Saturday, April 21, 2007

2nd Coat

Because I applied the varnish on too thick and had some sags and runs, I had to let the varnish dry longer than I hoped, even with the garage quite warm at about 25C. The problem is that the things I needed to sand off, where the varnish was thickest, were still gummy and would not sand well until late this afternoon. Around 5pm, after 18 hours or so of drying, I wet-sanded the whole kayak with 120 grit wet-dry sandpaper. I also gave the whole thing a going over with a green scotch brite sanding pad and plenty of water. I then washed off all of the sanding residue with clean water, dried it off and left it over supper for the residual water to dry.

Refuelled with a BBQ'd burger & my homemade "Raven Ale," I began again the varnishing process. This time around I paid better heed to the instructions of Martin Step. While I cleaned up after supper, I filled the sink with hot tap water and let my container of varnish sit in there to warm up. With warmed varnish in hand, I headed back to the garage and began applying the second coat. Starting on the right side of the stern, I applied a brush-load of varnish in a horizontal stroke about a foot long. I spread this from deck peak to sheer with vertical brush strokes across the one foot section, then smoothed this out with gentle horizontal brush strokes. I then moved to the hull and did the same thing in a one foot section, then moved to the other side & repeated the process. I ensured that my brush strokes overlapped each section in order to blend the edges between sections. I used the station locations (conveniently indicated by the staple holes) to ensure that I did only 1 foot at a time and to keep track of where I was when moving side to side. I worked quickly and proceeded the length of the kayak in under an hour and a half. Another difference from last night is that I wore a mask with a carbon filter so I did not feel quite so overwhelmed by the fumes, though my eyes burned a bit by the end. Once complete, I left the garage and will not go back to avoid disturbing any dust until at least a couple of hours have passed as advised by Martin Step. Also, I went back to the house by an indirect route to minimize the amount of fumes that enter the house (which got to be quite a bit this morning when the door was being opened repeatedly).

The garage will be kept warmer overnight tonight, and hopefully there are fewer runs and sags, so I am hoping that I can sand then add a third coat in the morning. In the morning I should probably take the kayak down and flip it over on the cradles in order to see how good of a job I'm doing on the bottom. If it seems to be coming out OK, I'll hang it back up and do the whole boat again with it suspended from the ceiling like the last two coats. I suspect that this hanging method is more commonly used for spraying varnish rather than brushing.

From the bow:

From the bow at the waterline:

From the stern:

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