Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ama! Ama! Ama!

Today we came in hoping to finish the sanding on all four amas (outriggers). With one down and three to go, we weren't too excited about the work ahead. Mike and Alan did an OK job on the first one using a serrated bread knife and sandpaper - there had to be a better way. I remembered reading that you could use a Stanley Surform (a kind of cheese grater shaped like a block plane, sold in hardware stores) to carve the foam.

We happened to have one, and it made all the difference. The rough shaping of the amas took very little time, since the Surform rips right through the styrofoam, able to take off a good 1/16" at a time or just sand it smooth. Apparently they sell one that's a foot long, ours was about half that. The only downside to the rapid foam removal is the creation of massive amounts of foam particles about the consistency of parmesan cheese, but electrically charged and foul tasting. To remove it, you need to take an air shower - 'wash' yourself with the end of the shop-vac hose.

Mike and I carved all the amas, improving our techniques as we went along. The last ones looked a lot better than the first! Later in the day we patched any holes in the outriggers with expanding foam, we'll do the final sanding tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Alan was working on shaping the hardwood gunwales that run alongside the top of the boat. They needed to be planed and sanded to match the expected contour of our curved deck. To get the angles right, he made a simple jig to support a sanding block. All of the bevels came out perfectly!

Tomorrow we have to run to West Marine for needed supplies - more microfiber filler (we've run out) and epoxy (we'll run out soon). We already dry fitted Boat One's deck (no pictures yet); we just need filler to complete it. These next couple days will be our final push before heading back to school, stay posted for lots of progress!
Matt Hazard


DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Ama very impressed!

kent said...

The amas look great.