what tools needed to repair a large recored deck?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by naturewaterboy, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. naturewaterboy
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    naturewaterboy Steel Drum Tuner

    To get a large area a deck that was recored and re-glassed to be all nice and pretty, what tools are needed? I'm not a pro (can't spell amature but I are one). I read in an old thread that the Festool 6" (pricey) and the Porter Cable 6" are good tools, and a hand block is good. I've seen some pictures of a tool - like a long, skinnny sanding block with handles - What all tools are needed?

    I've got several large areas on my 34 Silverton that I recored the balsa, laid two layers of cloth (mat + biaxial bonded together), now I want make it all smooth and pretty (like a young girls hind end:D ) On the last section, I filled below the layers of cloth with epoxy/milled fiber/cabosil to bring everything closer to finish grade (dirt work lingo).

    I have one area that is 8 1/2 feet by 3 to 4 feet, another area that is 8 1/2 ft. by about 2 to 3 feet, a third area at the bow that is a 3 ft. by 2 ft triangle, and 14 areas that are each about 4" x 12" where I cut out the deck under each of bow rail stanchions and the cleats. A couple of pictures show some of what I've done.

    I'd buy the tools to make the job easier, better, faster - I'm not looking for perfection but don't want it to look like a amature :( did it, and I'd like to get done with the glass work so I can move on to the hundred other things I need to do to her. All I have now is a $30 5" orbital palm sander and a $5 rubber hand block. I don't mind spending some $ - like to not spend much over $500, but time is money. What other tools would you pros and experienced amatures (there's that damn word again) recommend?:?:
     

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  2. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    For large areas this is about as good as you can get!
    I have used one of these for several years, over 20 I
    think, and keep oil in it and it just keeps going and
    going!

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=91773

    To level out the low spots, just get a good grade body
    filler!

    Time time time,, don't rush it, sand and feel, sand and
    feel!! When you have it close, but still rough, 80 is the
    best to start with, it can't do much damage, lay on a
    light coat of primer and go over it again lightly and the
    low spots will show up like a neon sign!

    Do not stop the sander in one spot, keep it moving! Long
    slow sweeps!
     
  3. mango madness
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    mango madness Junior Member

  4. naturewaterboy
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    naturewaterboy Steel Drum Tuner

    thanks for the tool tips. My deck does have curvature in one direction - would I need a flexible board to do this? For a rigid 30" board, would a stip of plywood with some handles glued on - then glue the sandpaper on (rubber cement - temporary) work also? I don't mind spending $50 + the hook and loop paper if it is really an advantage.
     
  5. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Having suffered through similar, I recommend microlight and long-boarding prior to a final 10 oz glassing. Difficult to tell from factory if done well.
    No special power tools required now that the grinding's done. Once long-boarded and glassed, fill the weave completely with epoxy and wet-sand to whatever grit the primer manufacturer recommends.

    Alan
     
  6. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    The homemade board is fine, the difference is the speed of
    changing the paper and you will be changing paper a lot!
    Buy a good grade of paper, it will be cheaper in the long
    run. Some wood clamps at the ends might be a thought?
    Make sure the bottom is smooth, no screw head sticking
    out!

    Another thought, make the board from Masonite and you
    can use the selfstick paper.
     
  7. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    if you make your own board,, and use glue,,, you wont be fairing it,,,,you'll be gouging it,,,when you put glue on,, you CAN NOT put it on evenly across the whole paper,, which in turn gives your board high and low spots,,,,,if you make a home made jobbie,, you'll need to put rubber along the bottom for your sticky back paper will stick and come off it.



    :EDIT: ,,, you really shouldnt use a flexi if you havent used 1 before,,,,they are harder to get used to and can cause way more "damage" then a stiff board.
     
  8. mango madness
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    mango madness Junior Member

    I would buy the long board again. You can use it if you fair the hull for topsides repaint. Even if I only used it for the current job, it was still was worth the money, and I was trying to spend as little as possible. I also want to disagree about changing paper alot. I only used two sheets of the purple "3M" 40 grit, and there's still life in the second sheet. If you look at the big repair areas I faired, and how many times I faired them, you'll see that for $5 a sheet, they go a long way. I wouldn't buy the flexible board. Also you receive best results by sanding with the board moving in a diagonal direction. In other words don't sand in the direction of the length of the board.
     
