July 2018 , 1-8
Hashimoto (above) is working on a plan to fill in an old fitting. The planks like this that have large holes from old skin fittings (valves and ports that pass through the planks) need patching. His patching is taking shape (below).
The planks from lower in the bilge were saturated with oil that had leaked or spilled into the bilge over decades. Although they were dryer than when they were first removed, the oil tends to bleed to the surface, resisting paint and other sealants. We experimented by coating some of these planks with a liberal amount of paint stripper and then covered with plastic (above) to keep the powerful vapors in close contact with the timber. After a short period of time, the plastic and stripper are removed and the planks washed in clean water. We found that the process did not remove the oil from the plank, but it did seem to clean the surface enough to make the plank paintable. Oil in the plank itself is not necessarily bad, but the black, greasy surface had to be clean for refitting.
Pascal is making sure that the bungs in the unwanted holes are cut flush with the plank surface.
Kawashima (above) is cleaning up the dovetail joints on the crew companionway hatch base, which is already looking better (below) than when we started.