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Old 16-10-2015, 15:54   #46
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

I have yet another question for you guys. Shocking I know… Will the aggressive tread of the current deck destroy my sanding discs super fast? I would think so, I've never done this before. Could I (should I) employ a different tool for the removal of the grit, and then switch the RO Sander after? Here's a pic of the grit.

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Old 16-10-2015, 20:15   #47
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Originally Posted by SF Bay Dude View Post
I have yet another question for you guys. Shocking I know… Will the aggressive tread of the current deck destroy my sanding discs super fast? I would think so, I've never done this before. Could I (should I) employ a different tool for the removal of the grit, and then switch the RO Sander after? Here's a pic of the grit.



Nice. I'd start with a pair of grinders, 7" & 5", with 24 grit discs. Use the smaller grinder to get in corners the big one won't do. A 2" Roloc really helps too. Then use an 8" soft pad sander with 40 grit to get out grinder marks. Then use a RO sander to move up the grits. Though on decks I often stick with the 8" softpad through 80 grit.
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Old 16-10-2015, 23:37   #48
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

I'm gonna have to go from the grinder straight to the RO Sander. The option to bring a compressor and big enough tank isn't viable. The biggest tank I could get would be at 33gal, and from what I've read, anything under 60gal will have the compressor going non-stop.

So I'll pick up four or five 50 packs of 40 grit for the RO and have at it I guess. I am going to have crab claws for hands man.

Minaret, do you know anyone with Flexicat fairing tools in stock? I want to pick up one of their fairing boards, but I can't find them. Looks like SMS Distributors is a reseller, but everything listed is out of stock.

"Why o why didn't I take the blue pill…"
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Old 17-10-2015, 00:37   #49
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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I'm gonna have to go from the grinder straight to the RO Sander. The option to bring a compressor and big enough tank isn't viable. The biggest tank I could get would be at 33gal, and from what I've read, anything under 60gal will have the compressor going non-stop.

So I'll pick up four or five 50 packs of 40 grit for the RO and have at it I guess. I am going to have crab claws for hands man.

Minaret, do you know anyone with Flexicat fairing tools in stock? I want to pick up one of their fairing boards, but I can't find them. Looks like SMS Distributors is a reseller, but everything listed is out of stock.

"Why o why didn't I take the blue pill…"



Cause the blue pill is for wussies?



Flexible Sanding Board with velcro X22 by Flexicat 115mm x 560mm | eBay



"Let's be clear about one thing. I have no reason to write this review, either financially or otherwise. Flexicat Tools are not a sponsor of Fiberglassics and, because they can't lock down a U.S. distributor, they will probably never be an advertiser. Furthermore, even if they were an advertiser, I wouldn't benefit regardless. I hope this properly conveys the respect I have for these tools and why you should run, not walk, to the mailbox to see if your new tools have arrived yet.
As I've written many times in many places, fairing a curve is one of the hardest things to do when prepping for a new paint job. Your eyes will play tricks on you and convince you a surface is perfectly faired only to find out when you apply your shiny new topcoat, it's actually a wobbly mess.
It's by far, the hardest and most time consuming element of boat restoration and the learning curve is steep. If it's your first paint job on a boat, you have no frame of reference for when good enough is good enough. I've written about sanding blocks and fairing boards way more than I ever expected, but I still haven't been able to accurately convey how important a fair surface is to a final finish.

