Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Folks,  another Skerry question, though it might be applied to any boat with an exposed interior hull that has been stitched and glued. 

 We followed all instructions on filling stitch holes on the exterior hull and they turned out fine, given that the hull will be painted on top of three coats of epoxy.

However, we still see the holes in the interior hull as dark little pinhole dots, which will  be coated with three coats of epoxy and then varnished for the natural wood finish.  I don't see how these holes will  become invisible with epoxy and varnish coats.  I'd rather not see them and wonder what others do to eliminate those little visible stitch holes?  If anything?  Painting isn't an option and I'm wondering if they're just an acceptable design feature? Thanks, Bob


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RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Bob,

At this point they won't become invisible as long as you finish with varnish instead of paint. As far as the aesthetics go, they're just an artifact of the construction process. You see those all the time on perfectly respectable vessels. Wooden pegs, screw heads, rivets, welding seams, etc. are all there for everyone to see without making the boats and ships look cheap and amateurish. Stitch holes are just more of the same.

My own feeling is that the wood itself has many natural variations. Wood grain is nature's stitch holes - it's the visible manifestation of the way the trees were built. Stitch holes just play along with the wood's visible construction method. Not hiding the material's characteristics, nor the construction methods, is actually a modern architectural movement known as "truth in materials", so this is even an officially recognized viewpoint.

If this isn't enough theoretical cover for you, there's always the actual cover provided by a layer of paint.

Laszlo 

 

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Thanks Laszlo, I think I'll stay with the varnish.  Good points.  Bob

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Hi Bob,

    You could try filling them with some epoxy mixed with West System light weight filleting compound which is light brown in color. Another option if you haven't epoxied yet would be good old fashioned wood filler from the hardware store.

              Chris 

 

 

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Chris, I haven't epoxied yet, and you know I actually thought about hardware store wood filler and simply figured it wouldn't hold up to marine use.  That said, with all the epoxy and varnish covering it up, I can't imagine what harm it would do. Unless, of course, if the epoxy created some kind of chemical reaction with the wood filler and made a mess of it.  I guess you've used wood filler like this before?  Thanks for your suggestion

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

I agree with most of the above advice.  However, unless you are expert at mixing and applying fill to exactly match the wood color and grain, you risk having a row of ugly blotches instead of a neat row of pin holes where the wire stitches were. The stitch holes are okay and they will actually help you explain the stitch and glue building process to those who admire your boat.  Good luck.

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Bob,

I misunderstood your original post. I thought you had already epoxied the inside. Structurally, the wood fillers should be fine. Getting a good match is still going to be difficult since okoume darkens up when epoxied.

Laszlo

 

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Hi Bob,

  I haven't tried the wood fille in a marine eviorment but I've never had any come out of nail holes with just varnish on them. I have filled holes with epoxy and and filler though which would be my first choice. For really precise application use an epoxy syringe. You'll have to pull the plunger out to load it with thickened epoxy but you'll be able to put a small spot right on the hole. It would need a light sanding to eliminate the bump after drying. I'll agree that mixing to an exact color i almost imposible but in my opinion light colored dots are less noticeable then black ones.

 

              Chris 

 

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Thanks again folks.  I tested a difficult to see area with wood filler, sanded it and epoxied over it.  You can still see the spot and at this point, I agree that it's probably better to see the original stitch and glue holes.  So that's what we're going to do.  But thanks again for your input.  There's a bunch of good, helpful people in here.  Best, Bob

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

Re those ugly blotches that Jerry mentioned, one way to minimize that is to punch a small hole in a 2" wide piece of masking tape and position it so that it corresponds to the offending stitch hole.   The surrounding wood is protected from the overspread, just peel off the tape and sand.  Of course 500 sticth holes is a LOT of masking....

RE: Stitch and Glue holes on interior hull

There is a woodworking trick that might work for you.  Place a small amount of glue in the defect that you would like to hide and lightly sand over the area.  The glue picks up some wood dust and covers the defect.  Problems can occur with lighter colored woods because a little garnet (or whatever sandpaper you are using) usually gets picked up also.

Scott

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