Monday, September 12, 2011


Over the last week I was able to tackle the port sidedeck and the areas adjacent to the cockpit but I found myself rushing just to get it done and as a result, I was a bit sloppy.  For the port sidedeck I used my standard technique of pre-fairing followed by sanding and then lamination of the third layer on top of the pre-faired area, but this time I decided to do 3 adjacent laminations together instead of one at a time.

So the process goes like this:
1. Cut and fit all the biaxial glass for each section to be laminated (50" sections).  Remove and set aside.
2. Mix up 16 oz of epoxy and spread a thin coating on the deck where one of the 50" sections of glass will be laminated.
3. Set the glass in place and wet it out.
4. Cover section with plastic sheeting and then put sandbags on top.
5. Move to next section and repeat steps 2-4.

It all seems reasonable, but when your rushing you make mistakes.  The mistake I made was on step #4 of the first lamination.  Nothing huge, but enough to be annoyed with myself for rushing.  I laid down the plastic but failed to see that I overlapped about an inch of the plastic into the next lamination area.  So when I moved onto the next step I set the glass in place but didn't see that there was plastic on the deck and as a result, I laminated about an inch of glass on top of sheet plastic.  Ooops.  I'll have to cut out that seam and redo before I fair the decks.  Oh well, one more thing to do...On the bright side, the rest of the lamination looks good.

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Over the weekend I tackled the forward part of the decks adjacent to the cockpit and changed my technique a bit.  Normally I have been pre-fairing and letting it cure before sanding it down in preparation for the top layer of glass, but I decided it mostly at the same time.  First I prepped the decks by sanding and wiping down with acetone, then I cut all the glass to fit the areas to laminate.  Next I mixed up 24 oz of epoxy (thickened to mayo) and pre-faired both sides of the decks adjacent to the cockpit.  I leveled it out as best I could and then let it sit for about 2 hours.  That gave it enough time to harden up but it was still somewhat malleable if you worked it. 

After I was convinced it was hard enough to proceed, I mixed up another 24 oz of un-thickened epoxy and spread it out over the still tacky pre-faired layer.  Then I laid down the cloth and wetted it out.  I finished up by covering with plastic and weighting down with sandbags (I was much more careful this time).
I'll post a few more pictures when I pull the sandbags off today.  I hope this new (for me) technique works out; I have no desire to do any more sanding than I have to and if I can eliminate any along the way, I won't be disappointed.

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