Anyone Ever Built in a Tent in FL? What should I expect

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by CatBuilder, May 1, 2010.

  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    It's $30k cheaper for me to build in a tent in FL than in a warehouse in the north. Can I do West System epoxy over wood all year round in 96% humidity and 94 degree temps in a tent? What could go wrong?
     
  2. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    For a start, you would get a LOT of insects caught in the resin. We have love bug season down here where the air looks black.
     
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    From wikipedia:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    eww. Also amine blush
     
  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    No!

    Not with West, but there are formulations on the market which would allow that.

    Herman!!!!
     
  6. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Herman Senior Member

    West System has a tendency to blush. Not a good idea in 94% humidity. I have no idea of what else is available over there, but you could check 3 places:

    -Merrit Supply. They build boats in Ft. Lauderdale in epoxy / wood. Ask what they are using. They also have a supply line to other builders.
    -System 3. Ask for a slow, amine-blush free system. If they know their way around in their own systems, they should be able to help you.
    -Mas Epoxy. From own experience I know their sales person is very knowledgable. He definately should be able to help you.

    Still I recommend the use of peelply whenever possible. Leave the peelply on untill you need the laminate below it. That way you will save a ton on sanding (and sandpaper) and you always have a clean, perfect surface on which to work. Removing just a small strip of peelply is simple: just run a knife over the edges you want the split, and pull away the strip in between.

    Slow epoxy usually means warm curing systems, so you might end up postcuring your laminates, which is fairly simple in that climate. Just be aware that the laminate might move a bit, so do the postcure (couple of days in the sun, then turn around for the other side) BEFORE doing the last sanding.

    Also, if your boat is to survive AND stay presentable, ask for a system with a Tg of at least 80 degrees C or higher. Again, these properties are only reached after a postcure.
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Thank you very much, Herman. I think I'll have to start a brand new thread now with all the questions I have from your post here. I may have to go back a little bit and as some more basics.

    Thanks!!:D
     
  8. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Herman Senior Member

    OK, I will see it coming.
     
  9. Paul A
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: Florida

    Paul A Junior Member

    You can use any brand you want in Florida, including West. Hardener selection will be slow and extra slow 90% of the time, with a few weeks regular or fast necessary in the winter.

    Blush will be a problem with most epoxies used outside, even the non-blush stuff doesn't like 95% - 100% humidity, which is common here in the summer. Morning dew and evening condensation will cause havoc with any brand. Any good fabricator will consider all cured epoxy surfaces suspect if working in the field.

    If you use a tent, think about a small portion that you can wall off and install a window shaker A/C unit. It will dehumidify and cool the area for better environmental control on laminated parts.
     
  10. AndrewK
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    AndrewK Senior Member

    FL weather sounds similar to Brisbane, my current boat I fitted out under tarps after finishing it I said I would not do that again. Currently I am building a catamaran in a shed. no concrete floor and open ends. And I would not do that again either in a humid climate, personally I would pay $30k to work in the warehouse.
    Check out your building standards for composites, at best they specify max 80%RH.
     
  11. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Excellent follow up advice, everyone. Thanks.

    I am really leaning back toward the warehouse/enclosed spaces. Bugs? Extra chance of blush? The heat and humidity beating down a poor Yankee from way up North? Installing ACs to cool off the tent (same as paying for heat)? Postcuring the laminates on a 45' boat?

    Seems like it might be an insurmountable set of problems to overcome.
     
  12. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Build it in the Rockies. Less heat, humidity and bugs, unless it is too big to trail.
     
  13. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    If it is boat, it is compromise.
    If there´s no compromise, it does´nt float.

    Postcuring is mandatory with slow curing hardeners, no matter the size of the part!

    Regards
    Richard
     
  14. Paul A
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Paul A Junior Member

    90% of our heating/cooling bills are A/C related in Florida. Many homes have not heater at all, maybe just a fireplace. In Maine the opposite is true, your heating/cooling costs are reversed and you may not have an A/C unit, just fans.

    We have year round building weather, outside. a few weeks in the winter, you'll have to use fast hardener, but most of the time you'll be using a slow or extra slow. In Maine they have 60 days of summer and building outside it's practical. In a shed you have about 6 usable months without heat. Pick your poison.
     

  15. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Except when it rains, and it rains a lot.
     
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