Tonight was the night I figured I would get all the bottom seams taped and epoxied.
First, I went around using the plane, sanding block and cabinet scraper to smooth off the places where I had filled holes, fixed my mistake on the transom and so on.
I was nearly done when I was taking a few swipes with the plane on one of the bilge panels. I forgot a cardinal rule of using a hand plane…don’t plane to the edge of an unsupported board…I took a big chip out of the side panel so I had to mix up more epoxy and glue it back in place.
I finally was ready to start taping the long seams. Pretty nervous but organized everything and got started….masked off 3 inches below the side panel/bilge panel seam and covered the side with saran wrap attached to the masking tape. (This was a good idea as I got lots of runs of unthickened epoxy.)
Then, I mixed up some epoxy and started brushing it onto the seam. Had just enough to do the seam. Grabbed the roll of precut tape for the seam and laid it into the epoxy, trying to keep tension and keep the tape edge straight. Started brushing in epoxy. Ran out. Laid the rest of the tape into the epoxy on the seam and mixed up more epoxy. Brushed it on. Tried using a squeegee to help saturate the tape, tried brushing the tape, tried using the fiberglass roller. Finally got the tape looking pretty good.
Decided to put the second layer on right away. Mixed up some more goop. Laid the tape onto the first tape trying to keep the edge straight. I put the selvage edges into the centre so that the flatter edges are on the outside. Pressed the tape down, brushed on epoxy, used the squeegee, the roller and my fingers trying to get rid of a row of small bubbles that formed under the top tape along the selvage edge of the first tape. I think I am going to have to live with them.
By the time I was done it was too late to start another seam. So much for doing all of them!! Once again, things took longer than I thought they would. I think I will ask and see if people put the second layer of tape on right away or if they wait until the first layer has had a chance to set up somewhat. With all the work I did trying to get the bubbles out the edges of the tape are pretty uneven. I assume that they will get covered with fairing compound but they don’t look very professional right now. As long as they hold the boat together I guess.