Another Arctic Tern 14 build.

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Papacliff, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Tahoedave

    Tahoedave Paddler

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    Tools of the trade

    For pliers I used the ones with a large flat nose like ones used by electricians. Worked well for me.

    A big bag of the, I think, 10 oz plastic cups from the grocery store as suggested also worked for all my mixing. So far I have not mixed more than 6 oz at a time, even for the saturation or fill coats, and the cups held enough.

    I find that I have sometimes mixed more epoxy than needed so there was waste. You will see on the Coho build posting an example of using small plastic bottles and syringes to mix small amounts, a useful thing to know.

    The carbide scraper is handy, but I also bought a set of Shefield hard steel cabinet scrapers from Woodcraft. Three different sizes. I find them the most useful and have not dulled yet. And when you get ready to smooth out bigger gobs, a flat file with the end taped is a good tool.

    You won't find a better place for info and help than this site.

    Good luck and have fun.
    :D
     
  2. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Ok, so I've officially started to build. The hull butt joints are done, and I'm in the process of wiring the keel. There are a few small voids in the epoxy where there were air bubbles under the mylar, but nothing that appears serious. I will be able to fill them in with the saturation coat. BTW, since more than 72 hours will pass between joining panels and the saturation coat, do I have to sand the joints first?

    I have not glued the butt joints for the deck yet, space is a factor, so I will complete glassing the hull first, then start on the deck. I'll have to rig up something to hang the hull from the ceiling so I will have room to work on the deck.

    I tried the twisting pliers, but I think they are headed for the junk drawer. I don't have linesman pliers, but I have some slip joint pliers which fit the bill. One problem with the twisting pliers is that I'm left handed, and my "natural" twist is counter-clockwise. The twisters were, no doubt, designed by a right hander, and twist clockwise. If I start by hand then switch, the pliers untwist the wire.

    I'm taking my time and paying attention to detail. So far I put in about four hours of actual build time, plus a couple for jigs and such. If anyone is interested, I built a jig for the stitches. After cutting them to size, I fold them on the jig, and can work from there instead of dropping them in a cup or bowl. They are handy and don't tangle.

    That's it for tonight.

    Cliff
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Sounds like you are ripping, PC!

    Re: BTW, since more than 72 hours will pass between joining panels and the saturation coat, do I have to sand the joints first? :

    Just scuff it up a bit with 80 grit to remove the glaze; the butt joint area is already saturated anyway. You might want to smooth that area and fair it into the surrounding surface. Oh, wait. I forgot. You are only taping the inside, right? Never mind -- it is only the outside surface where fairness is important.
     
  4. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Yes, I only taped the inside, but I scraped down the edge anyway. I figured it can't hurt to have a decent finish, even inside. One interesting item; the plastic wrap underneath was a bit wrinkled. It left a pattern in the epoxy that leaked through. I'll have to sand it down before I do the outside saturation coat.
     
  5. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Well, here it is, Sunday evening on the East coast.

    I put another hour and a half of labor into the boat today. I have decided to rename the garage "The Shipyard". It sounds better, and I was never able to put a car in there anyway, too much junk.

    As of now the keel is wired, and I have one side panel in place.

    I've also been reading Kayaks You Can Build, and trying to avoid learning through trial and error. Of course, some questions popped into my simple little head. In the manual, Pygmy says to run plain epoxy down the seams, then go back and fill later. Moores and Rossel say just fill. The first layer of epoxy in the seams is unecessary, and just creates more work through sanding and cleaning the inside. Any experienced, expert thoughts?

    Also, should I use thickened epoxy and fill in the stitch holes before the saturation coat? I realize it's just cosmetic, but is it worth the trouble? I would do it at the same time I finish filling the seams after removing the stitches. The one completed boat I saw had dark dots where the stitches were. They didn't look terrible, but if there isn't too much extra work involved, I'd probably rather not see them on my boat. If the wood floured epoxy doesn't match well, I'm just wasting time, but if they "disappear" I'd be happy.

    I'm taking pictures, but they look just like all the other ones I've seen here. As I get more boat than plywood, I'll put something up.

    As always, thanks again in advance. Your help and support is invaluable.

    Cliff
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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  7. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    as far as the stitch holes are concerned, i wouldn't go to the trouble. from ten feet away you will never see them. colour matching is a touchy tricky business and you could end up with smeared looking areas around the holes due to different rates of oxidation caused by sealing different areas of wood at different times.
    something i always try to do is keep the wood as clean and raw as possible before getting the seal coat on.

    DarenN.........
     
  8. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Dave, my question is actually about the first pass. How much of the unthickened epoxy has to be scraped/sanded off the inside? If I could do without that, and just fill the seams with the epoxy/flour that would eliminate some time & effort.

    I saw that, I'll have to dig an extra gun out of the basement. I saw a couple of old ones in a closet. I might have to modify one a little to get it to work.

