We have blast off…

Or lift off… Or whatever. What I am trying to say is that the Shotblasting has started and I am relieved and thrilled to say it is working a treat. There was always a niggling doubt that the two different bits of kit would come together and actually work but it seems to be happening.

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The site is pretty waterlogged but the weather has cleared up enough to get a fair amount done.

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It is hard work to control the nozzle shooting out the blast material, grubby and noisy. I say that like I have been doing the grafting. I haven’t, and tbh don’t think I could… Lack of upper body strength, clumsiness, and the high probability I would accidentally blast off a foot in the process. So big thanks to Led and Lee for their hard work so far (suns out, back to it chaps!!).

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Apart from a 10 inch strip round the waterline and a few dinks here and there, the hull seems in pretty good shape for its age. While the blasting has smoothed off the surface beautifully, it hasn’t revealed many more holes or weak spots than the scabbling uncovered. The photo below shows the before and after and the difference between the rust and the freshly blasted and shop primed surface.

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Below you can see the holes along the waterline that will need welding.

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And the shot blasted rudder that was the test area for checking the pressure on the equipment.

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Already starting to look smarter. The riveted sections above the waterline look really good and, apparently crucially, there are no missing heads on the rivets so in good shape. The steel that makes up the striker rails is stamped with “Port Talbot Steel” (photo next time).

She will look good but also quite strange when it is all done. From black, red and rust to a grey battleship…

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