Hi all, and a happy new year especially to all those running in from unheated garages to thaw out fingers. It's been a mild winter so far here in Massachusetts, but I'm just not accustomed to spending a lot of time standing around outdoors, basically, trying to build kayaks.
I'm a first time builder working on a pair of 10 foot Wood Ducks from plans. It's been a fascinating process so far, and although I may have already experienced just about every mistake in the book, I've just completed the process of getting both boats fully wired up.
My hope had been to get at least this far before easing up until warmer weather, then starting with the “frankenducks (as they look with all their stitches in)” once temperatures got more hospitable for glue. However the momentum I've built up by plugging away at it day after day, a little at a time, has me pondering ways forward in spite of the outside conditions.
Being a rank novice, it's actually worked to my advantage that I've not wanted to move on to the gluing, since, building from plans, I've had a fair amount of tweaking and reshaping to get through before the boats really fit together at all. I think I dryfit and wired on the deck of one of the boats five times before it went on with anything like ease and relatively gap free.
So now that I'm ready and willing to move on past that frightening line in the builder's manual: “Now it's time to commit to the shape of your boat.” I have a question or two. I understand from MAS epoxy faq that they are comfortable with the temps down to 40 degrees for bonding, while coating is a bit higher. I've timed myself at wiring the deck on and arrived at the conclusion that as long as I can keep everything warm enough to activate properly, I'm better off doing my tacking and filleting in colder weather anyway since I'd like to have enough time to tack all my seams, fillet my ends, and wire things back up before the tacks fully set.
My questions about the tacking stage are this: should I paint my seams with unthickened epoxy before tacking them in order to keep that thirsty wood from drinking all the adhesive out of my tacks? In the manual they recommend thickening the epoxy for tacking with wood flour...wouldn't I want to use cab-o-sil, since that's what they say to use for bonding? Finally, after tacking, allowing the tacks to cure, and pulling the wires, do I need to prepare the tacks at all for the fillet which goes on top of them? I understand that in coating, if you allow the epoxy to fully cure they recommend sanding it before coating further in order for the new layer to adhere properly to the earlier one...is it the same thing with tacks and fillets, or can I just lay my fillet atop the tacks no matter how long it's been?
Any pointers would be hugely appreciated!