Author Topic: Advice to your former self when you were just starting  (Read 148 times)

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json

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Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« on: January 11, 2021, 04:31:44 PM »
As I was putting in hours on the project today I was sort of reflecting on my journey to this point, and what I have learned between then and now. I thought it might be kind of useful to make a thread of builders tips or advice that would help people just getting started to gain some insight into things that may or may not be obvious or mentioned elsewhere. So maybe if you have some, put your top 3 here to help your former self hit the ground running...

1. Glass whole panels with 50" cloth, not sub assemblies.
It's way easier to glass a whole panel, fair it, and then cut to shape than it is to glass a sub assembly after it's built (shelves for example). For those who don't want to get addicted to peel ply you can also make a thin fairing compound and trowel it on to fill the weave to save yourself from having to do a bunch of coats to fill it. It's a bit more work than using peel ply but it works well. Bonus points for using a rubber spreader or shower squeegie to put the glue on... Using glassed and faired panels saves a lot of effort down the road with a bit of fore planning and patience.

2. Get a $10 amazon scale to weigh resin/hardener that weighs in 1/10th grams.
I am still using the first $10 scale I started with, and it works great. Here is a link to it (currently unavailable but for example and specs) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0757H6ZC1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Make sure the scale has a high capacity (that one works with 3000 gram capacity). I overloaded my first one and wasted a pretty large cup of resin and hardener when I bottomed it out. When you measure by weight make sure that you use the ratio by mass, not volume (ebond is 100/43 resin/hardener by mass). With a scale you can measure as small or large a batch as you want so you can really dial in how much glue you mix and use. With resin and hardener in bottles it's a breeze to get a cup of glue measured accurately and mixed.

3. Fair things before you glass or tape them.
If you glass over fillets that have a bunch of bumps you are going to have bubbles. Same with panels. Either tape fillets when they are still wet or get something that works to sand an area like that, for instance I bought a belt sander that is killer to smooth out fillets that are already cured but not taped https://www.homedepot.com/p/WEN-Variable-Speed-2-Amp-Detailing-File-Sander-with-1-2-in-x-18-in-Belt-6307/302355174?cm_mmc=ecc-_-THD_ORDER_CONFIRMATION_BOSS_STH-_-V1_M1_CA-_-Product_URL&ecc_ord=WM17986962

Todd j

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 09:49:03 AM »
I would avoid the temptation to install parts that are not glassed.  Progress be damned!  It's easier to resist that temptation now than it was way on.

json

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 10:24:38 AM »
I would avoid the temptation to install parts that are not glassed.  Progress be damned!  It's easier to resist that temptation now than it was way on.

Ya, no doubt... going back and glassing things that were rush-installed in the name of progress is a major pita.. haha

rhenryinoregon

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 01:46:39 PM »

1. Glass whole panels with 50" cloth, not sub assemblies.
It's way easier to glass a whole panel, fair it, and then cut to shape than it is to glass a sub assembly after it's built (shelves for example).

I like this thread because Iím actively on the front end of this thing. Keep it up! So, let me get this straight, fiberglass a whole sheet of plywood from which you will then cut out smaller pieces for various pieces, like shelves, doors, hatches, whatever. Correct?
Randy Henry, SILVERTON Oregon
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json

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 03:03:41 PM »

1. Glass whole panels with 50" cloth, not sub assemblies.
It's way easier to glass a whole panel, fair it, and then cut to shape than it is to glass a sub assembly after it's built (shelves for example).

I like this thread because Iím actively on the front end of this thing. Keep it up! So, let me get this straight, fiberglass a whole sheet of plywood from which you will then cut out smaller pieces for various pieces, like shelves, doors, hatches, whatever. Correct?

Yep, exactly. Typically when I get some new panels I try to plan out what I am going to use them for and glass/fair them to work for that. Sometimes it's only glassing 1 side if I am going to be laminating pieces together, but if it's going to make usage of the sheet un-optimal I will typically just glass both sides so that either side can be the outer facing side. Prepping whole panels is simple using 50" glass and a rubber spreader, I think I spend about a half hour on each side doing the glassing. Doing this also lets you map out how much cloth to buy, so you can know that 'this roll will glass x panels'.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 03:12:17 PM by json »

Grady300

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 04:10:07 PM »

1. Glass whole panels with 50" cloth, not sub assemblies.
It's way easier to glass a whole panel, fair it, and then cut to shape than it is to glass a sub assembly after it's built (shelves for example).

