We build a little Junk
July 5-6, 2014

We were donated this little Bolger Nymph from one of the Coots. It's a nice little boat, and we wanted to have some fun with it, so we decided to make it into a Chinese Junk. You can see what we did last week. This week, we were going to do more.

Step 1, pull all the screws from last week and fill the holes with toothpicks. If you don't have one of these little nut drivers, you should. The charge lasts for days and they are powerful as all get out. We have Bosch from Lowes. The link chows just an impact driver for $129 - we got both a drill and impact driver for $159 at Christmas. Watch for sales and deals.

Next thing to do was knock off some corners. I learned a trick from outstanding boats designer, John Welsford: Use an angle grinder - I use mine with a 36grit pad. Goes so friggin fast it's like using a chainsaw.

Whoops, break time. A couple who had just purchased a pair of stand up paddlers came down to test them out. I asked if I could try one, they said "Sure. Start on your knees, then . . .

. . . Stand up. It works! I wasn't entirely comfortable - still a lot of weight aloft - and I still had my wallet and cell phone on me, so I only took it on a quick loop.

OK, after the angle grinder came the router

but our donated router likes to let the bit slip, so my perfect corner became less perfect the longer I went. That's fine, back to the angle grinder.

We are trying to 'expand our skills' with this boat, so I decided to get artsy with the rudder reinforcement plate. Nice, innut? Always marks your centerlines boldly.

Next thing I needed to do was some epoxy work. I was going to use thickened epoxy, and was going to put it in a plastic sandwich bag with a corner cut off to use as a squeeze bag. The hard part is getting the epoxy from the mixing cup into the bag, so I made this little jig. The sides are about 5" tall and the base is about 2" wide.

There. It holds the bag open just fine. I spent the rest of the evening working by myself, getting things done here and there.

Saturday was dead calm - water as smooth as glass.

Curt was there, and we tried to get an idea of how we expected the boat to sit in the water. Our best guess was the skipper would sit as close to the middle as possible.

Enough sitting. Time to get to work. We'd savaged the outside with the angle grinder, and now needed to smooth out our savaging.

Geoff is in charge of rudder design. We did a little practical testing of tiller ergonomics.

Visitors! The journalism teacher from the local high school, Peter, came by with his son-in-law, Kyle, and grandson, Huckleberry.

We put 'em in Bea and off they went.

It was experimenting time. I'd bought some tempura paint to see if I could tint epoxy. My initial trial was unsuccessful, so I read the directions on the label and saw they recommended mixing it 1:1 (when using it with water) so I figured, "What the heck?" and tried it 1:1 as well. Duckworks Economy Epoxy comes out 3oz at a time, so I got a 3oz measuring glass.

It mixed up very well, creating a thicker-than-syrup but not-as-thick-as-mayonaise liquid.

but . . . . it didn't go as far as I'd have liked. We only got half the interior of a pretty small boat covered, and I can't tell you it is any better than plain old exterior paint. Expensive experiment - works, but isn't worth the cost. Coat with plain epoxy, then exterior primer and exterior paint.