Kayak Construction: Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck

Today I did the part I’ve been dreading, glassing the inside of the hull. And for all the dread and worry, it ended up being about 18 times worse than my worst fears. The glass ended up bumpy and full of bubbles. It also went majorly wrong in the ends, where the glass cloth ended up bunched up and impossible to epoxy down. Fortunately the end parts are going to be filled with epoxy, so that’s not so bad. And most of the big bubbles are going to be in parts of the boat that nobody will see, but some of them are in the cockpit where I’ll see it every time I sit down.

I’m hoping and praying that I’ll be able to cut down and fill some of the worst of the bubbles.

Kayak Construction: Finishing the underside of the deck

Today the glass tape under the deck was dry, so I took the deck off the hull again. I cut two 9×23 pieces of fibreglas cloth. (The instructions said to use scrap cloth, but since the previous time I was using cloth it didn’t mention keeping the scraps, so I had to use “good” cloth.) These were used to reinforce the deck recess area behind the cockpit.
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Kayak Construction: All that work and it looks exactly the same

Last weekend I ran into trouble trying to epoxy when it was too hot. So on Tuesday night I went down to the local distributor for System 3 Epoxy and picked up some “slow” (aka “hot weather”) epoxy hardener. I also bought a box of Nitrile gloves, because the cheap-ass no-name rubber gloves let some epoxy through and leave my hands sticky afterwards.
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Kayak Construction: Ok, maybe it is too hot to epoxy

Since I “wasted” the first three days of the four day weekend doing stuff like resting up, kayaking with my dearest wife, and doing an ill-advised upgrade on my Linux box, I felt like I really needed to get at least something done today. And what I had next on the list was to take off more wires and fill more seams with epoxy. And more importantly, to see how I could fix up the horrible mess that is the stern. Unfortunately the first three days were also the days when the weather was perfect. Today it’s hot as hell, and getting humid – and it’s going to stay like that until Thursday.

First I sanded and scraped the bow half of the deck, upon which I’d already done this wire removal and fill job a few days ago. Next I tried to make tape “dams” on the stern area, so that I’d be able to hopefully fill the gaps in with epoxy. Because I was going to do this filling, I mixed up two ounces of epoxy. I was a little wary of mixing two ounces in this heat, and I should have listened to myself.

When you fill seams, you use a dental syringe with about a third to a half an ounce of epoxy in it. I was having a bit of problem with the syringe leaving a decent sized trail of epoxy, and then suddenly splooge-ing out a big wad all at once. (If you’ve read “The Meaning of Liff”, think of it as a “Toronto”.) But I was doing ok, squeegee-ing up the big splooges, on my second or third syringe when I realized it was getting uncomfortably hot. I dumped the remainder and went back to my cup with the remainder of the two ounces I had mixed up, only to discover that the epoxy in the cup had solidified, and was also hot as hell – so hot it was melting the plastic cup.

So I mixed up another ounce to finish, and used about half of it. I didn’t get all the bits filled that I’d hoped to, but maybe when the temperature comes down below 80 I can continue on.