It's getting much closer to ending! The air compressor, 2KW inverter, and refrigerator plug are all wired up and tested. I load-tested the inverter to 1700W without any problem at all. For the air compressor test, I aired down one tire to 16 pounds, and aired it back up to 33 pounds. Woo hoo!
But it gets even better. Over the weekend I stripped all the masking tape from the panels that need both orange and grey deck coating. I had a minor masking tape disaster - the glue from the masking tape stuck in big gobs to the wood. I didn't want to chance trying a solvent, so I did it mechanically: I sanded with 220 grit to get rid of the glue. I went through about 10 sheets of sandpaper real fast, as the masking tape glue quickly gummed up each new sheet. But I got it all off!
Then I re-masked – with new rolls of masking tape! – to do the rubberized deck coating, a light grey in color. The masking was easy enough. Next came a two-part resin-based primer. Once I mixed this, I had 90 minutes to work – and they weren't kidding! About 100 minutes after I started (and finished, thankfully) painting, the remaining paint in the can turned hard as a rock. The primer was kind of weird. It had the viscosity of water, very thin stuff. It went on as a beautiful bright white – but within 5 minutes of application, it turned water clear. Weird stuff! Once that was on, I roughly sanded it (per directions) with 60 grit sandpaper, then cleaned it off.
Finally I was ready for the rubberized deck coating. This stuff I got from Cabela's, and it's a water-based paint that dries rubbery, and contains “crumbs” of rubber to add to the effect. It's water-proof, oil-proof, dirt-proof – perfect for the surface of a platform that will hold two rowdy dogs. This stuff was really odd to paint. First, it was quite thick, like blue cheese salad dressing. Second, the rubber crumbs kept sinking in the can, so I had to mix it every few minutes. The first coat went on very thick, maybe a tenth inch (that's a lot for paint!). It dried kind of like mud dries sometimes, with cracks between solid sections that averaged maybe 1/2" in diameter. But I'd read about this online and wasn't worried; the second coat would fill in those cracks. And indeed it did, as you can see in the photos below. As I write this, I've just finished putting on the second coat, and the coating is looking very nice indeed.
So the platform's interior is done. Well, the complicated stuff, anyway. And the paint will be dry tomorrow morning. That means it's time to assemble the final pieces of the platform. It sure took a long time to get to this point...
The photo dump:
|With the wiring complete, it's time to install the (200 amp!) fuse so I can test the inverter, air compressor, and refrigerator outlet...|
|Looking almost straight down at the rear of the port side of the platform, showing the air compressor and (blue arrow) the air outlet port and (purple arrow) air compressor switch.|
|First time I've ever used a socket wrench to install a fuse!|
|Parts with two coats of rubberized deck coating on, baking in the sun...|
|A close-up of one of the rubberized parts; you can see the rough texture of this stuff, perfect for providing doggie traction...|
|The Wagan 2KW inverter, installed on the starboard side of the platform...|
|Four outlets right behind the center console. These are all GFI'd...|
|Looking down at the port side, rear of the platform compartment. The air compressor (blue arrow) sends air to the back end of the port (yellow arrow). The air compressor switch (red arrow) controls the air compressor relay back on the wiring panel. The rear panel has it's own set of four outlets (also GFI'd), and you can see the junction box that holds them (green arrow)...|
|Back side of the inverter. You can just make out the two 0 gauge DC wires connecting into it (dead center in the photo). At left is the back of the refrigerator's DC outlet...|