Category Archives: Building the Bolger Bobcat

All of the posts concerning the building of the Bolger Bobcat.

My New Healthy Woodshop Addition

20150504_155223smI am in the finishing steps of the Chesapeake Light Craft Wood Duck 10.  Finishing does not mean that I am actually finished with the boat, it simply means that I have started sanding and painting (See our blog “Finishing a Boat“).  On the deck of the kayak I am using Interlux Schooner Varnish.  I have tried many varnishes and there are some great ones out there, but I have had the best luck with Interlux.

After the first night of varnish, I got a call from my wife later that afternoon.  “Honey, the house wreaks of chemicals,” she said.

I came home that night, skeptical of the claim.  I know paints have an odor, but I doubted that the varnish had permeated the basement ceiling and made the house “wreak.”  My wife, like most mothers, has a overly cautious nose when it comes to chemicals, gases, or something burning.  Unfortunately, when I walked in the front door, the odor smacked me in the face like Don Corleone slapping Johnny Fontaine.  Down in my woodshop, the smell was ferocious.  Then I remembered the last time I used Interlux Schooner Varnish.  Oh yeah….that stuff STINKS and stinks for 2 days!

Since I don’t plan on stopping the use of my favorite varnish, I had to come up with another solution.  I went on to Amazon and made some purchases for what I refer to as my vapor removal system.  The whole setup cost under $200.  I purchased a 400 CFM In-Line Fan and a 6″ range hood duct kit that included 8′ of 6″ duct and a louvered vent.  I also purchased a second 25′ section of 6″ duct for the intake.  I want to have the ability to move this section of duct over to whatever project I am working on, so I got one that was sheathed in vinyl.  Lastly, I picked up a timer outlet just so I don’t accidentally leave this thing running for weeks on end.  It took a little over an hour to cut the hole in the wall and to hang everything from the ceiling.

I won’t tell you that this device eliminates the odor produced by paints and epoxy and it does not take the place of a good Vapor Respirator, but it does a fantastic job reducing that smell.  I have done several coats of Schooner Varnish and other marine grade paints and have not had a single complaint from Super Nose.  Comment below if you have any questions.

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Boat Building Emotions

“Oh wow,” said my wife, Meg.  “That’s really cool.” “Thanks baby,” I replied. I had pulled her down to the basement just before the kids bedtime to see the boat I had been working on.  I had just flipped it right-side-up for the first time.  Unfortunately, she was a bit anxious to get back upstairs to…Continue Reading

Daddy. Why do you build boats?

My son asked me this question today and my reply was, “Well Harry, because I like to and because…..”  And he walked away completely satisfied with my answer but leaving me entirely unsatisfied with my answer.  To a kid, liking something is reason enough to do it.  End of story.  For an adult, you have…Continue Reading