The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2015.12.19 - A Bit of a Disaster

Tuesday was not a good day. My router broke. It was my fault as I put it down on the hull before it had stopped running, which is fine as the top of the router is flat for just this purpose, but it sucked in a whole load of wood and hardened epoxy shavings. The wood shavings were no problem but the epoxy promptly melted all over the motor contacts. It ran for about another 5 minutes with bright green sparks around the commutator and then it stopped. All the contacts are now coated in epoxy.
No problem, I switched to router number 2 only to find that this one will not stay down. The clamping mechanism is broken. Again no problem, I switched to router number 3 and found out the hard way that this router is also broken and will not hold the router bit tight. That hard way? As the router bit came out of the router, the grove I was making got deeper and deeper until it broke clear through the hull.

So, I packed up, when to my computer, browsed around and bought a new router from Amazon and payed for next day delivery before 1pm.

It arrived on Thursday before 1pm. Amazon, without any prompting from me, refunded the entire delivery charge but I’m now 3 days behind where I wanted to be by now. And it is not time I can make up at this stage.

You see, the epoxy has to harden up for about 8 hours before I can route away the next section of hull or the inner veneer does not have enough support. So unless I start really early in the morning and then do a second section 8 hours later on the same day I can only get about 4 staves in place, two at either end.

Changing the jig takes about 30 minutes. Routing away the next bit of hull takes about 90 minutes and then another 30 minutes is spent in smoothing off any high spots and cleaning up. The cutting of the four staves takes about 15 minutes and the mixing of the epoxy in small batches and glueing on the staves to the hull takes about another 30 minutes. If you have been keeping up with the maths that’s, er, hang on a minute while I take my socks off, I’ve run out of fingers to count on, er, yes that’s about 195 minutes or 3 hours 15 minutes. Now I starting making mistakes after 2 hours so I break this down into two sections. Route and clean up, then take a break and then mix, glue and move the jig to the next position ready for the next day’s work. That way I don’t make too many mistakes.

Realistically then, I get 20cm of veneer on the hull per day and at the moment I still have 60cm left to do or 12 staves which will take me 3 days. I had hoped to be finished with this bit by now, but, as I mentioned earlier, I’m three days behind.

Oh well, the holidays are approaching.

I don’t normally do “selfies” but since this phone has the capability and I wanted you to see what I look like when I’m routing away the hull, I have made an exception. So, ear protectors as a router is noisy beast especially for 90 minutes at a time and breathing protection as I found that the fine wood dust and/or the epoxy dust is making me cough a lot. Eye protection? Not needed since the router has two layers of protection already.


And here is the hole made by the third broken router, right next to one of the original holes in the hull but now blocked on the inside by veneer. When this happened I downed tools shut up the workshop and walked away. I didn’t even clean up. I went back the next morning and cleaned everything up and put the tools away before I started my real job.


Here you can see quite clearly where the epoxy from the veneers on the inside has filled a void in the damaged hull.


In this shot you can see the reason why I am removing the hull over the entire area of the damage and more. The dark brown in the photo is the inner surface of the wood of the hull and you can see above that the damage has extended, unseen, right through the thickness of the hull. there’s lots of it like this but this is the clearest example.


Progress aft.


Progress forward.


Progress aft.


Progress forward.


Progress aft.


Progress forward.


Progress aft. Probably the last shot from this angle as I can’t get any further back to fit it all in.


Progress forward.


Progress combined. The plastic tarpaulin is there to stop most of the wood and epoxy shavings from being thrown around the workshop. A dust catcher, if you will. It still gets everywhere but not as much as it did before I put up the catcher.


Progress combined.


Progress combined.


Progress combined.