    And I will not be filling stitch holes. That is the type of advice I was hoping for. If I ever get out your way, we will HAVE to paddle together. Of course, if any of you decide you want to leave Eden for a while and travel to Long Island, I'll set you up as best as I can and we'll head out.

    Cliff
     
  9. ghost

    ghost Paddler

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    Howdy Folks. I've been folling this board for about a week. I just started my Artic Tern 14 last Monday and have already benefited from all the advice being given. Thanks!

    As of this morning, I have the first round of seams filled and pulled all the wires from the hull. I need to fair the edges and hopefully do the hull fiberlgass and fill coats by the end of this weekend.

    I have never built a kayak, but have a bit of glass experience with fiberglass boats, so at least that learning curve is not so great.

    I pulled a great tool out of my fiberglass tools bin, left over from my last boat project. For thickened resin, use the west system 810 fillable caulk tubes. They fit right into a regular caulk tube and are wonderful. Much better than the mini syringe!

    I did have one mishap. I was trying to scrape a chunk of epoxy from the hull this morning and ended up with the chunk plus a small bit of the top layer of the plywood, exposing the next ply layer. Ugly, but I think I can epoxy the piece back in position and hopefully carefully sand the chunky back off the top with little show through. I'll have to be more careful!

    bp
     
  10. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Still progressing nicely. As of now (Saturday Night) I've got the hull wired, and have mostly glued the seams. I decided to use the Moores/Rossel plan, and used thickened epoxy first. No plain epoxy as a bed in the seams. I ran out of what I mixed with just the stern stem to go.

    When that cures for a day or so, I'll pull the stitches from the bow half of the boat, glue the stern where I ran out, and fill in the seams from the butt seam forward. I'll wait another day, then pull the stitches from the stern and fill the rest.

    I also think I will fill the stitch holes with thickened epoxy as I fill in the seams. In reading the book, it appears that doing this will significantly reduce the scraping/sanding inside the hull. The saturation coat won't leak through and cause a mess.

    I am amazed at how simple the steps are, and how well everything fits together. I'm really enjoying the process, and the boat so far (just a bare hull) is already beautiful.

    I'll keep you guys up to speed during the week.

    Cliff
     
  11. ghost

    ghost Paddler

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    I've never built a Kayak before, so Moores Russel know a lot more about that then I ever will most likely. But, I've worked with fiberglass quite a bit. The purpose of the unthickened first is to saturate the wood. Thickened resin won't absorb into the wood nearly as much. If you follow up with unthickened over the thickened, you get a primary (chemical) bond between the two resins and you have a very strong joint. The Kayak likely does not need the full strength of the unthickened/thickened bond, but personally I've always done the "full strength" bonds. Seams are areas that can wick water, so having the adhesion without voids is always a plus over time.

    I would not lose sleep over the ones without unthickened epoxy first, but there is no question in my mind that the time it takes to do both is ultimately worth the effort.

    I picked up a new random orbital sandar yesterday at harbor freight. What a huge difference a simple tool like that makes and for $29.99 I already got my money's worth.

    I have not cleaned up the inside of the Kayak yet, so you can tell me about all the time you saved next week when I'm scraping and your not!

    Brett
     
  12. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Well, I think the sort of "thickened" epoxy that you are able to squeeze out of a syringe does"saturate" the wood with resin. That wood flour/resin mix suggested is thin enough that dry wood should extract resin from the mix, yet still leave enough in the mix to achieve good, continuous chemical bonding. A really stiff mix might not achieve that, but the runny peanut butter stuff recommended has lots of free resin in it.

    I'd bet that microscopic examination of two joints, done the unthickened/then thickened way compared to the only thickened way are virtually indistinguishable.

    I do mine in two stages, but I bet there is not enough difference to detect.

    Anybody got a microtone and a good comparative microscope? I'll do up some joints and send them out via post.
     
  13. ghost

    ghost Paddler

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    Could be, I would not be entirely surprised. But, I do like to make my peanut butter fillers a bit on the thick side so they stay where I put them. I use the empty caulking tubes so I have no problem pushing into the joints.

    Once upon a time I was laying up some glass and got ahead of myself on a fillet, thickening my fillet mix before painting some of it without filler on the joint first. I went ahead with it and later had reason to pull this section out. I was going to grind it, but tried ripping it first. I was surprised to find that the joint easily came apart at the fillet seam area. There is more to it of course than just the fillet, but that was a part.

    Another time I was painting a layer of barrier resin on a hull that had been sanded but not agressively enough for a good key. The barrier coat itself was not really that thick so it went on straight. I was amazed a few days later when we found that we could rip 5 foot lengths along a chine right off the hull in big sheets. Had to remove it all, rough up the old resin/glass with 80 grit and start with thin, then the barrier and it was tenacious at that point.

