Current location for King Malu

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Laying Treadmaster

Today was the day we laid our first Treadmaster. We had been working towards this day for weeks. This is where we had got to: Removed the old Treadmaster, sanded the deck, filled the deck with Epidermix...

... and made a template out of cardboard.

Tim had suggested that we convert the cardboard template to a thin MDF template. This was a brilliant idea, based on the plastic templates shown on the Treadmaster video. We found it really helped, both in protecting cuts and in creating a smooth rounded cutting template.

Here were the steps: We had the MDF cut to be identical to the size of the Treadmaster sheets. So we laid out the cardboard on top of the MDF to work out the most efficient cutting. Then transfer the shapes with pencil to the MDF.

Next step was to cut out the transferred shapes in the MDF with a jigsaw. When you started then it went much quicker than expected and evened up some of the cardboard template. Sometimes it proved easier for the second person to move the MDF while the other person moved the jigsaw.

Then we then took the MDF templates down to King Malu to check them a final time before cutting the Treadmaster.

One of the things we found was that the circles for the dorades were tighter than we needed. So we marked up the circles on the MDF and then used a circle template to re-draw and then re-cut them with the jigsaw. When we came to fit the Treadmaster, the re-cut circles proved exactly right.

We also used the circular sander to smooth off the curves. That was also a good step to make the final cut Treadmaster look good.

Cutting the Treadmaster required a significant amount of pressure with a very sharp Stanley knife. We turned each template over, so that we were cutting from the back to the front of the Treadmaster. We changed the blade of the Stanley knife after a few cuts so we were always using an extremely sharp knife.

Then it was back down to King Malu with the cut Treadmaster and the wood templates.

Gluing down was very much more difficult that we expected. We think we perfected the technique so that the rest of the deck should be easier. The problem was that Treadmaster epoxy glue becomes solid and un-spreadable much quicker than the Epidermix we are used to using (we would probably use Epridermix instead of the Treadmaster epoxy if we did this again).

Putting the glue on the Treadmaster and laying in place and then making all the pieces match up was tricky. We could not have done it with one person.  And... you need plenty of white spirit for cleaning the glue off where it shouldn't get to.

The final result. Definitely worth it.

Now we just have the rest of the deck to do, the stainless steel fittings to replace and... yes, still a way to go... BUT... the good news we had was that the injector pump for the engine is serviced with all relevant parts replaced so we are still targeting for Easter weekend for first sail.

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