Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

Does it make sense to finish various parts before installation?  For example, the manual says to apply epoxy to the ribs before attaching the side planks.  Why not continue all the way through to the application of the marine varish to the ribs, at least the first two coats.  There are many other parts that could be prefinished, reducing the need for sanding and finsihing in awkward spaces after the boat has been completely assembled.

7 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

Hi Sundance, 

a lot of builders play around with changing certain orders of operation to make the work easier.  so your question is a good one.

i am not sure what boat you are building, but if you are confident that prefinishing the part would not interfere with glueing or some other opration, why not?   remember that epoxy will not bond to a varnished surface, so if the rib needs to be filleted would need to leave the fillet line clean of varnish.

anyway, a lot of this comes with experience.  i find, generally, the stock CLC instructions work pretty well.  but that's the fun of you can tailor your approach and learn from your experience and share with others.

fwiw, i have done a lot of pre-epoxying parts prior to assembly...but not pre-finishing.  mostly because i still had some glueing operation that i had to perform where the finish was not compatible with bonding.


RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

   I'd say Yes. I'm varnishing my coaming peices prior to installing. Taping off an area

to allow bonding as hspira mentions. Taking a little longer since I can only do one side at a time but A lot easier and neater to varnish and sand flat on a table than vertical on the boat. Gravity can be an enemy with varnish! Don't be afraid to deviate from the manual and use your own ideas to suit yourself just be careful and take all aspects into consideration. The manual doesn't tell you everything and I find sometimes it doesn't tell you anything. That's the fun part!

Enjoy, PP


RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

   P.S. If you're not sure you could always call CLC they're very responsive and helpful.

I assume you bought a kit from them??

RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

   Thanks to all of you for your repsonse to my question about pre-finishing.  Very helpful.  I'm building Tenderly, which I purchased from CLC.  I think, based on your comments, that I will go through the parts and select those for which prefinishing would seem to make sense.  As was suggested, I will be careful to avoid finishing any surfaces which will need to be clear for purposes of bonding parts together.  I have plenty of time to build my ship, so I will take some time now to make thiings a little easier in the long run.  Again, thank you for responding.  Sundance

RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

   Pre finishing parts when you can does make sense.  Some epoxy coating, painting or varnishing will be easier on the bench than in e hull.  For example I painted the inside of the centreboard case before gluing it together.  But it does mean your options for cleaning up epoxy  get limited later.  I pre coated the ribs, but I was not tidy enough when I put the fillets in.  When I used a hot air gun to help scrape off the surplus blobs from the ribs I took some of the original coating off.  Doh! should have thought it through a bit better and stuck to sanding (or looked more carefully for stray epoxy while it was still soft).  Enjoy your build.


RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

   @Sundance, another note. Read the entire manual twice but also read your plans sheets in detail. Don't know your kit but I've experienced seeing instructions on the plans that were not in the manual causing me to skip a step in the process since I did not scrutinize the plans first. PP

RE: Pre-finishing various parts before assembly

PdP makes a good point there (can count on him for that!) that, between a build manual and the plans for a given build there's room for what the builder brings to the game with their skills and experience. That manual & plans likely were mostly the work of one talented individual, their inherent bias should be taken for granted such that a builder should use the guides as an outline, not a Bible.

Builders should follow the outline (mostly) while using their imaginations to 'fill in the gaps' by visualizing operations soon to be undertaken.

Keeping a weather eye for how the end result either favors or hinders further work is part & parcel of a proper DIY undertaking. Learn to imagine how one's choice of what to do next can affect one's options further along.

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.