Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share you ideas and experiences.
I need advice on the best way to fiber glass a small wooden pirouge(canoe-like boat). I am new to boat building and need all the help I can get. Thanks.
Well, Fiberglassing is so easy, they should teach it in 1st grade.
You should make sure the boat is clean and dry. Sand with med lo fine sandpaper to rough it up a bit and insure a good bond with the fiberglass. Now, Since you are doing a large area, I strongly recomend an aditional set of hands. It is unlikly you will get 1 piece of mesh to do it all, so plan on working with like 4x4' sheets. before you mix resin, lay out your matting on the boat, starting in the back, cut each sheet in place to cover the area you want. Overlap each sheet by at least 1 inch, and about 4 inches higher then your waterline would be fully loaded. If unsure of the waterline, I recomend going 1/2 way up the side.( you start in the back so your overlap is condusive to going forward ) number your pieces with a pencil, and remove. get yourself some rubber gloves. I use a 2 ltr pepsi bottle, cut a oval hole in the side and use this to mix my resin. I have found it takes about 1 pint of resin, to soak a 4x4 peice of mesh, actualy, I think its a little too much, but I prefure to have a little extra, there Is no time to remix a little more once you start. next, mesure and mix your resin and hardener, Place your mesh in the bottle, and kneed so it is completely covered in resin, dont take too long, you should be able to do this in like 2 minutes tops. Next, get your extra set of hands ( gloves for them too ) Remove the mesh, spread it out and try to lay it exactly where you want it. DO NOT PULL IT BACK UP AFTER IT HAS BEEN LAID. You may slide it a little in any direction. *Note* I said little, try to lay it right where you want it, moving it equals a weaker bond. Now, some manufactureres, and home shop people will tell you to use a plastic spatula thing to smooth out teh sheet. I recomend doing it by hand. After Laying it, quickly smooth out all air bubbles, and make sure the mesh is fitting the contor of your boat.Start in the center of the sheet and work out to the edges. Speed is kinda important here. As far as neetness, well, the neeter you are, the less you sand, But If your not fast enough, You might not get it shaped properly, so, speed is more important then neatness. You may now continue laying the next sheet by repeating the steps from :mix the resin and hardener. I use a rag to wipe out my mixing container before each batch. Fiberglass sets fast, like 15 minutes, but I wait at least 5 hours before I sand. It should not be tacky when you sand. sand all ridges ( overlaps ) smooth and any bumps or ripples. Next with a fine sandpaper, sand the whole thing, then paint with Fiberglass bottom coat, then marine Paint. I dont use the bottomcoat myself, I paint the fiberglass directly. Anyway, Hope this helps.
Also, gasolien seams to take fiberglass off your skin if you get it before it sets,
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