Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

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ptsmith
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 10:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by ptsmith » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:45 pm

Hello, Canoe Builders!
I've been working on my Freedom 17 off and on for over a year... Job changes... a baby... life... you know? Anyway, I've finally started stripping the hull a couple weeks ago. I've gotten 8 strips on each side, and I'm thinking it's time for a status check as I've noticed a couple potential "red flags."
I'd like to know if my strips are coming together normally, and whether I might be causing some problems with my process and glue selection. Here's the gist:
  • I prep each strip prior to gluing by running some fine steel wool over the bead to remove unruly grain, in hopes I'm achieving a better joint. It seems I caused a lot of raised grain when I milled the strips because I ran the strips through the router table against the grain. Anyway, I wipe the strips with a dry towel after the steel wool to remove any steel dust (and avoid rust issues).
  • I'm using Titebond III to glue the strips.
  • I'm using a stapleless method, with the typical clamping jigs and system.
  • The strips were milled with a 3/16" radius bead/cove bit in lieu of the standard 1/8" radius bit. I believe I got this idea from a post on this forum.
I've attached pictures to accompany this post, and to address my concerns below:

1) Are my strips coming together with the proper/normal looking "gap." I believe my clamping is strong, and if it were any stronger, I'd starve the joint of glue.
2) Am I using the right glue? There seems to be a solid dark grey line between each strip.
3) Could the steel wool be producing the above mentioned dark grey color? I kind of doubt this as there isn't much steel dust, and I do make sure to wipe the strip after the steel wool.
4) Are the gaps just due to the larger radius bead/coves, and I'm stuck with it? Will I end up having to scrape, plane, and sand a ton to get these lines to be finer or invisible?
ImageImageImage
Thank you for any and all help! I've spent many hours going though posts on this forum for advice,
tips, warnings, etc.!


Patrick

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Jim Dodd » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 pm

Looks good to me Patrick !
The glue is fine.
Joints are tight, I don't believe you can get any better than that.
I've never sanded the bead and coves. Not necessary ! Skip the steel wool !
Centering your strips in the router bit, is important,when machining. Then if you end for end your strips, you will have no problems.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Patricks Dad » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:09 pm

Yeah, you're good. If you don't like the color of the glue, switch to Titebond II. No need for the waterproof properties of III.

Enjoy
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Cruiser
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Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:58 am

Concur with Jim and Randy, don't use steel wool, it can catch the grain and create problems and leaving some behind is inevitable, which can cause future discoloration. If you feel you must touch those edges, use a light touch with 220 paper or sanding sponge.

Titebond III is a great glue, but something to remember is that most glues are overkill for this purpose, so when considering glue, it is really just choosing how much overkill you are going to use, as most glues are more than suitable, for this time of year. If you get into cooler weather, then you really need to check the recommended temps for the glue, because some, such as TB III, can't go very much below room temp before they start acting up.

As you point out, the TB III throws quite a dark finish, I find mostly that the shade blends in, if you want something lighter, just switch to TB II, not quite as dark.

When I stripped my Freedom 17 last year in the fall/winter, my shop temperature was getting too low for TB II, which was my stripping "go to" glue at that point. After looking over the market, I picked up some LePages Express Pro, with a 10 minute clamp time, it can be used to ~3C, which better fit my needs. Strength wise I think it was about 2/3 that of TB III, which is still way overkill for strip gluing. It has light beige finish, so that may be an option.

I also build stapleless and I found the shorter clamp time of the LePages was a real bonus, as it significantly decreased the time required between strips .... with the shorter clamp time, I didn't have as much time to "play around" getting a strip on, but it was quite manageable.

If you decide to switch glues, I do suggest you take a few of the scraps from the strips you have already done and try the replacement first, just to be sure it meets your needs, better to test that on the bench first time.

Brian

ptsmith
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 10:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by ptsmith » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks, everyone, for the very good advice. I stopped using the steel wool, and the dark grey/black color went away completely. Unfortunately, there are black lines between the first strips on each side... :crying

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Patricks Dad » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:00 am

nobody will notice and if they do they will be amazed at how you were able to create the tiny accent strips. Tell them it's a trade secret! :wink
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

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Cruiser
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Cruiser » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:44 am

Concur with Randy, no one but you will notice and it's very likely that most of what you see now, will vanish during the finishing steps.


Brian

phmiller
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by phmiller » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi Patrick, a comment from the other side of the world ! I've just read your post and looked at the pictures. Your work looks excellent to me. As has been rightly commented by others, we tend to view our own work with a super critical eye. No one else will notice any imperfections you see.

Ron Frenette has mentioned to me in some comments about glue. He says it should be regarded as a temporary measure to hold the strips in place before fibreglassing. The cloth and the resin is what really holds your canoe together so don't stress too much about the glue.

I have been using Titebond III myself recently but next time may switch to II which seems to be less visible by all accounts.

I am interested in the staple less method of stripping but not done it myself yet. Which system did you use ? In the meantime proceed with your work, it looks fantastic to me.

Patrick Miller.

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Cruiser
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Re: Strip Gaps and Glue Signs

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:42 am

Patrick (#2),

While I do agree that the glue holds the strips together and that the heavy lifting for strength comes from the application of the resin/cloth. I would go further and say that most wood glues , from a strength view, are much stronger than required for this purpose.

However, I also think the glue process should be stressed over a bit ....
- using most PVA glues even 1 degree below recommended temp can compromise the joint
- applying insufficient glue leaves voids in the joint, which the resin will fill, at the cost of bubbles forming under the cloth
- applying too much glue can result in a lot of extra cleanup, as the glue is harder than the wood, so is a bit tricky to level and remove (if you don't get it all removed, the glue area will not absorb the finish and show a "blotch")
- glues have differing colours when dried, so glue selection may need to account for aesthetics as well

The gluing process will affect every aspect of the build as you move forward, so getting the glue and application right is pretty important.

Brian

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