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    Here are some pix of the hatch…   glassed but not faired in, after sanding, and after the weave fill coat of epoxy.


    Did the Big Flip!  It actually went pretty easy considering how much I worried about it.  It sat on the bottom facet just fine while I scootched it over to make room for the 2nd half of the flip.  I am building in a single car garage so it is a somewhat tight fit. I did it solo.

    Rounded over the butt block, trimmed the shell edges using a laminate trim bit in the router, which went well though it covered me in sawdust!  Lots of shop vac cleanup after.  Applied the butt block fillet after a bunch of sanding just to clean up the floor board underside.

    Glassing the bottom tomorrow.  Pix tomorrow of that.


    I also built in a 1 car garage and rolled it over single hand, sliding it over as I did so. Also single handedly lifted it up on cement and styrofoam blocks and slid the Trailex under it, andmdrilled and filled with the Trailex under it.


    I will be there pretty soon, Eric!  Good to know that it can be done.

    Boy, glassing bye bottom took longer than I thought it would.  It’s the biggest glass job of the whole project, IMHO.  It’s really pretty easy given that it is all flat and all.  Given this is my first fiberglass and epoxy project ever, my experience base is limited, but that said, I seem to get a bit better at it with each major glass step.  For example, I spent a good bit longer laying out the fabric and getting it to sit “just so” before mixing epoxy.

    I ended up with some air bubbles in the butt block fillet.  I am planning to apply a couple of coats of paint to the bottom anyway, so I am not going to worry too much about it.

    Also, sure glad I added the masking paper to catch drips! 🙂

    Also glassed the interior of the vent hatch as well, though I didn’t get pictures of that.  Sure went though a bunch of epoxy today!



    I assembled the Trailex trailer today.  Went together easy once I got left/right and right side up / upside down figured out.  Finally.  Four assemble / dissemble / do-overs later.  Tip:  REALLY pay attention to the photos!  Doing it right once would have saved me 2 hours.

    Also been working on building the doors.  Window sills in, one door stiffener shaped & sanded.  One more to go.

    Also epoxy coats on the transom, should paint the bottom in the next day or so, after finishing sanding the transom.

    Just little time consuming tasks.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by SOMDTD. Reason: spelling

    Here’s some pix of the Trailex trailer kit….

    And gluing the stiffener onto the first door….


    Working on multiple things at once.  Did the door sills over the last couple of days.  There is a lot of “finish” work in those, sanding, routing the inner side, fitting to a fair thee well.  Also working the inside of the galley hatch.  Lots of sanding and fairing int he fiberglass tape from “day one” of the project.  I elected to round over the galley hatch stiffener edge, that would have been much easier if done before installation. Did the back side fillets.

    Pics tomorrow.


    Here is some pix.  The first one is a air powered die grinder fitted with Dremel tool bits.  Makes quick work of cleaning out the door hinge holes, among other things!

    Door sill “bow”, pre-sanding

    Right side door sill.  Pretty happy with it, the door fits well.  Note the Tyvek disposable painter’s dropcloth taped inside over the floorboard.  It has caught LOTS of epoxy drips and will make final cleanup of the floorboard much easier.

    Regarding the floorboard, if I had to do it over I would find, or cut on a table saw, a pair of 1 1/2″ x 1/2″ triangular strips of wood, or look at Lowe’s in the molding department, and glue this strip on the sides of the butt block to form the transition instead of the “1/2″ round over and fillet” that the hymnal specifies.  Getting the cloth to conform was a PITA and I was not entirely successful, there were some pretty good air bubbles despite my best efforts.  It’s a non-visible area anyway and forming that transition with a triangular wood strip would make that much easier to glass.  I chose to not grind out the air bubbles and just press with it, applying a good coat of black gloss enamel to assure a good watertight seal.  The wood was pre-coated  with epoxy anyway

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by SOMDTD. Reason: Spelling and added text

    Finished the hinges… there is a lot of work in those.  Would be a good work ahead project to do as time permits earlier in the build.  A Dremel tool would be a good idea.  I used the bench sander quite a bit too.  I chucked up a small cylinder stone Dremel bit in the drill press and cranked it up to 3000 rpm and “machined” the hinge tabs to fit perfectly.  Each tab has a roughly 1/4″ radius where it joins the hinge that needs to be made square.  A file or rasp would do it but it would be easy to take off too much.

