Steve's Tolman Project 43rd page...

October 10th, 2004

Past few weeks I've been working on deck nailers and webstringers as well as two additional webstringers that will go on each side of the fuel tank. The deck nailers are simply 3/4" x 1" pine or fir strips that are glued and screwed to the sides of the hull at the same level as the deck. They add support to the edges of the deck and allow you a glueing surface. I'll probably also screw the deck down in places on the nailers to help with getting the deck glued to the nailers.

The webstringers are additional stringers that run parallel and to the outside of the original stringers but aren't nearly as heavy duty. The webstringers are made of 1/2" plywood and are glassed on either side with 10oz glass. They help support the deck and add additional stiffness to the hull. Each webstringer also has a nailer to give a larger nailing/glueing/screwing surface.

The nailers are installed and webstringers are glued up but curing. Next weekend I'll start installing the webstringers. This is going to be bending over back breaking work, with long fillets to make and two layers of glass to apply. If there's one thing I like to avoid, that would be bending over, hands and knees gluing and filleting. I reckon this is because my knees ache as it is, and my poor back is all worn out.

A while back I purchased a remote or fresh air respirator system. I got it primarily so I wouldn't breath epoxy fumes, and also so I wouldn't breath a bunch of wood dust. Some woods like Plywood, Oak and Walnut seem to irritate my nose, and a lot of old wood workers end up with all sorts of lung problems and even nose and sinus cancers. Even though the System Three Epoxy I use is not supposed to contain any carcinogenic ingredients, I have my suspicions that perhaps the epoxy contributed to my Lymphoma. Just the other day I met another person with the same exact Lymphoma, in the same general area who also has boat building with epoxy history. He's about my age and also had the same round of treatments. Is this coincidence? The Jury is out on this one.

The remote/fresh air system I purchased is made by a company called Axis Products, Inc. The unit model is the HOBBYAIR 2 . This unit came with 80 feet of hose, enabling me to place the pump in the back yard or even in the front yard, where a clean supply of air is found. It also comes with a half mask and belt and a few feet of flexible hose and quick connect coupler. The pump itself has a hepa filter on the air intake. I also got an Air Supplied Painting Hood for when I will work in an enclosed space such as the cuddy cabin. I plan on having a lot of painting to do, and will wear this unit religiously to protect my nose, throat and lungs. I got a better deal on this unit by buying from an airplane supplier called Wicks Aircraft Supply. They had to special order this model, but it only took a week to get it drop shipped from the manufacturer.

The respirator does take some getting used to. You attach the belt unit, and then attach the mask, and then plug the quickrelease into the 80 feet of hose. The hose is attached to the pump, and you plug it in to a standard 110v outlet. You'll know it's on because it's at least as loud, if not more, than my Home Depot Shop Vac. It gets a little tiring listening to this thing, and then on top of it, an annoying whistling sound comes and goes in the mask itself. This just about drives me nuts. I've yet to figure out what makes the mask whistle. I reckon I'm going to have to ask the manufacturer how to stop this annoyance. Another issue is that I'm forever getting tripped up in the 80 feet of hose. It seems to have a memory of it's curled up condition when it was shipped, and this leaves little loops all over the place that grab you as you're walking back and forth doing the epoxy thing. I wonder if a garden hose roll up reel sort of device would work for keeping excess amounts of hose all rolled up and out of my way. Perhaps an over head system of hanging the hose might work even better. Will have to do some head scratching on this. One other thing I'd caution folks about is the metal case of the pump gets very hot. I have to make very sure that Eleanor, my daughter does not come out and touch this thing while it's running. I'm afraid she'd get a painful second degree burn.

Next Installment...