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Toddbrown
01-18-2012, 02:12 PM
Hello!

I am just starting the building process and I feel that I do not want to paint my canoe but rather just epoxy it. This way, the natural wood can be seen. What would the best epxoy and process be?
Should I glass the bottom?

Thanks!

Tim Marchetti
01-18-2012, 02:33 PM
do mean newt?

http://jordanwoodboats.com/images/CAT94530t.jpg (http://forum.woodenboat.com/Newt.htm)

Toddbrown
01-18-2012, 03:24 PM
oops! Yes, that is correct1 :)

Tom Robb
01-18-2012, 03:58 PM
You can varnish it but varnish is more work to maintain.

Toddbrown
01-18-2012, 04:36 PM
So would you first epoxy the boat then apply varnish to it?

David G
01-18-2012, 04:44 PM
Todd,

In general terms - 'best practice' is always to address your building questions to the designer first. No one is in a better position to guide you.

Specific to your questions - glass or not... it depends. Where will it be stored? Where will it by drug up on shore in use: muddy grassy banks; sandy gravelly oyster beds?

If you want it finished bright - meaning clear, not painted - then varnish is your product. You can epoxy first, or not, but epoxy alone will degrade with exposure to UV (sunlight).

I have the vague impression that this is a first build for you, or one of the first. If so - I'd offer the comment that paint will hide a multitude of fabrication sins. Varnish will magnify them.

Toddbrown
01-18-2012, 06:02 PM
yeah, it's my first in along time. Yes, I did go that designer route and he said it shouldn't matter if i paint or go clear. He could not comment on epoxies to use since he has not used epxoy in years. He just said to be careful of the fumes. I just though someone here might have spent some time with epoxies on marine ply solo canoes. Thanks for your help!

David G
01-18-2012, 08:02 PM
Lots of brands of epoxy are perfectly suitable for boatbuilding: West System; RAKA; MarineEpoxy; Maas; System3; etc.

DGentry
01-18-2012, 09:28 PM
As David G says, most any brand is suitable.
But, epoxy is glue, not varnish. You can certainly spend the time, money and - most of all - effort, coating your boat in epoxy (and then sanding and sanding and sanding), but . . . why?? You'd have to varnish it anyway. So, just varnish it and skip all that other mess.

Good luck!

Toddbrown
01-19-2012, 02:56 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I think I am going to just paint the outside at this point. Just need to research and figure out the best method. Thanks again!

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-21-2012, 05:48 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I think I am going to just paint the outside at this point. Just need to research and figure out the best method. Thanks again!

If your boat is plywood and all surfaces can be encapsulated you can seal the wood with epoxy and benefit from it's ability to seal wood like no paint can. The trick is you have to seal everything. If there is bare wood where water can intrude the water can be trapped by an epoxy coating. If you do all surfaces and edges epoxy encapsulation works great. It's the best primer there is.
Because epoxy is affected by solar radiation it has to be coated with paint or exterior varnish/urethane to ward off UV rays.
Also, there are no noticeable fumes given off by epoxy. Altho' it is an excellent glue it hardens by a molecular reaction not by emitting a solvent. I wouldn't use it in my living quarters but I use it the basement all the time.

DGentry
01-21-2012, 09:32 PM
Is it still the best primer if one were to factor in cost and labor? That seems subjective.

And it should be said that "noticeable fumes" are not in any way a necessary characteristic of hazard. For instance, there are no noticeable indications of carbon monoxide buildup - but it will still kill you.

In any case, every MSDS on epoxy products is very similar (this one taken from MASepoxies.com, for epoxy hardener):
Chronic effects - Skin sensitization
Inhalation - May cause an allergic reaction and irritation of the breathing passages
Ventilation - Use and store only with adequate ventilation or use respiratory protection

Apparently, once one has developed an epoxy sensitivity, one is done using it ever again.


Good luck with your paint job, Todd (there are some good tips here: http://www.clcboats.com/shoptips/finishing-tips/ ), and be sure to post some pics!