Newbie Epoxy Question

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Pragma, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Pragma
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: CT

    Pragma New Member

    I am building my first boat, the Glen-L utility 11' skiff: Everything is going well, but I'm getting to the point where I need to put these pieces together.

    The plans call for everything to be glued with epoxy during building, and also for all the wood to be encapsulated with epoxy. I plan to fiberglass the boat, which looks like it requires more epoxy.

    Can anyone tell me what kind I need? I have places nearby to buy System 3 products, but its unclear which ones should be used for the structural gluing vs. encapsulation vs. fiberglassing. I see mention of a silvertip line of products that looks to be marine specific, but only a "laminating resin". I have no idea what to get.

    The plans also call to fill the screw holes and imperfections - with what?

    Sorry for what I am sure are very basic questions, but any help is appreciated.
  2. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Talking about System Three epoxy, you want to use System Three "General Purpose" epoxy for bonding and coating wood. I've used it and it's great stuff. Very easy 2:1 ratio and a good selection of hardeners to work at any temperature. Nice open time for beginners.

    The Silver Tip laminating epoxy is just a bit thinner so it's easier to get it to soak through a sheet of fiberglass material and wet it out completely. That's the main difference between the two in terms of using them.

    If you have screw holes and imperfections to fill, you want to fill those in with thickened epoxy. You thicken up epoxy with this kind of stuff:

    See all the links to the different 40x products for descriptions and usage information.

    Also, get this book:


    It walks you through everything you are talking about here and so SO much more. It shows you how to build a wood/epoxy boat from lofting to putting the final coat of paint on. It's extremely useful.
  3. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Just to reiterate what Cat said.

    Epoxy is wonderful stuff, and the best primer I know of is the articles written by the Gougeon Brothers (The formulators of West Systems epoxy). Go to their site and read everything they have about using epoxy, even the things that don't look specific to your application. You will learn a lot, and get at least a grounding in the stuff.

    I am not sure I love their products since they always seem to be the most expensive, but the literature is very good.
  4. JRD
    Joined: May 2010
    Posts: 228
    Likes: 18, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 192
    Location: New Zealand

    JRD Senior Member

    West system website also has a number of instruction videos online (no cost). You-tube has a heap of video clips of people doing boat building tasks including epoxy work. Its often easier to comprehend what the experts are saying here (I'm not one of them) if you can see some one doing it for real on screen.
  5. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Glen-L sells poxy grip-adhesive, and poxy shield- encapsulation. Hundreds and hundreds of boats have been built using their product. Good pricing also.

  6. Pragma
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: CT

    Pragma New Member

    Thanks guys, it sounds like the regular system 3 epoxy is what I need then.

    I bought the Glen-L boatbuilding and fiberglassing books, and am still working through them - but they don't call out products by name.

    I would have just bought the Glen-L poxy shield and poxy grip, but they are on the west coast and I on the east, so shipping was outrageous (>25% of cost!)

    Thanks much for your help!
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.