Thursday, June 19, 2008

Glassing the hull

This is a big day, my first day of laying in the fibreglass. I have to time it right because after glassing the inside of the hull I have to let it sit until it is tacky and then trim the edges.

Sheila and Nancy come by walking their dogs so I accompany them up the woods road and back. Nancy points out some twinflowers (Linnaea borealis) growing on the side of the road. They are tiny, and true to their name the flowers are in pairs. She shows us how you can pick them, hold the pair of flowers to your nose with one flower for each nostril, and sniff their wonderful scent. I never knew these tiny little flowers were so beautifully scented!

The fibreglass looks and feels very silky. I swept the floor of the Garden House so I could lay out the various pieces, measure them and decide which ones I would cut up for the inside of the hull. I have to leave enough fibreglass for doing the second kayak that still sits in Peter's barn.

I mark the inside of the hull with a line of masking tape about 3/4" above the upper chine seam. This will be the limit of the fibreglass inside the hull.

I select one piece of fibreglass and lay it inside the hull with one edge along the tape on one side of the kayak, holding it in place with more masking tape every 6". I cut the piece so it lays flat, covering the entire bow end of the hull up to the tape line on the other side. I trim it and tape it into place. I do the same for the stern end of the hull, and then cut a small piece to fill the stern end.

The two large fibreglass pieces overlap at the middle of the hull.

Once it is laying smooth and flat, covering the entire inside hull, I remove the tape holding the fibreglass in place and begin mixing and spreading epoxy with a small foam roller. The roller is only 3" wide, and the foam about 1/8" thick. Mike had warned me that this would be difficult, that the fibreglass would tend to lift off the hull as I spread the epoxy, and it was true, but not as hard I expected.

After covering the entire layer of fibreglass in epoxy and it is sticking to the hull, I took a plastic squeegee and scraped off the excess epoxy and smoothed the fbreglass into the seams, squeezing out all bubbles of air.

The bow end had a fold of fibreglass that was difficult to do well, I should have cut it to eliminate the fold.

About the time I was finishing up, Mike arrived home from work and took a look at what I had accomplished so far. He said it looked good. Now I could take a break and leave it to get tacky.

The last time I had to leave the epoxy to get tacky, it took four hours, so I planned on leaving it for four hours again, meaning that I would have to return to the kayak around 8.30pm. I had dinner and did a few chores around the house, listened to the radio for a bit and then finally went over the Garden House to see how it was doing, around 7.30pm. It actually was beyond tacky, four hours was way too much time. So I started trimming the fibreglass and removing the masking tape line. It was rather difficult because the epoxy was already too hard, so there were bits of the tape that I could not remove. However by 8.30pm it was done as best I could.


Anonymous said...

Hi AnnE!

I love the twinflowers and have never heard of them before. I'll have to check to see if they grow here as we have several acres of woodland where they could have a happy home - unless it gets too hot here.

Impressive!!!! I stand in awe at your abilities and bravery at each step of progress on the kayak. Applause!

Who will complete the kayak that is still in the barn?

Zabetha said...

Hi Barbara

I don't know what the future of that other hull is, it's waiting for an owner I guess. I can tell you that it won't be me ;-)