After another trip home to make new blocks for the poles to be mounted on it was nearly time to start putting things back.
Before the pole could be mounted a smaller pad needed to be glassed in on the underside, as one of the bolt holes came through right on the corner which is partially covered by one of the plates for the back stay fitting.
The pictures below shows the pad glued in with epoxy and then glassed in :
In simple terms this has extended the ‘flat’ area for a plate to lie on which both supports the back stay fitting and one of the bolts for wind generator support pole.
The next job was to start fitting the exterior blocks – some new and some sanded down and refitted. The smaller pads were easy to fit – unfortunately the larger gave a few problems, one split and the hole to take the cables in the other one went in the wrong place … a symptom of rushing probably. Initially the wood was blamed as previously the were made out of teak and the new ones made out of poor man’s teak – Iroko. The cost of a Teak plank was estimated to be just short of £300. The fact of the matter is Iroko should be fine, more care simply needs to be taken to avoid it splitting.
There was the another job that needed attention, that being the chip and cracks in the gel coat on the exterior, noting a repair pad had been glassed in before the balsa panel was put in place. It was a large chip with associated cracks which were enlarged with a chisel:
80 grit paper was used to sand round the chip and cracks and 180 grit further out, this provides a feathering effect which helps blend the new gelcoat into the new.
Now here is a tip, the gelcoat used was pure, i.e. no additives of wax to help it harden on the outer surface – this means the outer layer must be covered, using for example a PVA solution (wax in alcohol). This can be sprayed or bushed on after about an hour.
Gelcoat matching is an art and requires patience, I was reasonably happy with the mix made and it was applied with a sponge brush – when it hardened it looked reasonable, and even better when it was sanded and polished:
I cant actually see the repair, and is one of the best done so far. Usually I have struggled with bubbles which spoil the finish, but using pure gelcoat seems to have helped.
Today we are home again and a new set of blocks have been made, and hopefully progress can resume over the weekend.