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.
, 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