Resorcinol Glue for a laminated (?) yacht

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Seafarer24, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Seafarer24
    Joined: May 2005
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    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    How good is a Resorcinol glue for wooden yacht construction?

    I am looking at a 1977 custom-built 30' wooden (mahogany and teak) cruiser. The chainplates on one side seem to have leaked and rotted out part of the deck and bulkhead below. Everything else that I can see of the hull seems sound. When I asked the broker about it, he said that resorcinol glue was used to layer the mahogany. I am not familiar with this stuff, so I thought I would ask around here if it is suitable for the application.
  2. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    yes it is , in 1971 the US navy classed it as 100% waterproof, that means it can withstand boiling water, if yoo scroll down the pages to scarfing plywood, there is coverage of it there on last pages
    Fullers made a glue, sorta cream coloured , you mixred it with water, was excellent for laminataing, used it once in NZ but cant find here, went off really fast, anyone know what they called it would love to know too
    Don Senior Yachts in NZ build 10mill yachts with this type of construction even now, google em up, in NZ
  3. Seafarer24
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    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    Lazeyjack- thanks for the reply! That's just what I needed to know.
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Mt Desert boatbuilding company built Controversy yachts starting in the fifties, strip building them of native cedar nailed and glued with resourcinal glue. To this day, all the ones I've seen still around are tight except in the garboard area (which was, I believe, not glued as the deadwood was timber).
    The glue is apparantly as good or better than epoxy in strip builds.
    It's a crime they didn't epoxy jacket the chainplate slots or holes. However, now you can do so in your repair.
    I'm assuming you've got a strip-planked or cold-molded hull. You need to know that resourcinol requires very good fits and good clamping pressure. Epoxy does not (though good fits are certainly expected of a competent mechanic).
    If the repair is going to be under paint in the end, I'd opt for epoxy because it may be easier to fix without clamping pressure due to the lack of working room. also, epoxy may be easier to find locally these days.
    Finally, resourcinal has been found to cause health issues, and I believe I've read about its being carcinogenic, but don't quote me.

  5. Seafarer24
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    Seafarer24 Sunset Chaser

    Alan, thank you for the information and the warnings. Do you know of any problems with using epoxy over resorcinol? I'll likely do the repair with resorcinol anyhow, as the location actually makes it pretty easy to put a bottle-jack under it to apply pressure and hold everything in place. I've found suppliers for it online, and expect to have more difficulty finding the mahogany to match what's already there...
  6. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    Im pretty new here as well
    and certainly no expert on glue
    so maybe Allen will get back to you on the compatibility of the two glues
    but I have been looking into glues lately
    there chemical make up mostly
    and characteristics
    (since I lack recent experience in boat building I thought Ild study up a little)
    Resorcinal is an formaldehyde base glue
    and was definitely found to cause health problems in both prolonged exposure to out gassing and in short term exposure through direct contact and to glue vapors during cure
    there are a few simple precautions you can take to avoid those issues
    epoxy has less health issues
    but still has some pretty interesting components
    Bisphenol-A is an major component to epoxy and is none to kindly on the old endocrine system
    once again Ive found a few precautions that seem to negate the majority of the health issues
    Ive been a contractor for life and did many remodel jobs were people were concerned about removing formaldehyde glues from there houses
    epoxy seems to be more "friendly"
  7. kengrome
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kengrome Senior Member

    If all your pieces are not fitted to very close tolerances your solution is not going to be good enough. Epoxy is 'gap-filling' which means it works even when there are small or large gaps in between the two pieces being glued. Resorcinol *requires* sub-millimeter fitting of the pieces in order to glue them together reliably, and if you don't make your pieces fit that closely resorcinol will be inferior to epoxy.

    Usually only the best craftsmen use resorcinol because they are the only folks capable of making two parts fit together with such close tolerances. I'm not suggesting that you cannot do this, but if you've never worked with resorcinol before you're probably going to have problems with it. It is not a glue for people who build to less than near perfect tolerances, and most people don't come anywhere close to this kind of joinery ... which is why epoxy is so much more appropriate for so many people.

