Monday, June 5, 2017

A sticky situation

My first attempt at using epoxy and fiberglass tape wasn't exactly smooth. It's really sticky stuff! My local woodworking store only had the large size left in stock for the type of glue I was looking for, so I dropped the $70. I should have just ordered something else online.

I didn't want to drop the cash on fiberglass cloth for such a small, strange boat, so I decided just to tape the seams Epoxy + tape on the seams is supposed to waterproof the joints for the bottom so that should be all it takes. I ordered the tape online, plus some supplies like mixing cups and before I know it I was getting sticky.

The technique was to apply epoxy with a brush, then force the tape into the wet parts. Then add more epoxy until the product had turned the tape clear. This LiquidWood stuff is supposed to fill and seal, and I didn't know how it was going to act. Maybe the joints weren't tight enough? Maybe it did work after all.

cut and glue

All the tape & epoxy is on the bottom seams! First coat is done.

Closeup of the stern, lots of overlapping

Closeup of the transom
Turns out I had a cure problem. The first set of those pictures were taken on 5/5/2017, and the last two closeups were taken on 5/13. This product is supposed to take 12 hours to cure hard, but after a week it was still sticky in places. I went ahead and put on the second coat of epoxy anyway. I have no idea what to do about those bubbles you can see in the bottom pic. I thought they would fill in with epoxy but it just didn't. strange.

Eventually I did figure out the solution. Sawdust. I thickened the epoxy with sawdust when I filled the inside of the same joints. It cured fine, and got pretty hard. Also filled the joints really well too. I went back and rubbed sawdust into the sticky parts that were taking a long time to cure on the outside too, and it worked great. The next day everything was smooth and ready to paint!

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