see where the spray foam insulation is coming away from the head? that dark crack goes right on back in there. and see right below the helmet where the white foam is coming away from the helmet? the smooth white part beneath the rim. the ragged yellowish part beneath that is where i sliced the excess off with a razor; it’s the underside, and was flush with the bottom of the helmet yesterday.
this is the back, were the stuff – supposed to cure in 8 hours (it’s been days) – has continued to bubble and expand, forcing its way to the air where it hardened in a long tunnel-inside snake of plastic stuff. you can see where it’s coming away from the head back here too, and a little of the way the foam is coming away from the hat also. still expanding on both sides.
and here is three layers of bubble wrap glued down to fiberglass and fabric with gel medium.
now. what’s wrong with these pictures? let’s start with the bubble wrap. gel medium won’t stick it to itself, and it won’t stay stuck to the fabric or the fiberglass neither. i didn’t know that, hmm.
so i have to take the entire collar off, and either use a roll of epoxy to pad out the collar, or glue it down flat and have done with it. not the worst of time consuming mistakes. i had to make sure before i proceeded, and now that i know it’s not working, i’ll do something simpler with more familiar materials, and do it right this time.
the real problem is the hat. now, the guy at home depot did shake his head at what i proposed, and said several times that what he would recommend would be for me to fill the hat and let it cure, then shape it and glue it on the head with something else. and of course i ignored every word. didn’t i say there’d be days like this?
so the spray foam insulation is not curing (perhaps unless it’s got air, and sitting like that on top of the dolphin’s head it’s not getting any air, and maybe the shit’s still liquid inside). it has continued to rise very slowly off his head since i put it on, and now the curlicue ponytails have just finalized it.
the hat’s got to come off. it’s got to be pried off, the head has to be scraped and sanded back to the fiberglass again, the hat has to be gouged out and i have to either start over with the spray foam stuff, or build up the gouged out place with bondo, that is, epoxy, that is, apoxie sculpt, that is, magic sculp etc. everybody swears by 2-part epoxy on fiberglass.
i guess bubble wrap isn’t a good idea, anyway. it has too much give even glued together in a stack. it seemed like a good idea at a time, tho.
and that’s what i get for not following recipes. everybody says cooking is a science, and i go out of my way to show them it’s really an art, which is a much longer learning curve to the same point – which is to really know how to cook. but i don’t follow the established way of doing things, and this sends me down a lot of blind alleys, and has me reinventing the wheel all the time. but mcgyver does it, so why can’t i?
fucking up and having to back off and rethink gives me pause for all the rest of my hotshot plans for my dolphin. i’d already shelved as impractical the idea i could make a working pump and a working water circulation system some handy person could wire up when it was permanently installed. but now i’m wondering just how well i can make all the fiddly bits with the pipes. maybe i’ve bitten off way too much. maybe i’ve got to rethink everything.
this is why you take your best estimate of how long it’s going to take, and how much it’s going to cost, and you double it. because this kind of thing happens even if you know exactly what you’re doing, which i don’t.