Glassing the deck

 Hello all, I'm about ready to glass the deck of my kayak and I'm wondering if theres any tricks to reduce sanding or anything else I should know. I read a post - which I can't find now - that talked about running tape along the side panel and cutting off the overhung glass along the tape a couple inches below the sheer panel joint. Not sure I'll try that as I havent enough experience to feel comfortable not cutting into the glass below. Thanks

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RE: Glassing the deck

That may have been me. Details at my Building a Wood Duck 12 web page.



It's actually pretty easy. The only real trick is catching the glass at the right stage of cure. It's the "green" stage (it's not "ripe" yet), where it's no longer tacky, it's about as stiff as leather but it's still flexible. Under the conditions in my garage that's about 8 hours.

If you try it and it's not cured enough, just press it back down and try again later. If it's gone a bit too far, it won't tear easily but it will still cut just fine with a razor and still be less work than dealing with loose threads and glass snot.

The other way to reduce sanding is to clean off all drips right away while they're still liquid. I like to blot the glass with paper towels. That gets rid of all the drips. Just lay paper towels onto the freshly wet-out surface, wait about a minute while they soak up the excess, peel them off and tip out the resulting bubbles with a dry foam brush. You won't have anything to sand and it leaves a textured surface ready for filling the weave or adding another layer of glass. It works like peel-ply that way, but is more easily available and less stiff so it can handle compound curves.

Have fun,



RE: Glassing the deck


the approach you describe helps to make it easier to sand and smooth the line that develops between the top deck glass overlapping the hull glass.  clean lines are easier to sand and 'make disaappear' than ones that are uncontrolled or messy.

that said, the disadvantage of the approach above is it has to be monitored and cut before the epoxy fully cures (when it is in a leathery state) or else you now have something that can no longer be cut and you have tape in the mix too....which is not a particularly good thing. and as you mention, if you don't really have your technique down/understood, you can cut too agressively into the underlying glass and ceate a line that will not go away becuase you fractured/damaged the underlying glass.

if you are uncomfortable with the approach you mentioned, a very good substitute is simply coming in with a very sharp scissor and cutting a clean line for the overlap after the cloth has been fitted to the deck about 2 inches  (or same distance where you would have put the tape) below the sheer before you start epoxying.   you can also cut and trim the deck cloth at the end of your epoxy session after wetting it out with a clean/sharp scissor and pat the wet glass that you lifted back down on the hull.   i often use this technique when i have to leave the next day and can't committ to being around to cut the epoxy when it is 'leathery'.

other tips that help miniminize the amount of sanding is to don't use more epoxy than you need to wet out the cloth in the first place and walk around the boat after the epoxy session with the deck cleaning up spills or drips down the hull prior to winding up your session.

i find always confirming before any session that i have a clean, glass-cuting scissors at the ready (i will always do a little snip just to make sure it is working as epxected) a very good habit to develop to have enjoyable glassing sessions.  have some white vinegar at the ready to clean your scissors after any use with epoxy so you can make the scissor last for a while.


RE: Glassing the deck

A follow-up. You don't have to worry about cutting into the glass underneath because if it works right, you're tearing, not cutting. The partially cured glass is flexible, but has just enough brittleness that it will break at the line between the glass that's glued down and the stuff hanging loose when you pull (that line is acting as a stress concentrator, focusing the force right where you want the glass to end). You usually only need to cut to start the tearing process.

Plus, there's the layer of tape between the old and new glass, so there's some protection from the blade. Not to mention that the hull glass will have already cured enough to resist the blade.

Finally, if you do nick it, so what? It's just a nick, probably shallower than the weave pattern. It'll disappear when you fill the weave and be completely invisible even with a varnished finish.



RE: Glassing the deck


Looks like Howard and I were typing over each other. Well, now you have a couple of points of view to choose from :-)



RE: Glassing the deck

   Always great advice here. Cheers, gents.

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