In this world, there are very few genuine advancements to look forward to. More often than not “New and Improved!” means “Old and Exhausted!”, but with new packaging. Among the few real improvements in my lifetime that come to mind are microwaveable popcorn, fabric softener, and dimmer switches. I can't find true fault with any of them and, maybe I'm easily impressed, but going back to the days of standing in front of a stove top and shaking a pan of popcorn kernels for ten minutes would be a punishment fit for a high crime. Today I can add another to my list.
Flexicat fairing tools have brought the pain of fairing a perfect curve and flat surfaces within reach of just about anyone. Both concave and convex surfaces are equally attainable with the same tools and the result is a near perfect surface after a single application of fairing filler. For professionals and DIYs alike, the expense of the tools are more than offset by the savings in materials and man hours.
OK, so now you're curious, right? Here's how they work and why they're a genuine improvement:
When fairing a curved surface, the application of the fairing filler often gets overlooked. The old stand-by is to use plastic spreaders to apply the filler using your hands and eyes to figure out the proper amount and placement of the filler. The next step is to sand the surface using a flexible fairing board to sand the surface fair. In this scenario, it is the fairing board that does the lion's share of the work.
As generally happens in this endeavor, multiple applications of filler are applied and then sanded away. Eventually, we get tired of the “sneaking up on fair” approach and just decide “It's done”. The result is often a reflection of how much time we put into this stage.
Flexicat tools are sold in a set; one tool for filling and one tool for sanding. The tools are identical except for the hook and loop surface on the sanding tool. The construction of the tools are unique to the industry. A flexible fairing board (or long board as they are sometime called) is a simple construction. It's basically a flexible surface with a handle at each end to “drive” the tool.
When conforming the traditional long board to a curved surface, uneven pressure is put at the ends of the tool. This creates an imperfect surface. In other words, if you're sanding the side of a curved hull with a long board, when you look at the sandpaper you've been using, you'll see that it's clogged up at each end, but the middle portion of the paper is pretty clean. That's because the pressure is directly under where your hands are.
What Flexicat tools do, by use of a double gimbaled construction, is spread the pressure evenly over the whole sanding surface of the tool. Instead of your sand paper getting loaded up at the outer ends and the middle portion under performing, the full surface of the sandpaper is making equal contact on the work surface.
By the way, the above example is true for a convex curve. If you were trying to fair a concave curve, the opposite would be true as the middle portion of the paper would get loaded up and the ends would be under used as you try to “squeeze” the long board together to make it conform to the inside shape.
Now imagine you have to fair a shape that goes from convex to concave fluidly, like on most boats. It's up to the long board user to adjust the pressure on the sanding tool to conform to this change in shape. As you can imagine, and like I mentioned earlier, it's a gigantic pain! It also takes a lot of time and applications of filler to get it just right. With the Flexicat fairing tools, the tool does the work for you. It goes from convex to concave without a hitch. It just makes the surface perfect regardless of its shape. All the user has to do keep the pressure even the whole time. So here's the best part; the part that doesn't get the attention that the sanding tool gets. The filling tool which like I said earlier is just the same tool but without the hook and loop sanding face on it, makes applying the filler just as easy as sanding it.
Imagine a world where you can mix up your filler, glop it onto the surface of the boat, then take the filling tool and, with a single pass, have it evenly and perfectly applied without requiring multiple rounds of filling, then sanding, then filling, then sanding... Apply it once, sand it once, that's it. You're done. The surface is fair and you're ready to move on to the next step in the painting process.
If I had these tools six months ago, I would not be in the position I'm in now. Instead of spending 60 hours fairing a boat and hundreds and hundreds of dollars in fillers and sand paper, I could have achieved a better result for half of the cost and a quarter of the time. That's how good these tools are.
I wanted to write this review of a new set of tools that I believe will take the mystique, the pain, the cost, and the time involved with fairing a boat out of the realm of the unattainable for the DIY crowd.
If you're interested in these tools, the website is www.flexicat-tools.com


On their site, you will find many videos and tutorials about how to use them and what they can do. The cost, at about $120 for the small tools (which are the only ones necessary for the average 15'-18' glassic) is a bargain at twice the price considering the savings after a single job."





Flexicat - Flexible Sanding and Filling Tools Review - fiberglassics.com




That said, you probably don't need a Flexicat.
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Old 17-10-2015, 00:49   #50
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Originally Posted by SF Bay Dude View Post
I'm gonna have to go from the grinder straight to the RO Sander. The option to bring a compressor and big enough tank isn't viable. The biggest tank I could get would be at 33gal, and from what I've read, anything under 60gal will have the compressor going non-stop.

So I'll pick up four or five 50 packs of 40 grit for the RO and have at it I guess. I am going to have crab claws for hands man.

Minaret, do you know anyone with Flexicat fairing tools in stock? I want to pick up one of their fairing boards, but I can't find them. Looks like SMS Distributors is a reseller, but everything listed is out of stock.

"Why o why didn't I take the blue pill…"



If you don't have air to push a roloc grinder, this thing is your best friend.



Milwaukee 2438-22 M12 Variable Speed Polisher/Sander-CP/CP Kit: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific




http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013G5ZMFI?psc=1



Compare prices on the batteries. You want extras.
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Old 17-10-2015, 01:26   #51
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

Quote:
That said, you probably don't need a Flexicat.
Yeah, but my wants become my needs. Probably not…maybe though. I've got to do the cabin top and sides, and thought this might be a decent buy. They are way better built than the pricey plasticy stuff from 3M - that could break easily mind you. I am not known for my keen awareness around fragile items (must be Italian). And I am sure I could off load it after my job on eBay. So my fingers are crossed that I can get ahold of one before I head down.

