December 20 - 26

Oh boy, what a week this has been. We had 60 degree weather last week and then the snow arrived. It didn't last long on the coast but in the higher elevations it hung on several days. At Point Cabrillo the weather was clear but cold, mornings starting out at around 28 degrees.

This is what I call the crack of dawn, 7:30 am, December 22nd. The six cylinder diesel compressor has been started and takes about 15 minutes to warm up.

Meanwhile, Stefan and I enjoy our morning Svenheart sweetrolls.

This is a close view of the diamond plate pattern in the floor casting. Belzona has been applied to the corrosion areas after first spot sandblasting each bad area.

After the Belzona has had a day to cure I take a grinder and, with a 1/4 inch thick, round edged, grinding wheel, grind the diamond pattern into the Belzona to match the rest of the floor pattern. The panel is now ready for the final sandblast to the entire panel to remove the remaining rust and "texture" the Belzona to match the rest of the casting finish.

Here are three Lantern floor plates leaning against the east wall of the temporary shed. They have been spot sandblasted, Belzona applied, and the diamond pattern ground into it. Now they will be finished sandblasted and primed with zinc primer.

Stefan is applying the zinc primer. In the foreground is our forth pallet of No. 20 grit sand. Thirty, one hundred pound sacks of sand, per pallet!

Christmas Eve day! Stefan and I are all dressed for a party!

One thing that keeps life interesting is the Jingjiang fork lift, made in the Republic of China. It had arrived at the job site with several teeth missing from the ring gear and, of course, something like that, over-time, never gets better. Now, about every fourth time we go to use it, the starter will not engage. We grind and grind away to no avail. Stefan and I know that all we have to do is take a wrench and turn the crank just a bit to engage a tooth but the problem is, the backward facing engine is buried deep in the bowels of the fork lift. We can't get a wrench on the crank pulley.

No problem. Just snake a pry bar in above the rear wheel and pry the crank pulley around a bit.

Oh Joy! Nothing like a operational fork lift. Life is good!

Then it's back to work sandblasting the underside of one of the eight floor panels.

The "smoke hood" has been carefully sandblasted, to prevent distortion (It is made out of tin) and now gets it's coat of zinc primer.

December 24th.

Finally, can you believe it! The first floor panel is back in it's original position in the temporary shed. Assembly will start soon. Of the eight floor panels, four were discovered to have cracks in the castings. Woodie's Weld-all of Fort Bragg is repairing them. Meanwhile, we have a three day Holiday. Monday, the 28th of December, two repaired panels will be delivered back to the job site for final sandblasting and priming and then we will be caulking and bolting them together while the last two panels are welded.

We will be bolting and sealing everything together and after it is all together we will put an polyamid epoxy primer over the zinc primer and then finish coat the interior and exterior of the Lantern with aliphatic urethane. I understand that the exterior will be gloss black and the interior gloss white. The new window glass should arrive next week. Oh boy. Oh boy. Now, if I can just remember how we took it apart! Stefan, being from Switzerland, is my Ace in the hole!

On to next week

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