Fiberglass fish bin construction

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by mehsjohnson, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Improvements

    After some very helpful and friendly advice from Commuter Boats I made my second hatch. It is quite a bit lighter than the first and just as strong. He advised me to lay up a piece of mat against the gelcoat and let it fire off before adding the next layers. I did just that and it kept the edges true throughout the build. most of the grinding of my first hatch was needed because the edges warped.
    He also suggested and supplied me with corebond to fasten the canacore to the inside of the hatch cover. This also worked a lot better than just using resin. Thank you Gerald!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I haven't posted much because I am just making hatch covers. I am about to unmold number four out of eight. The first two had minor problems. On the second I had a spot where the first layer of mat had a dry spot. I had to sand that out and do a repair. The third one is the charm. I just have to sand the corners as my clay filets don't make perfect curves.
     
  3. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Heating box

    It was 19 degrees F when I woke up this morning and I almost didn't work on the boat. I decide to make the mold since I could do that in the cold. I have a small heater in my plastic workshop but it just took the edge off the cold. I attached a picture of my mold. It is waxed and painted with PVA. You might be able to see the faint green color. After making the mold I got to thinking that I might be able to make a cardboard heating box over the mold. I did that and directed my small heater inside. It warmed up instantly. I sprayed gelcoat and it fired off in a little over an hour inside the heater box. It worked like a charm. I finished a hatch cover in one day with heat.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I'm working on my last hatch cover! I thought I might add a little information about how I made my molds. The last cover has 6 sides and was the most difficult to set up. I first cut out a cardboard pattern of the outside edge of the aluminum channel and other outside pieces which support the hatch cover on the boat. Since the mold must be made to fit the outside of the cover I had to figure out how big to make the inside of the mold. The first hatch cover I made I added 3/8" all around the outside of the pattern. This turned out to be too small. On all subsequent hatches I added 1/2 inch all the way around the cover. In other words, on a rectangular hatch the length would be a total of one inch longer and the width also one inch longer.
    I first taped the outside perimeter of the mold using blue tape. I measured and cut the lengths of the melamine using the blue tape as my guide. I put blue tape on the bottom of each of the side boards. I added hot glue to this tape and quickly glued it to the blue tape. I added tape to the bottom edge. Half of the tape was on the board and have was on the base sheet. This helped hold it in place. I taped each piece to the next.
    I then added the clay filets to make the curves of the outside edges of the hatch covers. I heated the clay using my heater. I waited until it was soft but not so soft that it couldn't be molded. I then rolled out a 3/8" diameter snake. I pushed one end into the corner and used a 3/4" socket to form the filet. When the clay was the right temperature I could push the clay along while gently pulling on the head of the snake. By the time I was doing the last cover I was pretty good. I used a furniture scraper to remove the small lines of clay that formed next to the filets.
    When all the clay was in place I waxed the mold. On the last three molds I found out that if I was aggressive with my heavily waxed rag I could smooth the clay filets and make much nicer curves.
    I then painted the mold with green water based mold release and let it dry. I sprayed the mold with unwaxed gelcoat using a cup gun sprayer. My compressor was too small for the job and I had to stop frequently and let the compressor build pressure.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Finished Hatch Covers

    Here are a couple of pictures of my completed hatch covers with non-skid. I thickened my grey gelcoat with aerosil, spread it on with a slotted trowel and rolled it out wit a 3/8" nap roller. After a little bit I came back and rolled it again to get little peaks to stand up. It was quite easy and I am really happy with the results. Gerald at Commuter Boats helped me learn the process. He has been an amazing help! The first picture was taken in my lay up tent and the second on the boat.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Sailor Dan
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 39
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 11
    Location: United States, Louisiana

    Sailor Dan Junior Member

    They look great. My steal your hatch process for my sailboat project
    Dan
     
  7. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Steal away and send me any questions you might have as you go along!
     
  8. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I went on a short trip, took two days to do my taxes and then took two days to do some welding for our herring fishery. Now I am back working on the fish bins. I just have to make the deck behind the stack in the center of the boat. First I made a mold of the area. I covered everything with masking tape then put down a layer of mat, a layer of heavy roving and another layer of mat. I took that mold to my lay up table and added two layers of mat one layer of roving and another mat. I then added a cannicore piece held down by corebond and let that set. I added one layer of mat, a roving and a mat to finish it. I sanded it and filled the imperfections. I sprayed it with gelcoat, hated the results, filled more imperfections, sanded it again and sprayed it a final time. I then glued it into position on the boat using structural putty. I will add nonskid tomorrow! Gerald of Commuter Boats helped me figure out how to make the mold and the rest of the piece. Thanks again Gerald!!
     

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  9. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I managed to finish the area around the stack. My molded piece of deck fits ok. I had some warping so my gaps are not as perfectly spaced as I would have liked. I also filled in the space between the channel and the little raised deck area to it's right. I then painted it with grey gelcoat.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I was looking at some pictures I took of the area around the stack and I found the image of Elvis! It is kind of like finding the image of the Virgin Mary in your morning toast. I am sure this will start a huge pilgrimage to the boat to see such a thing. The only problem is that I painted grey gelcoat over it yesterday before I found it. All I have left is this picture. His face is in the lower middle part of the deck between the stack and the new white deck.
     

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  11. Commuter Boats
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 177
    Likes: 12, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 182
    Location: Southeast Alaska

    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    Good morning Marty, my first thought having read that last post was " I wonder if your ventilation is adequate...." that styrene can be tricky.
    Gerald
     
  12. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    I laughed a little too hard at your comment Gerald!!!
     
  13. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Reinforcing and sealing

    After an impromptu Maui vacation and two family medical issues I am finally back at work. I have finished reinforcing the joints on each bin. I found out the two front hatches were not water tight around the engine cover. I added mat-roving-mat to each joint and that sealed them up.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Truck and nets to Bristol Bay

    Since I fish in Bristol Bay I had to get my nets ready to go up there. This year I sent my truck up as well.
     

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  15. mehsjohnson
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 58
    Likes: 1, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 17
    Location: Sitka, Alaska

    mehsjohnson I hate grinding!

    Gel-coat

    I am finally ready for gel-coat. I prepared four hatches and added white gel-coat.
     

    Attached Files:

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