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Fillets

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
69
Tallahassee Florida
It has been years since I have done fillets so I was reading a little as a refresher. I saw suggestions here that were very different from what I remember. I saw a suggestion of using masking tape, then applying epoxy with a syringe, then forming the fillet with a credit card before allowing the epoxy to set and sanding before applying tape if I understood correctly.

My approach in the past has varied, but was never that precise. In the beginning I tried applying the way they show in the CLC videos where John just plops big globs on and goes at them with a plastic card squeegee. Also like John does I put the seam tape on while the fillet is still wet and wet the tape out with resin at that time as well.

I graduated to using a pastry bag and applied the thickened epoxy like a cake decorator. You can buy big rolls of disposable bags (even the disposable ones can be reused a few times). I use them without any tip and just cut the end off for the size hole I want. I still applied the seam tape over wet fillets after hitting them with a card squeegee. That seemed to work pretty well.

I am curious what others are doing or have done.

Also I am curious what folks prefer to use for thickener. Wood flour? Something else? I can probably get decent wood flour from my DC system if I harvest it after a long run of usage of my thickness sander with fine grit. If I am buying filler I may go with something fancier. I remember using something that was called micro balloons and finding it really nice to work with. I am not sure which west systems product that equates to (probably 407?), but I see others sell it as micro balloons.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
447
18
78
Central Kansas and Central Texas
Pete,
I often mask each side of the fillet, just to make clean up easier and also makes a defined edg. Some times you have to smooth the edge where the tape was. The tape MUST come off before the epoxy is hard cured, usually about 5 hours at 70 degrees. Keep in mind I dont use taped seams but use the larger complete glassing to secure the joint. I add about one tenth part cabosil ( fumed silica) to wood flour. I buy the flour from raka. I found it is inexpesive and works better than collecting saw dust and running it through a coffee grinder like I used to do. The combination seems to spread easier.
I have used both small ziplocks and syringes. I think I favor the syringe, now that I mastered filling and cleaning. You need to be inovative making a funnel, I use pointed water cups and cut off the point. For cleanup laquer thinner and a small ziplock or something similar to clean the catheter end.
I have some pics here in the pirogue section. Unfortunetly the pics on one post are gone. I think the are still up at JEM water craft.
Hope this helps somee , check out the pictures in the post.
Andy
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
69
Tallahassee Florida
Pete,
I often mask each side of the fillet, just to make clean up easier and also makes a defined edg. Some times you have to smooth the edge where the tape was. The tape MUST come off before the epoxy is hard cured, usually about 5 hours at 70 degrees. Keep in mind I dont use taped seams but use the larger complete glassing to secure the joint. I add about one tenth part cabosil ( fumed silica) to wood flour. I buy the flour from raka. I found it is inexpesive and works better than collecting saw dust and running it through a coffee grinder like I used to do. The combination seems to spread easier.
I have used both small ziplocks and syringes. I think I favor the syringe, now that I mastered filling and cleaning. You need to be inovative making a funnel, I use pointed water cups and cut off the point. For cleanup laquer thinner and a small ziplock or something similar to clean the catheter end.
I have some pics here in the pirogue section. Unfortunetly the pics on one post are gone. I think the are still up at JEM water craft.
Hope this helps somee , check out the pictures in the post.
Andy
Thanks for the clarifications. One key point that I missed was that you weren't taping the seams.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,288
96
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I would epoxy each side of the seam out about 1 1/2 inches from the center. This is where I would later put the tape which was 1/4 to 3/8 inches from the center of the seam.
The epoxy sealed the wood so the tape sticks better and did not pull any wood up with it when removed. I also went is after the epoxy cured and lightly sanded the area. The epoxy fills the wood fibers and some of them raise up making what I called wood whiskers.
I'd put the tape down , fillet the area over the seam and between to two strips of tape. When the fillet started to set up I would pull the tape leaving an nice uniformed fillet over where the seam is.

Here is a small picture from Jem Watercrafts web site of the Swamp Girl I made.