fairing a 30foot wooden hull and deck

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by H A van Nes, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. H A van Nes
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Croton on Hudson, NY

    H A van Nes designer builder sailor

    I have a 30foot modified Chris Craft I made with cold moulding 5/8" mahogany planks over 1/4" luan above the waterline. All bright varnish above the waterline. she suffered pretty deep dents and scrapes from other boats during Hurricane Irene and needed a refinishing of topsides and deck anyway. been in service 10 years. I Intentionally used the 5/8ths planks to allow for fairing after construction. What is the best method for fairing the hull after I remove all hardware. I'm thinking a back & forth electric or air sander with 12 to 15" sole OR an electric plane with some kind of extension. I saw a fairing operation many years ago in Nevins's Yard in City Island NY where it was done with a firm but flexible board with felt backing loaded with chalk. They rubbed the chalkboard over the hull than planed down the high spots that were marked with the chalk with a hand plane. I was not present to see the end result. The varnished wood topsides is what this boat is all. Fillers or bond is not an option. Any ideas? Ild be greatful for any help.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Depending on how deep the dents are, replanking may be the only way to get a good enough surface for bright finish. 5/8 over 1/4 doesn't give you a huge amount to take off. You could patch the deepest dents and scratches. For that you need to find wood with matching grain and make graving pieces glued in.
     
  3. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    Deep dents and scrapes. I imagine it is sand it down and or replace some wood.

    Sometimes wood dents can be popped back up somewhat using a hot steam iron normally used for clothes.

    You may have to live with some deep scrapes.
    Perhaps you can clean the scrape and build up clear epoxy layers bringing them inline with the rest of the wood.
     
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  4. H A van Nes
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: Croton on Hudson, NY

    H A van Nes designer builder sailor

    thanks guys. I'm to old to re-plank. If I take down the above waterline topsides and deck outer planks to 3/8th would you recommend reinforcing hull with inside or outside light fiberglass and epoxy? Or do I need to? I've seen many beautiful and fair wooden kayaks covered with glass & epoxy outside and you really don't notice the glass.
    Whadayathink?
     
  5. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    That very thin outer sheer FG cloth in epoxy wont add much strength, it is mostly to aid in preventing gouges and sealing the wood from water.

    Your talking about taking off 1/4 inch of wood, is it that bad appearance all over?

    Ask this over at wooden boat forum and see what they think.

    Best to show pics of what your dealing with.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/forumdisplay.php?1-Building-Repair
     
  6. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    It sounds like the damage is quite widespread and not localized to specific areas. If it is localized to specific areas, I would be tempted to route out the damage to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch and make patches of similar wood to fill the removed areas. These can stand proud and then be faired into the surrounding hull. This may be what Gonzo was sayings to do.

    Flipping the coin the other direction, if the damage is widespread another approach might be more in line with the needed repair. The hull would have to stripped of finish above the waterline, chine up most likely and all gouging and scratching filled and faired with thickened epoxy. Next, a veneer, 1/16" to 1/8" of your desired wood cold molded over the above water portions to make the hull look new again. Maybe this would fall within reason for you. Sort or planking, but not exactly. :idea:

    The last and hardest option to accept would be to fill, fair and paint. :mad:

    Good luck.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A veneer would likely be an easier and faster way of repairing the hull. A light layer of fiberglass will help protect the surface in the future.
     
  8. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Once you get the finish removed, go around a few times and put some water on all the dents, using a small artist brush or something. Putting a little heat to it also will help the dents 're-inflate'. There is a form of wood finishing where you in-dent an image into a piece of wood, sand or plane the wood smooth and then when finish is applied the image swells back up to become a raised image. It would seem that might happen with all your dents if they aren't first relieved of at least some of the dent stress before finishing.

    It won't help as much on gouges and scrapes where the wood fibers are torn, but it will help some and will lesson the overall amount of wood thickness you'll have to remove to get a smooth surface.
     
  9. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Heat and if you brush some water on as above, it might be worth adding a little Oxalic acid which helps remove 'black spots'. It can work well on some timbers but not all.
     

  10. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    You can use a clothes iron to raise dents. I have and it can help if the dents are not too bad. The idea of routing out a gouge and gluing in a piece has good merit. Rough cut the piece to go in and finish sand to shape with a belt sander the piece can make a perfect fit just like a puzzle piece.
    I do this all the time turn it upside down and hold the piece by hand with coarse belt. But be careful not to get your hand caught in the belt!!! I did once and it ground my thumb... Thumb got caught between belt and machine and you know your muscles tighten up when injured , I had to think let go of the trigger! But that only happened once in thousands of uses. I partly blame the design of that sander.

    Then glue it in and sand it flush. If you use PL Premium Construction polyurethane adhesive a glue line will disappear. Epoxy joints need some space to work best or you get a glue starved joint, and that means a looser fit. With poly glue you can tight fit and see no glue line.
     
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