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Old 04-06-2013, 15:35   #31
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Re: Things I have learned while and about fiberglassing

Don't use wax coated cups, the wax contaminates the mix. Use super glue to position stuff add Zip kicker to speed it up.

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:58   #32
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Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
as a teenager I took a summer job working in the Glastron boat fiberglass shop. I quit after 2 days. This was 1963 and no respirators to be seen. Just a huge open shop with huge fans at both ends, on pushing one sucking. I now know why all the workers were constantly singing and acting like fools. More brain cells killed there than at a Led Zeppelin concert.
I spent a summer at van stadt & mcgruer building Sirens and Sirius'. Worst job ever! No respirators, covered in glass and resin in 90 degree heat. Not unlike being tarred and feathered.

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Old 05-06-2013, 11:15   #33
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Originally Posted by EllieJane View Post

I spent a summer at van stadt & mcgruer building Sirens and Sirius'. Worst job ever! No respirators, covered in glass and resin in 90 degree heat. Not unlike being tarred and feathered.
43+C, working in full body suits with respirators on inside a heavy plastic tent... grinders got so hot they'd burn you to touch them - and that was before we'd even turned them on! Good times.
"They'll get out of the way. I learned that drivin' the Saratoga."
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:22   #34
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Re: Things I have learned while and about fiberglassing

a second on the vinegar, it stops the epoxy from kicking. Best to use it away from your project though, can make a mess of a good days work!
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Old 13-06-2013, 16:15   #35
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For a mixing container I use the bowl from a Healthy Choice Steam dinner ( after I ate the dinner of course). Nice and round, good size and if after the epoxy dries, just flex the bowl to dislodge the chunks.
Oh, and if you make your own fiberglass backing plates ( for thru-hulls ) they are a great size.
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Old 18-08-2013, 03:56   #36
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Re: Things I have learned while and about fiberglassing

Denature Alchohol works pretty good at getting fiberglass resin off of your skin and fingers, if that happens.
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Old 25-11-2013, 21:32   #37
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Re: Things I have learned while and about fiberglassing

Save tins that held beetroot, tomatoes etc and use them for mixing small quantities.

Also, buy ice cream in the smaller 1L or 2L size with solid plastic containers and keep them for larger mixes.

Use dentist/doctors tongue depressors as stirrers and filleters for small quantities and throw them away. Use melamine kitchen spoons/spatulas for larger quantities, wipe off with vinegar or acetone and re-use.

A snooker, billiard ball or 8-ball attached to a long bolt works well to smooth fillets. Don't soak the balls in acetone.

Tape the boundary line of the fillet you are doing *before* you apply thickened epoxy, then smooth with billiard ball and remove masking tape. Neat straight edges and smooth curves on the fillets, very pro. looking.

The lids of the ice-cream containers can be cut up to make scrapers/applicators.

Apply epoxy to the surface before you roll out the fabric, especially with matt. Do the rolling out *carefully* and this way it wets out from underneath. Roll with spiky metal roller, then 'stipple' (lightly jab) with paintbrush the areas not fully wetted out. A good trick to make this easier is use 2 X 1 battens on edge laid over the wet epoxy, roll out the fabric then have someone roll it in as you progressively remove the battens.

When sanding, use a positive displacement respirator - the type with a battery-powered fan that blows air to the hood or mask. A breeze to keep your face cool and no dust in your hair or down your neck. OK, so you look like one of the monsters from Alien, but who cares?

Try and keep multiple layers or multiple coats 'wet-on-wet' to reduce the appearance of bloom and the need to sand between coats.

If you want to get technical with filleting, especially if your mix is not too thick, use a large heavy duty ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and a plastic nozzle from a mastic gun zip-tied in place. Works like a chefs frosting bag. Must be heavy duty plastic bag, not the kitchen kind, they burst. Ask me how I know.

If building a boat from scratch, research 'infusion', and forget about wet layups forever.

El cheapo black plastic garden hosing works fine for the infusion tubes. Bagging film (plastic sheet) can be bought cheaply from packaging suppliers. Shade cloth and plastic garden mesh makes for good spreading layer. peel ply is only polyester taffeta fabric available from fabric suppliers in bulk on a roll.

Small sections and flat panels, like cupboards etc that have to be epoxy coated after construction, thick plastic sheeting cut to the panel size and rolled on after epoxy sticks to wet epoxy but peels easily off when dry and leaves a smooth 'gelcoat like' glassy surface that only needs paint.

If your budget doesn't run to the expensive cross-grooved polystyrene or polythylene foams for hull panels, buy the cheaper ungrooved stuff, a battery-op small circular saw, and set it for 4mm depth. Screw battens the same thickness as the foam laterally on your bench, then suspend a 6" wide straight edge end to end between them. Clamp it at both ends, use it as a guide for the saw. Is quicker if you have a helper to do the far end clamp each run. Time consuming but costs no cash and gets the same result. This method also good for 'kerfing' foam to bend around corners after you've glassed one side.

Cotton overalls, although thicker and heavier, are much more comfortable than Tyvek or other plastic 'disposable' ones. Keep two or three pairs and rotate them thru the washer/drier.

Wear slip on/slip off shoes - nothing worse than epoxy on the carpet when you go inside for lunch/cold beer/answer the phone. No, wait a second...there is...when SWMBO discovers the epoxy on the carpet.... lol
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Old 14-01-2014, 16:50   #38
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Re: Things I have learned while and about fiberglassing

I think someone mentioned using a paint brush to wet out glass. Unless your only using glass cloth and I don't mean woven roving, use a roller with a GlassKoter roller cover. Glass cloth wets out easily with a roller or brush, but matt, roving, 1708 or similar is best wet out with a roller and then the air released with a metal roller. My metal roller of choice for the average project is a 3/4" x 4", larger for large laminates. For wetting out, I use 3" to as large as 9" roller frame and corresponding GlassKoter cover. These tools work the same for epoxy as polyester. For cleanup: polyester-acetone, epoxy-denatured alcohol.

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