Conflicting Onlay Instructions

After destroying my first CLC onlay by sanding to much after gluing it down, I carefully studied the instructions before attempting to install onlay number two.  I found a conflict betweedn what came with number 1 and number 2.

The instructions that came with number 1, dated 6/19/08 state under step 2:  "After sufficient drying time, remove all weights and the plastic sheet from the onlay.  Lightly sand by hand with paper no coarser than 100 grit.  Apply two or three coats of epoxy.  Sand the area smooth and cover the shaped area with fiberglass cloth and apply two or three final coats of epoxy."

The instructions that came with onlay number 2, dated 6/20/08 state under steps 3 & 4:  "3.  After epoxy has cured, remove the weights and the plastic sheet from the inlay (?).  If any sanding of squeezed-out epoxy is necessary, make sure it's with very fine paper.  4.  Apply fiberglass and epoxy to the deck as directed in the instruction manual for your boat kit.  Fiberglass followed by several thick coast of epoxy will hide the thin edges of the onlay.

I have installed my second onlay using the first method above ie. coating the onlay with two coats of epoxy before laying down the glass.  It seems to have worked well as I have no bubbles around the edges. 

However, I would like someone at CLC to weigh in here and clarify what method they really recommend.  Meanwhile, the deck on my Shearwater 17 Hybrid is finally glassed and I am ready to attack the cockpit coaming.  Planning to do something with my left over cedar strips.  Lots of fun.

Paul G

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RE: Conflicting Onlay Instructions


We see these inlay/onlays installed in many different ways.  Sometimes inlayed into seats of rowing boats, sometimes 'glassed onto kayak decks, and lots of other applications.

If it's an "onlay," the trick to a clean installation is to make sure there isn't much of a "ledge" around the perimeter of the onlay.  The ledge makes a bump, which you can feel and see.  It takes a combination of very gentle sanding to reduce the height of the edge of the onlay, plus lots of clear epoxy glopped on around the perimeter of the onlay.

I've rarely seen an installation that could get by without a layer of fiberglass on top.  This not only protects the fragile wood veneer;  it also helps to mask the edge of the onlay.

Courtesy Dan B.


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