I like this thread because Iím actively on the front end of this thing. Keep it up! So, let me get this straight, fiberglass a whole sheet of plywood from which you will then cut out smaller pieces for various pieces, like shelves, doors, hatches, whatever. Correct?

Yep, exactly. Typically when I get some new panels I try to plan out what I am going to use them for and glass/fair them to work for that. Sometimes it's only glassing 1 side if I am going to be laminating pieces together, but if it's going to make usage of the sheet un-optimal I will typically just glass both sides so that either side can be the outer facing side. Prepping whole panels is simple using 50" glass and a rubber spreader, I think I spend about a half hour on each side doing the glassing. Doing this also lets you map out how much cloth to buy, so you can know that 'this roll will glass x panels'.
Glass everything except the outside of you sides on the curve, Glass will not bend that way. You can and should glass the inside of your side panels prior to install. 
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Rbob

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 09:08:04 AM »
All good advice,


I will add a large digit - display calculator to go with the digital scale, I place a cup on the scale, zero it out and pour any amount of resin I think I will need and multiply that amount by 1.43 and add the hardener to that amount.  This works with all other fillers like quickfair, gelmagic etc, although the ratio will be different.

I wish I would have covered the buttons and scale with saran wrap to protect the buttons, mine are a mess now.

Disposable gloves, when doing large projects you can put on 2-3 pairs of gloves and peel off just the outer glove and you have clean hands without trying to put gloves back onto sweaty hands.

large digit calculator:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00556NCBI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 09:25:26 AM by Rbob »

Todd j

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 10:41:40 AM »
I have a copy of a pdf taped up above the scale.  On 11x 17 paper.  No calculator needed. It does single garam ratios to 100.  Then skips to 10 garam increments after that. I too put the scale in gallon ziplock bag and just swap it out after it gets hard to read

json

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 02:02:08 PM »
The ziplock is a great idea. I will have to steal that on my next scale, no use doing it on my current one that's a mess like rbob's. I used to ask siri to do the math for me but my wifi is a bit shotty in the shop, so what I do now is try for whole number increments that I have memorized for resin quantity (10g, 20, 50, 100, 200, 400, etc) and then if I am off I split the difference and add half of that to the hardener quantity. For instance if I accidentally pour 102.3 grams of resin I start with 43 grams of hardener for the 100 grams of resin, then I take the 2.3 extra grams of resin, cut it in half (and take the floor) for 1.1, and then add that to 43 grams of hardener for 44.1 grams of hardener. I figure close is close enough, and haven't had a batch that didn't set yet. Plus it keeps the ole noggin sharp (or sharper anyways)...

Grady300

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 03:05:01 PM »
The ziplock is a great idea. I will have to steal that on my next scale, no use doing it on my current one that's a mess like rbob's. I used to ask siri to do the math for me but my wifi is a bit shotty in the shop, so what I do now is try for whole number increments that I have memorized for resin quantity (10g, 20, 50, 100, 200, 400, etc) and then if I am off I split the difference and add half of that to the hardener quantity. For instance if I accidentally pour 102.3 grams of resin I start with 43 grams of hardener for the 100 grams of resin, then I take the 2.3 extra grams of resin, cut it in half (and take the floor) for 1.1, and then add that to 43 grams of hardener for 44.1 grams of hardener. I figure close is close enough, and haven't had a batch that didn't set yet. Plus it keeps the ole noggin sharp (or sharper anyways)...
Michaels epoxy pump for me!!!
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json

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 06:39:02 PM »
Curious how small of a batch can you mix up using a michael's pump? And how much maintenance do they require? I debated going with one when I started but a scale has worked pretty well for me once I got it dialed in and was a lot cheaper...

Grady300

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Re: Advice to your former self when you were just starting
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 07:11:58 AM »
Curious how small of a batch can you mix up using a michael's pump? And how much maintenance do they require? I debated going with one when I started but a scale has worked pretty well for me once I got it dialed in and was a lot cheaper...
I mix small quantities all the time. My pump has gone through 60 gallons with zero maintenance. I am getting ready to do a good cleaning on it. I know it is still pumping out the correct ratio of hardener and resin because as I finish a 15 gallon run the hardener and resin run out just about equal definitely close enough
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