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Julie Mo

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About Julie Mo

  • Birthday 04/26/1951

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  • Location
    Charlotte County Florida
  • Interests
    Woodworking, guitar building, sailing, golf

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  1. The hair was standing on my head reading your story, John. That's just downright scary! The more I learned about electricity, the more I respected it. But lightning? It's so unpredictable. Now that I'm living in the lightning capital (or at least state), I won't even go outside if there's lightning near.
  2. They are made by Edson. I bought some cheaper ones to start but they needed additional support to stay flat with the center section of the table.
  3. Back to the cockpit table... I filled the hinge recessed with thickened epoxy and let that cure. Then went back with the router and jig to make them flush with the table. First round I used pencil marks to center the jig. It was a bit imperfect. This time I modified the jog by routing a V down the center and milling a piece so it would sit snug in the groove between the table and leaves. I also made the roundover to match the hinges. This is the modified jig. If you look closely, you can see strips of veneer I inserted in the opening to make op for the oversized opening I made in round 1. I wanted room for the epoxy. Now the hings has to fit snugly. Using a card scraper, I knocked the epoxy fill down so the hinge sits flush. As you can see in this picture, this one was still a bit high on the left side. Back to the card scraper... With all the hinges sitting properly, the top is ready for 2 part poly. The shiny streaks are low spots in the epoxy left over after running the card scraper over it. This should fill up with the poly. After this I went back and touched up the bare spots with epoxy.
  4. Looks like a very cool place to be, Bruce. Have fun!
  5. In the 35 years I worked as an electrician, the subject of grounding was discussed over and over. The reason is no one can predict what happens to electrical current when it's not contained. No wires. No insulation. No switchgear. No distribution panels. It just does what it will and every time we think we have it figured out, it proves us wrong. While working with 12.8kV I learned the importance of grounding the stray current and keeping the equipment clean. Even dust can be a problem as the current tracks across it. We were installing 15kV rated cabling and it had three layers of insulation plus an outer concentric wrap to ground out stray currents. Imagine what a bolt of lightning needs to be contained. One thing for sure, you'll never find a sailboat with that kind of cabling. This is rated for 170kV. Imagine this running down your mast.
  6. I saw that! Yikes! A couple of days ago I recorded that video and slowed it to 1/10 speed. Here are some screen shots of that: Notice the dock glowing
  7. Heavy weather doesn't bother me but lightning is a whole different animal. I've read if you're inside the triangle of the stays and shrouds you're safe but I don't want to test that theory personally.
  8. Mother Nature has mercifully blanketed us with Her cloud cover these past few days. I remember the omnipresent clouds Chicago winters refused to let go and there were times the dark, dreary days dragged even the most hearty into the depths. Florida is the antithesis of Chicago winter weather and at times the sun can fry you like a bug under a magnifying glass. Thus my appreciation for Nature's gentile blanket. Sunday we scrambled out for a quick sail. In a normal world most sailors would have admitted it was a losing proposition. The winds were light, the clouds were dark and dense. But we cast off anyway. And hurriedly. My SO needed a sailing fix. I get that. Once out on open water it was apparent we were going to get some weather. But the stubborn winds held back giving us only an occasional puff. Then the winds started picking up. Ahead of us was a wall of water falling from the sky. To the east another dark wall formed. We tacked toward an opening to the west and soon it too closed. The storm was closing in on us from all sides... except one - the route back home. Erratic winds from every direction made it impossible to sail home so we cranked the iron jenny. 1500 RPM. Nope, it's bearing down on us. 1800 RPM. It's still gaining. 2200 RPM. Maybe, just maybe, we might make it. The storm closed in on us from the north, east and west but there was this window directly ahead of us as we motored down the channel, heading south. It was weird. Thunder was rumbling. Lightning flashed in the distance. We didn't want to be a statistic. But here was this calm window beckoning us home. The wind began building as we approached our dock. The rain started falling hard. A loud boom came from behind us. Then a bolt dropped from the sky so close I wondered how it missed us. I reversed the engine to bring us to a stop in front of the dock and scrambled to tie her down, all the while getting a proper soaking. At least the salt was washed away. Then the storm vanished. Welcome to Florida.
