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Old 05-02-2007
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Deck Repair Nightmare


So, last night, I frantically worked to get the drill and fill job done, to beat this out-of-nowhere storm that cropped up.

made epoxy, used collodial silica, syringe lined up. good start.

And then, of course, the train left the rails.

Epoxy wasn't thick enough (I was worried about too thick ≠ suck into syringe) so it ran past my little tapes fortifications (edges turned up 90°).

Problem 1) messy overrun.

God, I wish I'd used that exopy putty, per one of the suggestions. Idiot proof.

Problem 2). On the forward part of the cabin, where there had been PO epoxy work done to core delam, 2-3 of the fills started to "sink" .

I checked em down below, no leaks.

Added more epoxy. Went home.

After dinner, I realize, it's going to rain at midnight, not next day at noon. Wonderous.

Race back to boat. Mix thicker batch. Top off everything.

Down below, the fricking epoxy is leaking out near the portholes. On further reflection, after the bottle of Jack Daniels, this might be the headliner.

But I was running out of time. Had to slap on Duct Tape, as the deck was now too moist to hold normal blue masking tape, so I have 1) overruns with 2) god knows what on 3 fills, down below with 3) duct tape issues, on topside.

Anybody want a boat?!

Would appreciate suggestions / Game Plan.

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Old 05-02-2007
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Epoxy 101
Here is the system that I use for filling holes.
1. Clean hole - push bit one size down from hole diameter through. I use variable speed 3/8”drill, heavy but effective. There is a variation on this procedure if you are creating a larger hole but the process below still works even if you do the “Allen wrench ream out”.
2. Counter sink the hole slightly. This creates a slight “dish” to help contain the epoxy.
3. Duct tape bottom – assume the hole penetrates the coach roof in this example.
4. Mix thickened epoxy. I eyeball equal parts epoxy & filler of choice. I use yogurt cups cause we got’em, lots of them. I use the ˝” aluminum brushes both to mix and to apply.
5. I stir up a dollop of the mix and wipe one side of the brush clean, then with cup in one hand and brush in the other I center the edge of the cup and brush over the hole and let the dollop drop from brush edge into the hole. With practice you can become deadly accurate. Mantra = Patience. Less coffee. May require 1- 3 dollops. Do not fill hole - yet.
Take your time what’s the big deal if the mix flashes over. Compared to the cost of the boat or your time epoxy is cheap. If you bought a project boat and you don’t like the project - Buy beer/rum & crew. Ok sorry for the rant…
6. Go home, do something else or otherwise give the epoxy time to cure.
The next morning…
7. Take the tape off and inspect the plug you created. Nice job. Appreciate your handiwork.
8. Mix thinner version or just use straight epoxy and finish filling holes. If you are patient surface tension will allow you to fill to a slight dome at the top of the hole - perhaps after you pour a quart into the hole. Prudence would dictate that you occasionally look down below for the stuff to be flowing out somewhere other than at the hole you plugged the night before.
9. Remember - just about anything will clean epoxy up before it cures. I clean the syringes that I use with soap and water. The O-ring gets goofy after several uses.
10. What ever is left once cured can be ground down with your favorite grinding tool – dremel, router, sanding block, nail file. I just get a slight flat spot and then kiss it gently with a counter sink to create the dimple to be filled with gel coat or to center my bit for the new hole. The counter sunk area also will act as a reservoir for your caulk of choice when rebedding.
Epoxy is your friend no need to dam it or D**N it. It's what boats are made of look around, even wooden ones… Good Luck!

Last edited by shantijwk; 05-03-2007 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 05-03-2007
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"Problem 2). On the forward part of the cabin, where there had been PO epoxy work done to core delam, 2-3 of the fills started to "sink" ."
That means it was filling another void, something putty would not do and one reason not to use putty for these repairs.

At this point one assumes it has all hardened, for better or for worse. All you can do now is clean off the excess and plan to go back and finish it. Waiting for a solid weather window can be one real PITA, but it has to be done that way. Many of us learned that the hard way.

You'll find that duct tape binds just about perfectly to epoxy as it dries. Plain naphtha or benzene or lighter fluid is the usual solvent for duct tape goo but one of the special "adhesive removers" in a spray can might release it better from the epoxy. (Just check for any warnings about using it on fiberglass.)
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