Builders' Forum Archives
Re: When to add stern str
Posted by Laszlo on May 31, 2005
Lee's advice about non-sticky gloves is good if you can pull it off (and with enough practice you can pull it off, the problem is how much time does it take to get enough experience to reliably pull it off) and Mislav's point about the tape trick making it more difficult to adjust the threads is absolutely true. So here's what I did to fix exactly the same problem that you describe:
1. Use the tape trick, but make the cloth strip substantially wider than needed. This imprisons the threads at the ends but leaves the center area relatively mobile.
2. Painted the stern area with a light coat of epoxy before I put on the tape and pre-wet the glass before I applied it to the boat. This had the effect of encouraging the glass to stick to the hull rather than unravel and encouraging the threads to hold together rather than unravel. The painted areas was substantially larger than the strip (this is important later).
3. Applied the glass to the desired area and did not attempt to make it fit smoothly everywhere, just at the center. The excess hung off into the air and I was able to cut it off with scissors with just a little fraying. At this point, it was frayed, but not a snotty mess - just a couple of loose threads. I left the frayed threads alone.
4. The magic part. Took a piece of 4 mil polyethylene dropcloth about 6 inches high and 10 inches wide and wrapped it around the stern with the fold going vertically up the stern. I used a squeegee to work it into the epoxy, smoothing from stern to bow. This removed the air bubbles and distributed the excess epoxy from the glass strip over the whole area and provided suction to hold the plastic in place. It also trapped the frayed threads and embedded them in epoxy. Finally, it filled the weave in the new glass. If the plastic doesn't want to stay put on its own, use packing tape to hold it on, but I didn't need to do that.
The next morning I peeled the plastic off. The frayed threads were totally invisible and the weave was completely filled and smooth as glass. The transition between the layers of glass was completely smooth and invisible.
I used this same trick (extra epoxy and polyethylene sheet) to make an invisible transition between the bow and stern deck glass. It's nice because instead of fighting the frayed threads (which almost always turns them into epoxy/glass snot), it accepts them and invisibly incorporates them. It's like training a cat - you can make it do anything it wants to do.
In Response to: When to add stern strip by Mike D on May 30, 2005