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I stand completely in awe of the meticulous detail and finish of this restoration. I have undertaken a couple of ground up, nut and bolt, total restorations of cars (Triumph Vitesse Mk2 and Triumph Spitfire Mk3) but this is a labour of love which leaves me just shaking my head. "Respect" as the younger generation say.

Chris

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Next on the hit list is the hull, we have painted it a couple of times and although we have found no rot the joints between the planks do show signs of cracking which would indicate the caulking is ge

With the decks now repaired our attention turned to the cabin sides, we had already decided the dark brown Sadolin finish had to go but what is it hiding? we sanded the entire superst

Continuing with the moldings to the inside of the cabin sides one of the most  labor intensive items is the window hopers. starting with the bottom channel.   The forward cabin sides have quite a

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With the inside looking good its time to start on the outside of the coach roof. I start by trimming the excess ply at the edges and shape the overhang at the front. you can see from the offcuts the layers of ply and that they are tight together.

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After trimming the sides square I next  round the edges to an ascetically pleasing shape, I make and use a template to make sure the edges are the same shape all round.

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Happy with the sides I turn my attention to the overhang at the front, I cut 40 softwood wedges and glue them under the overhang then fit a sheet of 4mm ply under to give me a strong but visually pleasing finish to the roof.

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The roof is now ready for its epoxy covering, My epoxy of choice is the Wests system  with its various additives for different applications.

First we fill the  screw heads and joints with resin mixed with  407 a low density filler.

Brown in color.

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When set the roof is sanded back ready for the covering. The sides are covered with plastic for protection.

I use a 200gram plain weave glass fiber cloth which is cut to size and  rolled back on its cardboard tube.

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I use a roller to apply the resin and a squeegee to remove air bubbles and any excess glue. I  cover the entire roof with resin which is mixed with a small amount of 406 Colloidal silica this will turn the resin into more of a glue.

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I then roll out the woven fabric across the roof.

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With the first section laid I use the squeegee to smooth out and wrinkles and draw the resin through the cloth. This stage is not good  for your back!! 

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The next strip is laid on using the same method. 

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This is left to set over night.

The next day we give the roof its final coat of resin I use the same wests resin however this time I  add the 409 microsphere blend this bulks up the resin making it easy to cover the cloth with a good thick coat of resin and  is easy to sand when set, it is mixed to the consistency of Ketchup and is applied using  my squeegee to spread it evenly. 


 

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Its been a little while since my last post, mainly due to a heavy work load and the need to press on with the restoration if we want to use her this summer.

The coach roof is now ready for paint. First we sand it back flat and fill any imperfections followed by three undercoats and two top coats.

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That's the coach roof pretty much complete. Moving back to the inside, next on the list is the window hoppers, there are four in total and due to the curvature of the cabin sides every side section is a different size with different angles. 

First I plane a board to the required thickness and cut out eight side sections  slightly larger than needed.

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I fix the first piece in situ temporarily.

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Next I hold the glass against this piece which will then give me the size of the other end.

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This process is repeated until I have all eight  cut to size.

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These are now sanded and fixed temporarily to a batten to allow all sides to be varnished at the same time.

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These when fitted will have a vertical  batten to hold the glass in place and a top rail to hold the curtain rail, all varnished before fitting.

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And with the top rails fitted.

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My attention now turns to the small bulkhead at the bow  which forms the chain locker.

As before I make a template from scrap ply.

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I cut out the ply including a hatch for access to the locker.

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 This is varnished before fitting.

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The hatch opening is trimmed with what is called  a cock bead, this is a j shaped timber bead which covers the raw edge and gives a nice finish to the panel. I  make enough to go round the draws in the forward berths at the same time.

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