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Cause the blue pill is for wussies?
I never said I was tough. Stupid is as stupid does, yes

Quote:
Compare prices on the batteries. You want extras
I am not a fan of battery powered tools. I am sure battery tech has come a long way since it turned me off, but for something as involved and gnarly as this, are these going to cut it? I remember somebody posting usage of a concrete grinder or something? That seems overkill though.

Tired… must get to bed.
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Old 17-10-2015, 01:59   #52
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Yeah, but my wants become my needs. Probably not…maybe though. I've got to do the cabin top and sides, and thought this might be a decent buy. They are way better built than the pricey plasticy stuff from 3M - that could break easily mind you. I am not known for my keen awareness around fragile items (must be Italian). And I am sure I could off load it after my job on eBay. So my fingers are crossed that I can get ahold of one before I head down.



I never said I was tough. Stupid is as stupid does, yes



I am not a fan of battery powered tools. I am sure battery tech has come a long way since it turned me off, but for something as involved and gnarly as this, are these going to cut it? I remember somebody posting usage of a concrete grinder or something? That seems overkill though.

Tired… must get to bed.

You should just fly me in with a giant suitcase of grinders.
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Old 17-10-2015, 06:00   #53
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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You should just fly me in with a giant suitcase of grinders.
Now there's an offer you won't see often.

I bought the Flexi-Cats. Very nice tools but Man-O-Man they take a tremendous amount of muscle to get working properly. I tore up my left rotator cuff during a 4 month fairing spree using them.

Minaret is right though, the 7" high speed spinning wheel of death will be your workhorse. The 5" is for more detail work. I prefer air powered as they're easier on the hands (I have carpal tunnel in both wrists).

Maybe a small generator to power electric tools would be a better choice.

Good luck with the project. Looking forward to seeing some pics of your progress.
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Old 17-10-2015, 09:26   #54
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

Hey SF Bay Dude, I cut my teeth on a 1974, 47' Skookum, got it from the builder direct, after the person who ordered it bailed. Never had a problem with delamination on the deck. I currently own a 1977, 53' version, my personal dream vessel and I am finding some delamination on the vertical surfaces of the pilot house where fixtures pierced the surfaces and it appears that there was not a great deal of penetration by the resin into the wood. The decks however are as good as the day they were laid, I had to cut some holes for hydraulic hoses etc... and the layup is very strong and adhered well. I removed a deck pump, one of the old bellows type and put in a wood plug with Systems 3 epoxy and put a couple of layers of glass over that, and then put a top layer of epoxy with a little kitty litter for non - skid, which worked well, this was a small area though. The previous owners had spray painted over the original deck coating and it is peeling up, but the underlying non-skid gelcoat is still intact and solid. I do not have the experience of Minaret or some of the others here, and my application is for a commercial fishing vessel, not a yacht so my perspective is slightly different. I prefer Systems 3 epoxy for what you are trying to do because it will penetrate the wood with a strong mechanical bond and will also chemically bond with the old fiberglass resin, I have used it for many years and have had good results and it produces a mirror finish once it is cured. I also like it for it's lack of bad odor and ease of application and clean up. I would echo some of the others here with regard to tackling this project, I would certainly hire local help to perform most of the labor and act in a supervisory role, it will certainly help with the burn out factor and probably shorten the job considerably. I am just now finishing up with a refit on my vessel that started in January, and I am toast, all I want to do now is go fishing somewhere warm. There is still more work left, but I am going to postpone it for the immediate future. Good luck to you.
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Old 17-10-2015, 11:00   #55
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

Quote:
You should just fly me in with a giant suitcase of grinders.
I've been watching "Narcos" on Netflix. I can just imagine all this white powder dusted on the grinders in the suitcase as the federales open it up to see what's cooking! Haha… But yes, that would be amazing. It would almost be like real cruising. Working on boats in foreign places

Quote:
I prefer Systems 3 epoxy for what you are trying to do because it will penetrate the wood with a strong mechanical bond and will also chemically bond with the old fiberglass resin...
Hey Captain58, I checked out your threads as well for any pearls. Thanks for all your posting + info. The thing is, the glass is still intact with the wood. It's just the gelcoat that's peeling up. In places it's coming up in clean sections of 8-12 inches across. When I crewed on the boat years ago we were diligent about trying to patch here and there, but it didn't matter. It wasn't put on right, and the whole thing has to come off to fix it properly. The good news is, it's only cosmetic. The bad news is it's only cosmetic.

