January 18, 2002 - Volume 1, Issue #6
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2/13/02 - It's a Boat!
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Today is the day I've been working toward lo these many months (it's been nearly a year, if you can believe it.) Today I popped the boat off the molds to reveal, like a caterpiller shedding its cocoon, the butterfly within. Okay, it's a bit battered and skewed, but it's a butterfly to me, sure enough. Imagine the poor, slogging fools who trudge through their drudgery-laden lives never knowing the wonderful sense of accomplishment that I am basking in at this moment!

Removing the boat from the molds was a job in its own right. There was a great deal of cracking and popping and wrenching and at each occurrence I winced as if it were my own bones being broken, but it finally came free with little damage to show for all the noise. She's very pretty, is she not?

2/18/02 - Aaargh!
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Once the boat was upright, it became obvious to me that I was in from some real work, but today it's very clear that I had no true understanding, and I'm talking about that deep in the soul, embedded in the fabric of each and every cell kind of understanding for what kind of labor I was in for. Epoxy gloop is everywhere, and I have to get it all off. Here's a shot of the high-tech method I am employing to remove the noxius stuff: a very sharp chisel and a hair dryer. Now, after some discussions on the WoodBoat Forum about the tendency of epoxy to be weakened by the application of heat, I'm quite convinced that the planks will sproing from the boat at the most inopportune moment possible (as if any moment weren't inopportune.) Still, I'm not so concerned that I am not using heat, because grinding and sanding just isn't an option, and the though of scraping this stuff off without softening it first is completely unthinkable.

2/18/02 - The Payoff
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Painful as it is, this heat-scrape-heat method does work, and here's an example of the results. There's still work to be done on the plank-transom seam, so kindly refrain, if you will, from looking at that portion of the work. If the boat comes apart, so be it. (Maybe I should consider gluing in frames?) Anyway, I've gotten lots of great suggestions for removing this epoxy without heat, but with 1/4" plywood, I'm really concerned about eating too much wood away with grinding or sanding, so I guess I'll stick with this slave-labor drudgery.

2/18/02 - Updating the Web Site
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Of course, the most important part of any portion of the project is updating this web site, which I try to do whenever something significant happens. The only significant thing that's happened this weekend is that I haven't passed out from being bent over hour after hour, and I haven't experienced any significant brain-damage from smacking my head on the concrete floor as a result of losing conciousness. Hey, we look for positives where we can find them, right? So here I am, updating my web site while my faithful canine escorts, Maggie and Tucker (left to right) keep a close, watchful eye on the proceedings.

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