vg23 – fillet and tape the seams

The spot welds between the cable ties cured for about a week before my next weekend trip out to the farm. At this point I secured the tops of the side panels to the frames of the basket mold and removed the framing (as mentioned previously). For a little bit of extra support I’d also added a few strips of fibreglass tape on the outside of the hull to hold the seams together.

Removing the duct tape I had used to keep the putty from dripping through the seams resulted in a quick “ball hockey” game with the family of young kittens that were living in the hayloft. They also seemed to enjoy playing with the cable ties that I’d snipped and removed. I wasn’t sure how sturdy the hull would be at this point and was a little anxious about climbing inside to sand. That anxiety was shortlived however as the welds held my weight easily and I quickly sank into a “sanding meditation” as I prepared the seams to be glassed. After removing the ties and sanding I again duct taped the seams to keep the fillets from dripping.

I’d read about a couple of different methods for taping the seams and thought that as I was working on my own the best approach would be to work in sections. Starting at the bow I mixed up a batch of putty and built a fillet about 5 or 6 feet in length. While the fillet was beginning to cure I would then go to the worktable and wetout a similar length of the biaxial tape with epoxy. I attached a strip of cling wrap to the worktable upon which the fibreglass was wetout and this helped to keep things tidy as well as kept the epoxy resin waste to a minimum. GLAD make a nice wide package of cling wrap that really does the trick and I found that I could get a few sections wetted and worked before having to replace the cling wrap. Once the length of tape was fully wetted I would place it over the seam working wet on wet with the fillet. To work the tape in place I found that a bondo squeegee would get the tape smooth and firmly attached to the panels as well as made moving any excess resin about quite easy.

The plans call for two layers of the biax tape on the seams so I did the first layer one weekend and the next I sanded that layer and added the second slightly offset from the first. Not having to build a fillet the second time made the process go fairly quickly as I got into rhythm of wetting and applying the tape.

taping the seams

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