Sunday, March 24, 2013

leather, weather

Nature seems to be heading in the wrong direction.

I just talked with a waterman friend on the phone about a planned crabbing trip I was going to make with him this week.  A few days ago the water temperature was 44 degrees and he was hoping it would edge closer to 50 degrees to get the crabs to "turn on."  The temperature, instead of increasing, has now fallen back to 42 degrees.  

We decided to talk about the trip in a couple of weeks when hopefully the temperature will head in the proper direction.

It is cold and rainy outside today with a chance of snow flurries tomorrow.  I put the last coat of varnish on the jaws this morning and started cutting the leather to line the jaws.  It is 4-5 ounce pearl gray leather, which I thought was a redundant name until I realized that "pearl" indicates the texture on the finished side of the leather.

A box cutter with a new blade and a straight edge was the easiest way to cut the leather.  I used both the old leather and the jaws for the pattern, the original leather was cut to instructions on John Welsford's website which are not long there.

I searched around at two hardware store for brass tacks, finally finding them and realizing that they are copper tacks.  The leather will go on tomorrow morning once this last coat of varnish is well set, using contact cement to glue the leather in place and then tapping in the copper tacks.  The first set of leather lasted seven seasons on the water, this should last just as long.

It is about six weeks until the spring cruise.  I do need to get out on the water some more before then.  And I do need to start checking on food supplies, batteries, importing waypoints and all those other little jobs - which I very much enjoy - before we head to Chincoteage.


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