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

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

  1. Paul A
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: Florida

    Paul A Junior Member

    It snows a lot in Maine too.
     
  2. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    Catbuilder,
    I built a 47' wood boat in a tent up here in the north where we only have to contend with the heat for three months in summer. I used clear plastic sheeting which (greenhouse effect) helped extend the working season 2 more months into winter. The temp inside the tent in summer was 130 degrees and I used west system epoxy fast cure hardner. In the hot months I did my cutting and fitting during the higher temp periods and then got up real early the following day to do all the glueing. I often was up gluing at 4-5 AM while the nite time temps were about 65 degrees. I also stored my resine in my airconditioned house and the fast hardner in the refrigerator. The 75 degree resine mixed 5-1 added to the 38 degree hardner brought the glue temp down to approx 65 degrees. This extended my working time to about 20 minutes. Any big gluing jobs like sheeting the hull with cloth and epoxy waited until cooler weather. Is it 95 degrees 365 days a year in Florida or do you have cooler seasons? If you decide to do it in a tent, I would reccommend a silver or white cover that would reflect the sun and shade your project. As far as blushing, who cares. You must sand any existing epoxy w/80 grit for bite in order to glue a new piece of wood upon. So what difference does it make if the surface is blushed or not?
    Have a Great Day!
    Earl
     
  3. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    Catbuilder
    Another idea I had for using epoxy in hot weather was to purchse these plastic drinking mugs that have a layer of gell inside a double walled plastic. One supossedly places the mug in the freezer and then it keeps your liquid drink cool while it is being consumed. I never tried it but perhaps mixing glue in one of these refrigerated mugs would extend the working time.

    Have a Great Day!
    Earl
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Earl, I guess the difference I'm looking for is no about sanding between bonding jobs. It's about sanding the entire hull (45' x 2) between the 6 coatings of epoxy that I need to do and also sanding the entire inside of the hulls (45' x 2) for the 3 coatings of epoxy in there.

    That amount of washing and sanding would take so long, it would be the majority of the build hours, I'm thinking. I want to avoid sanding between coats and avoid washing off amine blush.

    Paul: "Pick your poison" seems to exactly right. I realized this from this thread. Seems like building in a tent in either extreme sounds like it's difficult. Building inside in either extreme is expensive. I think I'm going to opt for building inside because I can use an HVAC system to keep things the right temp/humidity. Building in FL was $30K cheaper, but I was comparing New England apples to Florida oranges!! I was comparing building in a tent in FL to building in a building in New England!

    If you compare building in a building in both areas, the costs start to become about the same. You either pay for heat or you pay for air conditioning. Like Paul said: pick your poison.
     
  5. ecflyer
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

    ecflyer Junior Member

    Catbuilder,
    Remember that the blushing does not show up until the epoxy is well along in the curing stage. When saturating the fibreglass cloth on the hull, one should only allow 2-4 hours between coats to ensure chemical bonding between coats. This avoids sanding between coats no matter which brand of epoxy one uses.

    Have a spiffy G'Day
    Earl
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Hmmm.... good reminder, Earl. Thanks.

    So would this time of 2-4 hours go up a bit in a colder environment, making it easier for 2 people to do the whole hull in one really exhausting, 24 hour period?

    Am I making this sound harder than it really is? It almost seems that even one person could apply a coat of epoxy, working bow to stern, then move right back to the bow and start the second coat, etc... etc... all the way up to the desired number of coats. Is that right?
     
  7. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Oh no!

    By no means, you are able to do a hull of that size with 2 people in one go! Let alone 1.
    You might need 4-6 helpers, depending on their skills with laminating. And they will be in full swing for 24hrs.

    But, yes a slow hardener AND low temperatures open wider time windows. Even long enough for a 1 -2 hrs break probably.
    When building in the cold north, you may be able to slow curing down over night and go to sleep, just by lowering the temperature close to 0°C.

    Find some shops or yards in the area you have choosen, they might tell you about their experience and products as their experience with different methods.

    Regards
    Richard

    Regards
    Richard
     
  8. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    Still, why not start with 2 people in the front, laying up all the glass layers (opt for heavier stuff then the thin weaves) and working your way back. When it is time to call it a day, cover the area which needs bonding the day after, go home, take a shower, get some good sleep.

    Next morning, fry some eggs, pull the peelply, and you are good to go again. It might take 2 days, it might take 4 days, but that is not important. It is a controlable process, which does not exhaust you.
     
  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Well, now that Richard has clued me in on the possibility of getting a single molecular bond from wood all the way up to final layer, I'm kind of excited about that! :)

    I'd like to do that, if possible, even though peel ply sounds more convenient.

    I guess we'll see how things go with helpers first. If I have enough of them, I can do like Richard says. If I can't hire enough, or can't afford to hire enough, I'll do peel ply.

    Either way, I'm very thankful to everyone who has helped me to better understand the right way of working with layers of epoxy.
     
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    WOW! I'm in Florida's "sweet spot", currently, with working conditions for epoxy one could only dream of!

    I have been working at night to do the layups, giving me about 3 hours (or more) time before the epoxy goes off on my thin layer application. This is at 75deg F (23.88C). I am using System Three Slow hardener.

    Then... I leave the building closed up tight as dawn breaks and our night work is complete. The temperature inside the building right now, while the slow epoxy is curing, is 101deg F (38.33C)! It's an absolute PERFECT working condition for epoxy.

    It is cold enough to have hours of working time at night and nearly as hot as a post cure during the day when the panel is in the vacuum bag. I could not ask for more perfect building conditions than this!

    VERY happy with Florida's weather at this moment. So... thank you to everyone on this thread who suggested I locate here and who helped me understand it.
     
  11. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    You know what they say: PICS or it didn't happen! And while you are at it, include some pictures of the beach, including "beach furniture" :p
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    These are the moments when we feel the value of contributing here.... there are others though...
     
  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I did post a pic in Charly's thread. My comments and some questions are in his thread since we are building the same type of boat.

    No beach furniture here. I'm in the area where they are burning Querans! Scary!

     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This means you're just north of me, as the quran burner is about an hour away from me. He's since backed off, but this could change.

    Yea, you do have to adjust your goo work schedule, if you're not in a climate controlled environment, but I've found you can build year round down here.
     

  15. sabahcat
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: australia

    sabahcat Senior Member

    I did the glassing on my 50ft hulls mostly by myself in an open ended tent In Brisbane Australia.

    I had all planks glued and cured on female mould with the initial 1200mm (glass width) of bilge planking already glassed so as to have something to walk on.

    I would measure out 4 drops of glass width on hull (sheer down to edge of existing glass mentioned above) and sand that area
    Then I would glass those 4 drops, 1 at a time.
    By the time I had completed the 4th drop, the first would have kicked and I would apply a runny mix of epoxy/filler so as to fill the weave and go about 100mm past the finished edge of the 4th drop, the whole time pressing any small outgassing bubbles back in until it had gone green.

    The next day, you sand the next 4 drops and you only have to sand filler back down to glass on the edge of the previous days finished work, not actual glass.

    Yes, this method does have a lot of overlaps, but one could argue that it gives some extra strength due to double thickness every 1200mm.

    Most of the overlap is hidden by internal furniture so in reality, it is only a few overlaps that need fairing in.

    add:
    Ah, I see above you are doing a tortured ply hull, so perhaps most of what I have typed is not relevant.
     
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