Soften epoxy fillets?

I have an unfortunate little dent in the side of my 17LT which resulted from a misalignment between bottom and side panels when I applied the fillet.  I tried to wire the hull together with the corners of the panels tight to each other, so that there is no visible gap between them on the inside of the boat but the two panel edges show evenl on the outside of the boat.  Did pretty well except for one notable spot.


I was considering trying to soften the epoxy by heating it.  I have a radiant paint melter that has two high intensity quartz tubes that get red hot - built from an infrared space heater.  This will heat many coats of paint and allow it to be easily scraped off, so I know that the heat will penetrate.  I thought If I showed enough patience in heating it up, I could soften the epoxy enough to allow realignment of the panels.  I only need to move onepanel edge over about 1/8".

Does anyone have any experience with heat- softening epoxy?

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RE: Soften epoxy fillets?

Yep , heat should  soften it.

Just keep moving the heat gun over the area so as not to burn anything.

You might have to go a far bit on either side of the misalignment to get a fair curve.

I did a similar thing on the bow of my CH Double to give it a finer entry.


Hope this helps

Bris Paul




RE: Soften epoxy fillets?

You want to raise the temp of the whole fillet thickness, which a high temp source won't do- you'll cook the first layers while waiting for the inner to soften. Use hot water- large ziploc bags of water heated in a microwave works really swell. You can apply a bag to both sides, and for bonus points insert a cooking probe thermometer and try to avoid going over about 150F.

RE: Soften epoxy fillets?

Thanks, good point.

My plan for the radiant paint melter is to go very gradually, apply heat, take it away, let the heat conduct in, repeat as needed. This is the same procedure for paint melting to avoid scorching/burning.  I'll be careful and report back w/ results


I just heated up the fillet (about a 12" long section) using my radiant heater.  The epoxy offgasses some visible vapor that looks like steam and smells like a chemical plant.  I had to heat for a  long time to get the heat to penetrate the thickness of the fillet. I alternated heating the outside of the boat (bare wood, so carefully) and the inside.  

I was about to give up as it had been about 10 minutes and nothing would budge, when it suddenly released and allowed the panels to go to where they were supposed to be. Dent is gone, and the epoxy appears to have hardened back up.  This was with glass tape and epoxy over the fillet by the way.  

Now I have a symmetrical hull!

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