Day 20

6-24-2012

This really isn't Day 20, it's probably more like Day 23 because over the past several days I have been applying the many fill coats needed to bury the weave of the deck fiberglass.  Using lighter fill coats of epoxy definitely reduced the amount of runs and orange peel areas and helped conserve the overall amount of epoxy used.

Time to sand.  Luckily the weather was good so the boat could be brought outside.  Sanding epoxy is a dirty job and requires safety equipment including goggles, hearing protection, and respirator.  The sander is extremely loud on the hollow boat body, you don't want to inhale epoxy and fiberglass dust, and getting the dust in your eyes would not be good either.

The goal of sanding is to sand down the high spots in the epoxy and establish a completely smooth surface on which to apply the final coats of epoxy.  I used a Milwaukee random orbital sander with 80 grit, 120 grit, and 220 grit discs.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the beginning of this process, but here are some pictures of the sanding in progress.


The sanding took about 4 hours.  Once completed, I wiped the entire boat down with with denatured alcohol then removed all the dist by buffing it with a dry cloth.  

In some areas it was possible to see the grain of the glass under the epoxy, especially where the sheer panels meet the deck and hull.  The fiberglass is still intact, it's just that the epoxy is so thin in those places now the light in so longer refracted enough to hide the weave.  Once additional skim coats of epoxy are applied the weave will vanish.  I verified this by wiping the area with denatured alcohol which made the weave disappear.  

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