Filling Wire Holes

I have glued the seams on my Wherry, and am wondering whether I should fill the wire holes with epoxy thickened with wood flour, or do they get filled incidentally when completing other aspects of the build (e.g., in glassing and finishing).  It looks like a boat but I realize the work has only just begun - very exciting, though.


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RE: Filling Wire Holes

Don't bother. They mostly fill automagically when you put in your seam fillets, and get finished when you glass the outside. -Wes

RE: Filling Wire Holes

Thanks, Wes.  There seems to be almost as much work removing the stitches as there was installing them.  As you suggest, I'm sure the holes will be filled somewhere along the road.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

The wires should come out easily. If some got epoxied in, heat them with a small soldering iron and they'll pull right out. Use pliers, of course. -Wes

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I regretted not fillinig the holes on my WD12, there are several around the cockpit that became divets

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I filled the holes with toothpicks.  The attached pic shows a closeup.  This only added one extra day to the build.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

David is correct, i also regretted not filling wire holes on my wherry.  Those on horizontal surfaces WILL fill naturally, not necessarily so up on the sides.  The casual observer may not notice them but I know those divets exist and it bothers me that i didn't take care of them early on.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30300189&l=f19866d2c4&id=1124156327

Sorry.  I don't know how to post pictures.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I've removed all the wires, with the help of a soldering iron as suggested, and will certainly fill the holes specifically.  Most of my epoxy lines are a bit  rough, particularly where the wires were embedded.  Should I refill the seams, effectively smoothing rough patches, then sand, or sand, fill, sand?  Aesthetically, this seems like a critical moment.  I will paint the hull, but want it smooth and fair before doing so.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I'm at the installing seats stage on my Annopolis Wherry, which is just before you sand the entire boat and install two more layers of epoxy.

I've thought of using wood putty that you use to hide nails in hardwood floors.  The tube dispenser wouldn't take much time, but I'm relunctant to try something without approval from someone who's done it before.

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I'm a furniture maker by profession and am familiar with wood putties and fillers.  I have no real experience in boatbuilding (apart from my nascent Wherry), but I would be inclined to fill the holes with something that has some actual adhesive properties (thickened epxoy, for example).  The water-based putties can shrink as they dry. 

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I've always depended on the holes being automatically filled and never been let down. Never had a divot, either. The sanding and fairing process took care of that.

The only reason I can see to fill the holes is because the unfilled holes end up very dark. Against that, though, is the difficulty of matching the wood's color, as well as the truth-in-materials argument. That is, it's a wooden S&G boat, why hide the fact? Welded ships have seams, riveted ships have rivet heads, fiberglass boats have plastic-smooth sides, etc. S&G boats have little dark stitch holes. So I get to avoid some extra work, get on the water faster and cheaper, and I get to call it artistic honesty. What a deal!

Coco's absolutely right about the shrinkage. In addition to that, there's the thermal expansion problem. If the wood expands at a different rate than the filler, the filler may pop out. At the very least it will eventually change color. So if you must fill, use something with a similar coefficient of thermal expansion, such as the toothpicks Howard mentions.

And Howard, there's a link to a tutorial on posting pictures up in the intro on the first page of the forum.

Have fun all,

Laszlo

 

RE: Filling Wire Holes

I put tooth picks in all of the 'stitch holes' on my second boat. Showed about the same as unfilled holes only 'rounder'. The end grain of the tooth picks still ended up darker then the oakume. But certainly no harm in adding them if you want to. 

Lew

RE: Filling Wire Holes

The stitch holes that I filled in with toothpicks are not much darker than the okoume.  The toothpicks filled in the irregular holes caused by the stitching wires and look like little wooden plugs.

 

I pushed the toothpicks in until they were tight.  I then snipped the outside-facing ends with diagonal cutters and sanded smooth.  (Maybe – after sanding the surrounding area – some okoume dust filled in the end grain of the toothpicks so the contrast was not drastic?).  I used a small dab of epoxy to glue in each toothpick.  The epoxy filled between the toothpicks and the okoume, creating very thin circles.  After the epoxy dried, I snipped/sanded the inside-facing ends of the toothpicks and sanded the whole kayak lightly by hand.

 

It's all about personal preference.  You should try different methods on some scrap and choose the one you like best.  It's your boat so you should be happy. 

RE: Filling Wire Holes

Why wouldn't you fill them in? It's not difficult and its better than having little divets or worse air pockets. Do it by the book is always the best advice

RE: Filling Wire Holes

Where's the fun in doing it by the book? :-)

Actually, the book says to leave the wires in which would make this whole discussion irrelevant.

Three cheers for irrelevant threads :-)

Laszlo

 

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