  9. When you Aussies say "barbie" it always sounds like fun. I'm in!
  10. Using epoxy full strength for the final epoxy coat left some streaks. West System epoxy is very different than other epoxies I've used. Rather than trying to fill the low spots I decided to take the high spots down with a card scraper. It's a tedious job I did on and off for over a week. But the card scraper worked pretty well and closed the epoxy chapter on this project. Routing for the hinges made me really nervous. With so much time invested thus far, I didn't want to screw this up. But the first two came out ok What looks like white spots are the remaining low spots after scraping. The Interlux poly should fill them. Rather than drilling pilot holes and turning in the screws, I decided to tap the wood first. When I was turning in the screws in the test pieces there was a lot of resistance. I took one screw to the grinder and flattened two sides. It really made a difference. Another thing I learned was the hinges were not all identical. So I marked the hinges with their respective locations.
  11. Mock up for the hinges: I made a routing template for the Edson hinges and routed a little deeper for the epoxy. Then I placed the hinge on and drilled into the wood for the screw holes. I took that to the drill press and used a 1/4" Forstner bit to open up the holes to accept epoxy. After it was set I came back and routed out to the exact depth. I'm waiting for the epoxy to set before drilling the screw holes. Two steps and two different templates were required to rout out the wood to accept the hinges. Prior to applying epoxy I tested the strength of the screws by applying opposing pressure, as the wings might get when opened. I could feel some give. Hopefully the epoxy will strengthen that up enough.
  12. I've used epoxy on a live edge table I made and used a torch to take out the bubbles. I used Ecopoxy for that table and they recommended using a torch. This time I'm using West Systems epoxy and they suggested using a heat gun. So I gave that a shot thinking I wouldn't risk the epoxy catching fire. On another forum, one experienced boater said to use a shop vac on a sealed mixing cup to draw out bubbles. He also suggested spritzing acetone lightly over the epoxy. But he did say bubbles are forming due to epoxy replacing air in the wood. Since the second coat produced substantially less bubbles than the first, I'm thinking third time may be the charm. If not, out comes the torch. But if any latent bubbles appear after I walk out of the shop... I guess I'll have to rely on the Interlux poly varnish to finish the job.
  13. Some changes with the next coats - use slow hardener; stir very slowly for a couple of minutes to avoid air bubbles; run the brush slowly across the surface. Air bubbles - No matter how careful I've been with mixing and applying the penetrating epoxy, the air bubbles persist. Usually you can apply some heat to pop them but I tried that with a heat gun and watched as the epoxy quickly bubbled and turned white. Thankfully, a quick run over it with a wet brush made the mess disappear. More experimentation is necessary. Speaking of experimenting, I've been experimenting with the best method to flatten the surface in preparation for the next coat. I've settled on a card scraper followed by a little sandpaper. When I was working on this piece I noticed some dried air bubbles in the corner, sealed in epoxy. The card scraper was able to eventually knock it down to nothing. I just finished laying the next coat of penetrating epoxy. And the bubbles returned. What I think is happening is the porous wood is soaking in the epoxy which in turn is forming the air bubbles. So the epoxy is probably too thick. It's been the consistency of skim milk but maybe it needs to be even thinner. Whatever the case, the epoxy coatings will continue until I know the wood is completely sealed.
  14. Today I experimented with cherry, padauk and epoxy. I'm making a cockpit table for the boat. Yes, I know, bad choices in wood. But I have had this really nice figured cherry sitting in the shop and there is nothing that brings joy more than working on the boat. So.... The underside The wings I used West Systems 105 epoxy to bond the rails then diluted the remaining with Behkol for penetrating epoxy sealant on the cherry The cherry is going to get a lot darker. I've used the padauk in other pieces and it has retained some of the red. We'll see how it works on the boat.
  15. This was taken after the deluge hit us in Moore Haven. It was the first time we had the entire closure up. Coming into Ft. Myers we saw a barge approaching. The channel gets pretty narrow there so I hugged the right side close as I could. There's a red marker immediately to starboard that isn't in the frame. I was probably only a couple of feet away from it when this picture was taken. Water on the other side gets shallow very quickly. Finally made it! This is the canal leading into our canal system. Take the first left after we're in, and we're home.

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