What I did not need is another excuse for slowing/stopping progress, but I’ve found a ripper. A fall while off-trail bushwalking in October 2017 apparently tore a ligament allowing bones to rearrange themselves in my left (dominant) wrist. The condition is called SLAC wrist, or the charming “Terry Thomas Sign”. I’ve always loved the pantomime villain Terry Thomas played in some of my favourite movies, he was brilliant.
At the time I ignored the hurt, but during 2018 it got worse so I pursued a gradual escalation of medical intervention. That ended with an attempted reconstruction in November 2018. Once into the wrist with his knife, the surgeon discovered too much arthritis to proceed. Apparently the left wrist is riddled with it, quite a mess. There are also signs my right wrist may also be arthritic. The Doctor didn’t want to risk pulling it all tightly back together, when it wasn’t going to fit. So he set about performing an arthroscopic cleanup.
The medicos think the heavy fairing process did a lot of the recent damage, and I’d have to agree. I could never sustain fairing with a torture board for long, and was sore for days afterwards.
The whole thing has left me feeling pretty down and rapidly aged. It turns out I can’t do it all, being a part-time boat builder when I spent a life as a desk jockey has consequences.
I am writing this in March 2019 feeling about as recovered as I will be from the arthroscopy and news of the reality. I am feeling better in myself now, I’ve reconciled how I can progress with the build, I have also made real progress, I’ve changed out some tools, and learned a few new techniques which I will share in future posts.
I have also embraced some help from friends and I am deeply touched by their support.
Here are some photos from the 2017 Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival.
Or do I mean procrastination? You have read many posts about sanding and fairing, and this is one more, potentially the last (for both our sakes, I hope so).
You put the faring batten on the hull, you look for deviations of more than a few millimeters. You do this in all planes. You argue with yourself what is ‘a few millimeters’. You run your hand around feeling for divets, you mark them as you find them. You fill with epoxy mixed with light-weight filler for sanding, you mistakenly vary the mix slightly from time to time, you save money with some water effected, lumpy filler. You vary the application process attempting to speed things up (troweling ridges vs multiple coats). You sand with varying electric devices, balancing the felt divets with the eyeballed fairing batten results.
Sometimes you over-sand, sometimes you under-thicken the filler. You eventually realise that everyone is correct, this is only a job for hand sanding with a long/torture board. You fight that concept. You plan to hire a fairing team. You can’t find any money for the hire of the team. You wonder where they work and how to find them. You look for more information on fairing. You beat yourself up about not being able to complete this ‘simple’ task that is holding everything up.
You try again on the long board. Your lack of upper body fitness is obvious. The rotten left shoulder bites back. You give up. You beat yourself up and try again. You end up aching and frustrated and the hull appears no better. You ask advice, you get your work inspected, you get varying answers. Everyone is telling you (the truth) that it is a personal decision.
So, you bite the metaphorical bullet, and spend four days hand sanding.
And it now looks and feels pretty good.
It may be fair now!
Posted in Epoxy, norwalk island sharpie, Shedcam, Tools, Uncategorized, wood work, wooden boat
Tagged fairing, handsanding, hull, longboard, Sanding, tortureboard
At the Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival, Rough and Ready Race 2017, my new found boat friend, Paul Cleaver, won with his brilliant design and build.
The side wheeler punt, Punty McPuntface swept around the buoy, elbowing out all comers (including loud Americans), to take a victorious bow.
If you are prone to help videos, and general boaty building information, you absolutely must watch ALL of these videos on this fab YouTube channel, Tips from a Shipwright.
Shipwright Louis Sauzedde is a wonderful personality, and incredibly skilled with his hands. I would highly recommend watching the full series on building the work skiff, 30-ish episodes from timber yard to water.
Link to the show’s website: http://www.tipsfromashipwright.com
Prepare to get lost!
I have been doing everything. Including boat work.
Just letting you know, I’m alive and happy, the boat is looking fair and is progressing. My career as a blogger and social media magnate has waned at the expense of some focussing.
Some key points:
- I killed Robert’s Festo sander (gearbox).
- I killed my Metabo sander (bearings).
- I had Robert’s sander’s gearbox replaced and it’s as new, but still patina riddled.
- He took it away (apparently he had to use it…sheesh!)
- I brought a new one, he paid for it.
- I am buying his old one off him. Bingo.
- I went to the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival.
- I have been sailing (see below video).
- I also have been sanding.
Here is a video by the wonderful Paul Cleaver of our little West Lakes sail together.