View Full Version : Brightwork gap fillers

Scott Silaika
07-18-2001, 10:09 AM
Perhaps this is one of the few areas where standards are well known but I could not locate an answer in the archive...

The seams on the cabin sides of my CC enclosed cruiser (1940, 25') have started to open up (1/8") along the 'S' grooved joint and allowed water to enter and pop the varnish from underneath. A few butt joints also suffer this condition. I want to keep the sides bright and wonder what to do. Can I use mahogany 5200 to seal the joint and varnish over that? Would wood filler, stained, be better? This is not a showroom restoration but I want it to look nice, at least from far away! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/confused.gif

http://www.faybowen.com, http://members.localnet.com/~scsilico/scott.htm

07-18-2001, 10:58 AM
Scott,have you detirmined why after all these years the seams are beginning to open?
I can think of several options for repair(re-glueing,inlay,filler,etc.),but would begin by figureing out if the wood is separating due to some structural problem.
Seam openings do happen to old woodies and not always due to bad deeper problems.but it's worth a look.
Ps,after looking at your great site(nice work)it appears that the separation may be due to the simple fact that your chris.has been out of the marine environ.for some time.If that is true,you may have to look forward to varnishing "as is" and wait for things to close up after launching.

[This message has been edited by dasboat (edited 07-18-2001).]

Scott Silaika
07-18-2001, 11:15 AM
The cabin sides are made of wide planks with a slight bend. Some of the screws were loose at the top corners and she really opened up at those spots, about 1/2". I tightened that up with 7' pipe clamps. The best way to see the problem is to look at the following picture:


The wood is pretty dry also, out of the water for the last decade...

07-18-2001, 11:21 AM
As dasboat suggests, investigate possible structural problems. After putting that to rest, fab and install some inlayed strips into your gaps (match the wood best you can). Prep the gaps well, shoot 'em with a router and small straight bit if need be (don't attempt to free hand it). Following the installation, if the inlayed strips are to disturbing to the eye, and they probably will be, fab and fasten some small battens (match the wood, stain to match your house sides if necessary) bridging over your inlays. Fasten and glue the battens on the uphill side only (allows for movement, seals out water), don't fasten the battens on both sides of the original house joint. If you're not going for the "showroom" or boatshow restoration then you may find the "batten hiding the sins" technique acceptable. Keep the battens small enough to be acceptable to the eye but large enough to be able to accept small screws (bronze) and bungs. Good luck.