Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bottom glassing

At long last, tonight it was time for the bottom glassing. As this was my first time working with fiberglass, I approached the job with a little apprehension. But things went smoothly. Unthickened expoxy was mixed, and liberally dumped on the sheet of glass cloth that had been smoothed over the bottom panel. This panel, by the way, is probably one of the easier surfaces for a first time glasser to do: it has a gentle, horizontal concave curve where gravity helps to keep everything in place. The epoxy gradually wets out the cloth, soaking it and adhereing it to the wood panel, while at the same time becoming amazingly clear. A rubber spatula helps to spread the epoxy, smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles, and remove excess epoxy. The result was an exterior bottom panel that will ultimately be glassed on the exterior and interior surfaces, giving structural strength and abrasion resistance to the hull. The instruction manual calls for a wait of a few hours for the epoxy to reach "gel" stage, at which time excess cloth can be trimmed off. However, colder weather has returned to the area, and even with a space heater under the hull, the curing will be a slow process. Trimming will probably have to wait until tomorrow morning. Total hours 40.75.


Blogger OzzyC said...

Looks really good. I had considered giving you some tips, but wasn't sure if they'd be welcome.

I see that you glassed up to the exact dimensions of the bottom. I don't know if your plans (or reading or whatever) have mentioned it, but I would highly recommend doing a little bit of overlap in your glassing. This will result in a little extra sanding, but will give you better overall strength.

1:10 PM  

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