Originally Posted by kevin61
In your boat building are you planning to use any foam/resin/fibreglass composites for the construction of walls, cabinets etc? I'm presently experimenting with materials I can purchase locally, Polyester Resin, Polyisocyanurate foam board, and Fibreglass cloth. (video to follow) It seems Epoxy Resins in conjuction with a compatible foam and fibreglass cloth would be a stronger and less smelly alternative but the cost of the resin locally is prohibitive. If you have any experience with these techniques I'd appreciate hearing about them.
Kevin, I use epoxy for all my repair work. It is stronger, and not terribly expensive unless the jobs are very big. Even on big jobs, my feeling is that it is smart to chose epoxy for the strength--albeit it is slightly heavier.
Funny you should mention cabinets. It seems that plywood does not hold up well on boats. It can be skinned with veneer to look attractive, but my feeling is water will get in, so I'm leaning toward building cabinets out of figerglass. I have a few designed already. I have a supplier that will make panels for me, any spec I want. the other option, making your own is not a bad one considering the loads will be light
. So I'm debating doing that as well.
I've used mostly balsa core material, but I plan to switch to high density foam for core material in the future. Each have advantages. Balsa bonds better. Foam good too. My friend uses foam and his work came out very well. so I now lean towards foam. I would rout out any exposed edges and fill will a mixture of glass fibers and epoxy. I use West Systems for most epoxy, and 403 for filler. I use thinner epoxy for thicker material like "Stitched Mat" which I get from Merton's in Massachusetts. Price out what you need with Joe Merton and let me know how that compares with local prices. I buy a lot of stuff from him.
You always want random mat on the outside, fiberglass cloth on the inside. The random mat does not as much strength if you sand it down, while the cloth will. For carbon fiber work, there is a material called "veil" which is very thin for the same purpose.
You can save on epoxy by using vacuum bagging. Your shop vac can be made to work. It sucks the resin though and puts pressure evenly everywhere. Still it is hard to estimate sometimes. When i do small repairs I mix up smaller batches and even then there is waste. I try to have secondary jobs, like fairing something smooth ready for the excess. I'll do my repair and quickly mix in the light weight
filler, and then use the rest to fair another area smooth. Anything left over goes on my outdoor work bench, which is now totally waterproof but weighs a lot.
I'm a huge fan of carbon fiber and would like to build a camper out of it. It cost 2.5 times as much but is half the weight
If you would like to chat some. PM me and we can trade tips. If I get up that way, I'd like to stop by for a visit. You do great work. Keep up the videos. You inspire people to try new things.