Boat Building Forum

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Re: Epoxy: laying cloth over 'tacky' epoxy?

My experience based on many people's advice on the internet, followed by doing it, is to wet out the wood if you are using heavy cloth, and then brush or squeegee (or credit card if it is a small area like a paddle blade) the resin all over the wood. Put on the cloth using the tool to spread it out and wet out the cloth. If using light cloth, you can lay it on and then pour on small amounts of resin and squeegee it into both cloth and wood. If it is cold weather, you can run a heat gun over the surface to thin the resin so it fills the weave and soaks into the wood better. Keep an eye on it for maybe an hour after this, depending on temperature and resin, and look for dry spots, where the resin may have been absorbed into the wood more than elsewhere. Fill them with resin. When the resin gets tacky (like sticky tape), trim off the edges of the glass cloth with a sharp knife and brush on another layer of resin. If the cloth doesn't cut but bends, the resin has not gone hard enough. Watch for runs. When resin is hard, remove any amine blush with water and abrasive pad, allow to dry, sand lightly to level the bumps of the cloth weave, and round the edges. Then add a third thin coat of resin. See One Ocean Kayaks, Storer Boat plans, and many other wooden boat building sites for more information on applying cloth to wood. For a paddle, you can strengthen the edge with a ⅛" or appropriate thickness poly braided rope glued to the edge. I tack it on with CA glue and then saturate the rope with resin before putting on the cloth over the paddle. If applying another layer of cloth, do it before the resin gets tacky, as then it doesn't slide over the surface and gets stuck. If the resin has gone hard you need to remove any amine blush and sand before applying another layer of resin or cloth. Others have their methods and preferences too. Good luck with it. Peter