Not only is it close to Christmas but the Postal Workers are holding a number of one-day strikes which means that things are getting delayed unless they are sent by courier. A few of the things I am waiting for are in the post and as a result I am not able to continue on with certain tasks, so I'm filling in with other small tasks in the meantime.
One of those tasks is the centre plate. A rust converter was applied to the slightly rusty leading edge of the washed and dried plate and left to work for a few hours. After this time the excess was wiped off and the plate allowed to dry thoroughly.
A cold galvanizing zinc paint was used to cover the leading edge on both sides and once the first coat had almost completely dried a second was added. Probably not necessary but it doesn't hurt anything.
The hole in the stem presents a bit of a problem in that if left as is there is a chance that any upward pull on the eyebolt would damage the wood fibres of the stem. To prevent this the hole is drilled oversize and thickened epoxy put into the hole. Once cured the correct sized hole is drilled through the epoxy through which the bolt will pass. However, in this case re-drilling the hole is going to be problematic because of the curves of the stem so a different method had to be devised. Firstly, the hole was drilled out to 8mm, the diameter of the eyebolt. Two pads were made with an 8mm hole in the centre and two screw holes. An 8mm bolt was was put through the hole in the first pad, then through the hole in the stem form the outside and finally through the hole in the second pad on the inside. The wooden pads were then screwed in place and marked to show which way up they were mounted.
This is the pad on the inside.
The two pads were unscrewed and put aside for the moment and the hole through the stem drilled out to 10mm.
Quite a large hole.
The idea is that the outside pad will be greased to prevent any epoxy from adhering to the wood, screwed back in place. Thickened epoxy will be pushed into the hole from the inside until it starts to come out of the hole on the outside. At this point the wooden pad on the inside will be greased and screwed into place over a thin plastic sheet that will close the hole. A small hole will be pierced through the plastic, say about 1mm, and a lightly greased 8mm brass rod with a pointed end pushed into the hole from the outside. This will force the excess epoxy out of the hole in the plastic on the inside until the pointed end of the rod pushed through the plastic.
At this point the hole through the stem will be completely filled with the remaining epoxy and the brass rod. Once the epoxy has completely cured the brass rod will be withdrawn, the wooden pads unscrewed and removed and that should leave a nice 8mm hole through the 10mm epoxy.
However, the fly in the ointment is that the temperature forecast for the next few days is cold which is not good for the epoxy. So, I plan to put the small heater right up in the bow first thing tomorrow morning pointing at the hole in the stem and to turn it on and leave it for several hours. This should warm the wood of the stem so that when the epoxy is put into the hole the wood will be warm right through. The heater will be left in the boat on low for a few more hours so that the epoxy has a good chance to cure.
I hope, yet again.