Sheer Clamp Joint Weak?

Posted by Matt Croce on Mar 15, 2005

Only on the second task of building my first boat, and already learning lessons the hard way -- I mixed the epoxy outside of my little "heat tent" that I had to build over my work table (building in a carport), and the epoxy got fairly thick (due to cool temp, not due to too much silica powder).

Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up with two good scarf joints on my sheer clamps, one that is ok, but not great, and one that had a visible void in the joint.

I have since mixed up another small batch of epoxy with about half as much silica powder, and injected it all along the joint with a syringe; I'm waiting for it to dry right now.

It looked like the epoxy had simply drained to the bottom of the scarf joint, leaving a small space at the top of the joint (maybe 1/64" deep or less). (I'll attach a really crappy picture; my digital camera doesn't do too well on close-ups, but maybe you can tell what I mean)

Anyway, here are my questions / concerns. Do you think the joint is adequate, considering it is about 2 ft from the end of the sheer clamp, and will be well forward / back in the boat? (Obvious concerns are whether the void that I saw was the ONLY void, or just the only visible one).

I plan on making sure that the end of the joint that had the problem is on the top side of the sheer clamp, so that when I plane the clamp to match the boat radius, so that I can a) see if there are any other voids, and b) possible get rid of the weak area, since it may be planed off.

Since the whole sheer clamp is going to be glued to the side panels anyway, I think the measures I have taken / plan to take should be adequate, but I'm new to this, so if you have some feedback it would be greatly appreciated.

(This whole "making mistakes" thing sucks...)

Thanks, Matt