Tape edges

I'm building a mill creek 16.5 and have gotten through fillets, tape, and epoxy inside the bow and stern sections.  They look pretty good except the edges of the tape on the seams are standing proud.  With the cockpit next, I'm looking for a method to keep the edges of the tape flat to minimize sanding.  Anybody have a good technique?

9 replies:

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RE: Tape edges

Follow the denatured alcohol rub out 1 to 1.5 hours after fileting.  I pull the tape then use the alcohol rub to smooth out the filet.  Slick trick and seems to work great.

RE: Tape edges

  Hi Gig,

  I think you are referring to the woven edge of the tape that after curing is rough and abrasive once the epoxy cures? If you can time it to be there for that 'magic' few minutes after the epoxy is set but before it hardens you can run a sharp razor blade down the edge and trim it off. Another option if it's too late for that is a VERY sharp chisel drawn or pushed with the bevel of the blade flat to the tape and the tool at an angle to the edge you are removing will take it off. You will probably need to sharpen the chisel from time to time. Sorry if I mis-understood you.

RE: Tape edges

If the eposy has already cured, try running a scraper (sometimes called furniture or cabinet scrapers) along the edge of the tape. They are great for removing drips or runs too.


The scrapers will do most of the work for you. If you are lucky, you won't need to do any sanding at all. If you are fanatical, you could scrape and then use some left-over thickened epoxy from another stage along the edge of the tape to fair it, but it will of course add a few hours waiting time, after which you could sctape again and then decide if you need to sand.


RE: Tape edges

I second "Pocketship" Keith's advice. I have used the "furniture" scrapers with great success even after the epoxy has cured to rock hardness. Followed by a light sanding and the result is great IMHO.



RE: Tape edges

Clean up the edges with a sharp chisel while the epoxy is still green and use a scraper when cured. Another option would be to fiberglass the entire center with some light cloth, no bumps or seams.

RE: Tape edges

Go with scraper for sure. Kep a small mill file handy and put an edge on the scraper blade often, like every few minutes. Works = saves nasty sanding = quick.

RE: Tape edges

Thanks everybody.  Some good ideas.


RE: Tape edges

I have had decent luck with the raised hem of the fiberglass tape by removing/trimming it with sharp scissors just before installing...

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