Onlay question

Can someone tell me the best way to adhere my onlay to my shearwater?  Sand first then use...Epoxy, elmers glue, other?  As this is my first build, I'm looking for best practice how to's.

 Thanks for all your help!

6 replies:

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RE: Onlay question

I put an ebony veneer onlay on my shearwater. I used epoxy to glue it on. Only slightly tricky part was clamping it down evenly so that there were no bubbles or voids. I used stretch wrap and a piece of mincell foam to clamp it down. Epoxy underneath the onlay, epoxy on top, epoxy an inch or so all around, some shrink wrap to cover every thing up, foam over that, shrink wrap over the foam to clamp it all down. There are some pictures of the general operation starting around here:

Click the right arrow to progress through the pictures of clamping it all down. Worked out Ok.

Good luck,


Ogata (eric)

RE: Onlay question

Here's the link to the CLC shop tip about installing onlays.... a zip lock bag filled with sand (or UNUSED kitty litter) makes a handy weight to weigh it down while the epoxy cures.... if you're using one of the onlays that CLC sells, the film adhesive that holds the onlay together needs to be carefully hand sanded off after you have epoxied the onlay onto the boat.

Julie K. 


RE: Onlay question

I used Elmer's White glue for the veneer work on my West River. Has a pretty quick tack time, 5 minutes versus a few hours for epoxy, tape can be used for holding it down and the squeeze out wipes up with a damp cloth and doesn't leave any stains on the deck. Then sand, especially the edges, feathering them as much as possible to the deck, 4 oz cloth over that, a few coats of epoxy and you're done.

George K

West River

RE: Onlay question

The CLC 'compass rose' onlay on the ceck of my yet-to-be-completed Ches 17LT has already attracted favourable comments!   I also used epoxy - a VERY thin coat - to fix it, and held it down with across-the-deck straps while hardening.   Deviating slightly here, I would very much have liked to router-out the circle into which the onlay was to be placed, to a depth of one ply of my 3mm deck, as I thought it would give the ultimate in looks.   But considering the stresses the heavily-cambered deck is under while it is being bent and fixed to the sheer clamps I could also imagine the entire deck panel splitting from bow to cockpit cut-out!   Has anyone done this - or have any ideas as to how it might be achieved without the deck self-destructing?   Thanks in advance as always...



RE: Onlay question

How about laminating a piece or two of 1.5 mil plywood on the underside?

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