Final epoxy coat

Finishing up my first Mill Creek. When do you know when to stop with the epoxy? Top is smooth except for a few spots which have a weave showing through.

Any comments on scrapers versus just sanding? Thanks

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RE: Final epoxy coat

 You can stop adding fill coats when you can get (sand to) a fair finish without hitting cloth.  Of course you don't want too many fill coats on there either because it will just add weight without adding strength and spend money.

If you're using 6oz cloth you will need at least 2, but probably 3 fill coats.  A third will give you more room for error.  Depends on just how picky you want to be on your finish.  I have gotten it done with 2 on 4oz and had to go 3 on 6oz, but I am very picky.  I want an automotive finish.

Don't scrape, sand.  If your deck was fair before glassing then you should be able to sand with a DA and complete the work to a high standard.  If you choose to use an orbital sander with a pad be very careful with your pressure.  These pads tend to follow the wavy surface of the fill coat and your finish will not be fair.  If you're hand sanding use a stiff rubber block and you'll love the results.  

A DA is my favorite tool for grinding fill coats.  Keep the pad flat and keep it moving with minimal weight on the tool and sharp paper. Don’t keep dull or clogged paper on the tool because you will start putting more pressure to get it to cut which will result in an unfair surface. Start with 80 grit to get it flattened and then run through 220 and 320 to remove scratches from the previous paper.  Don’t tip the pad up on edge to “get that low spot”.  Either sand a large area around the low spot or stop and fill it.

I usually stop with the 80 grit before all the low spots are ground but they are close, then move to the finer grits to remove the scratches and complete the smoothing of the surface.  This lessens the risk of grinding into the cloth when cleaning up the coarser grit scratches.  Nothing worse than being “just about done” then hitting the weave and having to add another filler coat and start all over.


RE: Final epoxy coat

Filling the Weave - the official CLC word (with pictures).



RE: Final epoxy coat

   What is a "DA"?



RE: Final epoxy coat


RE: Final epoxy coat


   Thanks for the replies. First time builder and first time using epoxy. Interesting learning curve. Lots of good info on the forum and web but not many pictures. I am on my second varnish coat and it looks good. Will post a picture when I get a chance.

What are your opinions on the bottom. Continue with the bright finish or maybe a dark paint. I have seen both pros and cons.

Thanks again.   Chris

RE: Final epoxy coat

Here is the picture.

RE: Final epoxy coat

Google answers are a crapshoot. There's nothing to indicate the quality of the answer, especially to someone new to the subject. There's also Google's total lack of intelligence. They are scared to give you back a no-match result (bad for business), so they change spellings, drop terms and reach wildly for any match. For example "DA tool" returned, among other things, a rant against a local district attorney. It also offered to sell me DAs, announced that they had the lowest price on DAs and wanted to give me a DA website for cheap - all without telling just what exactly a DA was.

All this to say that while Google is an option, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking members of a trusted community for an answer instead of a looking in large impersonal ad-pushing database system. I would rather ask my expert friends any day. Not just for the accuracy, but to keep alive the sense of community.

Keep it real,



RE: Final epoxy coat


Spectacular finish. If you paint the bottom I think the suggestion is primer and then a few quotes. Not sure if it is time savings. I've seen some real nice examples though (

Did you stain the top of your millcreek or is that Sapale or some other wood?

I am building a shearwater from plans and am thinking about accent staining. Have to decide real soon.

Nemo, I tried: Sapele+or+some+other+wood?

But the search came back with a viagara ad for my parakeet. ;<)

Lazlo, thanks. I think the audience of this forum is a great mix of experienced hands and newbies. 




RE: Final epoxy coat


"few quotes." = "few coats."

RE: Final epoxy coat



Thanks. I stained all the exterior with a red mahogany which turned out nice. Pros and cons to staining before or after the stitch and glue. Obviously stain does work too well on epoxy/glue but you have to re-stain and fix all scratches and edges you round off. The new puzzle joints look fantastic with stain as an accent.


Thanks for all your input and ideas. Building this first kayak was a learning process for sure. Your inputs and thoughts have been very helpful and have saved me from making many many mistakes.



RE: Final epoxy coat

Nice finish Chris W !

I have not near that, but I will few more coats of varnish on mine.


RE: Final epoxy coat

   I hear that, " Sanding is fun." 

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