Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Encapsulation - Continued

Well I wish I had something more exciting to write about, but all I have at the moment is that I am continuing with frame encapsulation. Two frames are completed now with a third nearly there and a fourth started.

The only thing I've changed in the process is to switch to a sponge when washing the amine blush off the parts with soapy water. Before I was using a soapy paper towel but I found that it wasn't working well enough at removing the blush.

The sponge has a scotchbrite pad on the back and I will use that first, then wash with the sponge. Finally wipe down several times with warm water and a clean non-soapy paper towel. I am doing this before sanding for the next coat and after sanding (to remove the sanding dust). This seems to have yielded good results so far.

I am still having trouble getting a completely bubble free finish. The first coat is the worse since it is going over bare wood. Subsequent coats get better because of the sanding which gives a smoother surface to work with. But there are still a few bubbles in every finish regardless.

Since the parts will ultimately be painted, it is not a big concern as far as these parts go, but it doesn't bode well for the future when I am trying to protect some wood surface for a natural finish. One thing I haven't tried yet, but will be experimenting with is to sand the final coat smooth and then coat with varnish. This will be done on a scrap rather than an actual frame. Since varnish is more like paint, I am hoping that it will settle down with no bubbles. And it should cause the sanding marks in the epoxy to disappear so the final finish will be clear and shiny. At least that's the hope.

So to try and lend some interest to this post, here is a picture of one of the frames during the wash. Yeah, I know, it's not a big thrill, but it's the best I can do for now.

One final note. When I get to frames 6 and possibly 5, I am thinking of laminating a mahogany veneer over the upper gussets before encapsulation. These gussets are visible in the cabin and I want to give them a dressier appearance than plain plywood. I was originally thinking of a simple veneer but I am also considering a small decorative wood inlay as an alternative. I haven't done up any artwork yet, but it will most likely be something nautical.

That's it for now. Take care.

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