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Old 11-02-2012, 10:57   #1
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Ouch - Removing Stitches !

And Hello Again Everyone,
I'm building a small pram using the stitch and glue method, just wondering if anyone else has done this. The question I have is the removal of the stitches, (stainless steel wire) after the epoxy is laid in. Does anyone know do they stay in and just cut off the tails or do they magically pull out with pliers? If they stay in it seems it would be hard to fair the edges with a plane. Thanks for you
input.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:04   #2
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

I have a friend building a boat with this method. He has just finished stitching in all the planks and plans to completely remove all the wires. Don't know what method he plans but I can ask.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:08   #3
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

If you're using wire to do the stitches, couldn't you just wax it before pouring epoxy so that you could pull it out after the epoxy set? I've never done or seen this so I don't know how feasible it is, just curious.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:31   #4
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

Thanks skipmac, let me know what you find out, and 9000 the problem I see besides the epoxy bonding to the wire is the hard angle that they will be at in relation to the exit hole, they're not straight in, more of a loop or ugly circle. Thanks guys keep thinking!
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:36   #5
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

I glue between the stitches, when hardened I remove the stitches and finish the glueline. If using plastic zip-ties instead of wire, there is no problem leaving them in, just sand down, my preferred method.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:44   #6
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

abh, I was considering that, is there any issue with reduction in strength? The fact that the fiberglass tape is not going on "wet" epoxy. Perhaps not that critical for a 6.5' pram!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:10   #7
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

A long time ago I build using stitches from steel wire. After 24h cure I just cut the loops and pulled them out with hefty pliers (vice grips didn't exist yet). I used a twisting & pulling motion, it wasn't too hard.

But I guess the type of wire and epoxy makes a difference. Just do a test with a couple to see how it works for you.

There's also plastic coated wire like for use in gardens... would you be able to pull the wire out of the plastic mantle? I seem to recollect the two aren't fused...

ciao!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:17   #8
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

If you haven't glued it yet, tack between the wires and let the epoxy set up. Pull the wires out, and do the fillet along the whole seam, then do the tape. You can either put tape over the fillet before it is cured, or do it over the fillet, just make sure you flatten any irregularities before taping, or you may get some air under the glass tape. If you already did the fillets over the wires, you can heat each individual wire with a soldering gun, or possibly a lighter, and pull them out of the epoxy.
Google clc boats, they have a great web site with a lot of videos, and a builder's forum for both stitch and glue and strip built boats.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:47   #9
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

My own answer is to skip the wire "stitches" and hot glue blocks of scrap to the inside seam, which provides a much surer way to keep the seam perfectly aligned. Then I glass the whole outside seam, then I chisel out the hot glued blocks (use low adhesive hot glue and this is easy), and fillet and tape the whole inside seam in one go. Works great. Makes a fairer hull than wire stitches IMHO. If you damage the ply the first time you do it while removing the blocks, you just fillet and glass right over it. It's faster than using wire too. When the blocks are glued in with some temporary bulkheads/stiffeners/spreaders, it's stiff enough to flip over and glass the outside seam without any movement just fine. This also makes a hull with no unsightly stitch holes for bright finishing. Sometimes I will carve a block from scrap foam core lying around the shop for a wierd angle in the bow, it's quicker that way. Chisels out easier too. A bucket full of scrap ply blocks will do a big kayak no problem.
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Old 11-02-2012, 13:11   #10
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pirate Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

Being sort of old world I use copper wire for stitch and glue...
I just trim off the ends and bury the twist in the fillet...
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Old 11-02-2012, 13:20   #11
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

Thanks for all the great information! It's amazing the information you can find in such a short time. I also found that some people are heating the wires with "car batteries" if you will, and very easily pulling the wires. I almost have to many choices. Thanks to everyone!
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Old 11-02-2012, 18:55   #12
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

I built a stitch and glue sailing dink. Worried a lot about the same issue, but it was much easier than I thought. Fillet over the stitches, then the next day, the stitches just pull right out. Then the stitch holes fill in when you paint over the fillet with epoxy. No problems at all.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-02-2012, 19:21   #13
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

- built several small boats with stitch and glue - used fairly heavy nylon fishing line for the stitches - actually, one long, continuous stitch. You can cut off the excess line after the epoxy has set, or not. Stitches not even visible when finished.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:00   #14
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
A long time ago I build using stitches from steel wire. After 24h cure I just cut the loops and pulled them out with hefty pliers (vice grips didn't exist yet)...
You must be much older than you appear.
William Petersen, of De Witt, Nebraska, invented Vise-Grips in 1924.
The Vise Grip Company of Nebraska
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:05   #15
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Re: Ouch, removing stitches!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
You must be much older than you appear.
William Petersen, of De Witt, Nebraska, invented Vise-Grips in 1924.
The Vise Grip Company of Nebraska
Nick, you tell him , knowledge comes with age.
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