From the Boatshop click here to read or make an observation about this  article

by Ron Magen (along the shores of the ever improving Delaware) Philladelphia, Pennsylvania - USA

Measure for Measure
{Was Bill a boatbuilder, too?}

With the ‘sailing season’ over {except for those diehard ‘Frostbiters’} it’s the beginning of ‘building season’ - inside variety, that is.

This past Sunday we covered the P19 with a new Green tarp. I put up the ‘hoops’ and snugged her down. There was enough slack so that it will be ‘self-shedding’ and allow air circulation to keep ‘mold & must’ away. The hoops I fabricated from PVC pipe give a ‘Conestoga Wagon’ effect so I can IRAN {old Air Force jargon for ‘Inspect and Repair As Necessary’}. Also clean her topsides - I just have to hump in the water - manually.

The old tarp was really ratty - on one side. It was obvious where the prevailing wind & stronger UV came from. However the other side looked rather usable. Being a ‘multi-tasker’ { ‘cheap-assed New Englander wattabe’ ?}there was already a use in mind. I convinced Joanne to help me cut it in half along the long axis. {Of course she gave me that, “Don’t we have enough TRASH”, look.}My reasoning was/is that it will cover the Dory that I have been ‘refurbishing’ that is sitting in the yard. The two tarps I covered it with leave gaps and blow off. Of course, if I ‘clean up/out’ the shop - I can take it inside !

To-day, as I was working on one of Joanne’s ‘projects’ - to help the ‘clean’ process - I needed to seal a ‘plank’ of Lauan ply. Because I only needed a small amount, I did my usual - dipped some out of the quart can. As I was doing this it reminded me of a couple of ‘threads’ on the ‘Boatbuilding’ and ‘Woodworking’ newsgroups. One concerned mixing epoxy with the proper Resin/Hardener ratio. The other with waste/shelf-life of varnish & other finishes.

Most of my projects tend to be smaller, plus I mix epoxy judiciously. About the only time I mix large batches is when I am sheathing a hull. However, I DO use epoxy A LOT. It is my preferred adhesive when I ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, DO NOT WANT the JOINT to FAIL !! Therefore I was always looking for a quick & easy way to get really small quantities with the proper ratio. Bear in mind - I use the ‘hotter’ 5:1 ratio formulations. I did the math & knew the quantities in cc’s. The catch was the measuring devices and viscocity of the materials. It seems I wasn’t alone. When I was speaking with the Tech Department at Gougeon Brothers, about another matter, I happened to mention this in an off-hand way. In response they sent me an old issue of their ‘magazine’. The particular ‘article’ was about a DIY holder for transporting a ‘quart kit’ around a job. Included were a couple of drawings for ‘wedges’ to be held between the pump head and the can lid; one end for the Resin and the other for the Hardener. Two were illustrated - one for 50% [of a full pump] and one for 25%. With a full pump at about 1 ounce, they gave me the ability to make as little as l/4 ounce of properly mixed epoxy!!

‘Can Holder’ - the ‘wedges’ were made from 1/4 in Hardboard and painted. The Data was engraved with a small burr in a drill. The White one is obvious, the Blue one is next to the ‘drip bucket’.

The ‘To Go Set-up’ illustrates how I keep it and my typical ‘at hand’ supplies {‘acid brush’, wooden chopsticks, Wood Flour, Silica, Micro balloons, and plastic utensils} together.]

What really started this train of thought was ‘dipping out’ the ‘sealer’ for Joanne’s shelf unit. I was going to finish the office shelf unit with Clear Acrylic Poly - for a good, hard, surface. I wanted too put down the first coat as a ‘sealer’ before I cut the plank to size and did the routing. This way I would get a cleaner edge to the cuts. Normally I’m a little lax with the application on these sort of projects, and apply right out of the can. In this case, because I had already applied a Red Mahogany aniline dye wash coat, I didn’t want to contaminate the full quart. Therefore I dipped out 2 ounces. “Dipped Out” ?? ‘How did he know it was 2 Ounces ?? EASY - the stainless steel ladle said so! ‘Stainless Steel? - ‘Mr. Cheap’? I actually have two -one is small & deep and the other is wide & shallow - thanks to Harbor Freight and the local ‘Dollar Store’. They allow me to ‘dip’ measured quantities from gallon cans down to 1/4 pint ones. If I can get solid Stainless for about the same price as ‘plated’ steel - so much the better. If soapy water or paint thinner won’t clean them - a blow torch will . . . and NO RUST.. If their not marked? Compare one to the other or pour a dipper of water into a small measuring container. The ‘dosage cups’ that come with liquid cough medicine are about one ounce - with measurements in cc’s embossed. {they also measure a nice shot of Rum - for ‘medicinal reasons, of course.}