As part of the process of making the boat weatherproof, I need to have the transom door painted and get it installed. I’ve had the hinges for a long time, but I was having trouble finding a latch. Well, I finally found one that will work, so I drilled all the holes, dry-fitted all the hardware, did a test install, then adjusted the gap all the way around so there won’t be any interference once it’s painted. I also welded up the seams on top, since the guy who built the aft enclosure had only tacked them. I think it turned out pretty good, and it’s finally ready for paint.
I recycled the spacers from the glass delivery. They’re 1/8″ thick rubber, which is exactly the gap I’d like all around the door.
These spring-loaded Vix drill bits are a great tool to have if you’re installing hinges and other things that require screws to be installed dead center in hardware holes.
I’m not sure why the fabricator for the aft enclosure didn’t weld continuously across the top of the transom door like he did for the rest of the aft panel. I considered using epoxy fairing compound to fill the seam, but I’m concerned that the crack between the panels will eventually telegraph through the filler. The tacks were all done in 5356 aluminum MIG wire, which is strong but also has a higher melting point than 4043. I don’t want excessive heat to warp the door, so I used 1/8″ 4043 TIG filler and my AlphaTIG to stitch weld the seams.
I’m envious of the guys who can lay down a perfect stack ‘o dimes, but I just don’t have the robot-like hand motion to consistently pull it off. I understand that it’s mostly a matter of seat time, and as a hobbyist I just don’t spend enough time laying down beads to get my muscles trained. On the upside, I’m jabbing the tungsten with the filler much less often than I used to…so there’s that. And I’m convinced that in the event of a zombie apocalypse (or the living equivalent for whatever happens after election day 🙂 ) being able to TIG weld aluminum even sloppily is a useful skill to have.
I walked away from the door a few times and gave it five minutes to cool. The last thing I need is to get it too hot and warp it!
I’ve had a Craftsman grinder for ages but was impressed by a buddy’s new Makita. Compared to the Craftsman, it’s smoother and relatively quiet. I also like the paddle switch much better than the one on the Craftsman that stays on. I dropped the Craftsman once, and it took off like a Tasmanian Devil until it finally pulled its cord from the wall!
The transom door is ready for the painter. Now if only he’d show up and get some stuff done…