Cooking Right Along

June 7, 2015  Hours spent building to date:  1,095

With all the cookie sheets, broiler liners and pasta pans I’ve been hauling into the shop, my neighbors must think I’ve turned the Tardis Project into a catering establishment.  But they are simply tools in my quest to find a fast, smooth way to create the 134 “coved and taped” joints that hold the boat together.

There’s a lot on the Internet on taping fiberglass boats, but not many people (sometimes I think not ANY people) are building plywood 28-footers.  And my books just said, “wet out the wood, squeeze  a thick fillet, put on the glass tape, wet it out.”  But when I did that, getting a four-inch strip of 12 oz biaxial tape topped by a six-inch strip of woven tape to wet out (weave filled with epoxy) was taking forever.  Dipping my little chip brush over and over again into the epoxy and trying to force it down through the tape wasn’t just slow, I was dripping goo all over.

So I decided to wet out the glass the way you do with a horizontal surface, simply pouring it on and letting is soak through.  Hence my trip to the housewares department for a surface to work on.  I think this method works, so I had John take pictures of the whole process.  There are two bonuses to the “pour on” method aside from easy wetout:  1)  The wet biax is so pliable that you don’t need to form a perfect fillet before applying (if you do, the tape messes it up anyway).  You can make a pretty decent cove just smoothing the thickened epoxy into the joint with a small, stiff brush, then forming a cove by pushing through the tape with the brush and your fingers.  2)  The epoxy in the biax soaks through the top layer of woven tape pretty quickly.  Just let it sit about a minute and brush out any dry spots.

My favorite pan for soaking the biax with epoxy is a 24-inch aluminum pasta pan from Walmart.  I’m using a 1-inch chip brush to smooth out the thickened epoxy to make the cove, and a two-inch for wetout.  I have never really seen a picture what one of these tabs are supposed to look like, but I think I must be close.

In other news, the area under the berths has been painted with a tie-coat to avoid paint adhesion problems, then I put on a coat of “Bilge Coat,” the world’s smelliest (also toughest) coating for areas that are prone to moisture

.

Measuring for the tape

Measuring for the tape

Measuring tape on the bench

Measuring tape on the bench

Cutting tape with fiberglass shears

Cutting tape with fiberglass shears

Mixing epoxy

Mixing epoxy on the boat

Wetting out area to be taped

Wetting out area to be taped

Shooting in the Thixo epoxy for the fillet with a caulking gun

Shooting in the Thixo epoxy for the fillet with a caulking gun

Smoothing up the epoxy

Smoothing up the epoxy with a brush

Pretty even, but will really smooth out when taped

Pretty even, but will really smooth out when taped

Epoxy poured on tape in the pasta pan

Epoxy poured on tape in the pasta pan

Wetting out the tape

Wetting out the tape

Applying biax

Applying biax

Smoothing up the cove

Smoothing up the cove.  I’m looking for about a half-inch depth in the middle, then oozing out from that into the tape just over an inch wide.

Applying regular woven tape

Applying regular woven tape

Smoothing it out.  The epoxy from the biax is already soaking through

Smoothing it out. The epoxy from the biax is already soaking through

Finishing the wetout

Finishing the wetout

Sealing the edges

Sealing the edges

I think this is the idea

I think this is the idea

Voila

Voila! Only 100 to go.

Berth area with epoxy tie-coat on all glassed surfaces

Berth area with epoxy tie-coat on all glassed surfaces

Bilge coat -- right when I ran out of paint!

Bilge coat — right when I ran out of paint!

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2 comments on “Cooking Right Along

  1. Jim Favors
    June 8, 2015 at 8:20 am #

    This step in your boat building looks to be very methodical and requiring a lot of time and patience……but shouldn’t you have a mask of some kind on?

    Like

  2. memsahibsvoyage
    June 8, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    West 105/205 is very low VOC and gives off virtually no bad stuff in an open area such as the shop. So no mask. I have to be more careful with 2-part epoxy paints which are thinned with Xylene.

    Thanks for caring, old friend.

    Like

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