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Milbs Mobile Projects

Stay current on all Milbs Mobile Marine field work.

Project Detail: A Field Blog



Project Scope: This blog will cover the latest work being performed offsite.

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11) CD 27 - Glassing the STBD Plate & Installing the Backstay Knees

February 11, 2024

In the previous work session, I glued in the starboard and port backing plates with West System 404 high-density filler. The backstay backing plate was also shaped and glued into position. I started the day with a good water-wash to remove the amine blush created by the cured epoxy - I was a bit free-form in my application of resin and did not use peel ply. The amine blush, a waxy substance and contaminate to future epoxy application, needed to be removed. Water and a portion of 3M red scotch brite pad made quick work of the blush, and I was on to preparing for the 1708 biaxial cloth application.
I templated the surface of the starboard side first, and created from that template three layers of 1708 oz biaxial fiberglass cloth to tie the backing plate to the hull of the Cape Dory 27. I cut three layers for the aft portion and the forward portion of the backing plate, and got set up to begin mixing epoxy. As always, the first step is to wet out the surfaces with neat epoxy - epoxy not thickened. This done, I then mixed a batch of epoxy and thickened it with West System 404 high-density filler. The high-density filler was used to create a fillet between the underside of the backing plate and the hull, allowing for a smooth transition of the thicker 1708 oz fiberglass cloth. Once the fillets were in place and the surfaces wet out, I mixed larger batches of epoxy to wet out the layers (3 forward and 3 aft) to then apply. I wet out and mounted the aft 3 layers first, struggling a bit on the overhead portion as always, and then set out for the forward 3 layers.
I wet out the first two of three layers on the forward laminate schedule and then ran out of resin - not hardener, but resin. I opened the new batch of resin and completed the third and last layer of 1708 cloth on the forward portion of the starboard backing plate. What was obvious to me now was that the port backing plates would have to wait to be tied in. No sweat, I cleaned up and headed back into the cockpit to shape and glue-in the backstay backing plate knees.
The knees for the backstay backing plate, used to transfer load from the padeyes to backing plate to hull, were rough-cut earlier and now need to be shaped and installed. I set the knees in place and transferred adjacent surfaces to the plates themselves. Through an iterative process, I shaped the knees to their future home successfully. I cleaned up the surfaces and then prepared for their installation. One at a time, I placed the knees in their position and then hot-glued tabs of mahogany in place to support their final position as the epoxy glue set. With the supportive tabs in place, I wet out the surfaces of the knees to come in contact with the interior of the stern, as well as the stern itself, and then applied thickened epoxy to the knees and set them in place. The mahogany tabs were my third and fourth hands while I placed the knees and then began creating fillets between the knees and hull surfaces to eventually accept fiberglass cloth. The installation was fairly straightforward with completion in the coming days.

Total Hrs: 4.75

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