Lightweight epoxy fillers - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by OrcaSea, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. OrcaSea
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Hey folks,

    Shopping for lightweight epoxy-based fairing compounds. I've looked at all the big names, and right now System Three Quickfair is top of the list; the reviews are excellent and the price is good (I can get a three-quart set for $79.99, which should fair & smooth top and bottom of my little 16-footer - no one else comes close to that).

    Anyone familiar with the System Three Quickfair? Any other suggestions for moderately-priced fairing compounds? I have checked out Fiberglast and TotalBoat already. Pettit and Awlfair are a little pricey for me.

    Thanks!

    Curtis
     
  2. Tungsten
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    Tungsten Senior Member

    I think it says right on the cans that its not to be used below the water line.So it needs a neat coat of epoxy over before you paint so you end up fairing twice.If you don't cover with straight epoxy you'll see where it is as it doesn't take primer well or at least that's my experience with it.Save a step and just mix your own easy to sand filler with epoxy.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Bingo Tungsten has it. QuickFair is as the name suggests and a quick, smooth, easily mixed and applied compound, but isn't the lightest mix possible. It's also not so moderately priced if you count what you're getting per ounce. Home made mixtures will be lighter, likely stronger and have better adhesive qualities too, but you'll have to experiment around with the formulas and filler material ratios. Mixtures with heavier concentrations of phenol spheres are going to be the lightest, Q-cells a bit heavier and 'glass balloons heaviest of the three "usual suspects" for getting a fairing compound mixture sorted out. Once you find a ratio that works, pre-mix it in a can and simply add modest amounts of silica to control viscosity. As to the pre-packaged stuff, like QuickFair, well I haven't used these for years, unless on site, away from my jars of home brew.
     
  4. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    (Hmmm, system seems to have ate my other reply - now watch it show up in 30-mins...)

    Thanks, guys, as always your advice is highly appreciated!

    Home-made certainly would be less expensive. I recently saw a YouTube video of the CEO of M.A.S. and some other guy mixing up 1 cup goo, 2 cups balloons and 1 cup silica for a thixotropic, light-weight filler. Sound like a good starting point?

    Times when I have mixed silica with goo for repairs the result was extremely hard, so I am having a hard time imagining the mix to be easy to sand...? They suggested it to make the application consistency smoother.

    Does home-made tend to have the same working qualities, i.e., sandable in 3-4 hours and very hard cure in 4-7 days?

    PS - Paul, I am learning why you call the long board the 'Board of Pain'...
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member


    Pre formulated Fillers such as west system microlight , combined with resin , work great and are the most economical way to perform the primary bog down.

    After the primary bog down and board sand , you shift to premixed epoxy bog. Many brands around, i use International or awlgrip.


    One way to avoid wasting precious pre mix bog is to get two empty caulking tubes. Fill tube A with part A bog and tube B with part B..... when you need a bit of bog , squeeze out the appropriate length bog worm of A , then the correct length Worm of B onto your bog board and combine. This method, bog bazookas, is clean and tidy and saves precious bog.

    As you approach the finished product take resin and combine with a splash of microlight filler to make a bog slurry that can be rolled onto the surface. This slurry will form a very effective high build primer coat to fill minor scratchs and dings. If you add a bit of colour to this rolled on bog coat it will help you identify any defects as you sand and help build a colour backround for your topcoats.
     
  6. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    most micro-balloons/sphere are 0.7 grams/cc
    I (progressive epoxy polymers - epoxyproducts.com) sell much lighter ones -
    0.6 and 0.28 g/cc - both for about $8 a quart - also sell empty caulking tubes

    divers add the microballoons to our kevlar underwater epoxy putty making an underwater repair compound that actually floats.

    paul oman
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This isn't correct, as you're paying several times the cost of the materials, packaging, someone elses labor to mix, etc. When you count up the actual materials in the pre-mixed fairing compounds with the costs, ounce for ounce, you'll find you're paying a few hundred dollars per gallon for the pre-mixed stuff, so not very economical, compared to self mixing with the same materials. The only thing the pre-mixes offer is convenience for some.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Sorry..the blend is ideal...easy to mix by eye and produce a tasty bog.
     
  9. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Thanks, guys! Great stuff!

    Paul O, I will definitely be getting in contact with you re: micro-balloon filler.

    If things don't warm up to where my kero heater can get me into the 60's I might have more time to think about this than I would like; a pre-coat layer I laid down last night for the 4" tape around the deck/hull is still gooey :(
     
  10. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    you can use a fast cure version of, at least, our marine epoxy. I have built kayaks etc with it in temps down to about 38 degrees - ready to sand the next day or so.

    note that it takes about 2 parts filler to 1 part epoxy to make 1 part thickened epoxy - so about 8 quarts of thickener for 1 plus gal of thickened epoxy. At that price may be better to buy pre-thickened (albeit probably not a super light product)
     
  11. OrcaSea
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    OrcaSea Senior Member

    Thanks, Paul!

    My boat is only a little 16-footer, so I will only need relatively small quantities : )

    What is your view of adding silica (1 part silica to 2 parts balloons)? One recipe I saw said that it made for a smoother consistency...?

    Curtis
     
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Silica's basic use is to improve viscosity. It's not very heavy, but it's really hard and strong, so sanding can be dramatically more difficult with more than modest amounts of silica added to a mix. It doesn't take much silica to stiffen up a mix, which works out well as far as sanding is concerned. Talc can make a mixture smoother, though it's not all that light.
     
  13. Builderjeff
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    Builderjeff Junior Member

  14. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    Perhaps, you could offer a standard discount to boatdesign.net members. While I'm sure your posts are well intentioned, they come across as thinly veiled sales pitches and offering a nice discount along with your helpful advise would go a long ways towards adding to your credibility and sincerity. 20-30% discounts on glass, epoxy and fillers would put very large smiles on members' faces. Now, that is what I would call marketing. :D:D:D

    Sorry. I hope this doesn't come across harshly.
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, professional builder discounts are a wise business practice and widely exercised. Since some changes have occurred at E-Boat, maybe an update and services/products post might be helpful, possibly in the "market place" section?
     
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