The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2020.09.12 - The Next Major Job VIII

Well, it seems that my varnish has a problem and unless I find a way to sort it out, I shall have to remove the varnish applied so far and start again.

As you can see from this photo, the varnish hasn't covered properly.

Here's a closer view and it looks just like water on a glass surface.

I think this is know as Crawling Varnish and although there are a number of reasons for this issue, the only one that I can see applying in this case it that the varnish is, in effect, too shiny. Too much of a glossy surface make the wet varnish act as though there was oil or grease on the surface to which it is being applied.

So, how to remove the shine?

Well, one of the things you can do when varnishing if you want a satin finish, is to polish the final coat with 000 grade steel wool. This removes the gloss and leaves you with a fine satin finish without removing much of the varnish.

I've never done this myself but it sounds like just the thing to solve this problem.

Tina uses this to polish up her armour. It is only 00 grade steel wool, but since I'm not worried about a super fine satin finish, this will do the trick.

I hope.

So I set to and after 20 minutes or so I have apparently removed the gloss from the varnish. Unfortunately I now have fine steel wool dust all over the place and if I don't get it all out, I'll soon have very fine rust everywhere. Still, I bought a small vacuum cleaner for this very thing and used that to remove as much of the steel dust as I could see.

Here is the result taken about about the same place as the second photo from the top. Not much shine left here, so now to put on another coat of varnish and see how that comes out. I expect that the crawling varnish problem will be sorted but the uneven surface left as seen in the first two photos will probably mean that the varnish now has an uneven surface which I will need to lightly sand flat once the latest coat of varnish has dried. Hopefully a fair bit of the unevenness of the varnish will be smoothed out by the latest coat of varnish and I may just need to use the steel wool again between a few more coats of varnish to remove the uneven surface completely. 

I shall see how this comes out tomorrow.

Time for a cup of tea.

2020.09.08 - New Halyard Guide III

The work continues on the halyard guide, something I can be doing without going into the cockpit and, potentially, spoiling the new varnish. Some tasks will require work in the cockpit but I'm hoping that I can do this without touching the new varnish. For now, however, the halyard guide is one of today's tasks.

The halyard guide being glued together. The pieces were cut out from marine plywood using the test shell as a guide for the size and the gap made slightly too small for the sheaves.

Here I am sanding the guide to fit the camber on the coachroof. The guide at this point has been sanded, the corners rounded and the two bolt holes drilled. The 40 grit sandpaper is laid on the coachroof and the guide moved from side-to-side. Since the sandpaper lies flat on the camber the bottom of the guide quickly wears away where the camber is highest and the bottom of the guide becomes curved to fit the camber.

As you can see from this photo. I could sand it a bit more but with some sealant under the guide and screws in the ends the slight remaining gaps at the end will be filled in.

The bolts being used to hold in the sheaves will have Nyloc nuts as the bolt does not need to be tightened down hard, just enough to the bolt from moving. However, the heads of the bolt need to be recessed into the bottom of the guide so that the guide still fits flush with the coachroof.

There are two ways to achieve this. The first is to recess a hole into the wood that is big enough to get the head of an 8mm spanner in to allow the nut to be tightened and the second is to drill an 8mm recessed hole in the bottom and then hammer the bole home. The second method is what I have used as you can see from the photo. The 8mm hole is not quite large enough for the "corners" of the bolt head so they are forced into the wood and hold it firmly.

A spacer is used between the top and bottom so that when the bolt is hammered into the wood it does not damage the wood or the glued joint as the force is transmitted through the guide and onto the rest upon which the guide was placed before hammering.

Here is a close up of one of the holes and you can see how the flat sides of the bold head have forced the wood to adopt the shape of the bolt.

Moving on, the guide now has the edges of the slot rounded over and the mounting screw holes drilled and countersunk. Here it has been fitted into position and you can see that it is a reasonably good fit to the camber.

The guide is mounted in the same position as the two bullseyes since this is also where one of the beams under the coachroof lies allowing the screws to penetrate through the coachroof itself and into the beams.