    If you use resorcinol please 'show and tell' us how it's going. There are not many people willing to attempt to use it these days (I never use it any more although I used it quite a bit many years ago) and others might appreciate seeing how it's done ... :)
  8. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    if I might add another two cents
    I think Kengrome is talking gospel here friend
    please take this as a kindly word
    but how many years building does that broker have under him
    its going to be lots or none at all

    course that bottle jack just might introduce you to Newtons third law
    which would play a lot easier if you were dancing with epoxy

    harm none
    do what you will
  9. Aethelwulffe
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Aethelwulffe Junior Member

    I believe the question is "are resorcinol laminated planks appropriate". The answer is a resounding yes. I love resorcinol. As a Urea-formaldehyde glue, you should not breathe the powder when mixing it (respirator). Post-cure, it is safe. Resorcinol is said to have been invented in WW2, and first used in the Dehavailland Mosquito bomber, but other sources show that it has been around for a very very long time. Whatever way, it is wonderful stuff.
    If this WERE a repair material question, I would answer it as so:
    The problem with the chain-plate area was a combination of improper bedding due to bad design or long-term neglect. Sweet water creeping down into anerobic cracks near the end-grain of the chainplate fastener holes did hte deed. Epoxy around the holes might have promoted the problem rather than prevented it, had there been any there. You mention deck and bulkhead and resorcinol... but no other specifics. Is it a plywood deck and bulkhead that was laminated, or dimensional lumber?

    Sounds like someone needs to move the chain-plates outboard anyway...
  10. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    well said
    I tend to get off subject sometimes
    you are absolutely correct
    and the simple precaution of a respirator is exactly what Im talking about
    goes a long way when it comes to the old lungs
    and once cured it is safe as long as its ventilated at least to some degree
    all the stuff asks for is a little craftsmanship and its the bomb
    epoxy requires less precision and less pressure at its curing
    in a perfect world
    Ill take the resorcinol any day

    sweat water is a huge issue
    ive been meaning to start a thread about that
    as I haven't seen one in my travels about properly insulating charters for cold water cruses

    the chain plates and a poor end grain treatment on the bolt holes I would agree with wholeheartedly as well
    bolting and sealing bolts with out first treating the wood within before bolting is a common error
    ye old electrolytic reactions did em in a gin
  11. Aethelwulffe
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Aethelwulffe Junior Member

    Not too far off the subject this might be a moot thread. I have something to say more about epoxy and fasteners. Stainless steel, even good 18-8 or 316 does indeed die over time. Re-annealing stainless in a vacuume furnace can restore some parts, but the bolts generally have to be replaced after a time. I have noticed that stainless bolts and other hardware such as rudder shafts do much better in a quality low-ph bedding than they do in polyamide resins and urethane bedding. An example is a Cherubini 44, Paladin out of Davis Island Florida. Early on in the boat's life (the year she was commissioned) an extra section of track was added to the genoa tracks. This was bedded circa 1981 by Mr Farquar, the orignal owner, doing what he did on wooden boats as a boy (though a retired Pan Am pilot at the time). The rest of the track had been fastened by drilling large holes in the toe-rail, pouring in epoxy, and setting the track with bolts and nuts already in it down into the holes. Some extra screws held the whole thing down. The reason for doing this was because they needed #18 or #20 screws, which they could not find...thus the 5/16 bolts(machine screws). This was done in the year 1980. When we got the boat to re-fit (just about a total restoration) most of the aft (original) were heavily corroded and some heads were broken/rusted off. The add-on section which was fastened with 5/16 bolts that were just screwed down into wood and fiberglass with bedding (no nuts) was basically fine.
    After some investigation into what the hello we were looking at, we backed some of the bolts out with a brace and bit, and got the rest out by using my acetylene-fired contact bolt heater. We heated the 5/16" machine screw head for a few seconds to a couple of minutes (gets them hot FAST) and then the screw would either come out, or we could jerk out the whole mess of softned epoxy by removing the cut track section and getting to the stub of the bolt with vice-grips. All the bolts were heavily corroded. The wood around the holes was not bad, but did show some signs of electrolysis when we used a foresner bit doing some post-mortem exploration on the epoxy filling. On the other hand, the bolts on the forward sections...same grade and frankly looking to be the same make (heads had the same profile and milling marks) looked like they could have been re-used. Of course I am sure they had degraded too, but they had not failed.
    Epoxy lost on this one, clearly, both for the steel and the wood. Quality bedding and clean holes (dry, no shavings) are the best methodology in my book. As for electrolysis in those holes, it requires something else in the mix. That something else can be amine oils from the epoxy preventing you from actually bedding the hardware as well as you think it should. Another thing is that the damn bolts come from the store with oil on them that was used to machine them. If you do not wash your fastners before you install them, you have not been doing the job you thought you were. If this strikes you as odd, try taking a box of screws and dunking them in water. Watch the cutting oil come to the surface. It gave me the willies when I first realized where the oil came from in a rain-filled paint cup that had been used to contain screws. I have been de-greasing them in alcohol ever since.

  12. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    hats off to you
    so what would your conclusions be on the best most enduring procedure
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