Epoxy Usage

10/04/2010 20:04:11
Peter
Is there a downside to impregnating wood with epoxy?

I have a 30 year old Rowsell built boat and I discovered the vaneer peeling away from the top of the hog, just in front of the mast support. The wood underneath looked very wet and saturated, and two unplugged screw holes down the side of the hog has allowed deep water penetration.

With great trepidation I cut away a section of ply from the side of the hog but fortunately found the wood underneath in good condition. I can't see to the full depth of the hog but I'm crossing my fingers.

The boat is drying out now and I was prepared to use epoxy to stregthen soft wood generally and fill in the screw holes. As the wood looks to be OK should I soak in epoxy anyway or is there a good reason for holding back?

Your guidance would be appreciated.

Peter

11/04/2010 07:32:51
Peter 3112
I dealt with small areas of rot in my September Girl by injecting with Git Rot and then filling the holes with Git Rot mixed with West Epoxy brown 'cocoa powder' filler. It's expensive for a small amount but definitely stops the rot by soaking into it. However, you need to ensure that it is dry. With old screw holes that will not be re-used I epoxied in carved to fit wooden spikes just shorter than the hole depth and topped off with a suitable shade of epoxy filling blend. Although it was fiddly it ensured that the holes were completely filled and there were no air gaps. 
Best of luck with the project.

11/04/2010 17:06:58
Garry R
I am a bit surprised that the hog is plywood.  Is that normal for newer boats?

11/04/2010 17:43:58
KM
I inherited a boat with a similar problem - the ply was vertical and was actually the forward extension of the centreboard case sides standing on the hog, not the hog itself.  The hardwood between the ply was used to step the mast foot on and was raised off the hog by a couple of inches.  After weeks of drying out, I soaked the ply and the holes in the side (from cheek blocks turning the control lines)with epoxy and clamped it all up - no more problems. Check also the state of the hardwood infill from the inside of the centreboard case if you have the opportunity as water got into that mast foot area from there on mine. As always, its the 'getting it dry' but that tests your patience!
Hope that helps

11/04/2010 20:57:19
Andrew M
Mervyn used a lot of epoxy injected into Kate in various pretty structural places as an alternative to cutting out and replacing wood.  The key was to make sure it was COMPLETELY bone-dry.

26/05/2010 16:38:27
Mags
Having now used epoxy for the first (proper) time, I think the guidelines need more details. Whilst the WEST document is very good, they didn't mention the preliminary checklist before you mix up a big batch:

Are you wearing gloves?
Is the baby properly asleep?
Will the cat wake the baby?
Is the answerphone on?
Will the wind blow the microfibres everywhere?
Have you got a rag ready?
Are you wearing gloves?

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/howto-pub2/Wooden%20Boat%20Restoration%20and%20Repair.pdf
26/05/2010 17:58:48
Peter and Vanessa
Thanks all for your help and guidance. I believe I have effected a good repair with a pleasing visual look. Time will tell. I removed a 1ft section of 6mm ply running along side the hog, to get a good look at the hog and to soak in some resin. The hog was not as bad as I feared. Holes filled and a new section of ply fitted. I also replaced a strip of veneer running along the top of the hog, between the mast step and centre board. Time to get sailing and stop worrying about the mast disappearing through the bottom of the boat.

26/05/2010 18:40:05
Richard Battey
Mags,

classic! I have just chuckled to myself as I can so relate to your list. You forgot to mention, are you going to be asked to load and empty the tumble dryer, offer arms to hold dry clothes whilst garmets removed from washing line..............., always just as the batch gets mixed in seering heat and you are about to begin the job.

26/05/2010 22:17:38
alanf
I'd like to add to mags check list

- have you got enough bricks lying around in the garden

(when glue down the decks of a Heron I was restoring, realising that I didn't have enough clamps or weights to hold the deck down firmly, running around the garden with a torch looking for suitable heavy objects)

28/05/2010 14:13:46
Pat2121
Can you find a suitable measuring pot and mixing sticks?
Have you found your reading glasses for detailed work?
Do you need the loo before you start? :-)
Can you actually get near the bit to repair with all the other clutter in the garage?

28/05/2010 18:31:27
Robin Szemeti
Having mixed the epoxy, got your gloves on and are all ready to start, has the assistant (who you need to balance the other side of the boat as you climb in) totally disappeared?

And on a more practical note, theres nothing worse than trying to find a reasonably clean mixing pot or a not too sticky mixing stick because you have run out ... I'm a great fan of buying in bulk ...

Mixing sticks ... 5 for a 1 from the chandlery ... 100 for 2.50, ebay ( sold for leg waxing would you believe)
Graduated mixing pots 1 each at the chandlery, 50 for 6.50 on ebay ( car paint mixing for spraying)
Acetone, 14/litre at the chandlery, 9 for 5L on ebay
Foam 'jenny brushes' 48 x 2" for 6.50 on eBay etc

and my top glove tip ... put on 2 or 3 pairs ... then when halfway through the job you are all sticky ... just peel off the outer layer :)

28/05/2010 19:32:20
Garry R
I use old drinking cups from the water cooler at work.  They are not graduated as such but they do have lines on them.  For really small amounts eg dipping a screw into use the little milk cartons - the UHT ones which you get at the motorway stations and some coffee shops (actually the ones I avoid) but fortunately there is a ready supply of these at Forfar.  As regards mixing there is any amount of scrap ply which I cut into strips on the circular saw.  The gloves tip is a great one!!

28/05/2010 20:33:16
Robin Szemeti
I'd much prefer to use paper cups to plastic containers, but the West handbook says in big letter to only use and "UNWAXED" paper cup ... and so far, all the suppliers of paper cups I have found are waxed :(  Even the nice craduated one sold for 2 / 100 for the car paint purposes seem to be waxed :(

28/05/2010 22:49:59
KM
I get the cheap white plastic party cups from tescos - about £1.70 for enough to keep me going for ages and the skinny coffee stirrers from the cafe near work - a handful each visit soon adds up. If I want spatulas they have nice wooden spoons and forks which I use. I've almost saved enough for a new painter next season!
Joking apart I do like the small cups, and the skinny stirrers mix the epoxy well. I haven't tried Gary's use of recycled milk containers though I'd probably trim a plastic cup down.

29/05/2010 09:09:25
Chris M
I've used paper cups loads of times with no problems, but it may only cause a problem if you're using the resin for coating or need it to be clear for some other reason. Epoxy has no solvent so it won't dissolve anything and the worst that will happen is you stir any coating or contamination on the container into your mixture.

29/05/2010 11:51:34
Mags
A brilliant tip on the multiple-pairs-of-gloves there!
The other glove trick is to grab the free ones at the petrol stations.

Stirrers - wooden forks from the chip shop?

30/05/2010 09:28:40
Andrew M
Wooden tongue depressors for looking at people's tonsils are the business for mixing epoxy.  We used to use little conical brushes for taking cervical smears which were just great for poking into holes and cracks (not sure that read exactly how I intended) but the lab have changed methods and we now have some useless plastic things instead.  And of course I have a pretty good supply of gloves.
I always knew a medical degree would come in handy for something

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