Blasting and Macho Green – Southern Pines, NC

Despite what it says on a pack of 60 grit sandpaper, steel needs sand blasting. That’s really the only way to remove the mill scale, the protective coating the steel mills apply to raw steel to keep it from rusting while the metal is handled. Leave the mill scale on and just paint over it and your new paint job won’t adhere for very long.

I rolled my frame to Ken’s White and in two hours his assistant Sammy Parrish had the job done.

Sammy moves in for the job

Freshly blasted steel needs painting within twenty-hours to prevent moisture induced corrosion. To protect the newly exposed steel, I grubbed out a left over gallon of International under-water primer I had sitting in the garage.

On the fist sailboat I built, Garage Sail, I insisted that all paint was sprayed on. Back then, I was going for the mirror smooth, Detroit finish. I was ashamed that I didn’t have the money to buy a factory built sailboat. So I tried to disguise my plywood charge in a fancy paint job.

But over the years, near insolvency has changed my views. I worried more how well the job was done and less about whether I could shave in the results. On Sea Bird, my last boat, I went from sprayed finishes to paint jobs rolled on with a nine inch roller. Then I abandoned the roller in favor of the widest paint brush I could find, usually a four incher, often the two-dollar, chip brush variety.

Weeks spent on a faux factory paint job were weeks I could spend on the open ocean. Besides, the brush marks soon faded in the sun.

With this in mind, I tacked the wagon frame.

I dashed on a gallon of primer with the widest brush I could find and stepped back to admire the results.

The coverage was splendid, no annoying runs of drips. But my soaring spirits were brought in check by the color.

Instead of a macho sea-going red or black, it came out pink.

Two days later I covered it with a more manly shade of John Deere Greene

A manly shade of green

But I was growing impatient.

It was time to get Jack and Bill out on the road.


(Thanks Ken White and Sammy Parrish for fitting my wagon into your busy blasting schedule. Bernie)


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