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  #1  
Old 05-25-2013
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Fiberglassing Attempt

Ok so my cockpit floor doubles as the engine cover. Because it gets the most traffic on the boat, and probably because it flexes quite a bit, the paint looked particularly bad. Because of this, and the convinience of bringing it home, I decided to take it back for refinishing.

At the same time, I thought"why not add a layer of glass. I had some leftover 3m fiberglass cloth from home depot, and I thought the panel could benefit from additional stregth. The original construction was pretty poor - the cored section was off center and had a large inexplicable hole cut out of it, as if they had mis-cut when installing the inspection plate, or used scrap wood.

So I sanded down underside of the panel to remove the grey paint(?) and prepped with acitone, painted on epoxy, and laid down the cloth and painted on another layer of epoxy.

Ok so the result is interesting. I'm not sure what I expected but the result isn't exactly like fiberglass I'm used too. It basically feels exactly like what it is - a layer of glass cloth glued to the surface. Every slight wrinkle in the cloth is visible and places where the resin was especially thick look exactly like that - like small pools of water.

So at this point what should I do? It seems like sanding would cut the layers of glass that I just laid down, painting would be fine but I don't really see the point in painting the underside of the engine panel.

Note that this was mostly an experiment, not strictly necessary, and it's on the underside of the panel which isn't visible unless it's removed.

So did I just do a bad job applying the glass, or are there typically finishing steps that I should do now?

Last edited by asdf38; 05-29-2013 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

laying glass down on a horizontal surface is very easy. You basically started off right.. but should use a plastic squeegee, and scape the excess off into a cup. Then, when the wetted out cloth kicks but is still tacky, give it another coat... let that kick.. then another.. it takes about 3-5 coats to fill the weave completely. If you used fast hardeners you may have to wash off the "blush" and sand between coats if you let it harden completely.

I just realized you did the under side? Well it's the same job but really messy! the stuff will run and drip down your arms and down to what ever is below! Now that the basic cloth is on you can thicken the fill coats so it doesn't drip as much. Did the flexing stop?
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Last edited by deniseO30; 05-25-2013 at 12:06 PM. Reason: oops
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Old 05-25-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

Use a high build epoxy primer like WR155, great stuff. It fills in the glass weave and almost looks like gelcoat if you put on enough.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

Its the inside of the engine cover right? Leave it, go sailing.

For future reference, you want to wet out the cloth before you lay it on the base. Then squeegie out the excess, maybe add a little extra and be done. You can add fairing compound if you'd like, then spend more time fairing, then painting, etc. But I only waste that kinda time with something that'll be seen.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

Thanks for the help. Sounds like the squeegie is what I missed the most. Oh well, the job served it's purpose - a little strength was added and now I've learned a couple lessons.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

Yep, you missed the sqeeqie, that's why you have pools of resin.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

the strength comes from the cloth, not the epoxy resin. Use a non blushing epoxy and a squeegee - fill any exposed weave with thickened epoxy or ext. putty. If putty, then seal with a thin coat of solvent thinned epoxy.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

oo ... thank you this is exacctly the kind of thread I love.. now I know the squeege trick before I even own my boat.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

Denise has it spot on, as usual. wet out, squeegee, repeat, repeat, until the weave of the cloth is entirely filled.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: Fiberglassing Attempt

when my son and I were building cedar strip canoes we would glass and epoxy the outside in an overnight marathon if we had to. flat and concave surfaces are the easiest. concave surfaces are a problem as the epoxy keeps running down to the bottom until it kicks. upside down.. don't even ask me to try LOL!
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