What's the dumbest thing you've done while working?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by glasscrafters, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. glasscrafters
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Corning, CA

    glasscrafters fiberglass junkie

    I will tell you about my brain dead moment to break the ice then I would appreciate it if you'd make me feel better with your stories!

    Back in '98 I was gelling for Bayliner. I was working on a 22' mold and stopped after my tack coat to do something. While I had my back turned a guy from patch & detail disconnected the catalyst slave arm from my pump so he could get some gel coat, and didn't reconnect it. I sprayed a 22' deck with no catalyst!

    I had to go back and spray hot gel coat in the mold, brush it in... repeat... blow out the gel and repeat. Getting the gel coat out of the non-skid was a nightmare! Needless to say I got written up. Since then I always look at my gun to make sure I'm getting catalyst. :D
  2. tauruck
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: South Africa

    tauruck Junior Member

    Dumb things.

    Almost the same deal here. Was doing a wet layup on a carbon hood for a Countach back in the late 80's. Had the epoy in one cup and the hardener in another. I got distracted for 5 minutes and then went back to work. After I had finished laminating and had gone through the whole process of the peel ply, bleeder film etc. I was walking over to the mixing bench when I saw the hardener sitting there. At times like that You want to cry. School fees. Luckily the hardener now has a colour to it.
  3. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    When building my runabout in '01, I had a few catalyst incidents too....
    This was before I learned about epoxy, and so I was working with a cheap polyester resin. (Never again...) Anyway, this stuff needed something like three drops of MEKP per cup, the ratio being very temperature-dependent. There were a couple of times when I forgot to check the weather forecast before mixing- so I figure, it's warm, I'll use a low ratio. Well, an hour after I finish, the temperature drops, and stays down. Three days later- "Shouldn't this goop be dry by now?" "Maybe we need a heater...." "should we brush more MEKP on and give it a week?" Scraping off the uncured stuff and trying to work more catalyst into the rest.... loads of fun :rolleyes:

    I stick with epoxy now.... will be looking for one of those gear pumps that dispenses the hardener and resin into the cup, in the right ratio, just by turning a crank...
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Careful Matt
    Not the topic (established merchants are not permitted to mistakes), :rolleyes: but a serious hint:
  5. glasscrafters
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: Corning, CA

    glasscrafters fiberglass junkie

    Come on guys... is there no one else who has a funny moment? I'll share another with you, but you guys gotta kick in!

    In 1999 I got a call from a guy wanting me to refirbish his speedboat. He had deep pockets and wanted it done well so I was trying my darndest to make him happy. (no matter how silly his ideas) One night he called me and said that his buddy swares by anti-fouling paint and that he wants it on his boat. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to explain that you don't put anti-fouling paint on trailered speedboats. But, he would'nt listen and told me to do it anyway. Sometimes you've gotta say NO, the customer is not always right! Of course he later realized his mistake and left me a nasty voicemail. What can I say~ sometimes there's just no convincing truck drivers that their not fiberglass guys! I still feel bad though!
  6. ned L
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: N.E. Connecticut

    ned L Junior Member

    Back in '83 I was working at a small shipyard in R.I. (US). We were completing construction of a 'mid 50's foot' offshore lobster boat and the painting crew had been instructed to take a couple of gallons of white paint down to her & paint the wheelhouse & superstructure. It was getting toward quitting time when the yard foreman asked me to stay over & go help with the painting to get it done that day. When I got aboard I asked the guys what I could do, and they said I could open the second gallon of paint & start painting "over there". When I opened the can it was full of a clear liquid.....I put the lid back on, did some explaining to them & went home. They didn't understand what two part paint was! Well they had time to learn the next day while they scrubbed off the "A" component with lots of soap & water and then repainted the boat
  7. synergy
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Location: southern uk

    synergy New Member

    the dumbest thing

    hello fellas from a new member. great anicdote just sprung into my mind the most monumental fur lined .22 carrat .dumbest thing i have ever seen . wilst working on a deck for a 60ft ocean racer. all the foam core and hard points in place final layers of nomex .then three layers of multi pre preg kevlar all bagged down up to preasure sorted good work fellas! time for beer and home .return in the morning de bag the job film still a bit tacky uhm who was in charge of setting the oven guys . five very sheepish chaps all looking at their shoes . what a time we had clearing that lot up . fifteen years on and i have never gone home without checking the ovens anywhere i have worked .:eek:
  8. Commuter Boats
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Southeast Alaska

