Today started off like most of them lately, sanding. The fills I did yesterday is all set up and ready to be sanded off. I grabbed some 80 grit and started doing the points by hand. With the points done, I went on to the random orbit, with 80 grit, and did the rest.
If you have never sanded epoxy I don’t think you can understand how hard this stuff is. The canoe is 16’ long, and 3’ wide in the middle. It takes 5, or 6, 80 grit discs to do the whole outside of the hull. It takes a couple more than that on the inside because of the inside curve, it wears out the outside edge of the discs really quickly. So even though this canoe isn’t exactly huge, it took a few hours to sand off the filler and get it reasonably smooth. I didn’t sand any more than I had to and it’s a little blotchy. However, blotchy won’t matter because the next step is the sealer coat and that is more of the same mix, only not as thick. Here it is sanded and ready for the next step.
In this next picture you can tell where it narrowed too much for the sander and I had to do it by hand.
The sanding is finally done. I have gathered everything I need to do the sealer. If you remember from the outside, this coat of epoxy is just to seal the pores of the wood so that when you do the fiberglassing the wood won’t suck the epoxy out of the cloth.
For this job I mixed 15 ounces of epoxy, that should do the entire hull.
Now the reason i don’t mind that the sanding left the hull blotchy, I’m putting in some cedar sawdust to slightly darken the mix. It really gives the canoe a rich brown color.
I don’t know the size of that little scoop but I used almost the whole thing.
This doesn’t look like much, but I’m thinking it will cover the whole thing.
Not a lot of pictures of the process because I don’t want to get the camera all sticky.
Here is where I discovered a small brain cramp. The reason this small amount will do the entire job is that you roll it on and let it sit a minute or two, then squeegee it off. Now for the cramp—I forgot what I was doing when I mixed it. I don’t have time to do everything before it begins to set. If I roll it all, it will be too hard to scrape by the time I get there. If I scrape as I go, it will harden before I get it all rolled. Oh crap! I ran in and asked the wife if she would bail me out. It’s a good thing she is a nice lady. She came out and did the rolling, I did the scraping. So this is why the small batch is big enough, the stuff I scraped off can be used again. As I scrape I put it in a small dish.
It looks a little strange because after handling it you get a bunch of air in the mix.
The air bubbles don’t do any harm. When you roll it out again it will come out just fine. The object is to get all of it off, you don’t want to leave any mix on the wood. The more you leave, the heavier it makes the final product. When I finished, this is what was left.
So here she is, looking sharp.
The bad news is, I have to sand it again. After a quick sanding it will be ready for cloth. I’m not sure when we will do the cloth. We are thinking about tomorrow, but not sure yet. When we do it, it will take most of the day, and I will have to babysit for bubbles well into the evening. So I guess there will be no update for a day or maybe two. I will post it as soon as I can. See you then.
-- Jeff in central Me.