Whilst the outer part of the guide will be painted with the same deck paint as has been applied to the coachroof, the inside needs protection that will not reduce the width of the sheave slot. To achieve this I masked off the slot and coated the interior with an exterior grade wood oil from Cuprinol. Once that has dried I will paint the underside of the guide after the sheaves and bolts have been fitted.

2020.09.06 - The Next Major Job VII

The varnish on the various thwarts and locker sides has had sufficient time to harden so today I decided to put the cockpit back together again. It also means that I can work in the workshop again without having to worry about sawdust on the varnish or storing them somewhere safe. This was not a difficult task but I took it easy so as not to damage the fairly good finish I have on the wood.

The port locker side and thwart. As you can see from the reflection on the varnish on the locker side, the finish is very good.

Here is the starboard side and again the reflection shows the finish.

The new finish also highlights the much poorer quality of the original finish as seen by the bridge deck next to the thwart. I'll have to take some time to varnish the bridge deck and the locker edges and maybe even the cabin up stands. The original finish on all these, including the items just varnished, was Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) and has done the job admirably even though the finish is not so good. Still, it was always my intention to varnish the cockpit, I just never got around to it.

I really must get myself one. A round tuit, that is.


It seems that I did pt some varnish on the cockpit, but only one coat. When I sanded the surface in preparation for the varnish it was a soft surface not a hard one, so it wasn't epoxy that I was sanding.

So, sanded, wiped with white spirit and varnished. Hopefully I'll get a coat per day applied so that I don't need to sand the new varnish between coats unit the penultimate coat, that is.

Covered to prevent most of the dust from getting o to the wet varnish.

And here is the Forman keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

2020.09.06 - New Halyard Guide II

Now that September has arrived, the weather has turned cooler and I can spend more time working on Naiad without discomfort. One of the tasks for today was to continue with the halyard guide.

I made up a shell for the sheaves out of gash plywood to start with. This will allow me to check out the rope clearances and the angles.

As you can see from this photo, the shell is too wide for the sheaves, as they should fit snugly In to the shell, but this is just for testing and sanding down the end spacers to the correct width was too much effort for something that is going to be thrown away.

The ropes for are threaded through the various cleats, blocks and the new guide.

The guide is fairly good but the main check is the angle of the ropes through the sheaves.

Here is a slightly better look at the angle. If the rope in to and out of the sheave is not inline with the sheave then the rope will wear the sheave away over time. If you look at the left hand end of the shell you can see that there is a gap under the edge. This is due to the camber of the deck and means that either this end willed to be shimmed or the underside of the shell curved to fit the camber. The first is easy, the second is harder but the second is the better way to do it.

Next part of this task will be to build the shell in marine plywood.

2020.08.29 - The Next Major Job VI

Finally the temperature has fallen to a point where I can use quantities of epoxy without having to worry about it going off too fast. This morning the temperature was a chilly 11 Celsius so immediately after breakfast I went out to the workshop, got everything prepared and set to.

I mixed up two pumps of epoxy then added 5 measures of filleting blend and when this was thoroughly mixed I put it into a plastic piping bag and snipped off the end. The epoxy mixture was carefully piped into the joint I prepared over a month ago, faired, covered with peel play and un-thickened epoxy brushed over the peel ply.

As expected the difficult bit was the two steps in the corner of the joint. The result would possibly been better if the the epoxy were stiffer but then it would not be soft enough to use the piping bag. Swings and roundabouts.

Both sides were a bit of a mess at this tricky bit.

But the rest of the joint went fairly well.

I didn't go all the way up the bulkhead on the starboard side as the access was too cramped and I left a decent piece of peel ply hanging to make the removal easier.

It's not easy to see but the epoxy was put into the awkward part of the port side as well but I didn't bother to put peel ply on here as it is not going to be seen and there is a screw into the bilge keel that I had to keep clear.

Several hours later in the afternoon the epoxy was cured and I was able to remove the peel ply.

The tricky bits were still a mess.

On both sides, but I think that the joint is still sealed even though the result is less than pretty.

Despite the messy bits the joint seems to be well sealed and so I can now get on with the other jobs that need the cockpit lockers to be back in place.

Tea time!

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