First ever lam job questions and/or concerns (butchered)

I have a thread documenting the whole process of my second board, (here: http://www2.swaylocks.com/forums/board-2-here-i-go-again) but I figured I would get more specific responses if I made a thread specifically for my lamination, which is my first ever.

Copied from my other thread:

Just finished my first ever lam job about an hour and a half ago.  One layer of 6 oz E cloth on the bottom with Greenroom epoxy resin.  Let me tell you, when I was pouring that stuff out (dripping down the sides and all, great) my heart was thumping like it does when you see the forecast for big swell.

Well, first off, getting a decent digital scale made measuring out the resin amounts much less stressful, and I was also reassured that the ratios would be pretty much perfect.  The ratio was 44 parts of hardener for every 100 parts of resin.  I mixed about 28 oz of this stuff but realized soon after lamming that I could have gone without a lot of it, but I didn't end up wasting too much.

The odd thing was that once I got the resin mixed out onto the board, I had a sense of calm and peace seeing my board come to life and the beautiful sound of squeegeeing resin into fiberglass.  This was almost a bad thing because I took waaay to long on the flats and by the time I finally saturated the rails and was about to wrap them, the resin began to thicken, which makes wrapping the rails much more difficult.  This was about 10 minutes since poring the resin out.  By 20 minutes, any screw-ups had to be left as is.  If i tried to fix it no doubt I would have screwed it up more.  Taking the advice I've read so many times before on swaylock's, I just walked away.

There are small little "zits" visible and I'm hoping it's not a big deal structurally, this is my first glass job, so cosmetics aren't necessarily a huge biggie to me, I just don't want my board to delam in a week.  I did put in  huge effort to keep the board clean, by wearing gloves while handling the board. I haven't touched it bare handed in a day before glassing.

So as I post these pictures I ask my thread followers (thank you for fueling my need for attention) are these blemishes (?) a big deal?  There are also a few wrinkles are something that scream delam!  I think I sanded the blank  too smooth (220 grit). I've read that guys finish at 80 grit to achieve a good physical bond with the blank, my bad. This is a huge learning experience for me and I beleive my deck lam to be at least 3 times as good as this lam, not to be cocky or anything.

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That is a very generous offer and a testament to this website. What a great resource. After all the years of running into all the Rat @#$%s in the business it is nice to see the good folks here create a community, ( even if it is online ). These are the guys I want to surf with.

Meant to mention also that you could paint the deck after the board is sanded and fade the paint down onto the rails  thereby covering the laps.  Then clearcoat the board with Krylon or some other clear sealer that is compatible with the paint you used.  Although a stomp pad and wax will minimise the laps.  If you have to do any patching on the rails do as John prescribed.  I've never had real good luck with syringes though.  Sometimes its better to just cut out the mistake and patch with a piece of glass.

Thanks for your kind words, I keep in mind that  this is my very first glass job so my screw ups don’t knock me down too much, of course, you guys here on Swaylocks have been helping me out the most!.

And yeah, I pulled the tape, somehow, that step stuck out to me even though I don’t remember where I read it. The only thing I forgot to do with the hotcoat was to get any loose hairs out of the brushes (almost messed up the nose area).

 

Jimmy Keith at GR does all his finboxes post lam and he told me bring it in after I hotcoat top, not bottom.  Getting futures.

When you do a lam coat there really shouldn’t be pooling or puddles of resin. The weave should be quite obvious all over. Your first pic displays a lot of excess resin due to the amount of light that’s reflected uniformly off the board. A proper lamination is achieved when you use just enough resin to wet the glass thoroughly, with no excess to speak of.

 

So I ended up with too much resin the the board?  I think that’s probably why there are a lot of zits too… for some reason that didn’t occur to me until you mentioned that, thanks.

Will I have a lot of sanding to do then where the puddles are?

zits are usually the result of dust and such landing in the resin while it’s soft.  The main problem with a lam that’s too wet is poor impact resistance. Resin to glass ratio affects weight and brittleness.

Ok, thanks for the reply… I guess it’s better to learn sooner than later!  Is there anything I should do about the pooled resin on the lam before I hotcoat it?

For a first time job I'd say you did pretty good.  Just stick to your game plan.  No need for 'Plan B.' 

A hobbyist on his first (and second and third) attempt should expect a few bugaboos.

