The last few layers of fiberglass

This morning (Monday) I was determined to get some fiberglass work done before the heat became too unbearable.  I got up around 5:45 and got ready.  After my daily coffee and smoothie was made I hit the road and got down to the boat while it was still pleasant out – about 75 degrees and a little overcast.  Perfect epoxy weather.

I brought out all my supplies and the last of a roll of woven fiberglass that is a little bit thinner and a little bit “smoother” than the thick bi-axial stuff that I usually work with for the underlying layers.  Taking my position in the locker I got to work cutting out shapes of fiberglass and matching them to the low spots in the bevel.  Once I had a section all cut and ready to go I cleaned everything up with acetone and mixed up two batches of epoxy: one unthickened and one thickened with 406 colloidal silica.  I wet out the area with the unthickened epoxy and when ready put down some thickened and the fiberglass and then wet out the top of the fiberglass with the thickened epoxy and smoothed it all out with a disposable brush.

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Once that section was done, I kept moving, mixing up another batch, cutting more fiberglass, and putting down in the same manner, always building up the levels of fiberglass from large to small.

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Around I went until I ran out of room for my supplies (and it was starting to get hot!).

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As you can see, I went through 6 full batches of epoxy and I finished off the roll of fiberglass.  At this point I mixed up two big batches of epoxy mixed with 407 fairing compound.  407 is easily sanded and is specifically designed for fairing.  My entire area was “cooking” but still “open” – it was still sticky to the touch – and this means that you can layer on the fairing epoxy right on top and spread it around and it pretty much levels itself out.  Not only will it be easier to sand when I get around to it but there will not be any little deep pockets that are a real pain and end up having to be sanded out.

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Next week I will repeat this process on the port side and hopefully sand the starboard side down a bit to see how close we are to having everything nice and smooth.

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