First time fin install and glassing

So im glassing a 6’6 PU shortboard for my first one, ive gone through the archives, and ive watched the Master Glassing DVD. Ive still got a couple of questions though…

  1. Im going for the thruster fin set up, 3.5" up from the tail for the centre, 11" up for the sides with 1/4" toe in. The board probably wont get used much in anything over 4 foot, are these measurements about right?

  2. Im putting FCS Fusion in pre-glass, how do i get the jigs to stick to the bottom without slipping on the foam?

  3. How much resin will i need per side for lam or hot coats for my first time? Im going to mix the resin with 1% catalyst for the lam, but how much
    wax in styrene should i add for the hot coat, and how much catalyst?

  4. Do i need to gloss coat? I prefer the matt finish, can i get that from the hot coat or do i just put a gloss coat on and sand it to 320 grit?

Thanks for your help, ill get pictures up after its done

fin placement is your preference.

the best way to keep the jig from moving/sliding is to put that rubber “no slip” stuff on the bottom (get it at k mart or something- its used to keep floor rugs from sliding around on bare floors.). just a warning (and this is just my opinion) the fcs fussion system is harder to install and harder to laminate than other systems- ie. no air bubbles around the oddly shaped boxes.

how much resin also depends on your glass schedule. 6 oz. 4 oz.? a rough estimate is about a quart per side (lam), a little more for the deck, and about a pint hotcoat. just a splash (very scientific measuring system) of surf agent- its better to have a little more than a little less (too much and it wont go off though).

no need for a gloss just make sure you paste/backfill the rails so you dont hit the cloth in that sensitive area

You can also laminate your board and then route the holes letting you put a litle downward pressure with your other hand while cutting. Especially, when you cut through the stringer. Mike

So i had an absolute shocker with the bottom lam coat. I mixed the resin and MEKP, 1.1 litres of resin, with 12mL of MEKP. Both measured very accurately. When i was working the resin into the cloth, it started to gel after about 10 minutes from when i added the MEKP, the flat section of the bottom was fine, but i didnt get to work any into the rails or laps. Is there anything i can do to salvage the blank?

you should have used UV cure and here’s why: no mixing. never too much resin, just leave the extra in a covered container, in the shade, until the next lam. Never goes off too fast on you. Sets immediately when you want it, and not until. Cures faster than catalyzed resin, faster turnaround times. more…

Seriously, I don’t know WHY a beginner would use anything else.

Before I got into UV, I found that 0.75 percent catalyst to resin, working in mid-70 to mid-80 degrees Fahrenheit, gave me 20 minutes to lam the board. I marked off cup measures on the sides of my resin pot, and used a syringe to measure catalyst. Doing so took a LOT of the uncertainty out of the whole experience.

Now, it’s not every beginner that can lam a board in 20 minutes, but on a six footer, single lam, you should be okay. I would suggest you don’t do two layers at once for a while. Maybe a partial second layer, like a deck patch, okay.

Your position now is just to mix a small batch and salvage the job to the extent possible. After you hot coat, you’ll have a lot of grinding to do. I can see that will be a problem too because you are, again, inexperienced. GET SOMEONE EXPERIENCED TO HELP YOU. Inattention and inexperience during hot coat sanding can easily quickly and rapidly destroy a board. Get, and use, a soft pad and low-speed grinder, suggest well under 3,000 rpm using a 9-inch pad.

WATCHING VIDEOS WILL NOT TRAIN YOU, it just shows how someone else did it, useful but absolutely not the same as moving your own tools and hands.

USE UV CURE RESIN until you are quick and agile enough to handle the limited cure time of catalyzed resin. When you go back to catalyzed resin, if you ever do, measure carefully and KEEP RECORDS of how much resin and how much catalyst you mixed for a board of a particular size. Keep that size/resin/catalyst chart on the wall of your glassing area and READ IT.

Yep, i wanted to use UV cure, but I dont have a garage or anywhere indoors that i can glass it, so i used catalysed resin. Can i cut the glass back to the flats of the bottom and then do another layer of glass over the whole bottom, or is it better to make the laps for the top layer longer and then overlap the bottom? Or should i just junk it, chalk it up to experience and start again? Thanks for your help

no place to use it? ya got friends or neighbors?

Whether you cut back the glass depends on its current condition. If it’s clean, I’d relaminate it. If it’s partially wetted and can’t be wetted out and laid flat on the blank, cut it off.

i have always lapped my rails, I come from the mind set that a good board is durable.

Whether to junk it depends on your available level of effort to make it right. Either way, it’s a learning experience.

Make a chart for catalyst use. Mine has rows labeled 1 cup, 2, 3, four cups (four cups will lam a 10 footer single six ounce with very little left over). Columns are labeled 0.5% catalyst, 0.75% and 1%. I never used the 1%. 0.5% for very warm days.

Don’t glass in sunlight if you can possibly help it. You’ll have to use a very small amount of catalyst and mix very well, even then you may be susceptible to weak/undercatalyzed areas. Recommend full shade like a garage with the door open.

Always use a well-fitting respirator with activated charcoal filter(s).

I long ago discovered disposable gloves are a great way to minimize cleanup and keep resin off your hands, and they’re cheap too compared to the mess you’ll make cleaning your hands with acetone, not to mention the health risks of that stuff.

Get a friend (preferably with experience) to stand by when you glass. That way you’ll have an extra set of hands (in gloves, please) when or if you need them, and some useful advice.

I think the glassing vids show you what to do, but they don’t tell you what NOT to do. A weakness, methinks.

I found this glassing schedule, ive printed it out and converted it to the units i use…

Im going to cut back as much as i can, then relaminate it and try and save it. Thanks for your help mate

I’ve also laminated only one board to date. I know its too late at this stage but next time maybe try epoxy instead of polyester resin. Some would say its harder to work with but i found that it gave me plenty of time to saturate all the cloth and laps. I think depending on the region and geography some manufacturers supply different “part B” (the equivalent of MEKP with poly), there is slow, medium and fast. I had the fast part B, prob due to where I live (relativly cold all year around), and it took nearly 30 mins before i noteiced that the epoxy was starting to get more viscous and harder to move around.
Ofcourse the next day it turned out sh*t, huge air bubbles, all over the place (due to v. high humidity as i found out later). But i did the deck on a dryer warmer day and it turned out better.

Good luck with your salvage op. :slight_smile:

When putting on lam coat over fin boxes first wet out the football patches very well

then roll on the rest of the glass over 

be careful and fully work out any trapped air around the fin boxes.

I learned the hard way

On the lamination snafu... carefully trim off any overhang that is not attached or that has bubbles underneath.  Use a clean razorblade.  Get one of those curved tooth Vixen files and cleaning up the ragged edges should be pretty easy.  I use one for cleaning up freelaps and mine are usually a mess.  I also have a 3" coarse disc Twist-Loc sanding disc for clean up. 

Once you've feathered out the rough stuff laminating the second side should be OK.  Use less catalayst and remember that the charts are for reference only... temperatures affect cure rate dramtically. 

If you're glassing clear, it likely won't be obvious that there was ever a problem.  Some guys glass the first side with no overlap on purpose.