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View Full Version : Plastic zip ties vs. copper wire



ned
09-01-2005, 04:57 PM
Are there any opinions out there on plastic zip ties vs. copper wire for stitching? I read Devlin's book and he is adamant about removing the copper wire. It's probably not possible to remove plastic zip ties after epoxying but the plastic seems easier and cheaper to use. Does using plastic zip ties have any negative effects?

JEM
09-05-2005, 10:07 AM
if you cover the stitches with epoxy, then you'll have issues gettng them out.

I prefer the "tack weld" method where filleting material is placed between the stitches, allowed to dry/cure, then remove them. Fill in all gaps after. That way it's no fight to remove the stitches.

The plastic actually does come lose from epoxy if you pull hard enough, but it's a pain.

mag
10-06-2005, 12:41 PM
I used copper wire on my boat. The problem I ran into is I ran out of wire. All I needed was about 5 or 10 more feet but I couldn't find the wire anywhere close to home. I didn't want to order a whole bunch online. Finally someone reminded me that you could buy copper electrical wire at home depot. The only problem was that I would have to rip the insulation off the wire. It worked.

My boat is still stiched together with the wire right now but I'm getting close to turning the boat and pulling the wire out. I went ahead and laid my epoxy seam right over all the stiches like my instructions say to do. It also says that you can wiggle the stiches out, or just cut them off and leave them in the epoxy.

But, the coolest :cool: way that I've heard of pulling the copper stiches out is with a car battery. From what I understand is you connect jumper cables to the battery and then connect the + cable to one side of the copper wire and the = cable to other side. I guess the wire gets hot and the epoxy gets soft and you can pull the wire out. I haven't tried it yet but you can guarantee I'm going to try it. Be carefull though, I THINK this is how you do it!! :eek:

I would definitely use the copper wire if I were you. You can loosen it and tighten it just by turning it. As you stitch your way up the boat you may have to loosen some of the stitches you already put in and you can't do that with the plastic ties.

boatbuilder.org
12-11-2005, 09:50 PM
We do things a bit different at Devlin now-a-days. Use electric fence wire because it is stronger and you can pull panels together easier than with the softer copper. Tab between the stitches then remove Stitching Image (http://www.boatbuilder.org/mudpeepstitching3.jpg) . In bigger boats we will add a small piece of glass about 3"x3" over the tabbing.

At the bow where there is a lot of stress I will clamp together and use decking screws and fillet and glass over them on the inside then remove them. Keep the screws toward the end of the panel to keep the fillet and glass smooth. "Stitching" with screws image (http://www.boatbuilder.org/godzillihull3.jpg)

---Joel---
www.devlinboat.com
www.boatbuilder.org

lewisboats
01-10-2006, 10:20 AM
I used copper wire on my boat. The problem I ran into is I ran out of wire. All I needed was about 5 or 10 more feet but I couldn't find the wire anywhere close to home. I didn't want to order a whole bunch online. Finally someone reminded me that you could buy copper electrical wire at home depot. The only problem was that I would have to rip the insulation off the wire. It worked.

My boat is still stiched together with the wire right now but I'm getting close to turning the boat and pulling the wire out. I went ahead and laid my epoxy seam right over all the stiches like my instructions say to do. It also says that you can wiggle the stiches out, or just cut them off and leave them in the epoxy.

But, the coolest :cool: way that I've heard of pulling the copper stiches out is with a car battery. From what I understand is you connect jumper cables to the battery and then connect the + cable to one side of the copper wire and the = cable to other side. I guess the wire gets hot and the epoxy gets soft and you can pull the wire out. I haven't tried it yet but you can guarantee I'm going to try it. Be carefull though, I THINK this is how you do it!! :eek:

I would definitely use the copper wire if I were you. You can loosen it and tighten it just by turning it. As you stitch your way up the boat you may have to loosen some of the stitches you already put in and you can't do that with the plastic ties.

A car battery might have too much OOMPH. I would use one of those 6 volt batteries from a hobby shop (used to start model aircraft engines). I gave myself a good scar arcing + and - with copper wire with one of these. :rolleyes: Hotter than the hinges...

Steve