Monday, August 1, 2011


I Had a brief window of time this weekend to move forward and chose to tackle epoxying the chainplate areas where there is no core.  This is a bit of a pain because the chainplates (or chainplate templates) need to be in place when the epoxy work is done, so some care has to paid to ensure that the chainplate opening that passes through the deck is sealed to keep the epoxy from dripping through. Another consideration is that the chainplate hole tolerances need to be close, but not so close that the chainplates are potentially causing side loading to the adjacent deck area, so this gap needs to be filled with sealant to keep the water out once the deck is finished.

To begin, I wraped the top 3 inches or so of each chainplate with a single layer of clear packing tape to prevent the epoxy from sticking during the layup.  Next I installed all the chainplates (just a single bolt to keep them in place).

Once installed, I wrapped the topside exposed portion of each chainplate with several layers of blue painters tape to build up the clearance around them and finished by putting a final layer of clear packing tape over that to keep the epoxy from sticking.

Next, I cut out 4 layers of biax cloth for each chainplate area (and for the lifeline stanchions along port side) and mixed up a 24 oz batch of epoxy.  For the layup, I first wet out the areas around each chainplate (and one of the lifeline stanchions), followed by wetting out each layer of biax cloth.  I mixed in aerosil to thicken up the remaining epoxy to a paste and applied a 1/4 inch layer to the areas around the chainplates and stanchion base.  Then I layed in the wetted out cloth and applied the rest of the epoxy paste to level the areas up to just below final deck level.  I snapped a couple of shots and stopped back a few hours later to find that everything had set up well.  I left the chainplates in place for the time being because when I did this on the starboard side I made the mistake of pulling them before the epoxy had setup very well which resulted in a few chips in the areas surrounding the chainplates (still need to clean those up).

Tonight I'm planning on getting the first 2 layers of biax cloth layed up in this section.  The idea is that the continuous section of cloth spanning both the chainplates and the adjacent cored areas will bind everything together in a strong composite structure.  Stay tuned...


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