The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Once I’m finished squeezing fillet material (epoxy & wood flour) into a corner or seam, I find that a plastic spoon is great for smoothing and shaping the fillet. I drag the belly of the spoon along the fillet, adjusting the width by using the narrow or wider part of the belly as needed.  If a small spoon won’t do it, a bigger plastic soup spoon works.  After about two hours, when the fillet is starting to set up, I use the belly of the spoon, dipped in rubbing alcohol, to smooth and polish the fillet.  Cheers. Jer    http://gallery.me.com/jermcmanus


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RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

 

Aye.

And a KFC Spork is perfect for lifting just the right amount of wood flour out of the little plastic bucket it comes in.

 

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

What does the alcohol do, keep the spoon from sticking?

Mark

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Yup, keeps it from sticking.  Jer

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Does Alcohol have any negative effect on epoxy curing?  I ask because I use an alcohol-based hand cleaner to take epoxy off my hands (if/when a glove tears, for example). 

I know you can thin epoxy for spreading, but I can't remember what ingredient was called for... (mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, etc.)....

 Appreciate inputs - this is a really good idea for smoothing epoxy fillets.

Larry

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Denatured alcohol is a solvent for uncured epoxy and can be used to thin resin. It should not be used as a hand cleaner, though, as it can facilitate absorption of resin into skin. Use an abrasive hand cleaner or soap for that.

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Jerry Mcmanus,

Your excellent photos and clear narrative are keeping me alive while I search for a space to build a PocketShip.

Have you done any more work on your PocketShip since the last photo posted on your me.com gallery? If so I would love to drool over photos of your latest work.

Also, do you think a band saw is an essential tool for the project?

Sincerest compliments and thanks,l

Phil Geren philgeren@aol.com

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Thanks for the kind words, Phil.  "Management" takes me to AZ for the Winter and my building on the PocketShip hull comes to a stop in late-Oct and will resume in May.  In the meantime, I'm cutting the trim pieces and building the rudder.  I have access to one of the best equipped wood shops I've ever seen and am making use of the machinery while I can.  

Probably don't need a bandsaw, but I got one anyhow.  I've used it a few times and it may have saved an hour or two of hand sawing.  I got a 10 incher from Home Depot for about $100. 

I'll post some photos shortly as I build the rudder. 

Cheers to all & stay warm.  Jer (aka mtsailor) http://gallery.me.com/jermcmanus

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

A band saw definitely would have been useful on my recent Pocketship build. It would have made some of the milling easier and more accurate than the extra long jigsaw blades I had to use on some of the thicker curved parts.

Dave,

http://pocketshipadventure.blogspot.com/

My last post is Oct.23 but I promise to update with lots of photos once I get "True Love" back on the water in the spring. 

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

Hi Jerry -

I really like the black stripe along the shear of your Tern.  Is the stripe painted on after varnishing (or before varnishing) or is it some type of vinyl striping?

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

I find white vinager is the best and safest way to clean hands and tools of uncured epoxy.

It's also cheep. 

RE: The humble plastic picnic spoon and the art of boat building

For Howard H.  The black stripe on the Arctic Tern was painted on using normal enamel oil-based paint, like sign painters paint.  Lightly sanded when dry, then the final coat of resin applied to seal/protect it.  Then seven coats of varnish.  Good luck.     http://gallery.me.com/jermcmanus

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