    There are always multiple shortcuts that cause these so-so bonds, but these days I avoid them and have rarely had bonding issues when I have started 1 with a good key to a secondary bond and 2 with a nice thin 1st coat to soak into that key.

    I'm not a chemist, just exploring what has worked and what didn't and trying to identify the edges of the experiences and extrapolating to other situations.

    I'm impressed by your knowlege Dave. Are you a chemist of sorts?

    bp
     
  14. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    bp,

    Not so knowledgeable, but thanks for the compliment. Yup, I'm busted. Longtime organic-chemist, with a fair amount of synthesis, some creative, most of it journeyman stuff.

    Not so much time as you in the resin and glass field, however. I yield to anybody with real hands-on experience. I can tell you've seen a lot. Your tales of bad seams and fillets are impressive. Almost all of my work with resins and glass has been on new stuff. Repair is much more challenging, I suspect.

    Agree on the need for a key ("tooth" same thing, yes?).

    You might be interested in this thing:
    http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictu ... 2112448943
    http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictu ... 2099385480

    Painted the hull Saturday:

    [​IMG]

    A couple weeks from launch.
     
  15. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Dave, Ghost,

    I almost feel like I'm intruding on this conversation. You guys have MUCH more experience than I do, this is my first time doing this (wow, been a long time since I've said that) so I'm learning as I'm doing.

    My epoxy mix was relatively thin. Maybe like peanut butter left outside on a hot sunny day. I applied it with a putty knife, pushing it into the joints as well as I could. It was "loose" enough that, as it sat, it wouldn't flow, but the resin was obvious.

    After reading Moores/Rossel, I agree with them that the joints don't have to be structural for the life of the boat. For the most part, they have to hold the wood together long enough to correctly form the glass/resin shell.

    The only places I'm worried about are near the stems. The joints are basically closed at those points, and I'm not sure enough (any?) resin got in there. I'll find out when I start removing stitches. If the joints pop, I'll have to rewire, and do it again.

    I'll let you know in a day or two how it works out.

    Cliff
     
  16. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Not to worry. Epoxy is such a good adhesive I bet those ends are good. Sounds like you opted not to use a syringe to deliver the thickened epoxy. Can't blame you. I found I could only do about a 10 gram mix each time, or it went off in the syringe.

    As to "intruding on [our] conversation," no, it is Ghost and me who are in the wrong. This is your story, and we should carry on our discussion elsewhere and get out of your hair. Carry on PC! :wink:
     
  17. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    No, Dave don't worry. I'm not offended. I just hate using smiley's. :) I'm learning things I would not otherwise. If the thread leads you in a certain direction, don't worry. I promise to stick my two cents in and return it to my boat.

    Because of my schedule, it may be a couple of days before I can get back in and work on it. By then, everything should be set pretty hard.

    Temps here have been around 80, and I expect it to stay hot and humid. [dripping sarcasm]Boy I love summer in New York. [/dripping sarcasm] As a result, I got the slow hardener from Pygmy. It helps my working time. I mixed 3oz, and worked with it for about an hour filling seams. It stayed soft 'til the end, the only problem is my wait time after I'm done. It takes about 18+ hours to go green. I've checked it at the 12 hour mark and it is still tacky.

    I've been getting to work on it around the same time each day, so 24 hours is working well. This week it will be tough to keep on schedule, though. I may just stop and wait until the end of the week.

    Cliff
     
  18. Papacliff

    Papacliff Paddler

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    Well, I had my first setback, although it is minor, and was somewhat expected.

    As I thought, the thickened epoxy didn't penetrate the closed seams near the stems. I pulled some stitches near the bow, and the seams separated.

    [​IMG]

    It happened on both sides, and I suspect that if I pull the stitches in the stern, the same thing would happen there.

    When I get back in the shop, I'll rewire those areas, and put some unthickened epoxy into those seams. Once that cures, I should be okay for the rest. Time lost should be minimal, as I will fix the gaps, and then just add wood flour and continue to fill in the rest of the seams.

    I'm almost glad it happened. Things were going too well. I'm somewhat of a pessimist, and if nothing goes wrong, I know something will. I'll take a couple of minor issues over a catastrophe anytime.

    Cliff
     
  19. steele

    steele Paddler

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    Keep in mind that your re-epoxy will not saturate well in you separated joints. Try to get a bit of sand paper in there to clean it up prior to wireing.
     
  20. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    PC, looks to me like you might want to shift to using a syringe or similar for delivering that thickened epoxy. It appears you have a lot on the exterior of the hull, and it is a pain to remove that much, as well as epoxy not doing you any good out there.

    Like to emphasize the importance of sanding a bit inside the joint, as Steele recs. If those surfaces have epoxy on them, and they are a few days old, new epoxy may not stick well to them.