Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Finishes, paints and coatings

Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:40 pm

Tony, GRP is a more generic acronym for Glass Reinforced Plastic. It kind of throws a blanket over polyester and epoxy composites.

Mitch, the rationale for putting GRP over wood is that many people are comfortable working with wood to get the shape and basic structure that they want, but stressed (bent) plywood tends to split apart and let water get into the grain if not reinforced. Paint doesn't get the job done by itself. So that pushes people to do a thin glass cloth over wood. Same reason to glass a woody; keeps water out of the wood grain by reinforcing the sealer coat. W/o the glass the wood moves, the sealer coat cracks and fails and the water gets in. Kind of hard to get a woody look without any wood. Sure, some faux wood paint finishes can be pretty convincing at 10 ft, but I have never seen any look as good as juneaudave's work in the real thing.

If the wood is eliminated additional skills are needed to shape and fair the foam, it is a messy job; and in order to get adequate structural and puncture resistance additional plies/weight of cloth are needed. This turns what many consider to be a wood working project into a fiber glassing project, and many people just aren't going to go down that path. But then again you probably already realized this when you asked the question.

Lastly, many people have been successful using prefabricated FRP (fiber reinforced plastic... an even less specific tag) sheets or Filon, some even w/o a plywood substrate.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby nevadatear » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:39 pm

I had great results with RAKA epoxy. I (debbie) was a first time expoxy user and no trouble. I had more trouble with the Varnish. Last year I finally sanded it down, bit the bullet and used a sprayer. So sorry I didn't do that first. Looks great now, no orange peeling. I used cloth on both the sides and top. I have had absolutely no delam problems. We too used Steve's manual and it was invaluable.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby QueticoBill » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:59 pm

Folks that did fiberglass and epoxy over ply skins, I have lots of questions, but biggest was it dry or wet lay - in other words did you coat the ply with epoxy, lay on glass, and re-coat; OR drape cloth over, pour on epoxy, and squeegee it on like seems more typical of canoes and kayaks? One of the West System videos seems to extol the virtues of dry, but I get the sense its harder to do. I like it because you seam to have more control over the weave, maybe important if only clear coating.

I'm really taken by this method, and wonder if with foam core if 1/8" baltic birch well adhered to foam doesn't make this a really great system. Trying to picture glass overlap at edges/corners and how noticeable it is. Saw one youtube that showed glass that was "thinner" at the edges so the overlap area was no thicker or heavier.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby nevadatear » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:22 pm

I ended up using both metods. Started with the wet then move to dry once when i forgot to wet the surface first! I think dry is easier after sing both and finished up that way. Over the corners, however, i would wet first to get to stick down better. Can't really "pour" a vertical surface.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby QueticoBill » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:35 pm

Does the wall glass overlap the roof glass? I was thinking about the bias tape at the roof wall joint and then cover roof and maybe walls.

Thanks.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby QueticoBill » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:09 am

Googling for the question of stain under epoxy brought me to http://epoxyworks.com/. Lots of information there including the local experts foray into teardrop building. A lot of info if you're planning on using epoxy and fibreglass.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby Atomic77 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:03 pm

I've used literally hundreds of gallons of epoxy in my boat building career. For me, it's always West Systems. I know what to expect and I don't have any surprises. I've used other brands that were given to us by suppliers wanting our business... We still use West Marine. There are UV inhibitors in epoxies these days... The problem is, they all still say not for prolonged outdoor exposure. So in my opinion, not worth it. If I were to do what you are doing, I would laminate with boat cloth and west, sand it all smooth, then topcoat with a clear, automotive finish like Imron Elite which has all the UV inhibitor you need, forever. And trust me, you'll never get as beautiful of a finish as that and if you get a little dirt or a run, no problem. It's super forgiving and sands easily with 800, 1200, 1500, then 3000 and buff. Show finish guaranteed.
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Re: Best fiberglass to use on wood teardrop?

Postby rkanz » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:15 pm

I use West System epoxy, I lay the cloth on the wood then apply the epoxy. Any other method is impossible. Epoxy fully saturates the cloth, so it is easy to overlap cloth, then sand it smooth. Low density filler is good for filling the weave and smoothing edges.


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