  9. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    actually you get the BEST fairing job by sanding EVERY way except for moving it like you said,, length ways,,but when going in every direction,, your board must be diagonal to the direction you are going.,,and sand paper is good till you get the bumps of (whatever your fairing, filler,glass,paint,,,,) start collecting,,if you sand for 5 minutes straight,, and you look at your paper,, and blow (not air gun blow,, breathe blow) and theres still "crumbles and gunk" left,,,,its time for new paper,,,,them "clumps" will cause gouges too,,,,,,but it really dont matter if your using like 36 grit,,,,it matters once you hit 80 grit.,,,,if you cant afford to do it RIGHT,,,then you gonna HAVE to afford it "down the road".....,,,,,,,,( i'm pretty "anal retentive" bout fairing :p ,, almost as bad as prep'n for paint hehe :D ))
     
  10. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Sanding with a flexible board is all about the right grit. The rougher the grit the better when sanding any paint coverable surface. Even 20 grit, because it's no problem filling scratches with a heavy-bodied primer.
    I don't recommend handles on the board per se, but two flattish blocks (3" x 3" x 1" work fine).
    Sand paper made for stationary belt sanders (4" or 6" x 48) is great. Boards can be masonite available from Home Depot et al in 2 x 4 sheets--- 1/4" does most deck crowns.
    Adhesive can be polyurethane available in caulking tubes for decking (liquid nails), allow to dry overnight. Wrap around the ends and glue the wraparounds too. My advice is make up several at once and toss when used up. The materials cost zip anyway, and if your any kind of carpenter it takes hardly more time to make three or four than make one.
    Two men can really get a lot done by working together from opposite sides. I suggest a figure eight motion (with the board staying oriented the same compass direction)----------- anything but straight across in one place.
    As said, it's one grit, a real BIG grit, and then fill the scratches for paint. Never sand more than once with the board, and again after primer if painting. It's a complete waste of time, energy, and paper.

    Alan
     
  11. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    GREAT way of saying it!! thanks Alan.,,,,,, my teach usta say,,,, if you have to fair it twice,,, you didnt do it right the first time. ,,,, theres a couple boats that when brought for paint had to be long boarded before paint,,,man did they pay hehe :D
     
  12. naturewaterboy
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    naturewaterboy Steel Drum Tuner

    Appreciate all the info... I think I got it - I'll get a store bought board and some 40 grit or coarser to start with. What grits do I need and how many sheets of each?

    I've got about 60 square feet to finish. three big patches, and about 12 areas that are 5 in. by 12 in.
     
  13. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    One grit. Unless you're a glutton for punishment, the initial long-boarding on a surface to be painted is the only one.
    For example, a peanut buttery consistency of microlight in epoxy can be scraped onto the surface, filling every scratch at once. Afterwards, sand with say a random orbit with whatever grit makes it smooth (try 150).
    Only on varnished wood is it necessary to "go through the grits" , and even then, once levelled with a long board, random orbitting is fine.

    Alan
     
  14. naturewaterboy
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    naturewaterboy Steel Drum Tuner

    Do I need a 30" longboard? I was going to order one, but then I can't find coarse paper (36-40 grit) for this without buying 10 sheets ($55) - do I need this many sheets? I do have a lot of surface to do - one area 8ft x 3 ft, one area 8ft x 2ft - plus some other smaller areas. Do I need a 17" longboard also?
     

  15. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    DEpends on radious but 30" is a good length for decks, hulls, and such curves---- IF the board has the right bend.
    Honestly, it's easier to make a board than to buy one. The sandpaper can be purchased from your local tool rental cente.
    That 30" board could be made from 1/4" masonite (Home Depot). Use contact cement to adhere the sandpaper to the board. First glue and screw a couple of blocks of wood to the top of the board a few inches from the ends (pieces of 2x4 about 3" long are fine).
    Save your hard-earned money!

    Alan
     
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