Trouble getting fiberglass cloth flat
October 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm #254Diving DuckParticipant
Trying to lay down my first layer of fiberglass and while I was finally able to get it pretty flat on the #1 panels, it refuses to flatten out where it bends onto the #2 panels. Almost considering cutting darts. Any tips?October 25, 2016 at 10:30 am #265JakeMParticipant
What worked very well for us is gently pulling the corners of the cloth. It worked best if we had two people, one on each corner pulling at the same time. To be clear, I am referring to the corners on the same side of the teardrop, not opposite corners.October 25, 2016 at 11:58 am #267derek0Participant
Yes, in order to add the third dimension to the 2-D fiberglass cloth you will need to do a lot of tugging and stretching of the fabric. I spent nearly as much time smoothing the fiberglass onto the shell with a paint brush and strategic stretching as I did wetting out the fabric with epoxy. I helper would have expedited the process…October 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm #275cpieperParticipant
There are some places where darts may be necessary, I don’t recall specifically (the instructions will tell you when you may need them), otherwise, in general, pulling the cloth on the bias (45 degrees from the weave pattern) will allow it to conform to some pretty extreme contours. Experiment with this while dry and I think you will find it works well.October 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm #276Diving DuckParticipant
Thanks for all your replies. I’ve been gone all day, but went out tonight and tugged even harder on the corners. Actually made some progress. From about the center to the rear I have the edges pretty well smoothed out, but towards the front where the curve is much greater I still have some wrinkles. Will continue tugging as that seems to be the consensus of your replies. The book says on page 126 to give the fabric a “gentle tug” at the corners. The tugging I had to do is far from gentle and I still have more to go. Darts are not mentioned here, only earlier on the application of fiberglass tape.
Next I have to figure out how to get the second layer on without messing up the first. Once I have that smooth I’m not about to try to do the top and sides all at once. CLC calls this a “bit of a fire drill,” and that is with a team of experienced builders. I’ve built three of their boats, and if anything the PocketShip taught me that I don’t want to tackle such a large area in one “swell foop” if I can avoid it!October 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm #277EricParticipant
I have extensive experience glassing boat hulls (from kayaks to 40 foot hulls. I suggest smoothing the centerline front to back first. Use push pins to hold cloth in position in the centerline. Then smooth the cloth down to the edges about midway back on the roof (fore and aft centerline). Then smooth in each of the four quadrants at gradually increasing angles towards the front and back using the palm of your hand gradually working the wrinkles aheadnof your hand towards the corners. This does the same thing as tuggingnon the corners but if done gently and patiently and gradually – is easier on the cloth. The push pins are your second,third,fourth set of hands.October 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm #278EricParticipant
The problem with not doing the sides with the roof is the need to grind the cloth edges on the two layers of roof glass. I single handedly glassed the entire vaka both sides in one session with a yellow squeegee (my favorite weapon) of CLCs’s Madness proa. Its doable, but ya gotta set aside some time and keep that mixing stick going
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