SailNet Community banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried my hand at some polyester and chopped strand mat work this last weekend. I am attempting to make some blocks to finally mount the re-boarding ladder.

I worked with epoxy, fillers and woven cloth before but this was my first try with polyester and CSM.

I have to say that for the price it is great! I like how it kicks a lot faster than epoxy and there is no need to measure precisely when mixing up the catalyst and resin. It is also really slick how the binder in the CSM dissolves in the resin and forms to any curved shape.

But this CSM is messy! Even just cutting it to shape dry I ended up with fibers everywhere. After I started doing the layup I ended up with tons strands on my gloves. This got worse as it was impossible to completely avoid getting them wet in the resin.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for working with CSM? Would using a specific kind of gloves make it less likely to stick when dry? Should I use some tools to handle it (like tongs?) to help keep the mess off my gloves?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Only thing I can say is work in an area you don't mind getting trashed, and buy lots of disposable gloves.
Oh yeah, if you aren't wearing a paper suit wear clothes you don't care about.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,485 Posts
Wear mutiple layers of gloves so you can peel off one layer as it gets too sticky to work with, leaving fresh gloves to carry on with.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
599 Posts
TAP plastics sells a product which is CSM sandwiched between 'glass cloth. Nice for rapidly building up without getting sticky strands all over the place - which happens to me every time I use CSM, especially in smaller sections. Big sheets are still a bit messy but more manageable. +lota gloves and disposable clothes!! It's messy stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi travellerw,

I searched for more information on tearing CSM. The first result was purple link that I must have looked at 20 times before. Somehow I missed this:

"Fabricators generally tear apart Chopped Strand Mat, rather than cut it. This maintains the length of fibers along the torn edge, which create stronger bonds with subsequent layers."

Thanks for pointing this out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Simple have a small bucket of acetone handy. When the fibers start to collect on your glove rinse off in the acetone and keep going. Use the acetone to clean tools as you work as well. CSM will get fibers all over when cutting no way around that but they vacuum up easy. Helps to have a peice of cardboard to pre wet your pieces as well. lay them out on the cardboard and wet them out before placing in position this helps reduce fibers as well.A little practice and it will not be so messy. Glad to see someone getting smart and figuring out Poly really is easier, faster and in most cases better than epoxy when doing fiberglass work.
 

·
Tartan 27' owner
Joined
·
5,238 Posts
I've been using plain white vinegar to clean up when doing epoxy work (instead of the $20/quart Interlux thinner). Works well and is cheap.
I wonder if it would work with polyester resin as well? (sailvayu?)
 

·
No more curry buffets
Joined
·
423 Posts
Further to Sailvayu's suggestion of a piece of cardboard to pre-wet, I have had good luck keeping leftover sheets of shrink wrap handy. Cut them to size, clip 'em to your cardboard and it's a great surface to work on.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top