Re: Sanding boogy man

Posted by Laszlo on Jun 22, 2006

Mac, maybe we should all chip in and get your wife a fiberglass nightie :-)

Chris, good luck on getting them in the water. It's always fun to launch a fleet that you built by hand.

Bill & David, now that you mention it, I guess that it really is my equipment. Funny, but it never occurred to me to sand it by hand, even though I used only hand tools for everything else. (I will, however, be doing the wet sanding by hand. Even with GFCI outlest in the garage, I'm not sure that dipping the ROS into a bucket of water is such a good idea!) The sander and shop vac together cost under $80 new (both were on sale).

David & James, there are places you can buy hook & loop discs in bulk, which brings the cost of each disc down to about 20 cents each. (I'm not going to mention where since CLC sells discs, but if you do a google on "hook and loop sanding discs" and go down the list you'll find the place.) That makes it $5.00 in discs each time to sand an entire boat.

As far as repeated sandings go, I haven't been sanding between each coat. I did the big end-to-end sanding that I mentioned in my first post, then put on 3 coats of epoxy and let it cure for 3 days at 90 degree daytime temperatures. Yesterday evening I sanded the whole boat again. This time it went a lot faster because I started with a smoother finish. I was able to finish the actual sanding in about an hour with only 12 discs, then another leisurely 45 minutes of vacuuming and washing the boat.

I figure another 2 coats of epoxy overall (3 on the concave parts of the bow & stern) and then a final sanding. So only 3 sandings total to get to the varnish-ready point. The epoxy coats, BTW, are very thin - less than 5 oz to totally cover the boat, mixed in 2 3-oz batches, applied with a roller and tipped out with a foam brush. That's another reason that the sanding is so easy, less epoxy to remove.

I guess the overall lesson is festina lente - make haste slowly. Lots of thin coats mean much less sanding, saving lots of total time and epoxy. All this, BTW, is in the CLC Shop Tips, none of it is my own discovery.

So read and believe the shop tips, except where they say "You'll spend more time sanding your wood-epoxy kayak than anything else during construction." Do things right, use the right tools and you'll only spend about a day total spread out over the construction and finishing phases.

Have fun all,


In Response to: Sanding boogy man by Laszlo on Jun 21, 2006