sole was put down well before any of the cabinet work was started and
it extended almost from hull to hull across the vessel. It is
veneered ply vinylestered to the marine ply below. It was a
tricky job because of the size and to match up the sheets. I
had to place large weights onto the sheets and get it just right.
The issue was the veneer on the base plywood. At some time
after about crossing the Atlantic I noticed a black stain come from
under the cupboard and over two days spread across the sole.
There was nothing I could do, just watch it spread. I had
purchased a Moroccan rug so that went down and I did not notice it
for many years but after returning to Australia it was time to
address the problem.
I tried a number of things to change the
colour but they did not work so the solution was to remove the
veneered ply. Yes every piece stuck down with resin. Now
you cant chisel it off or sand it off so I set about routing it off
with my very best hand router. Set the blade at 5mm the
thickness of the ply and start at one corner moving backwards to the
far corner. Dust, dust and more dust enveloped the cabin.
It went everywhere. Vacuum and sweep then blow with a jet of
air from the compressor and start again. Finally clean.
OK now cut the new plywood to fit exactly, well not quiet.
First cut a template because the uniqueness of Malua's cabin is that
there are curves, straight edges but not a single right angle.
Thats right not a single 90 degree so everything had to fit and be
cut perfectly from just two pieces of ply. The secret is to
start at one point then cut and fit, cut and fit till finally you
have your template. transfer the template to the final prepared
ply and cut - exactly to the size of the template. Then lay it
down and adjust to fit.
The two pieces fit perfectly and it was
time to glue it down. This time I had done a number of trial
experiments with modern glues not available when I first laid the
floor. Moister hardening glue was then spread evenly on both
surfaces and slowly the new ply was moved into position.
Stamped down and a number of containers with water were placed on the
surface. Wait two days and your now have a new floor.
Coat of varnish, the third and we have a new sole.
While I was
doing this I removed the companion way steps, sanded them and gave
then 5 coats of varnish. Finished.
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