Saturday, April 2, 2011

Glassing The Deck

Applied the fiberglass the top of the deck today.
I was determined to do a better job than I did on the hull. I came to the conclusion that I'd generally used too much epoxy. This caused the 'glass to try to "float" off the wood, causing the ripples which I had to sand out. The instructions tell you to pour a big pool in the middle of the work, and spread it out. This tends to cause an over-saturation, and I wasn't spreading it out far enough. I found it better to just apply the glue gently, with a paintbrush, until it just begins to saturate the 'glass, then go over it again with a plastic putty knife, until it runs dry. The knack, it seems, it to apply just enough glue to stick it down, and eliminate any dry spots. They probably tell you to pour it on in order to anchor the 'glass down, and prevent you from stretching & dragging the the material around, but if you're careful, you won't.

I tried another tip I read about on a message board. I applied masking tape to within 2" of the deck-to-hull joint, and trimmed the fiberglass to end on the tape. The masking tape is a paper "mailing tape" with a slick, waxy back, to which epoxy won't adhere. I hope to be able to rip the excess 'glass off neatly, leaving a 2" overlap. Hope it works!
It worked great, as far as leaving a nice, straight line of fiberglass, but next time, I'll be careful which kind of tape I use!. This  tape self-destructed when I tried to remove it, spent a long time cleaning up the residue.

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