Day 327 Blasting topsides
At last we are back to the business of sandblasting. We ended up renting a unit that runs on diesel ( although it seems to consume quite a bit of diesel! ) and bought a new hose. The other hose we bought with the sand blaster came apart at the crimp and began whipping around like 30 foot anaconda, narrowly missing my head.

Triple taped Stainless

Blasting decks

It's not expensive, but heavy!
  Being a sandblasters assistant is a dangerous occupation!
We got underway with the completion of the starboard and port decks, then moved on to the steps and pilot house roof. Some of the tape was torn up pretty good but I put on 4 - 5 layers this time so for the most part, they held up ok.


 The coating system spec sheet noted that a "near white" finish must be accomplished for maximum adhesion. This makes sense because what's not white is likely mill scale. The photo to the right shows some left over on the steps. The 1/4 round pipe we used must have substantially more mill scale than the plate.

This will be removed during the final sweep just before cleaning and painting.

Dark areas still have mill scale
 Any defects in welding shape sure show up after having been blasted. The evenness of the blast makes any deformity show right up! Luckily, the deck will be under a couple of helfy coatings once finished so raise little concern.

Besides, we're not fixing anything smaller than a gaping hole at this point!!

In the photo to the left, the front window template is in place with some bolts holding it down onto regular house door seal gasket. This is how it will work with the actual window except there will be a frame on top. For now it just keeps sand out of the boat. Any little crack in the tape let in tons of sand the other day. It was amazing how much!

The day wasn't without it's problems. The "free rental" of our unit came back to haunt us. The blaster gun began to leak profusely, shooting air and sand back at Gena. After it kept getting worse she managed to pull the hose out ( held in by 4 screws of all things! ) and cut away a bad section that had been extremely worn.
No wonder sandblasters charge so much! The equipment wears quite quickly. Another near disaster was the pot falling over as Gena tapped the valve and shook the pot to release some wetted sand stuck inside. When it fell, the over pressure release was broken off of the gauge housing. We just found a large screw to put in there and away it when again. This is probably dangerous, but the compressor can't get the pressure up to the 150 psi the pot is rated for so no worries.

It may have been my fault partially because I was videoing at the time instead of being an assistant. Anyway, here's the video.

My job during blasting and after I had finished taping up the swim deck, was to gather sand on the decks and down below on the ground for re-use. Impurities must be sifted out as well. Each time it is run through the sand blaster it looses some of it's potency. It also makes more dust, especially in an enclosed area like the cockpit. ( This brought out some swearing and cursing on Genas part! he he )

Fully spent sand has the consistency of talcum powder and doesn't do much more than make more dust.

We would have used the sand just once ( it is a real pain to scoop it up! ) as it's not expensive, but it's very heavy. Today we used about 1000 pounds of it. Hauling that kind of weight in our little truck is kind of scary on the horrid gravel road leading in here. Besides, recycle and reuse seems to be the way to go with everything. ;)
The wind was up a bit which blew a lot of the dust into the bush and luckily not over our neighbors' house. ( There was a lot on the leaves resembling a nuclear winter lol! ) First rain will take it off.

After all it is only sand. Our driveway is beginning to look like a beach. I always wanted a house on the beach! Only....where's the ocean?!

Today was probably the longest day for us in quite a while. After 12 hours we had to stop as it was getting late ( plus soccer finals are on!) so we packed it in just short of completion. We'll have to squeeze that into paint day.



Day 327:
12 hours - Blasted the whole topsides with exception of the swim platform.

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