    Sanded on the door sills and almost finished sanding the inside of the galley hatch.  Glued on the drip edge. Fitted the interior shelf, finish sanded the wood, applied first coat of epoxy to top side.  I’ll sand that and coat the underside tomorrow.  The fiddle rail turned out nice, did that about a week ago.  You could sand the radius but I used a 3/8 round over bit in the router which worked well, minimal sanding needed after that.

    7 hours today.  I am on a week off work, so pushing forward every day!


    Finished sanding the galley hatch.  Epoxy coated it.  Backside of the interior shelf.  Epoxy coated the interior bulkhead.  Made hinges.



    This is the first day it hasn’t been in the 30’s for a while, opened up the shop doors!



    Great idea on the ‘mixer’.  I was joking with a family member last week that I was going to use my wife’s hand mixer and good spatulas.

    I have been day dreaming about my own CLCTD (I am attending the class in June).  I have come up with a ‘name’, colors, logo and possibly a theme.  I plan to stain the trailer, but also may do some ‘pin striping’ with a complementary color.

    Keep posting!  Love the updates.


    You know, a cheap thrift store kitchen mixer would work pretty well actually.  One mixes a LOT of batches of epoxy goo and hand stirring gets old pretty quick.  I’d also get a kitchen timer.  Though, I’d admit, the “one song on the radio” timer works ok too.  Most radio advertising spots are 30 seconds long, too.

    Stain would work out for a darker tone, however I’d be concerned that it would tend to accentuate certain build errors / scratches / sandthroughs / oopsies.

    Tip:  Never EVER use a utility knive / razor blade to cut fiberglass over the wood on the trailer.  It leaves a clear dark line after epoxy is applied unless sanded COMPLETELY out.

    Today is Door Mounting Day.  Hatch too. First step:  Run to the hardware store for bigger clamps.  Early on I bought a batch of 120  cheap 4″ Chinese made spring clamsps.  They break easily but they have worked well, the whole batch was $35 off of  eBay.  


    Also, I laid in a supply of “chip brushes” off of Amazon.  Pack of 36, I’ve used about half so far, $15.23.  I found a deal on foam brushes at the local hardware store, an assortment pack for $1.79 so I bought six of them — each bag has a 3″, 2x 2″, and 6 1″ foamies.

    I had a pretty good collection of general purpose sandpaper so, other than 5″ 8 hole DA sander disks I haven’t bought much of that.

    BUY CLC’s foam epoxy roller covers!  Do NOT use Lowe’s black foam roller covers, they fall apart.

    Buy CLC’s fillet tool or, lay in a stock of plastic spoons in different sizes.  The plastic spoons work pretty well for fillets.  One can vary the angle of “the swipe” to make a larger or smaller fillet.  Clean up excess epoxy like a fiend.  Always have the mind set that epoxy left behind when wet is epoxy one will have to sand off later.

    Buy a box of wooden shims at Lowe’s.  I bought the big ones that are 14″ long.  Carpenters use them when setting doors and windows in houses.  I use the bandsaw to slice them in half so they are about 1/2″ wide, then in half so they are about 7″ long.  Instant stir sticks!  The tapered thin end works great for applying and cleaning off excess epoxy goo, either thickened wing Cello-Fill or wood flour.

    Buy and use the 3M rubber dust mask with interchangeable filer cartridges.  They look kinda stupid wearing them but with the amount of sanding one does it’s essential.  Swap out the filter for the organic vapor filter when doing varnish.  Honestly I don’t wear a mask doing epoxy, the MAS epoxy is nearly odor free and I have pretty good general ventilation in my shop anyway.

    Especially of your shop does not have regulated heating, consider building a “epoxy box”. Mine is about 24″ x 24″ x 30″ built from random plywood I had laying about and drywall screws.  It is not an example of fine craftsmanship!  One might insulate it if you happen to have some handy but that’s optional, really, it works either way.  I then installed a electrical 4×4 box, a light bulb base (like you see in attics), and wired that to another 4×4 box that I put a “electric baseboard heat” thermostat.  The thermostat is a bi-metallic mechanical thermostat with 120V contacts.  It was about $20.  This regulates the temperature inside the epoxy box.  I them rigged a little thermometer display bought off of Amazon

    From a company called “KEYNICE” .  It’s a 1″ x 2″ digital thermometer with a three foot long wire that has a temp sensor on the end.  $10.18 I think it was.  I run it off a USB LiPo battery pack, a 1000 MaHr battery pack runs for 3-4 days.  Or plug it into a wall charger, whichever.  The point is, monitor your epoxy temperature.

