Today is the day to fix those pesky bubbles. I tossed some wood into the stove and waited for some temperature. I tackled the stove side first (closer to the heat, I may be foolish but I’m no fool). Here is the bubble.
I use the edge of the sander to keep it to a small area at first. Sand until the piece of cloth falls off. It will fall off because there is no epoxy holding it on.
Once it falls you can see how big the hole will be. Now you have an idea how far to feather the edges back. Just feather enough to keep the hole from having sharp edges.
It’s not a great pic but you should be able to see that I sanded through two layers of cloth. This means you will have to patch in two layers of cloth to keep things even and flat. If you’ve been following this blog you know that there are three layers on the ends so I was in no danger of sanding down into the wood.
Now to sand the other side. It hardly seems worth it but i can’t stand to leave it.
I got lucky, the two spots are directly across from each other.
I was helping my father do a project and he dashed home to get something, so I cut the cloth and started putting it on while he was gone. In the rush, I forgot to take a picture of the cloth. It was two pieces about 3”x 5”. The fact that they are across from one another means I can fold the cloth right over the end and get both holes with the same piece of cloth. I mixed a small batch of epoxy. One squirt resin, half squirt hardener. I used a chip brush to carry some epoxy to the cloth. I held the patch over the hole and dabbed the epoxy on to hold it there. Then fold it over and stick it to that side. I didn’t wet out the whole piece, it’s bigger than I need.
Once both sides are wet out, stick on the other piece, and wet that out. No need to wait for the first one to cure.
When that is done, use a squeegee to take off the extra epoxy. Be careful here not to pull the cloth out of place.
Here are both sides done.
I went back to my fathers project. About half an hour later we finished, and when he left I went in and grabbed a quick lunch, and went out and checked the patch. As I expected, there was a bubble on one side.
By now the epoxy is getting thicker, so I fixed the bubble with my favorite bubble fixing tool. My big, fat, thumb. One squish and it was gone.
So this is both sides done for the day.
After this cures I will sand off the dry cloth. I will also sand off a large part of the wet out cloth. You can’t leave too much or this double thickness will leave a bump even after you feather the edges. You will want to take almost to the edges of the holes. It’s hard to see that because it’s clear. I will judge most of it by feel, and using a flashlight. When it’s done it will be smooth without bumps.
The next job for today is to sand the whole hull with 80 grit to rough it up for the last filler coat of epoxy. That’s when my luck ran out.
This is the end farthest from the wood stove. It cooled to 40 in the shop overnight so it was too cold for the epoxy to cure enough to sand. When sanded it will ball up under the paper and then stuck everywhere.
So that ends the canoe work for today.
Next time I get into the shop I should be able to sand the hull and fill the patches. The only thing to do with the patches is to sand them and fill them with the same amount of mix as the rest of the hull. You should not be able to see the patches when they are done.
I’ll get back out there first chance I get, and give you an update. See you then.
-- Jeff in central Me.