V-Berth, Clothing Storage Shelf, Part 5: Fiddles, Glue-Up

The fiddles, glued to the shelf
Having cut the fiddles to the proper length and to the proper angles, and having dry-fit them onto the shelf, it was now time for me to install them permanently with thickened epoxy. After removing the fiddles, I wiped down the shelf and the fiddles themselves with acetone, so as to remove all dust, oils, and any other contaminants that might affect the bond of the epoxy.
Then I mixed up some neat epoxy and wet-out the specific areas of the shelf.
Likewise, I wet-out the specific areas of the fiddles.

Next came the tricky part. I flipped over the shelf and supported it on its sides with two scrap pieces of wood. This allowed me to partially install the stainless steel screws into the pre-drilled holes. If you look closely in the picture below, you can see the screws.
Then, I thickened the epoxy with colloidal silica to the consistency of peanut butter and spread it on the fiddles.

I screwed each of the three fiddles into place while the shelf was in this inverted position. This was the only way I could do it. One hand for the drill, and one for the fiddle.
When I had finished, I flipped the shelf back over to its upright position, and then I started cleaning up the excess epoxy with acetone. It's much easier to do this than it is to sand off the excess after it has cured.

The next day, I came back, inverted the shelf once again, and filled the countersunk screw holes with thickened epoxy (that was left over from another project on which I was working). My purpose in doing this was to disguise the holes and thus make the work appear much more professional. Once I painted the shelf, no one would ever see these filled holes.
A couple of days later, after the epoxy had fully cured, I sanded off all of the excess that had accumulated in and around the filled holes.
I also sanded the edges of the fiddles to make them perfectly flush with the shelf.
Several days after this, I came back once again and spread some more left-over thickened epoxy into some of the divots that still remained here and there on this side of the shelf. Keep in mind that this was exterior, B-C grade plywood, not finish grade (for interior furniture). This was the C side of the wood. Accordingly, it had numerous imperfections on its surface.
A couple of days later, after the epoxy had fully cured, I came back and gave the shelf one final sanding. This part of the project was now complete.
This ends this posting on how I glued the fiddles to the clothing storage shelf for the V-berth of Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25. In my next posting, I describe how I painted the shelf with two-part polyurethane paint.

No comments:

Post a Comment