    Red SOLO cups!  If you are at Costco, buythe 120 cup stack.  I have used about 50-75 so far.  Also, buy smaller, maybe 3-4 oz plastic cups for those tiny batches of goo that you need every once in a while.  The “one pump” batches.  Speaking of batch size….

    Epoxy batches:  I have sort of standardized on sone batch sizes that seem to work for me.

    A “big batch” in a standard Red SOLO cup is 30 pumps.  Used for major fiberglass wet out jobs.  Also for major epoxy coating jobs.  It’s a $20 – $30 batch of goo.  For the first roof double thickness fiberglass wet out I needed three of these Big Batches. Pre-pump the resin into Solo cups and set them aside, adding hardner and mixing (3 minute rule!) as you need more goop.  This is a great “little helper” job, one can teach a 9 year old kid how to mix epoxy.  Old clothes (because they WILL get epoxy on them), a face child or goggles, and disposable gloves that fit the kids hands are the order of the day here.   Maybe that kitchen mixer from the thrift store?

    A “half batch” is 15 pumps.  Used for BIG fillet jobs.

    10 pumps size is most common fillet wood flour goo batch size.

    5 pumps is a good size for small to medium coating and goo mixes.  I used a 5 pump batch for my door window sill install for example, using Cello-Fill to make the goo.

    Oh, btw, mix the Cello-Fill goo THICK, you do not want the consistency to be at all “runny”.  Think warm play-doh.  Slightly thinner than “putty”.  CLC uses food thickness descriptors like “peanut butter” and “jam”.  In general terms and not carried to extremes, thicker is better than thinner.  You don’t want your fillets to run, you want them to stay in place as formed. When filling a gap with goo, you want your goo to NOT run though the gap and form a spooge on the back side (ask me how I know this, ref: Galley flat install).

    After you do a few you figure out where various batch sizes comes to on the “SOLO” letters molded into the cup so if you want to just pour instead of pump you know the exact amount to use.  Measure accurately as the epoxy 2:1 ratio by volume is important.  One could also weigh out the ratio I suppose but by weight the ratio is slightly different, see MAS Epoxy’s web site for the exact number.

    “Rags in a Box”.  Basically heavy duty paper towels.  I’m on my second box.

    Shop vac.  Required item IMHO.  Buy hose extensions as required to be able to reach every corner of your shop.  Hook up your DA sander to it, it helps sandpaper disc life tremendously and is very helpful controlling dust.  Empty and clean / replace the filter every day or two.  I just take mine outside, preferably on a day when there is a slight breeze, and use compressed air to blow my filter clean.

    Shop air:  I have a big ol’ belt driven air compressor with a 40 gallon tank, but I also have done a good bit of sheet metal fabrication (building airplane parts).  As a result I have a full set of air tools.  Nothing beats an air drill, thought I use my Porter Cable 20V cordless a LOT.  Blow gun to clean off dust and clean the shop, die grinder is way better than a Dremel.  Spray varnish maybe.  NOT essential but I have always had “shop air” as a general shop resource.  Getting even a small “buzzer” compressor is probably good enough, and you can maintain your vehicle tire pressure with it too.  Harbor Freight or Northern Tools are good sources for cheap air tools.  Not what I’d get for professional use but great for hobbies and home use.   A pro air drill might be $300 but the Chicago Pneumatic “Harbor Freight”, made in China, drill might be $40.  I have the high dollar ones and the CP cheap ones and the CP ones are going strong after years of use.  The chuck is a little better on my nice drill but the CP one is fine, though it’s a metric chuck key size 😉

    Shop heat.  I started out with a kerosene “torpedo” heater and that worked well, however it does produce a small amount to soot that slowly accumulates onto everything.  I saw it on my yellow epoxy spreaders first.  Reported to cause epoxy and varnish fish eyes.  I switched over to a cheap propane burner.  Your needs will vary based on your shop size.  I suppose one could use the plastic tent and shop lights method but always just struck me as a pain in the butt.

    Bottom line on shop heat is, manage the shop temperature carefully.  I bought and use a data logging USB thermometer to record shop temps; it plugs into my PC and i can read out the shop temp profile.  I use the propane to provide bursts of heat while working and also have a electric 1500 watt oil filled heater that dramatically slows down the temperature drop rate.  It is able to maintain about 50F shop temp in 25F outside temp conditions on it’s own; in a single car garage sized insulated shop.  It takes about 6 hours for the temp to drop to minimum starting at 75F.  At 35F the minimum is about 60F, which is my goal “minimum epoxy working temp”.