 

 

Thanks for your replys, on to the deck!

be careful Wbarrel... i made the same mistake (among others) on my first lam job...

on the second one, i decided i'd be all pro and pull the lam really tight... after i had done the rails, i looked back at the flats and there were air pockets all over... too late to fix anything as it was already gelling. i thought i had contamination but, after i posted pictures in a thread, i learned that i had pulled too much resin out of the lam... i guess it's a balance thing. i'm looking forward to lamming the board that i'm shaping right now so i can apply what i've learned and hopefully it will get better.

yours looks really good. much better than my first... i'm looking forward to seeing the finished product...

28 oz sounds like a whole lot of epoxy for one layer of 6oz on a shortboard.  I would have thought about 9 to 12 oz would be plenty.

What I do is pour the epoxy down the center of the board.  Start spreading it out towards the rails.  Then when you get pools near the rail, flip the glass hanging over the rail onto the pools to saturate the rail glass.  Then flip it back down and lap.  Pull out all excess.

 

You should be able to do the hot coat with 6 oz, 9 if you want to be safe.

 

(I’m assuming you’re using epoxy)

 

Shape looks really nice.

Can you elaborate on flipping the rail glass over to saturate it? Do you use a brush to do that?  I don’t really understand it.  And yeah, I ended up with a lot of extra epoxy in my pot too.  My deck side I used about the same amount as on the bottom, since it was double 4 oz, there was less waste. BUT…

 

 but I’ve screwed up and have to start over…

Like an idiot, I thought my laps (which were horrible) didn’t need to be sanded very much.  WRONG.  They prevented the deck lam from bonding to the foam where the bottom lap ends resulting in soft spots in the glass around the perimeter of the whole lap line. Of course, If I were to use this board, it would probably delam within a day or two.  I figure I’ll cut my losses while I still have enough resin to laminate another board and start over (the resin cost the most).  Both containers of resin and hardener are at least 2 thirds full after my wasteful lams, so that should be plenty for lightly less wasteful lams and a hotcoat on another board.

 

The root cause of this problem was that I spent too much time on the flats in the bottom lam making wrapping the rails very difficult and rushed since I felt the resin start to thicken.  This resulted in a bumpy mess… which I neglected to sand down, thinking the overlaps would fix it.  Dang, why would I think that!?

So anyways, I’m just gonna buy another blank and some cloth (no more than 100 dollars), and start over.  I’ve learned too much to give up and let a glasser do it.  If I can make a surfable board next time, fisheyes and all, I’ll be happy.

Since we are on this topic, how do you get the resin to saturate the rails evenly? It seems that no matter what I do there is still an area usually right on the rail where the resin pooled up and made a shiney area.  Is it just a matter of getting everything done fast enough and giving yourself enough time to go back and remove excess resin?

 

Thanks for the advice, I learned a bunch. i’ll be sure to post my successful glass job.

 

Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to post more pics for your entertainment.  Probably wont get started till tomorrow though since today’s Father’s day… by the way, I’m sure a lot of you are fathers, so happy fathers day everyone!

too bad,... you might be able to fix it tho...

I’m afraid if I try to fix it, it’ll just end up being worse off.  There are so many small spots that need attention, it’ll be like spilling salt and trying to pick up each grain one at a time by hand.  In the end, I still have enough resin to glass another board, so I might as well start over, plus there some stuff in my shape that I wanted to improve on.  

    Howzit wbarrel, No one gets it perfect on their first glassing job and it takes time and x amount of boards to get it right and some never get it right. Don't give up on the board because you have more steps to complete and might make more mistakes. That way you willlearn from the mistakes on this board and apply what you learned on the next board and who knows it might delam or not but you should finish it and ride it since it is your first self made board and giving up makes it a real failure on your part. Aloha,Kokua

I've built and glassed 4 boards so far, and I wanted to abandon each and every one at some point, due to feeling that I screwed it up, but every one turned out decent and rideable and I'm glad I saw each one through.  I think an important part of the learning process is learning to fix mistakes, and (like in life in general), learning to live with imperfections.

Hey guys, I woke up, and felt those soft spots, and they feel real firm, if it wasn’t for the bumps you probably wouldn’t notice them.  I wasn’t really sure how bad of a screw up it was.  And now they don’t feel as bad as they did.  So should I just sand the laps and do a hotcoat? 

Barrel, YES to your question. Don’t abandon this board. You need to see it through to add to the learning process. This didn’t turn out as bad a you may feel, especially for the first time. Consider this to be a very valuable lesson that came fairly cheaply. Any craftsman will tell you that perfection is a goal but not a reality. The best ones are the ones that can cover their mistakes with little notice to the eye. With each following step, you can clean up your board and no one will be the wiser. It’s worth the effort.