I apply painters tape to the wood surrounding the gaps on the visible part of the hull. (the part that wont be hidden under paint).
In his Story-telling/Plug sanding chair
The tape will minimize the staining effect of the epoxy filler on the planks surrounding the gaps.
Filling Gaps above the Waterline
The painters tape helps keep the thickened epoxy from staining the wood surrounding the gaps
Sanding with 60 Grit
Forget 60 grits. Cheese grits for the win
Plugs sanded flush
The end grain of the plugs should present themselves darker than the surrounding wood once soaked in epoxy resin
Six boards 2" x 1/4" x 72" make up the outer stem
Temporarily clamped Together
The stem bundle is clamped and aligned to lay out the taper from the bow to the keel and to establish the angle of the step scarf
Layout of the Outer Stem
The outer stem will be bent around the bow and glued and screwed in place
80 Grit Sanding
Aniline Dye Test
I am planning on using water based aniline dye (Red Cuban Mahogany) on the sapele under the epoxy and fiberglass. The left portion represents a double-cut of dye and brings out a beautiful color in the wood, without obscuring the underlying wood grain or figure.
Sanding begins after fairing. I used 80 grit to smooth the remaining lumps of epoxy filler and create a beautiful base for 120 grit to come.
Sanded and ready for Dye
Shop helper, Siggy, gives me the assist while Parks is away on Hopkins Carter business. "Help" in this instance included bringing me spent sandpaper from the floor and scraps of wood from the garbage. He's an expert in his field.
120 grit makes the sapele silky smooth and removes any scratches created by prior sanding steps
Through 120 grit...and awaiting dye
Silky Smooth Lines
Aniline Dye Applied Starboard
I apply a standard cut of Red Cuban Mahogany aniline dye to the hull. A standard cut is one ounce of powdered dye to one quart of water. It is applied with a brush
Red Cuban Mahogany. The darker areas will dry to a consistent flat red color
I use 10 oz. 60" wide fiberglass cloth on the hull to maintain a transparent finish on the hull. In its dry form, the fiberglass looks opaque, but with the addition of clear epoxy resin will magically become translucent.
The first coat is applied with a 3" china bristle brush in small batches. After the cloth has soaked up the resin, the excess is squeegeed off with a standard vinyl autobody applicator. I'm using West Systems epoxy resin and special clear hardener
The texture of the cloth after the 1st coat should remain very prominent, but without runs or pools of epoxy resin. Future coats of epoxy (4) will continue to fill in the weave to create a smooth final finish
Trim the Fat
The cloth at the stem is removed with a standard utility knife
Squeegeed epoxy is deposited into a cup with a slit (expertly) cut in the side. The remnant epoxy will bubble and expand in the cup until it "goes off". Epoxy grunge cans produce a tremendous amount of heat during this process and have been known to melt the grunge can. Always leave your grunge cans on a concrete or non-flammable floor until the epoxy reaction has ceased.
The third epoxy coat helps fill in the weave of the underlying fiberglass cloth.
4th and Final Coat
The final epoxy coat completely covers the underlying fiberglass. The epoxy is brushed on in sufficient amount to allow a final sanding to smooth things out again. Runs, sags and bubbles will disappear after sanding.
4th and final coat!
Ready to Attach the Stem
The newly 'glassed hull is covered in masking paper to protect from the squeeze-out sure to occur during the stem attachment
Never missing an opportunity to chew on some trash, Siggy takes a timeout with a wooden shaving