11 November 2011

Oiling wood and boring holes in foam rubber...

I have spent the last week linseed oiling various bits of wood. Firstly, the two doormat pads, which I have now screwed to the side decks. I have found that I can screw them down firmly without the screws penetrating the plywood underneath, so I have left them like that, without any glue underneath. That means they will be easy to remove if necessary (mainly if I decide they look god awful). I have also narrowed my original cockpit table and added two up-stands to the short edges. This means that when it is propped in front of the companionway it forms a comfortable seat with your legs in the cabin, and that it doesn't stop you opening the cockpit locker. It has got the table leg socket screwed to the underside and lives in the cabin when sailing. All pieces have had six coats of linseed oil, which leaves a wonderful colour and surface.

Secondly, I have bored two holes through the width of one of my flat fenders. This means I can thread ropes down through them, so that they hang better and the ropes don't get in the way of them being used as cockpit cushions. I puzzled over how to bore these long holes for some time. In the end I bought a length of 8mm aluminium pipe, filed some grooves in one and and then pushed and twisted it into the foam rubber. That worked quite well, but I quickly discovered I could speed up the process just by whacking the end of the tube with a hammer and blasting it through. Threading the rope was tricky, but I managed to feed it into the tube, and then pull the tube out, leaving the rope in place. I have repositioned the fender cleats so that I don't trip over the ropes and can quickly hang the fenders in place. I need to do the other fender, but my tube is full of foam rubber, so I don't know if it will go through so easily next time.

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