Saturday, 24 April 2010

epoxy coating of first bulkheads

all bulkheads were cut for us at swallow boats in cardigan, a bit less than an hour drive from our shed.
they balance nicely between well thought, modern and cost effective boat building and classic looking boats made for sailing.

had them cut by a cnc router saved a lot of time and we now have really precise cut bulkheads. all it needed was cleaning up the slightly rough edges and figuring out how the finger joints in the bigger bulkheads would slide together. ..
I hope we can trust the computers who did a lot of work for us and everything is fair and in the right place when the bulkheads are set up...

on the three bulkheads you can see on the picture above. i tried out an epoxy system commonly used in surfboard building called resin research and is distributed in the uk by seabase in cornwall. according to their website, the resin has:

· lower toxicity
· lower exotherm
· longer pot file
· shorter set times
· lower vapour
· better colour
· better colour stability (UV stability for brightwork)
· better strength
· etc.

we still had some leftovers of the widely used and time proven west system resin. so i made a mix of WS as well to compare it with the RR resin.
i was interested in ease to work, gelling time, pot life, efficiency, etc.

when we have used the resin a bit more, i will post more details on our experiences.
so far i can say that the RR resin is a bit more viscous compared to west system what made it easier to use it with a roller sponge and gave a better finish. it is clearer in colour and doesn't seem to give out a lot of vapours so its smell is much less aggressive than WS epoxy. the RR epoxy had a shorted gelling time than the WS but had a longer pot life and was less exothermic when going of in the mixing cup. it must be said though, that we used the slow hardener on WS and the standard hardener on RR.


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