Saturday, June 20, 2009

marine-tex, weapons-grade variety

The next step in the topsides-painting project is finished. I had one false start, where I drove (40 minutes) to the boat lot, read the Marine-Tex instructions and warnings, put on nitrile gloves, paced back and forth several times, and then got in my car and drove back home. Seek prompt medical attention if it comes into contact with your skin? Seriously?!?!

I tried again a couple nights ago, and fortunately my friend Commodore Kathy drove up to visit me. Her presence made me feel less afraid of the mixing and usage of the dangerous substances that were packaged in the innocuous little red, white, and blue box.

Wearing long pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, (hello, summer weather!) and of course the nitrile gloves, I carefully and quickly mixed up the first batch of resin (or whatever the white stuff is called) with the catalyst gel. I applied it with a putty knife, and I worked as quickly as possible so that (1) the marine-tex wouldn't harden before I was finished applying it, and (2) because I felt like the fewer minutes I spent handling the stuff, the better. Less time handling dangerous things = better chance of coming through the experience relatively unscathed.

Since I was working as quickly as I could, my application of the marine-tex to all the dings and chips of varying sizes was fairly slapdash. This would turn out to be a very bad idea...

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