View Full Version : Bungs and epoxy.

Ian Wright
07-03-2001, 07:48 AM
A couple of the plugs in the teak deck on Patience needed renewing last weekend.
I ended up replacing 23. As often happens once you start a job it just grows.
The plugs/bungs had been originally set in epoxy so, naturally, each screw was a B******d to remove and the job took all day. However the point of this note was that those plugs set in epoxy the ‘glue’ had either failed or was in the act of failing. those bungs set in recorsinol are fine. The boat (and deck) were built by students in 1990. Conclusion:- epoxy on deck only lasts 10 years.


07-03-2001, 02:24 PM
Curious. I wonder if it had anything to do with the oils in the teak.

Hector MN
07-03-2001, 02:52 PM
Hello Ian

I'm about to put in some bungs into fresh holes in the (pine) hull above the water-line. I had to sister in a few frames. I'm intending to use 3M 5200. Any thoughts? Also, on repairs below the waterline, I've been using Sikaflex instead of a wooden bung to fill holes. Do you have any advice on either of these?


07-03-2001, 03:41 PM
When are you guys going to learn, or at least read the fine print. Epoxy is NOT waterproof. Resorcinol IS waterproof. Hector, loose G%# D*!N 5200. Get yourself some acceptable glue to install your bungs with. Hell, set them in varnish, weldwood yellow glue, gorilla glue, resorcinol, epoxy or even dog snot. Just don't do it with 5200. Or we'll have to send a posse out after ya.

Ian Wright
07-03-2001, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by RGM:
When are you guys going to learn.

What you said,,,,,,,
Problem with Patience is that she was built over three years by student boat builders, about 120 of them, and they and their instructors had many opinions. My own opinion fwiw is that epoxy is fine for quite a few jobs as long as it's protected with paint,,,,, but still I will reach for the better gloop for any *particular* job,,,, and once again state that a nasty version of Hell awaits any boat builder who lets epoxy anywhere near a woodscrew that might need to be shifted,,,,even twenty years later.
Oh yes,,,I put the new bungs in with Balcotan,,,,,didn't have any resorcinol handy.


07-03-2001, 05:44 PM
I think we are back to the 'movement' problem with epoxy - it doesn't like it - it is too brittle. Also, with plugs, you are tending to be gluing end grain - always a weaker joint as it is easily starved of glue. And epoxy hates the sun unless a UV additive [carbon] is used. Mind you, resorcinal glue isn't exactly flexy. I use polyeurethane mastic a lot (Sikaflex and cheaper varieties) for low strength glue jobs and Balcotan (also a polyeurethane) glue works well and very convenient to use - just squirt onto the job straight out of the mastic gun.
To get fastening out of epoxy - heat with a hot air gun or soldering iron to soften the epoxy - still an awful job even then.

Dave Fleming
07-03-2001, 06:01 PM
From the For What Its Worth Dept..
This May Swimpal and I had occasion to vist Sonoma in the northern California wine country. In the early 1970's we lived there for some time and I built 2 Redwood benches for the Sonoma Cheese Factory.
Used all heart Redwood and SS screws with Redwood plugs/bungs set in Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue.
Here it is approx. 29 years later that those benches are still out there in the weather
year in and year out. Now admittedly this is not Southeastern Alaska or the coast of Maine but, if that Weldwood glue has held up all this time through the seasons in the Sonoma Valley with summers in the 100's peak to winters just about 32 degrees F. and ultra dry to rainy, I see no reason to use anything else. I have used in the yards anything from Resorcinal Resin to Weldwood to the stuff in the painters dump barrel,depending on finish required. Can't recall seeing too many plugs falling out or loosening either.

Damn fingers keep hitting the wrong keys!
Bad fingers, bad,,,,,

[This message has been edited by Dave Fleming (edited 07-03-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Dave Fleming (edited 07-03-2001).]

Ed Harrow
07-03-2001, 06:16 PM
Well, being in the process of removing something over 150 bungs these last few days I can state that those stuck in with traditional type things came out quite readily (but not TOO readily). Those stuck in with various space-age elixers were far more of a challenge. The good news was that the epoxy on top of the screw was pretty brittle and eventually yielded to my continued assaults with an awl and plastic mallet.

Ross Faneuf
07-04-2001, 02:07 PM
I haven't noticed any problems with the bungs I've set with epoxy; I hope I have no problems, I've set maybe 6 million of the little buggers. All are protected with more epoxy, paint, or varnish or some combination.

The way I clear epoxy out of screws (particularly Frearson/Phillips) is that I have a sacrificial phillips head screwdriver. I heat this just shy of glowing with a propane torch, and use it to burn the head clean. Much quicker than torturing the screw with various pointy things.

Scott Rosen
07-10-2001, 12:44 PM
What Ross said. Ian, if I could get ten years of use from a bung on my bare teak deck, I'd be happy. If the bung is covered with paint or varnish, I don't think it much matters what kind of glue you use. That bung will last a good long time.

11-24-2005, 07:11 PM

11-24-2005, 07:37 PM
I've set thousands with Weldwood Plastic resin glue and have had no failures when varnished over on both hulls and deck.

11-28-2005, 03:17 PM
Having maintained a bunged 30' sailboat for 20+ years I would not set the bung with anything more than varnish or paint. Anything else will make removal of the bung or screw more work than necessary.

11-28-2005, 06:33 PM
Last summer I rescrewed, bunged and recaulked my raw teak decks. First redo in 23 years. They had been epoxyed in. I had to use a Forster bit on about 20 of the 2000 plugs. I just wapped each screw with a screwdriver/mallet and turned 'em out. I figured 23 years will be just fine till the next time, so I WestSystemed in the new plugs. Did I mention getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the process? ouch.

Ken Hutchins
11-28-2005, 08:05 PM
A while ago I was in the Herreshoff museum and noticed they were using resorcinol on the bungs for a boat they were restoring, so I thought to meself, 'self, if resorcinol is good enough for this museum that's what I'm a gonna use on my TALLY HO II' so that's what I used. But take note resorcinol is not a gap filler so like any other joint you have to have a good fit between the holes and the bungs (a good fit is also required if you use paint or varnish). Make sloppy fits you got to use epoxy.

11-28-2005, 08:18 PM
I are jus' a pore dude that builds boats the way the deziner said do it.......but my hired help has been Thai...or Vietnamese...or Philippino and do stuff the hard way...no power tulez......and no epoxy in teak..yellow pine or other oily wood. In the few incidents of epoxy on such woods..we washe the crap outta it with acetone, let dry for a full day , then do it...but no long term gayrunteez........bungs get the acetone treatment and then izz set in varnish