Sunday, April 22, 2012

Boat building glue - 12 year test

When I built Cream Cheese in 2000, I experimented with four different glues.  I figured that about 10 years into the future I would have some useful information to share.  Now that over a decade has elapsed, I feel I can report on the success rate.  I've had the boat in a garage for about half of the time and under polytarps for the other half.  Best to worst:
  1. Epoxy thickened with fused silica. I use thickened epoxy from Raka for the mast, leeboard, rudder, butt-blocks on the hull and some of the deck cleats.  Most of the epoxy joints have held up.  The leeboard, which probably gets the most abuse of all the parts on the boat, has had some delamination.
  2. PL Premium. I glued the port chine log and both gunnle's with PL Premium and it hasn't required any repairs yet, but I suspect it may need some minor work in the near future.
  3. Elmers liquid polyurethane.   I used this liquid glue for gluing the 3/4" pine frames to the bulkheads.  Some of these joints have required repairs.
  4. PL 500.  I used this for the starboard chine log and I've had to repair practically the whole length.  Luckily I didn't use it for anything else
This year I am fixing some of the few remaining spots that haven't been repaired on the starboard chine. To make the repair, I use a chisel and razor to cut out the old glue and create a channel.  Then sand the surrounding area.  Finally, I wet out the joint with epoxy and then apply a fillet. 
You can see there is a gap between the
chine log and the hull.  Fore and aft are fillets
from where I've fixed other parts of the joint. 

For this type of job, I have a number of sanding tools in my box: A Bosch mini belt sander (6"x1.5"), a Dremel combination cutter/sander, a Bosch 2.3 Amp random orbital sander and a Resp-O-Rator.
Sanding Tools
Fillet thickened with fused silica and microballoons

No comments:

Post a Comment