Pink Floyd had no idea that “comfortably numb” be my state while building a teardrop trailer. With enough epoxy resin in the air, anyone will be comfortably numb. They say to use it in a well ventilated area. Yet they also say to keep it dust free. So the garage and 3 blocks around smell like epoxy (I think…unless my brain is messing with me). Even though my wheat allergy has got me all messed up and in pain, I don’t care as much. Actually, I’ve been wearing a mask to keep the epoxy fumes and the airborne wheat out of my system.
Senior Management and I have put three layers of epoxy on the walls. It doesn’t look like much work but each layer represents about an hour of sanding between layers. Between the two walls, we’ve done 6 layers. Six hours of sanding. Sanding is one of the most mind numbing activities on the planet. However, if one takes the time to do it properly (with patience) the final product will be better for it. So patience is the game. Patience with my wandering mind (due to boredom and epoxy fumes) and patience for epoxy to cure.
In all of this finish work, I have found the best way to apply fiberglass epoxy in smooth even coats. It is a hard plastic smoothing tool (one made for paint so it won’t melt in the epoxy). It has three different lengths to spread with and smooths all surfaces quite well. I’ve tried a squeegee, a tile grout float, brushes, and rollers. All of those tools seem to bend too much or leave funny patterns or lines. This scraper won’t bend, can leave lines -but with practice not very large ones, cleans up well, and cost me about $1.50.
Once the last layer of epoxy is cured, I’ll need to prep for the marine paint. This is an extensive process (which I have outlined on Body:External).
Today, there are any number of things I can be doing. I can cut roof spars, make the bulkhead, or cut the counter top out for the galley. All of these are critical structural pieces to hold the walls up. I also have some doors to make at some point. We’ll see how I’m feeling.
I’ll also keep singing a song that I have stuck in my head:
“There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ships smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I can’t explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.”