Friday, May 13, 2011

Fiberglassing 101

No task in the history of mankind can teach one the importance of inner harmony like laying up fiberglass. You have, on one side of you all the skill, knowledge and ability you need... And on the other side, the two cans of acetone  (one marked "Dirty"),  carefully waiting along with your various rollers and paint brushes... not too far away rests a bucket of resin carefully measured into 1/2 litre containers, little shot glasses of hardener measured to the milli-dram all waiting for the "moment" to arrive... I mean what could possibly go wrong. And by now you have your toxic waste suit on, latex gloves and maybe even a respirator.  The "moment" in fiberglassing is the second you add the hardener to the resin and everything suddenly needs to be done twice as fast... and everything that happens and how you deal with it relate to how close you get to losing your sanity... for right after "the moment" is when murphy's law will affect you most.  Just as the best laid plans of mice and men go astray, so do the plans of the fiberglass man... mark my words because right after "the moment", your wife will start an argument, your neighbour who never visits will, you will scratch your nose with a sticky and torn disposable glove covered in hairy fiberglass, the cat will want some attention and your shoe will come untied. These are the moments that define you... You can rise up to the challenge, expect all of this and laugh... or you can spazz out... Now take tonight for instance... right after "the moment", I painted a layer of resin on my top deck, laid the pre-cut cloth into position and saturated it with 4 litres of additional resin. That sounds quite sane... and I was except immediately after "the moment", I fell going down the ladder (sticky hands - didn't want to hold on with my hands), I had tools that I didn't need at the top of the ladder and ones I didn't need at the bottom.   And then Sammy the cat came to visit… leaving little round bubbles in my work as he walked over to me and then, noticing his sticky little feet and responding to my yelling, he jumped to the skylight and sat there licking his feet as I swung madly at him with a broom.  By then, my hands were thoroughly tarred and feathers with chopped strand and sticky resin and that was when I noticed my shoe lace had come untied and I came down with the itchiest nose I ever had. I won't say I found inner harmony, but I did marvel at my ability to laugh at myself and the cat.
(Sept 12, 2010)