    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    Late 80s, repairing a 25 foot Boston whaler that had spent a few days upside down in the surf( on rocks), all the structural work was done on the top-sides ( there was a lot of), patches ground fair, everything was prepped and ready for primer. I made up 4 gallons of a homemade high build primer( white vinyl-ester resin, micro balloons and aerosol), poured two 2 gallon batches, catalyzed one, and rolled the other on. Was pretty proud of myself for having got it all rolled on before it kicked off, went back to the bench to catalyze the second batch.... four gallons of pigmented vinyl-ester, filler, in the fair amount of labor for cleanup, man the boss was pissed.
    You know what they say, when you're self-employed you work for an as$-hole! At least he couldn't fire me.

    I've never had a situation where I wished I had measured twice and cut once:rolleyes:

    And it doesn't matter how good of electrician you are, is when you're helping your best friend that you hook up the wires to the winch backwards.
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    In a rush to finish up a 32' birdsmouth spar for a client that was in a hurry, I set up for the final glue run. I'd made the mast in two halves so I could install hard points, sheave boxes, etc. It was getting late, I was tired and should have left, but I wanted the stick ready to turn smooth in the morning. I forgot to place visqueen down on my spar bench for the last 10' of mast. I remember saying to myself, "get some plastic under that section so it doesn't bond to the bench", but it was the first part of the glue run and I forgot by the time I got to the other end.

    I saved the mast, by literally hacking away the bench top and milling off it's remains during the rounding. Every time I see that side of the bench (big *** repaired area), I'm reminded not to rush things when you're tired (I skipped my usual "dry run" too) and stick to your known procedures. The mast broke the following year too, though not my fault, bridges tend to be hard on them. This was only a couple of years ago, so even after a few decades of this stuff, you still screw up from time to time.
  10. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    I was just finishing up the renovation of a swimming pool on the fifth floor of a Westin Hotel, it was an aluminum pool and we had lined it with fiberglass. This was going to be my last job as a general contractor before going to work for a company that I‘d done a great deal of work for over the years. The manager of a nearby, very expensive high rise condominium happened to hear what we were doing and wanted the same thing done to their leaking aluminum spa, so he came in and asked if I would do it. I told him no, this was my last job and he needed to find someone else, he came back a couple times over the next week and begged me to do it and said he wasn’t that concerned about the price. I finally agreed to do it after raising the normal price, but said I didn’t have time to remove the tile from the spa, or do some of the other work to prep the jobsite.
    They removed the tile with a shovel, breaking the spa jets off in the process, so when I arrived I gave them a bid to fix that also. After I was finished with all the glass work and the spa had been gel coated, I left it to cure for a couple of days. It turned out while I was gone the maintenance man returned from vacation and seeing the spa empty figured it was his job to refill it. This would have been OK had the plumbing been hooked back up and if this spa hadn’t been on the 35th floor. After 45 minutes of filling the spa with a 50 GPM pump it hadn’t filled up past the foot well, so he shut it off to see if there was a problem. The result was 18 floors of water damage, the condo directly under the spa had $550,000 in damages (this was a long time ago when $550,000 was a lot of money), luckily it didn’t get the millions in art work they had on the walls. At that time I was assured it wasn’t my fault and their maintenance man was the guilty party, two years later I was sued for the damages. I spent twice what I billed them for the job on attorney fees before I was dropped from the suit.

    I should never have agreed to do the job.

  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Many years ago I built a Holiday Resort on Bali Island using a Plan of a similar sized Resort, I planned for Kroatia, but never constructed due to the civil war. By keeping the floor plans, we changed everything in terms of appearance, roof protrusion, flooring materials, window sizing and so on. I did not touch the annex, housing all the technical installation a hotel resort needs. Nor did I even look at the annex related part of the call for tender. Everything was absolutely the same size, right down to the pool volume.

    Yeah what shall I say... the positive first, we noticed during the preopening, that nearly all and everything was working nice and as designed......:D
    Including the 180 kw oil fired heating system for the pool!:p :( :confused: :rolleyes:

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