began laying the oak flooring on the dinette sole. A few mistakes wouldn't show up here, since it will be under the dinette table. The next day I continued throughout the galley laying the oak and having to economize on nails. I only nailed the flooring on the three hatches in the galley sole. It came out with a half dozen nails remaining. The hatches had rounded corners and would need some shaping with the belt sander. The planks for the rest of the sole were not nailed down, since I was almost out of nails. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The planks could be shaped before nailing them down.
The next day the thousand new nails arrived and the flooring could be completed in the galley.
The hatch edges were smoothed with the belt sander and the pieces of planking around the hatch with rounded inside corners were smoothed with the front drum of the belt sander. The edges were then rounded off with a 3/32" round off router bit and further sanded to fix any boo boo's. After all the planks were laid down, it was a good stopping point.
It was getting to be around the time that the laminate would come in, but as long as it hadn't, I could tackle a few more tasks. The capri light fixtures were mounted on the cabinet side, one facing the stove, one facing the starboard side of the dinette, and the third facing the port side of the dinette. Two cold cathode fluorescents were mounted over the port side counters. The wiring was brought back to the starboard counter, near the stovetop where the switch was mounted. A new circuit from the DC panel in the pilothouse was run under the starboard dinette seat into the stove counter and terminated in a buss bar. An extension from the buss bar ran through the solar panel conduit to the upper starboard shelf at the front of the galley cabin. There it was terminated in one of the new Harbor Freight solar charge controllers. The charge controller wasn't being used to control solar, but its DC distribution function was used to power a radio, and its display gave the battery voltage. It said 14.
The switches in the stove counter controlled the 3 capri lights and the 4th switch was a remote control for the inverter. The two cold cathode fluorescents had switches on the lights themselves. The wiring to the capri light on the port cabinet and the two cold cathode fluorescents consisted on only 3 wires. Ground, +12 DC, and switched +12 DC. All three lights shared the ground, the fluorescents shared the +12DC, and the switched +12DC was for the capri light. After all the cables were run and fixtures and switches mounted, the cable runs were secured with a glue gun, plastic cable clamps that screwed in, and cable ties. One thing that turned up was difficulty crimping smaller cables, it turned out better to solder the connection and wrap with cold shrink tape.
The laminate still hadn't come in, so the counter tops were prepared in advance. The port side of the galley had been glued with epoxy, so preparation consisted of trimming the surface with multitool with the scraper blade. Then the bulk of the surface was sanded with the belt sander 80 grit. Then the edges were sanded with an orbital sander with 120 grit, followed by the rest of the surface. The starboard galley counter was one piece and had been glued with contact cement. It was cleaned with the scraper attachment, then soaked with xylol, which softened the old glue. The softened glue was scraped up with a hand scraper. When the surface was ground again, some of the old glue still remained and balled up in little BB sized pellets. These were removed and more solvent was spread on the surface. Eventually the surface was bare down to the original white epoxy coating. This concluded the preparation of the counter surfaces.
The laminate still hadn't arrived. I was running out of jobs in the galley. The sole needed some touch up varnish, but I wanted to save that till last. I began moving excess tools out of the galley and dinette.
The galley sink was a mess. A while ago I had pulled out the Origo alcohol stove to junk it. It had been burned in a small galley fire and corroded from exploded battery acid. Its labels were gone. I had some stainless steel polishing gear and tried to clean it up. It came out good as new. The sink was probably in worse shape than the stove had been. I pulled it out and brought it up to the shed to clean it up, if possible. It had paint dribbled onto it in places. It seemed whenever anything that could spill, it would spill into the sink and gum it up. Epoxy, uncured epoxy, paint, varnish, other unknown substances, all were grimed onto the sink. I was just going to replace it, but when I saw the price on a new one, maybe I should try to clean it up.
First I should brush paint remover all over it, let it soak in, then scrape off the softened paint. Not so, the multitool which still had the scraper attachment worked all over the shapes of the sink, removing most of the stuff stuck on it. There were areas of stained stainless steel, dents, and I brought my new orbital sander with 600 grit wet/dry paper to task. The old sander had quit. Cheap Chinese tool. The new Harbor Freight Chinese orbital sander was almost identical to the previous model, but was black instead of blue. It cost $14. I thought it might tear up the shiny part of the stainless, but the horribly stained areas were more important. I could buff up stainless, even when it was roughly brushed.
The wet sanding removed the stained areas almost immediately. After going over the whole surface, it was remarkably clean. There were a few extra tough spots that were scraped off with an old knife. Although there were some old dents here and there in the sink, it had come through the process pretty well.
It was now time to install the laminate, so I went to the store to find out its status. They said it would be another week before it arrived. I could now start another intermediate project during the next week. This news also had the effect of removing the deadline of preparation for completion of the galley/dinette. I slept late the next day and it was like having an unrealized self induced pressure lifted.
I decided to do the sole in the pilothouse and it went quickly. The picture is of the aftermath when I was just sitting around playing with some of the navigation software. The bright display is from a police car and is viewable in daylight. I spent a lot of time with the AIS receiver and found out there were no contacts from it because there were no ships out on the bay.
The weather was now more seasonable with lows at night around freezing and daytime temperatures in the 50's or 40's. All the euphoria of the onset of summer went poof and the ideas of going for a sail had to be put back on hold. The springtime is the most dangerous time to be out on the water. If you fall in, you quickly become incapacitated due to hypothermia, and it becomes impossible to climb out of the water or swim to safety. Our unseasonable weather was an invitation to die a bit earlier in the spring than usual. We would at least be further along in the project when the real warm weather, when the water temperature rises, comes along.