Saturday, September 22, 2007

"An endless series of tasks, each more onerous than the last"

I imagine any large project feels like that now and then, but then along comes a point in the process where it all looks like it's worthwhile. Behold the kayak, which is now 2/3s of a fiberglass boat:

The next step, the step that will make it 100% a fiberglass boat, is to glass the top. That will hopefully be easier than glassing the bottom was. I required some help with glassing the bottom since it involved working with long lengths of the glass cloth, and the cloth just loves to snag itself on any piece of the boat it can find to give it purchase. With two, it's a lot easier to get it stretched out without tearing it up. RickS, who should have been working on his airplane, graciously offered up some of his time to help me get the glass on. He even stayed long enough to help apply the first layer of epoxy, which is a pretty nasty job.

At the bow and stern of the boat, the tendency for the cloth to bunch up and make unsightly wrinkles is exacerbated by the fact that you have three layers of cloth to soak the epoxy through. The glass is layed on triple-thick in these areas because they can be expected to see rough use in the water. Also difficult is cutting the glass cloth to fit; the scissors get dull almost immediately and don't give a very clean cut. This results in fibers wanting to come out of the weave of the glass and stick to whatever it is you're using to spread the epoxy. Since the glass is actually one very, very, VERY long single fiber, you really don't want that to happen. You end up with a very ugly seam in these areas, which I hope, hope, HOPE can be sanded out:

It's had three coats of epoxy now in order to fill the weave of the cloth. It will get an overall sanding when the top has also been clothed and had three coats of epoxy, but I'm going to try to sand those seams smooth before I flip the boat and add the top layer of glass.

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried benchtop pre-pregging, or doesn't that work with large workpieces?

    Also, a rotary cutter works much better than scissors, as long as you're not doing the cutting on the workpiece.