Finishing the outer hull

It is almost time for the hull to come off of the builder’s jig.  I can’t wait to see what the inside of the hull looks like.  It is almost like seeing a newborn baby for the first time.

Before that event, there is some work to do.  The hull needs to be “preened” as I call it.  The bedding compound does not always stay were it belongs.  It extrudes out of the seams sometimes and must be removed before varnishing.  I have found that a clever scraper designed by my friend John Homer comes in handy,  Here it is:

John’s scraper

Note that there is some bedding compound just to the left of the scraper blade.

Another way of removing excess bedding compound is to use sandpaper like I am doing below.

Using sandpaper to “preen” the hull.

So here we are about to apply the first coat of varnish.

Hull ready for varnishing.

The varnishes I like to use are made by Epifanes, an import from Holland.  They supply two excellent marine spar varnishes.  I order them from Jamestown Distributors in Rhode Island.  Here they are:

Epifanes varnishes.

I normally use Epifanes woodfinish gloss.  It is extremely durable, goes on easily and is not prone to runs.  Its main attribute is that there is no need to sand between coats to get adhesion of subsequent coats.   However, this time I slipped up and bought their clear varnish instead.  I found it had the same outstanding qualities but needed to be sanded between coats.  Here we are sanding between coats.

Sanding the hull between coats of varnish.

So, after four coats of varnish the exterior hull is finished.

Hull exterior after four coats of varnish.

Next time, the great unveiling; we see the interior of the hull for the first time.  It is sort of like a birthing.


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