Friday, August 22, 2014

Crack Negotiator

In my last post, I mentioned a small kitchen cabinet project. Those of you who know me well know that my projects can drag on a bit. Those of you not aware of this but reading this journal are certainly starting to suspect.

Our small kitchen has very humble 1973 cabinets. Some day, they will likely all be replaced. In the mean time, I have been trying to supplement storage space. Shortly after moving in, I got a combination microwave/range hood to get that piece of equipment off the counter.

To use the space between that and the refrigerator, I built a small cabinet that kinda sorta matched the color and wood grain. The door frame molding is a near-perfect match. Unless you really look, you don't notice it's not original.

Over where the pantry is, there was a lot of wasted space up top, so I knocked out the paneling, built a cupboard bottom, and we put stuff there.

It looked like this for almost a year. The plan was always to make doors like the other one, but this time I could not find the right frame molding anywhere. Months passed. Last March, I gave up and took another door in to a cabinet shop and told the nice fellow to make two new ones like this with these dimensions. He quoted $120.

Weeks passed. I kept stopping in but there was always a reason why he had not gotten to it yet. More weeks passed. One time I said, "Hey, how 'bout $150 to get it done?"
"OK, couple days." More weeks passed. Finally he called and said they were done.

Ta-da! Five months and $30 higher cost. If you've got a construction project or are about to buy a new car and want a crack negotiator to help, I'm here for you. I knew this MBA would come in handy!

Yesterday I finally put the last coat of paint on Kuewa's interior cabin side and the cabin trunk exterior now has 3 coats of primer. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stuck in a Loop

Except for the Port Joslin Rendezvous, the Santa Cruz 27 rigging and sailing, a house guest, working on a kitchen cabinet project, a little tennis here and there, and spending weekend time with Susan, I've been working on the interior cabin side every day. Some days 7 hours, some days 3. So far 6 coats of 3-part primer and 4 1/2 coats of single-part Interlux Brightside finish, with sanding between coats. But I don't seem to be getting anywhere. It IS getting very smooth but you can still see through to the bondo in spots. I must be just about sanding off each coat after I apply it. If I don't, though, the finish is pretty rough. Still, this is not resource-efficient.

Yesterday I determined to stop this craziness and apply the final gloss coat of Brightside and call it good enough. Such high hopes. It started out perfectly but within ten minutes the new roller, which said "designed for all paints", started shedding fibers into the finish. I kept going thinking it would clear up but it just got worse. The only thing was to give up and return the rollers to West Marine. I got some different ones from KKMI boatyard. The workers there have to use what's in the store so those must work. Right? Now I have to sand that coat back off and start again.

The good news is that I'm getting a lot of practice with rolling and tipping and learning the good techniques and finding the lowest cost, high quality tipping brushes (and hopefully now the right rollers). One of the limitations that stretches out the project is that, if the temperature in the cabin gets a little too warm, blending the tipped sections gets difficult or impossible. I get highly visible vertical seams. The other realization I'm coming to is that 3-part paint is really the only thing that's tough enough for boat finishes, even on the inside.

Yesterday after the roller fiber fiasco, I finished the sanding on the exterior cabin trunk in anticipation that I will someday complete the interior (I'm just talking about the cabin side here) and start painting the outside. At this rate, I'll be lucky to get the new ports installed before the Christmas rains.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fun in the Sun

I took several days off from sanding and painting for the Port Joslin Rendezvous, an annual gathering at Terry and Vicki Joslin's Bel Marin Keys home on the lagoon. This was the 14th year of the gathering and the first one that had none of our big boats there. Instead we raced Lasers and a Sunfish, raced kayaks, played some yard games, and had a wonderful BBQ.

Susan about to set out on her fateful voyage (5 capsizes).

Tony and Susan about to set out on their fateful voyage (dismasting). Unlike most Lasers, this one has a jib and wire rigging. It was great fun until the port shroud broke and the mast toppled into the lagoon. I was hiking out at the time and went over backwards into the drink. We sailed back to the dock under jury-rigged jib (me holding it up) with Susan's expert helmsmanship.
 On the race course. Susan (on the left) is way better trimmed than I am.

Terry on the Sunfish.

 Sails drying in the yard.

Overall winner Richard Posthuma receiving his award from the Grand Master. A kiss too - lucky fellow!

Testing to be sure it's made from genuine potmetal.

A couple days later, I helped Tom Faraola step the mast on his new toy, a Santa Cruz 27 that he has added to his quiver of sailboats. He and Kristy and I went out for a sail and got one of the four spinnakers up.
Tom wants to do the Jazz Cup on Labor Day weekend, a spinnaker run from SF to Benicia for a great jazz festival. Then cruise back the next day. It's about 30 miles each way.

OK, nuff fun, back to work then.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shop-Vac Obituary

In loving memory...

I was coming down the home stretch on my 5th sanding of the interior cabin side after the 6th coat of 3-part epoxy primer. This time using 220-grit disks. The last hour or so, the venerable old Shop-Vac, purchased shortly after Kuewa in 1996, had been shrieking these loud, awful failed-bearing sounds. The last 5 minutes was added the distinct smell of burning plastic and wiring (here we go again). Then a loud clatter-crunch, then silence. A wisp of blue smoke. I quickly moved it to the dock, and then, after a bit of cooling and a hug, to the dumpster.

What a revered old workhorse, faithful, assertive, and gritty. The replacement is much more civilized but likely not as valiant or enduring. We'll see how long IT will hold up to epoxy dust.