    Shop tables:  I use those standard plastic “banquet tables”.  I cover them with a sheet of plastic because they will see a lot of epoxy, the last thing you want is a part one has epoxy coated and set down upon a workbench to become glued to said workbench! It happens!

    It’s worth noting that these are NOT particularly flat, in fact they tend to bow a lot.  If you need “flat”, put down some 2×12 dimensional wood, plywood, or whatever (or use the floor) and check it’s flatness with one’s 48″ aluminum rule.  Lowe’s has these pretty cheap, or the orange fiberglass reinforced plastic 48″ levels will also do.  You want a reference tool for “straight / flat / level” handy in the shop.

    Sawhorses: Build a pair of 8″ to 12″ tall low sawhorses for the TD cabin to sit on while you work.  I just got some 2×4’s and four of those “sawhorse clips” at Lowe’s and used the chop saw and drywall screws to put mine together.  The height you choose will depend on how tall you are!

    I also use a pair to 4×4 timbers for the cab to sit on when I want it lower.  I also make extensive use of a pair of plastic 32″ high folding plastic sawhorses.  CLC’s super nice sawhorses are awesome and if I were building boats all the time I would build some of those.  The cheapie plastic ones are fine for as much as I use them though.

    One can spend a lot on shop stuff and tools or get “good enough to get by” and save a LOT of money.  If you like building stuff and see long term uses further down the road on different projects, by all means, invest in good tools.  If the budget is tight then getting the cheaper, but “good enough” tools is fine.  Certain things are worth spending on to get great quality but other things, that might be used much less often, it might be ok to get the cheaper version. Get quality sockets, hand wrenches, and screwdrivers. Oh! Found a total GEM of a tool thanks to CLC on this project, that Saw Rasp!  Buy it from CLC or Amazon or wherever, but this thing is AWESOME.  Also a Japanese razor saw.  I’d get the small one, you don’t use it often but the precision of the cut / kerf, well nothing else can do what it does.

    Wow, kinda went long on this post.  The dogs woke me up at 0530 so just typing and having my morning coffee.  Hope my sharing some of my shop ideas and tips and tricks helps somebody!



    • This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by SOMDTD. Reason: General editing & spelling

    Mounted the door hinges.  Made up some home made clamps because the tardy are store did’not have woodworker parallel clamps.   Tee nuts and a 1/4×20 bolt.  Doesn’t take a lot of pressure but you need something.  Pretty happy with the dry fit of the hinges.  I used little blocks of shim stock to block the door in position.  For hinge pins, the hymnal says to use the 8/32 screws but that was much too lost a fit to make me happy.  I scrounged various screws and bolts and used the bench grinder to trim their diameter down to a nice, slightly loose slip fit in the hinges.  I’ll just throw them away when I am done, they are “ruined” as normal bolts and screws.  That’s what that coffee can of full random stuff (screws, bolts, nails, wire nuts left over from home repair projects, and a 1001 other things.  Swear I’m gonna find something living in there one day….) is for though!

    Forward edge of the bottom of the door sticks out about 1/4 inchn on both sides.   I think I have a solution but it’ll have to wait until the door latch and fairleads are installed, along with the weatherstripping door seals.

    Also, some sander love on the galley hatch.  Finish sanded the sheld with 220, turned out nice!  I will goo the door hinge fillets in a bit after dinner, maybe I’ll install the shelf too.  Should only take a few minutes, it has already been trimmed and fitted.  Oh wait, I should sand the bulkhead first….. and that might get done, as I’m having my before dinner scotch, and sanding is always more fun after a scotch.  Just saying.


    • This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by SOMDTD.

    Installed eyebrows.  Easy, but a lot of sanding to fair in the fiberglass.  Building galley, also easy, however the hymnal fails to mention there are a couple of days worth of parts prep before you start actually building.  Sanding, rounding off edges, stain (I got a nice dark front but the rest was very light colored wood, so decided to stain so it would match up better).  Then epoxy coating, cures flip, epoxy, cure, sand sand sand. The assembly is interesting, easy, but LOTS of cello-fill epoxy glue. I’ll finish it up tomorrow or the next day, there will be some finish sanding.

    Oh, galley hatch hinges fitted as well as the doors hung.


    Did I mention sanding?


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