i am sure i have seen this question up there before.....but can't seem to locate it.

anyway, the question is how would one take apart an epoxied puzzle joint that did not get aligned properly.

i recently picked up my latest 'rescue' project which is a shearwater 17 kit where the main hull pieces were epoxied and never really lined up right..... such that if i were to sand it fair, i would cut through the veneer of the adjoining pieces.

the previous owner sorted out quickly that this apparently was not for him and put it up for somebody else to complete.

thanks in advance for the help.


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RE: ungluing

I once knew a guy who was a real idiot, and on his first build glued the hull panels of his Ch17LT with the bow pointing up and stern pointing down (or was it bow down and stern up?).  When I called CLC in a panic the next day, they advised using a heat gun to soften the epoxy around the puzzle joints.  Sure enough, the panels came apart with no damage.

As a side note, I no longer use thickened epoxy on my puzzle joints.  On the newest CLC kayak kits (S&G Petrel and Petrel Play), the directions call for you to spot weld the joints together with CA glue.  It is really easy to get a perfectly aligned joint by applying dots of glue spaced about 1/2" apart, then checking alignment before locking in place with accelerant.  The glue is not super strong but the joint gets plenty of epoxy when you glass over both sides. 

RE: ungluing

   Well, we've all made mistakes of course but bow up, stern down? That's a new one... I'dathunk the CLC crew would have anticipated such an event then designed their puzzle geometry to be asymmetrical.

Yes, epoxy can be softened by heat, for just this kind of situation. Good suggestion to use a heat gun (mine's been employed for all kinds of things for the forty-odd years I've owned it) while a little pricey for somebody who may never use one again. Maybe a heat lamp? Stay around & observe if you do this, don't get either too close or leave a lamp unattended.

CA is awesome stuff too, newer chemistry than epoxies. Has its place in the boatbuilder toolkit.

RE: ungluing

just a quick note that the heat gun and a chisel, to scrape off the softened epoxy is working just fine.

doing one panel per day...and have two panels left.....and soon will be ready to start putting it back together.  i see that in addition to taking apart, have to lightly sand the puzzle joints with a file  to get them to fit tight...but not so tight that they dont align.  so sort of a slow process.  there was just a lot of epoxy sloppily laid down.

as mentioned...its a 'rescue project'.  will be all fine when we get moving forward again.

thanks for the help and the tips on CA glue.


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