UK Builders - Which adhesive for stitch and glue

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by barrow_matt, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. barrow_matt
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: United Kingdom

    barrow_matt Junior Member

    I would like to know if anyone in the UK could recommend an adhesive for a small ply stitch and glue construction?

    I've looked on the likes of Screwfix and Toolstation and can't see any bulk general purpose epoxy, is it called something else here or am I looking in the wrong place.

    Typical fibreglass supplies seem to use Polymer Resin, is this different from an epoxy or the same thing. I'm sure this may be ok to seal a seam but i'm nnot sure it is strong enough to act as a structural adhesive?

  2. anthony goodson
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: Dorset UK & Murcia Spain

    anthony goodson Senior Member

  3. Jeremy Harris
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Salisbury, UK

    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    Generally, I've found that I can only buy epoxy at specialist places, not run-of-the-mill DIY stores.

    CFS, as suggested already, are a good online supplier of West System, but you may find somewhere more local to you. I'm lucky, I'm a 20 minute drive away from Wessex Resins, the West System stockist ( and maybe 40 minutes away from a number of stockists of other epoxy resins, like SP.

    I've used both West and SP and slightly prefer West, plus it doesn't really smell (the SP stuff does have a slight smell).

    You can build a stitch and glue boat using polyester resin, there are thousands of Mirror dinghy's around that were built this way many years ago. Polyester is cheaper, nasty to work with, very smelly and doesn't bond all that well to wood (unless the wood is very dry) as epoxy.

    Personally I'd use West System epoxy. Remember that you'll need more than just the resin and hardener, you'll also need glass fibre tape and some microfibre to stiffen the resin into paste for filleting. If you want to fair the hull after taping, then I'd recommend using some West Microlight 410 filler as fairing compound, as it's nicer to use than body filler and sands more easily to a good finish.

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