Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

i have now glued together 6 puzzle joints - both side panels and one bottom - for my Chesapeake 17.  While I tried to carefully follow the instructions, I discovered that when I removed my wood clamps and wax paper, I was left with quite a bit of excess glue that must have squeezed out of the joints.  I did scrape away the glue that first appear before I clamped the joints but obviously there was more to come.  I am now left with joints which in some cases have pretty raised pieces of glue and in others are reasonably flat but discolored.  Is my only option now to sand (orbital sander?) as best I can and then live with whatever discoloration is left?  Thanks.

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RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

the most important thing you want to determine is, is the wood aligned?  by that i mean, not-withstanding the extra epoxy, (i.e., assuming the epoxy was not there) does the wood line up?

if the answer to that is yes, it is actually very easy to sand away/clean-up excess epoxy.   also don't worry about 'discoloration'.  the wood looks different (darker typically) when it has epoxy on it.  so when you glass the hull...it will all turn the same color.  

that said, you should clean up the excess epoxy so that when you glass over it....you have a nice flat surface like the surrounding wood.  but you don't need to get all the epoxy off....you just need to deal with any signficant drips or bumps.

since the pieces are still flat, you can probably clean it up with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block.  it wont take you more than a couple minutes a joint.  hand sanding it will also give you more control so you don't accidently over-sand or sand through the veneer.

all the best, 





RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

You might want to try a heat gun and putty knife to remove the worst of it. Epoxy softens considerably when heated. Be careful not to burn the wood and save the sanding until the bulk of the excess epoxy is removed.  It's almost impossible to sand off hardened epoxy buildup without removing too much of the surrounding wood.


RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

You could also try a cabenit scraper to remove the excess epoxy and maybe a little of the vaner. I would start in the epoxy and scrape the body down, Then work form the inside of the epoxy out. This way you might be able to control the amount of removal at the end of the epxy and limit the vener scraping.  

RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

fwiw....there are many phases of construction where you will need to clean up excess epoxy on wood or smooth epoxy.   before you glass the hull, for example, it is typical that you will sand the entire hull with 120 grit sandpaper to make it ready.   after you glass the hull....you will use sandpaper and sand the whole boat smooth.

the important thing that everybody is driving at is to not cut through your veneer.  so whichever method you choose above, you want to be comfortable.  and if you have some doubts or are nervous about a particular approach,  you can always drop some epoxy on some spare wood and experiment with the different methods.

i happen to use all three techniques routinely ....but based on your description, i still think sanding is fine.  

when sanding to remove excess glue, it is important to have a firm sanding block and fresh paper.   the epoxy, as Dick points out, is harder than wood, and if you don't use a firm sanding block, the paper will float over the epoxy vs cutting into it.   so with that said, i disagree, respectfully, with Dick that it is almost impossible to remove epoxy without removing veneer.  its actually pretty easy and straight-forward....especially on a flat panel.   but everybody has to learn their tools and techniques ....and that's half the fun of the project.



RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

   You may be past this step now,  but various builders recommended I use bench scrapers. A sharp bench scraper REALLY makes fast work of cleaning epoxy plus using a scraper prevents chance of damage from sanding too deep....if you dont have a set, they are well worth it....can buy from CLC:



RE: Excess epoxy on puzzle joints

One final thought after all the good ones expressed so far - a light accidental sanding into the outer veneer is purely a cosmetic problem. The fiberglass that covers it restores the strength and then some. A paint job will fix that problem in such a way that the boat could still win a prize at a beauty contest. So would decals, veneers, non-skid coverings, etc. You can always make things look as if you meant to do that.

So don't worry, have fun and learn from this boat in preparation for the next one.



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