December 21, 2006

Within's deck is fiber glassed!


I can't believe how nice this turned out! I received some composites advice from some of you out there and I don't think I was paying enough attention when I read the emails. I thought you were recommending 3 x 20 oz layers of glass + a layer of Kevlar on the outside of the 1/2" foam core skin. After laying down my Kevlar first, then a single layer of 18 oz Woven Roving, I realized that this was super thick and stiff and heavy. So, I went back to the emails and realized that the suggestions were somewhere around a TOTAL of a 20 oz. outer layer. duh!

The advantage to using this really thick E Glass Roving is that it covered over all of the seems between my 1" Styrofoam straps very nicely! It also covered over all of the small holes and dents, etc. After it cured, I have a very smooth, very tough and strong outer skin.

The disadvantage to a single layer of this Roving, is that all of my weaves run in line with and at 90% to the deck. I am considering adding a second layer of this 18 oz Roving at 45 degrees to the first, but that is going to make for one VERY thick, heavy and strong outer skin. Not sure what to do on the inside of the 1/2" core...

Ben is pin-pricking the Styrofoam plug with a nail board.

Ben and Matt came over and helped. We started by filling in all of the small holes and dents in the Styrofoam plug with a thick mixture of epxoy/micro balloons. Then we pin pricked the entire plug and squeegeed a 1-1 (volume) mix of epoxy and micro over the whole plug filling in all of the pin pricks and seems between the foam strips. Then we laid down our first composite layer - a golden layer of Kevlar.

Then we put down the 18 oz woven roving e glass fabric and wetted that out. Since it is so thick, it took a TON of epoxy! I draped a peelply sheet over it all to leave a rough texture so that if we decide to add another composite layer, the epoxy will adhere properly to the cured layer.

Next, I will either add another outside layer (or not, depending on the advice I get). I'll pull it off the kayak hull, flip it over and take out the styrofoam ribs, leaving only the 1/2" Styrofoam core. Then I will remove areas of the 1/2" foam core and fill with epoxy or wood for hard points where I will be putting fasteners through, etc. Next, I'll add a layer of Kevlar to the foam with another layer or two of e-glass roving. This time, the layers will wrap around the deck edges and overlap a few inches to the outside. I would like to vacuum bag this one, as the foam sections will be out and we can put the entire boat in a large plastic bag.

The next step will be to make the bulkheads, hull floor reinforcements, and drive leg bay (and the seat rails and seat). I was thinking of making the bulk heads in two halves - the bottom half which could be bonded and glassed right to Within's hull, and the top half which could be bonded to and glassed right to the Deck top. When the two halves (the deck and the hull) get bonded and glassed together, it would be easier to glass together a straight seem between the midway point on the bulkheads that to try to glass in the upper perimeter.


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