Maybe the beginning of a larger project #16: Don't run with scissors!

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Blog entry by Mark Shymanski posted 08-01-2013 06:30 PM 1305 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Epoxy as a pesticide? Part 16 of Maybe the beginning of a larger project series Part 17: A blizzard of fuzzy white seeds! »

Lesson number one today:

Scissors on the right—happy healthy normal pair of scissors

Scissors on the right (EDIT: oops this should read ‘on the left’)—when you forget to wipe the epoxy off when you open your puke mouse or trim wet excess cloth…not at all happy pair of scissors. I bust out laughing at this new lesson when I picked them up and try to cut my tape to length:-)

I’ve been making pretty good progress today. Its only noon and I’ve got about three hours in already. Next boat I build l’m going to make some kind of platform so…hang on gotta put my cherry pie lunch in the oven, be right back…. okay I’m back…I don’t have to stoop over so much. I cut most of my fabric to length as I thought it would go faster then cutting each strip as I glued them in….yeah I was doing that duuuhhhho:-) I just tacked the two bulkheads in with temporary nails, I didn’t take a picture if that but I’m pretty sure we can all imagine what a nail in a board looks like LOL! The port bulkhead has chine logs on the bottom and the starboard is just using the fibre glass tape and epoxy to hold it in. I’ve been debating whether or not to put bracing between the bulkhead and the side. I’m leaning to not adding any more weight considering I’ve used 3/8 plywood and the longest span is only 18 inches. Any stress from sitting on it while ‘hiking out’ .....does one ever need to lean that far out in a PDR?, along the plane of the plywood probably its strongest orientation. I think I’ve just convinced myself to not add any more reinforcing.

I do have a bit of a bow in the plywood, I’ve clamped it square in the photo above, but during the dry fit everything lined up nicely so I’m good to go.

A second lesson I learned (after getting the idea from PDR Shorty) is to immerse the tape in epoxy to thoroughly wet it out and then squeegee off the excess with your fingers and apply the resultant strip. It goes enormously faster and I think will do a better job because you aren’t wasting as much time wetting out the tape and it is a more thorough job. I found that the brush I am using just nicely forms the wetted tape along the fillet without distorting the fillet. It leaves a nice fair curve at the joins. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself:-) Having more than one person or using shorter strips on the long runs would go a little more smoothly.

I made a minor goof in taping the seams of the boat, keeping in mind one of my big considerations in epoxying and taping all the joints is to ensure that the airtanks are airtight, where I filletted the starboard bulkhead and taped it. I then went back to surface coat the floor of the starboard bulkhead and if there was epoxy left to coat the central floor before I filletted the port, and chined, bulkhead. Well I kinda got the bit in my teeth to lay down more tape as I was mixing up the batch (I’d just figured out the pre-wetting approach) and proceeded to immerse the long tape for the port side. Just micro seconds after I’d immersed the first bit of tape I’d realized I’d not filletted the joint. I briefly toyed with the idea if chucking that piece of tape and filleting the joint but then I thought this joint is already chined, I am not going to lose strength by just taping this corner. So I just taped the corner. Lets see if it stands the rigours of my lacustrine adventures:-)

I had thought about adding a larboard (I think that means a ‘keel’ like structure that is mounted on the side of the boat instead of a ‘dagger board’ which is mounted inboard) which may require additional bracing for mounting it. I am enjoying using the epoxy so much and finding it far easier than I thought it would be that I am going to install the dagger board with the additional construction that that means.

Well gotta get back out there.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#1 posted 08-01-2013 06:39 PM

Keep up the good work and the good blog Mark.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


7995 posts in 2826 days

#2 posted 08-02-2013 12:18 AM

Hi Mark.
Remember rule #2 ? Don’t get any on your handles means tools in general. :-)
No, you don’t need to add stiffeners in the buoyancy tanks.
PDR Shorty and I disagree substantially on the topic if getting it on you. Your choice of course but even with gloves on, I do all in my power to keep it off me. Once it’s on your gloves, it’s going to be on everything you touch.
It also seems to me that his method would be a bit wasteful of epoxy. Personally I’d use the plastic strip method in my blog. .... Almost as fast, just as easy and way, way less messy and sticky.
On the bit you forgot to fillet, just fillet on top of the cloth. The big reason for filleting under the cloth is to give a radius for the cloth. It doesn’t like bending into square corners. A fillet over top should fill the resulting air spaces.
The word you’re looking for is leeboard. Larboard is an olde name for port (side). Good try though….:-)

Sorry about the tough love, just trying to help. You are doing great though and really don’t need help.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 08-02-2013 12:23 AM

I told you; a minute to learn a lifetime to master. Your work looks good. You seem to be enjoying the process. During the last drought here in Cali, I repaired hulls that had gotten too close to the ‘new’ rocks. Made tons of dough, but I burned my self out glassing.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3741 days

#4 posted 08-02-2013 01:25 AM

I had been diligent not getting epoxy on anything but where it was supposed to go, totally forgot about the scissors. We have it drilled in to us at work about PPE (personal protective equipment) so I know the drill and sure should be used to the importance of “not getting it on you”. I just went back and re-read your blog Paul. Thank you for posting originally and thank you again for reminding me of it. Your way is much much tidier and looks almost as fast. I was getting frustrated with how long it was taking to wet out the cloth in situe so the immersion technique was a bit of impatience on my part. Your right it is tremendously messy and potentially very wasteful. I was pulling the cloth out inside the bouyancy tanks so I just spread out whatever dripped off. Your method has the superior handling and control of the plastic strip, Shorty’s method left one with a soggy tangling strip that was fraying at the edges.

I am getting over the sense of urgency that epoxying had me in. In my working world seconds count, and while the time here is important it isn’t quite that urgent. So I am learning to be a bit more deliberate. The tip about the rounding is well taken, I will add the fillet on top to dress up the joint.

I’ve been reading so much about boat building and sailing and am awash in new terminology, I’ll get it all sorted eventually. When I first read about pintles and gudgeons I thought they were talking about an Irish pub, but now I understand what they are referring to:-)

No worries about the tough love, I really appreciate your explaining this stuff to me. Having done a little gluing now your blogs are becoming even more important references for me!

Hey jumbojack, my minutes to learn seem to be hours so I’d hate to think how long it will take me to master this stuff:-) So far I’ve had pretty good cross winds through the shop so the fumes have not been noticeable, except after I came back for lunch as I’d closed the doors so the fumes sort of pooled in the shop. Yeah I’m having some fun here, can’t wait to get on the water!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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