Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bigger parts need lotsa sticky stuff

One of the things about building your own boat is you learn things, fast. For instance, epoxy and fiberglassing. So far the largest piece I've done is probably a seam that's 6" wide by 4' long. No big deal, you're mixing up maybe 3 oz of epoxy to do that seam.

We got to a point last night were we decided to glass the lower part of Frame E. This is the main bulkhead between the engine room and the fwd cabin. We only need to do the lower section for water integrity and structure. It'll be pretty much hidden so we tried some of the really heavy fiberglass I have for the hull. It's a good chance to practice.

This lesson for us was about the ever increasing size, volume and cost if you screw up rules of epoxy and fiberglass. Although not HUGE it's still a couple of square yards.


I had to cut the glass from two different supplies. One on a roll I just bought recently and one that was folded in a box I bought a couple years ago. The folded stuff just wouldn't lay down. The newer stuff laid right down and wetted out very easily.


I used the peelply/release film and squeegee technique on this part. It'll save some sanding later on.

Up close both sections appear to be fully wetted out. We used about 1.75 litres of epoxy all together. It was very warm in the shed +30 degs C so we worked in small batches. After measuring and mixing (the Admiral did that part) we poured it into a paint roller pan to increase the area and keep it from kicking off to quickly. The plywood was coated first then the glass laid on top. Once that was thoroughly wetted out with a roller we placed the peelply over top of that and squeegee'd it out. Last step was the release film (in this case I used vacuum bagging plastic but will switch to cheaper plastic from now on). All the bubbles were squeegee'd out and this is the result.


We used our "Sticky Stuff" dispenser last night with the static mixing nozzel and it worked perfectly! ;-) Although not ideally suited to large batches of epoxy it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the whole process. Just push the handle and it comes out correctly measured and fully mixed!


We'll find out how well we did tonight. Standby...