double checking about dashes before doing the main glassing job

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    I have been working slowly on my teardrop over the last month and I am finally on page 123: the big fiberglass project. I have seen many great tips on the forum, but there is a basic aspect about which I am nervous.

    The machined dashes for my doors and hatches were mostly not visible from the outside even after sanding and I was worried that I would not be able to see them well enough to connect the dots and cut once I glassed everything.  As a result, I ended up taking a x-acto knife to them. They are now cut entirely through the panel. Was that the right thing to do? Will I have to worry about epoxy seeping through to the inside or filling them in or is that a non-issue? I am thinking about blue taping the inside to prevent any mess.  Any advice would be good: CLC has not yet responded to my emails and I would like to move on to my next step!







    You would have had no problem seeing the dashes, but that is irrelevant now. There is no downside to putting blue tape in unless you embed it, which won’t happen in this case.  Blue tape to dam up can save a lot of sanding time later, especially with fillets in big gaps.


    I would say you did the right thing. You’ll be cutting along those dashes later so any little bit of epoxy that gets through the glass will be removed when you cut through it and then when you sand down the remaining dashes/tabs. I recommend doing the same for the hinge holes if they’re not open yet. It is easier to drill/cut through just the epoxy and glass than to get through the small wood block now epoxied in the hole. I doubt you’ll need the tape on the inside for just applying the glass but it doesn’t hurt if it reduces your worry.

    As rovineye said, you will want tape in a few of the later steps when you’re putting fillets in and you might have gaps like with the galley floor.

    My general advice with the big glass job (lessons learned the hard way):

    • Do it in two steps like the manual suggest for newbies.
    • Only put enough epoxy on to make the glass go transparent, don’t float it. You can always fill it later.
    • Watch the temperature. It is much easier to do if you can keep the work area cool. If you start to feel the epoxy get warm in your hand, toss it. It isn’t worth the few dollars in savings to try to use epoxy that is already kicking because it will just make a big mess. The quicker you get it out of the cup and spread the more working time you’ll have. Mix small batches (like 4 to 8 oz at a time) and work your way up if you feel comfortable with the working time.
    • Use the tool that works best for you. I found a foam roller and squeegee worked well for large flat surfaces. A chip brush was good for dabbing in corners and odd edges.
    • Layout and cut the fiberglass to avoid waste and save the scraps. I was pretty cautious with my cutting and I still only had about a foot of extra glass at the end. The scraps work well for areas like the fan hatch (inside and out).


    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by mpilone.

    Great advice. Thanks to both of you. I am doing the two step process and just got the top done yesterday. It looks pretty good! It was a cool day and my gf was helping me, so we were able to work with with slightly larger batches without it gelling up. Although I started with her mixing while I spread, I quickly learned that she had a more deft hand with the squeege. Teamwork ftw.

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