It seems as though everything is gumming up. My sinuses have been on the fritz for the past month, making a trip to the east coast of the United States interesting. Nothing like peak summer in New York with a head cold. At least the big city smells weren’t smelled (or is it smelt?).
Before the US trip I had a conference to speak at in Melbourne, so preparation for both has meddled with boat construction. But the biggest obstacle has been the viscosity of the epoxy. Twice I pulled apart my pump to clear it out, thinking that the 4year old goo-shooter was past it’s prime. However a visit from Dr Ayliffe diagnosed me with cold glue, it seems as though my hotbox is not doing the job.
I made the box early on in the process, it was based on a design I had seen at Duckflat 20 years ago, a simple box, just larger than the two containers of epoxy, wheels on the bottom and a light globe to warm the inside. I had even wired it with a long cord that coiled neatly on the back.
However, two flaws have reduced it’s performance: I positioned the globe was close to the top of the box, (heat rises apparently). And recent environmentalism has made it hard to get a quality incandescent bulb. Those halogen long life globes run fairly cool.
The solution resides in one of my Kate’s favourite past times. She loves to raise plants from seeds, and has owned a germinating ‘tent’ in the past. The tent featured a mat on the bottom that plugs in to the electricity and provides a constant heat to anything above it…
So it turns out that your local bong shop (hydroponics equipment supplier) or snake shop (reptile specialising pet store), stocks these thin 240volt pads that require a thermostat. They make a pad 500x300mm which matches the foot print of the large Botecote containers, they can take direct contact and handle a bit of moisture. So I risked my police profile and whacked one on the visa card at the local hooch house.
I wrapped the pad in aluminium foil and rigged up the thermostat, temporarily taped the cords around the inside of the box plugged it in and am now waiting the free flowing partA!