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When the Resin Meets the Hardener

posted May 23, 2010, 5:34 PM by Christopher Hubbell   [ updated May 23, 2010, 5:57 PM ]
I accomplished one goal this afternoon before the clock ran out.  Luckily it was the most important one.  All the balsa is now fully installed!  I still need to determine a course of action for the small section aft of the balsa, but the fiberglass laminate is a pretty safe bet.  Just going to take a little staring and head scratching to get it moving.

I ran into the perfect storm of epoxy nightmares on the second to last piece of core.   I ran a bit short of epoxy, so headed down into the cabin to mix a new batch up as it was way to windy for open silica on deck.  After a squirt and a half the resin container spat at me to pronounce its state of emptiness.  I had to get the next (well sealed) container opened up and configured with the measuring pump as quickly as possible, then estimate the right mixture of resin and hardener to get the cup mixed.  

That was when I realized I was almost out of colloidal silica, and I was having trouble reaching to the bottom of the container with my scoop.  A little hand contortion and I leaped over that hurdle.  And did I mention how difficult it is to get tight nitrile gloves back on to hands that are already sweaty from the last pair of gloves?  Ugh!

By the time I got that batch ready the epoxy on the deck started to kick and I couldn't get the balsa all the way in place.  I had to scrape out the kicked stuff out, flick it off the side of the boat and rapidly get some new epoxy into place before more kicked.  I triumphed in the end, finishing with a heightened respect for the very finite sands of time that begin to flow when the resin meets the hardener.