I already have some help lined up for heavy grinding and the removal of the old surface. But once the finer points of work start, I am going to jump in and take over. I am pretty anal about getting things right and looking good.

Quote:
I bought the Flexi-Cats. Very nice tools but Man-O-Man they take a tremendous amount of muscle to get working properly. I tore up my left rotator cuff during a 4 month fairing spree using them.
Unfortunately it looks like Flexicat is no more (or close to). They are in "financial difficulty" as the manufacturer put it. Just got the email this morning.

Quote:
Minaret is right though, the 7" high speed spinning wheel of death will be your workhorse. The 5" is for more detail work. I prefer air powered as they're easier on the hands (I have carpal tunnel in both wrists).
KnottyBuouyz - Crab hands are coming for me. Electric it will be. I'd like to use air, but it's just not possible.
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Old 17-10-2015, 12:05   #56
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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I've been watching "Narcos" on Netflix. I can just imagine all this white powder dusted on the grinders in the suitcase as the federales open it up to see what's cooking! Haha… But yes, that would be amazing. It would almost be like real cruising. Working on boats in foreign places


Hey Captain58, I checked out your threads as well for any pearls. Thanks for all your posting + info. The thing is, the glass is still intact with the wood. It's just the gelcoat that's peeling up. In places it's coming up in clean sections of 8-12 inches across. When I crewed on the boat years ago we were diligent about trying to patch here and there, but it didn't matter. It wasn't put on right, and the whole thing has to come off to fix it properly. The good news is, it's only cosmetic. The bad news is it's only cosmetic.

I already have some help lined up for heavy grinding and the removal of the old surface. But once the finer points of work start, I am going to jump in and take over. I am pretty anal about getting things right and looking good.



Unfortunately it looks like Flexicat is no more (or close to). They are in "financial difficulty" as the manufacturer put it. Just got the email this morning.



KnottyBuouyz - Crab hands are coming for me. Electric it will be. I'd like to use air, but it's just not possible.

Did you not notice the link I posted to some Flexicats on EBay?
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Old 17-10-2015, 12:13   #57
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Unfortunately it looks like Flexicat is no more (or close to). They are in "financial difficulty" as the manufacturer put it. Just got the email this morning.
Wow, that's weird. I know they moved into a new facility this spring and got blind sided by a contractor that set back production at least 2 months. I really liked the Flexi's. They do exactly what they say they'll do. I couldn't imagine an amateur like me getting a decently fair hull without them.

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KnottyBuouyz - Crab hands are coming for me. Electric it will be. I'd like to use air, but it's just not possible.
Try wearing wrist braces at night. Walgreens has them for $20 ea. The other option is a TENS device if you actually develop problems. I haven't tried one of those yet but I hear they work.
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Old 17-10-2015, 13:05   #58
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Did you not notice the link I posted to some Flexicats on EBay?
I did. Looks like the seller is in the UK and doesn't ship to U.S. I was waiting for a response from the manufacturer too, before I perused that route. I might reach out and see what's up now.
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Old 17-10-2015, 17:21   #59
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

Yeah, sorry, I thought that the fiberglass was peeling up from the plywood. Of course you would want to just re-gel coat. The two things I did learn about gel coat was, you have to add the waxing agent, and if you put saran wrap on it before it kicks, you get a shiny surface.
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Old 20-10-2015, 16:19   #60
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Re: Skookum 47 Refit - San Francisco to Mexico

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Yeah, sorry, I thought that the fiberglass was peeling up from the plywood. Of course you would want to just re-gel coat.
No worries. I have decided to go the route of fairing compound, high build primer, and paint. Gelcoat would have been a fun task, but with limitations on what supplies I can bring down into Mexico, paint is going to be the best solution.

Still deciding on a 1 or 2 part paint solution for the non-skid and decks. Yes, 2-part has it's advantages, but I've got some reasons for liking the 1-part as well.

Decided to sand my kid's little picnic table with the new Bosch random orbit sander that arrived the other day. Boom! That got it done fast. Grinders should be arriving soon too, and it's time to stock up on sanding discs. God only knows how many of those I'll actually need.

It's laughable after 20 minutes I said to myself, "Oh, my hands are a little tired." They have no idea what's about to hit them!
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