Inside hull finishing question

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Grumple
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Inside hull finishing question

Post by Grumple » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:24 pm

Hey guys,

I'm FINALLY almost finished sanding the inside of my hull in preparation for fiberglass. I've even spent all the time to get the areas in near the stem cleaned up pretty nicely.

However, One area I'm struggling to get 100% is right along the joint between the inner stem and the strips, along the bottom of the bottom area of the canoe (ie where the stem has vertical sides rising off the strips). I've sanded it as much as I am comfortable, but it's still a bit bumpy/messy right down in the 'corner'.

I don't personally want to use a bulkhead or the like, so I've been toying with the idea of a fillet of wood-flour-thickened epoxy, or maybe even traditional wood filler.

The idea would be to run a strip of tape along the side of the stems and another parallel to the stem, each about 3/16" away from where the stem joins the strips. Then I'd apply my fillet and ensure a nice, smooth surface.

If all went as planned I'd end up with a nicer looking transition between stem and strips, and would go on to fiberglass over top of it all as usual.

Any thoughts? Good idea/Bad idea?

sedges
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Re: Inside hull finishing question

Post by sedges » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:19 pm

I think the fillet is a good idea to clean up places that are just about impossible to smooth and clean. The area you mention i also hard to get debris out of when cleaning your boat. The fillet will help with that, too. Two suggestions. Make the fillet only deep enough to cover the rough area. Fillets are dense and heavy and you want to make it as small as possible. Having your masked area will help with that. Watch your color when using wood flour. It will be much darker then simply wet-out strips. You may want to have some lighter material on hand to mix in to match your hull. White wheat flour actually works well for that if you don't have lighter sanding dust on hand.

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Cruiser
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Re: Inside hull finishing question

Post by Cruiser » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:01 pm

The inside area where the stem meets the strips is definitely a tricky area to work on. I would be a bit cautious doing too much filleting etc. , don't forget when you apply the glass, it won't bend square and you will be getting a natural fillet with the fiberglass that will be sitting in that space.

If you decide to fillet, there are basically 3 choices with thickened epoxy, try and match the wood, go colourless or try to contrast with the wood. I find that it is almost impossible to try and guess a perfect match to what the surrounding wood colour will be after epoxy is applied (and a close match usually doesn't look good) and colourless just seems to lack any presence. Most times I will opt for a colour contrast that will look good with the colour range the wetted out wood will have, when finished.

If you have cleaned the area to the point you are comfortable with, it may be you are overthinking/overworking the issue and it may be time to move on to the next step. I catch myself doing that from time to time and remind myself that there is a difference between furniture and canoe finishing ... sometimes you just have to move on because it isn't going to get any better and continuing to play with it, may make it worse.

My $.02

Brian

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Grumple
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Re: Inside hull finishing question

Post by Grumple » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:29 am

Thanks for the advice, guys.

I think I like the idea of trying to fillet, provided I can do it without making a mess. If I do I'll try to user a darker tinted epoxy paste. I even thought about grinding up some of my black walnut to make it really contrast.

Having said that, you are right about it likely being 'good enough', Brian...I find it looks much better to me on second inspection than it did right at the end of my weekend of sanding.

I think it is mostly my bad habit of leaving glue squeeze out (and probably using more glue than needed), but I was shocked (in a bad way) at how many hours it took to clean the inside of the hull up.

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Denis
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Re: Inside hull finishing question

Post by Denis » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:05 pm

try mixing up a batch of coloured thicked epoxy and use a plastic glue syringe with the dispensing end cut almost big enough for your fillet. I tried a plastic bag with the end cut out but found it too messy. Another thing I used for a fillet in a kayak along the sheer clamp was a stick cut narrower than the fillet and used it like a putty knife to apply the thickened epoxy. Likely the simplist and cheapest way to go.

Denis

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Inside hull finishing question

Post by Patricks Dad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:06 pm

Your fillet approach should work fine. I find that the best round surface to shape the fillet with is my finger. Mix the wood flour to match or a bit darker (lighter will be more visible so error on the dark side).
Randy Pfeifer
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