Less sanding

I try to avoid using abrasive paper if possible, it's expensive and slow and sanding epoxy clogs the paper. It also produces poisonous dust.

I use a cabinet scraper to level epoxy coatings. Takes about 2 hours to level a kayak exterior.  There's no dust, just epoxy shavings.   A 6" wide scraper produces flat surfaces without any scratch marks. 

My favorite scraper which I have used for 30 years of proffessional woodworking was 3" wide when I bought it and it's  2" now, so the cost is negligible. The edge doesn't last long used on epoxy and even less when glass is encountered so I have several and sharpen them together. I make them myself by cutting up worn out handsaw blades on a metal guillotine.

The page address is for an article on how to use and sharpen scapers.  When I scrape epoxy I don't hone the scraper on a stone,  I just file the edge  square with a fine file.

I also use a scraper to level and smooth paint, primer and undercoat, and varnish.

The page address is for an article on how to use and sharpen scapers. 


8 replies:

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RE: Less sanding

Thanks David---I am into wood working myself--the kayak and the whole glass-resin thing is all new. I have several scrapers [some are of the collectible variety] and I was looking at the whole lots of paper and dust [which is just around the corner] and I had it in mind to give the scraper thing a try first before plunking down my money for a variety of abrasives and having to buy enough of each to get a quanity discount. Your heads up is right on time--Glad to hear that it works---CZ

RE: Less sanding

A few questions that I forgot to ask in the previous post. Are you using a single cut file? Are you draw fileing ? are you using a burnishing tool? --Thanks CZ

RE: Less sanding

Great article.  So if I want to use a scraper to smooth the epoxy on my Chesapeake Double, which would you recommend?  Size/brand?  Price is not important- I realize that you usually get what you pay for with hand tools.

RE: Less sanding

Interesting concept!  I used a 1/2" wood chisel to shave blobs of epoxy off the glass (runs, drips, etc.), and it was very similar to shaving glue blobs off of a wooden seam.  Just another thought (easier than sanding through those blobs!!!).


RE: Less sanding

I ordered one of these from Home Depot and love it - one of my absolute favorite tools when I was working on my Shearwater.  It worked excellent for smoothing the inside of the coaming lip as well as getting the epoxy smooth. I found that if I went over major drips/runs lightly with 60 grit sandpaper on a sanding block first just to get the top edge off and then hit it with the scraper it worked best.  


I also have a cabinet scraper (basically a flat piece of metal) but I didn't like it as well - not nearly as much control, but I'm sure with practice it would have been good too.


RE: Less sanding

Such an interesting post.  I must agree, sanding epoxy is a messy, dusty, noisy job.  Having dabbled in home woodworking for about 30 years, I too prefer scraping or, even better if the material will allow it, a cut finish using an extremely sharp plane (I have made several wooden planes ~ a la James Krenov ~ which work superbly.

I spent yesterday morning sanding the hull of my C16 ~ very coarse work with a Festool 6" Rotex (Random Orbital) Ended up with some bare patches, despite reading all the warnings ! So need to apply glass patches in places today.

Kathy, your scraping gizmo sounds like a must.  Trouble is, home depot is a long way (10 000 kilometres) from where I live.  I really envy you lucky folk who live in the US ~ You have a large market (competition) and a wide range of supplies.

How DID Noah manage to build that Ark ?


RE: Less sanding

I also use a scraper for removing epoxy. I like the idea that I'm not using a noisy, dusty machine ... I can actually hear the radio while working! My only "gripe" would be the constant burnishing to renew the burr.

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