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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Channahon, IL
    Posts
    2

    What I should see when fiberglassing?

    We're in the process of building a cedar-strip row troller. Fiberglassing the transom is the first real experience with the glass. We pre-coated the cedar with epoxy to seal it, then layed out the glass. While wetting out the glass, I can see small slivers of the fiberglass. It does not seem starved, but I'm not sure if it's completely normal.
    I tried it again on a scrap piece and it's definetly getting saturated enough, but I still see small slivers of glass in most all areas. This could be normal, but as previously mention, have no experience at what I should be seeing.
    The System Three SilverTip is what we are using, slow hardener.

    Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    Could be a number of reasons. First the cloth is woven from yarns, then heat cleaned to remove any contaminates then a coating is applied to assist wet out with specific resins. If the woven cloth is not heat cleaned, or the coating is not properly applied or the wrong type for your resin, this can cause problems.

    Assuming you have good quality cloth, other reasons could be working in high humidity, or having allowed the material to become damp when stored. The best way to apply fiberglass is to drape the material on the boat dry, then apply resin, For horizontal surfaces I like to just pour the resin directly from the mixing container, then spread with a squeegee, and use a roller only for vertical surfaces. The resin should be allowed to just gel before the second coat is rolled, and a third coat as soon as the second has gelled. If you allow the first coat to harden and sand before the second, or the fiberglass cloth is overworked and promotes air entrapment, visibility problems can result.

    Lastly no matter how good the fabric and application, if you look closely after three coats of epoxy, careful sanding and several coats of varnish you can usually still see some weave, but it should look great from a few feet away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Channahon, IL
    Posts
    2
    Thank you very much for the response, that is the answer I was looking for.
    I dove in again and while doing the back of the transom, I found out what I was doing wrong. I pre-coated with epoxy to seal wood, then the cloth after set up. Dumped on the epoxy and spread with squeegee, it looked good but I still could see the slivers of glass. Then I took a magnifing glass and a dental tool, set it on the sliver and pushed it into the epoxy and it dissapeared. WOW, I realized even though I thought I was using the squeegee hard enough, it wasn't quite hard enough.
    When I went over transom again with squeegee harder (while not starving the glass) the slivers were gone, learning curve was longer than I expected.
    Results were worth it though. Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Fiberglassing

    Looks like you might have this figured out, but the basic answer is, if you can still see white strands, then the fabric isn't completely whetted out (or something else is wrong).

    You can apply the epoxy pretty firmly and thickly if you keep the squeegee at a low angle to the surface. Then go back over it at a higher angle to squeeze out the excess.

    Seth
    My recent canoe project: http://www.rosaryshop.com/resources.php/request/canoe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Garden City, MI
    Posts
    17

    Nomad 17'

    Hi Seth... I loved you photo's of the hull as I'm there right now. The first photo feels smooth by the touch but when you sand all variances, it does look like the second photo. I think that much sanding is overkill but I had a couple of creases that would not come out and sanding and re-applying another coat of epoxy is the only option. My question is... how did you apply the last thin layer of epoxy? CanoeCraft third layer approach is certainly an option but I would like to brush on a thin coat. Did you do that or was another technique used?
    Thanks in advance,
    CYA, Joe


 

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