Kayak Construction, first glue, first problems

The temperature is finally over 65 degrees, so it’s time to start gluing. And it did not go well.

As per the instructions, I mixed up an ounce of epoxy. I painted some on the boards around the seams. Then I cut some of the fibreglas tape and put them down on the wet epoxy and painted some more to wet the tape. Problems:

  • As I painted the epoxy on the tape, the tape kept moving around. I ended up having to hold down the tape with my fingers (in the rubber gloves, of course).
  • As I was painting, one of the boards popped up a bit as a nail came lose. This made gaps and bubbles to painstakingly paint out.
  • Bits of fibreglas frayed off the edges and ends of the tape, and had to be carefully picked out of the epoxy.
  • other random dirt got into the epoxy and had to be picked out.
  • I ran out of epoxy in the middle of it and had to run inside and mix up another ounce.

With that all done, the second part was to cut some strips of mylar and put them on top of the tape, then squeegee it flat, and put weights on them. Problems:

  • I’d put the nails in the boards too close to the seams, so I had to remove them and move them back so the mylar would fit. Several times that lifted one of the boards, ruining all my previous work.
  • The instructions had said to weight them down with bricks. I didn’t think I had any bricks, but I figured all the scrap 2x4s I had could be piled on top. Unfortunately, it turned out that the 2x4s weren’t heavy enough, and things were popping up. With the glue hardening quickly, I had to improvise. I found a pile of half-bricks in a dingy corner of the garage and pressed them into service. Unfortunately they were filthy, and got dirt all over everything. I’m hoping none of it got below the mylar sheets.
  • I’m not looking forward to tomorrow’s reveal to see just how ugly these joints look. Hopefully it will be like my canoe, where I know where every blemish is but everybody else just sees the overall beauty of it.