One more pre-fiberglass question

Welcome to the new Bear Mountain Builders Forum - an interactive internet service we provide to encourage communication between canoe and kayak builders
Post Reply
User avatar
Grumple
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:38 am
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Grumple » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:24 am

I'm planning to apply my epoxy as suggested in CanoeCraft...starting by wetting out each stem area, then alternating ends of the canoe working towards the center.

My only concern/question is whether I should be worried about any slack in the cloth 'bunching up' with nowhere to go as I work towards the center? It seems like just working from end towards the other would ensure any slack cloth could 'slide off' the end that hasn't been wetted down? :thinking

Maybe the cloth doesn't really tend to move/bunch up and I'm worried about nothing?

Peter Kotowych
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Midland, Ontario

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Peter Kotowych » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:06 am

The book says to start at one end, say 2ft from the stem. Work toward this stem. Once all your business is done in this stem area, then work the epoxy towards the centre of the canoe. This way you will always have a wet edge and you can keep applying the epoxy towards the other end of the canoe. This will also make the cloth more manageable since you are going in one direction with the epoxy.
pk
I love wood!

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1182
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Jim Dodd » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:37 pm

I have always started in the middle and worked towards the ends because of the same concerns you bring up, and it has worked fine on the 30+ canoes I have glassed, or helped glass.

Good luck ! Have everything lined up before mixing that first cup.

And stay with it as the resin sets.

Good Luck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1182
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Jim Dodd » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:40 pm

I'm also a fan of over filling the weave of the cloth. When it comes time to sand, you will appreciate it !

You might want to spend a little time searching this site for posts on this subject !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Cruiser » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:44 pm

Applying the fiberglass can be pretty traumatic first time around. Just have your shop cleared and materials near at hand so that you don't have to worry about mundane stuff.

When you start, you can't decide to just stop, you pretty much need to complete any coat you start. That does not mean you have to complete all the required coats if something unexpected happens. You will have to be ready to make some decisions on the fly and live with whatever the consequences may be.

During application if I get a section where the cloth is going to bunch up for instance, I may decide to make an incision to ease the extra cloth (usually near the sheer in the middle) and just overlap the edges to keep from forming a crease in the finish. I know this will be easy to feather out with a scraper once it sets.

Raised sections and runs do occur, more often than we would like, and they can usually be scraped out after application. Sometime this will entail having to re-epoxy that area and feathering.

On my current boat, I overworked the second epoxy coat and ended up with more bubbles and rough sections than I was unhappy with ... I made a decision to stop after 2 coats, let the epoxy cure, sand out the whole boat and apply 2 more coats. The logic was that if I continued I was just putting more epoxy on top of the problem. This worked out well, I took the opportunity to scrape out a couple creases and level any runs, the resulting finish is like glass and will be very easy for final sanding .... I wasn't smiling when I made the decision to stop, but after I finished applying the epoxy, I was.

The point of the post is that you need to be prepared to make decisions with this process, it is pretty robust from a "I can correct this later" viewpoint. If you get a run, scrape it out later, if you get a raised "crease" type fault, it can likely be scraped out as well. If you hit glass scraping or sanding... you will need to reapply epoxy in that area, the glass needs to be buried and you need it covered enough that you can sand the surface smooth without hitting it again.

I can promise you that the queasy stomach will go away after a few days ... and I hope your glassing goes well.


Brian

User avatar
Patricks Dad
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:11 pm
Location: Warrenville, Illinois

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Patricks Dad » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:22 pm

I'm planning to apply my epoxy as suggested in CanoeCraft...starting by wetting out each stem area, then alternating ends of the canoe working towards the center.
As Peter notes, this is NOT what Canoecraft recommends. I think this would be a recipe for disaster (as you may have suspected). I would expect that you might well create a bit of slack cloth and when you got to the middle you would have no where to go with it. Working your way toward the end leaves an "out" for any slack cloth. I do follow Canoecraft's approach. Start a couple feet in from one end and finish to that stem and then work your way to the other end. You will find that any bunches of cloth can be "worked" as you move along. This may entail moving some cloth all the way to the end of the canoe (so don't bother trimming the far end until you get there). The key is keeping a wet edge. Jim's approach results in keeping 2 wet edges active at all times. But has the advantage of only have to move material ahead of you (if needed) for half the length of the craft. But it leaves you doing both stems nearly simultaneously. I prefer just the 1 wet edge as described in Canoecraft. Once you get one stem done you're pretty much in a mindless (but attention filled) cycle til you get to the other end.

Don't leave the job until you have fully inspected every inch for issues you can address while the epoxy is still not yet set....
Randy Pfeifer
(847) 341-0618
Randy.Pfeifer1@gmail.com

User avatar
Grumple
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:38 am
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Grumple » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:50 pm

Thanks for the sanity check guys. I re-read that section of the book and I see now how I misunderstood. Anyway, I was very glad I asked before starting.

The fiberglass process today was....interesting. The wet out went well, and the cloth actually laid down nicely. I don't think I ended up with any notable bubbles, etc. However, I didn't squeegee enough of the epoxy from around the football area, and didn't realize it was forming runs as it set until I was looking everything over after the coat was on.

I then applied a second coat to see what would happen but the runs stayed very visible. I think I'll have to wait a week, sand everything down to level, and then put on another coat or two.

I'm definitely feeling a pretty strange mix of excited and disappointed after today's results. Lessons learned!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:04 pm

Runs are not unusual, we all try to avoid them, but they are easily fixed.

Get your self a good carbide scraper, level them out tomorrow or in the next couple days. Take your time and they will level right out and you won't even see them after sanding.

There are lots of scrapers, I picked one out at Lee Valley,

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.a ... 3456,43390

There are other there and they are available lots of hardware stores, this was just to give you an idea. Of course if you already have one, ignore this.


Brian

User avatar
Grumple
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:38 am
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Grumple » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:31 pm

Haha well my immediate reaction after attempting the second coat was "I can still fix this TODAY!", so I ran out to Home Depot before they closed and bought a Stanley Razor scraper with enough razors to scrape a life time of canoes. However, as of writing the epoxy second coat is still tacky enough that it'll have to wait til tomorrow at the least.

Is there a big functional difference between the scraper you linked and the razor scraper? I can head to Lee Valley on Monday if the razor scraper wont suffice.

To be honest my gut is telling me I'm probably going to be happier if I level it all out smooth and try again for final coat(s). There are also some small air bubbles suspended in the same area of epoxy that ran, and I really battled brush hairs falling out into the coat a lot (I suspect has a lot to do with using cheap 'throw away' brushes).

Here are some shots of the she-devil in question. It looks pretty good til you get close enough to see all the runs around the football area, etc....

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:46 pm

The runs aren't a big deal and you will get the knack of scraping them down, not trying to cut them out.

I only linked that one to give you an idea of what I meant, there are a lot of kinds of scrapers. I also got one with a smaller blade from Lowes ... so where isn't an issue.

You want something like that, you just place it on the run which is a high point, a little pressure and pull it along the run. It is a high point and you will shave a small amount off the top. As you keep going, it will widen and after a bit it will be level with the canoe, presto ... no run.

You are doing good work.

Brian

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: One more pre-fiberglass question

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:46 pm

Don't forget to trim that cloth soon.

Post Reply