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Thread: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

  1. #1
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    Default Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I am building a canoe side-by-side with a friend who is also building one. We will be glassing soon, and it is just about time to buy the fiberglass/epoxy. I have been set on buying west system epoxy (105 and 207) as discussed in Canoecraft and a lot of instructional videos I have watched, and ordering the fiberglass from Bear Mountain Boats, as I know it is compatible with west system, and comes rolled and free of wrinkles. My friend has just found stuff called "Fantasycart Fiberglass cloth, 6.48oz at 59"x50' for significantly less money, and recommended to be used with total boat epoxy which is also cheaper. I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" but I figured it's worth asking the people who have been doing this a long time if performance is comparable.
    Have any of you used either (or any others)? I live in North Carolina, about 1/2 mile from the ocean, so it is warm and humid. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    "About Us
    We are manufaturing of vidieo game toys and costumes.Now we are expending our business to Auto parts, Outdoor Sports, Home and Office Suppliers."

    Don't know.....but it's a rather strange source for boatbuilding supplies. It reads like they're probably originally from somewhere in the Orient.

    http://www.fantasycart.net/industrial---scientific.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Haha good catch. I was skeptical when I saw their prices anyway. West system it is!

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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    There are plenty of excellent epoxy brands which are equal to West System and less expensive.

    In no particular order:
    System Three, RAKA, MarinEpoxy (Bateau, Duckworks), U.S. Composites, TotalBoat, MAS, and more I've forgotten
    Last edited by bnaboatbuilder; 03-08-2017 at 09:25 AM.
    - John

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    What do you think about those brands in comparison to west system's 207 special coating hardener though? It boasts a relatively effortless blush-free finish with great clarity etc. I know there are a million variables with glassing. The fact in the matter is that I have never used epoxy or fiberglassed anything, so I want the materials to be the most user-friendly so that I don't ruin my build on this step.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I've used Raka with its 350 non-blushing hardener and the standard 127 resin and have really liked it. It fills fiberglass very well--somewhat lower viscosity than West resin. It really is no-blush, but I still would wipe it down before any finish work.

    I've also used West 207 and it is nice enough too. I seems like it might take slightly more work to fill the weave, but it sets up nice and pretty. I'd be happy using either on any project.

    Some 16 years ago I used System Three because it was available locally. No complaints at all. That was before I heard about "non-blushing" hardeners. You'd just make sure to wipe things down with water after it cured.

    For me, I can pick up West epoxies locally at a higher price but immediate availability. The Raka had an attractive price of something like $170 for three gallons, but shipping was a little slow (around a week).
    Vic Bottomly--Hack of all trades ....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    All the epoxies I mentioned are user friendly. All are used for wetting out glass, even for clear. You'll be just fine using West. But if you don't want to pay their price, multiple other epoxy brands have similar products. System Three has Silvertip, MAS has their Low Viscosity Epoxy Resin, RAKA has equivalent, TotalBoat has their Crystal clear, etc.

    If you have never used epoxy, then a little practice will help more than anything. This PDF is very useful in good clean practices: http://www.ptwatercraft.com/ptwaterc...XY_BASICS.html

    Accurate ratios, good mixing, working clean, all go a long way. You'll only want to mix a certain amount of epoxy at a time and roll/squeegee it down promptly. The brand is less of the equation; the process more so.
    - John

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Is that RAKA compatible with pretty much all cloth? I will probably be buying 6oz cloth from bear mountain boats

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by Garagebuilder View Post
    Is that RAKA compatible with pretty much all cloth? I will probably be buying 6oz cloth from bear mountain boats
    Yes, all fiberglass, maybe not all "cloth". Just call RAKA. I've heard they are very helpful on the phone.
    - John

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    The more research I do on RAKA the more I'd like to give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I've been using the duckworks epoxy lately and recommend it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I was a SysThree fan for years. It is great stuff and tech support is awesome. But is not available locally and shipping makes it spendy.

    A few years back, West System became available locally at internet price with no shipping charge. Been using it since. I really like it and the tech support is awesome with them also.

    I suffered thru the old days of blushing hardeners but now that the non-blushing varieties are availabe, like West 207, I will never go back to blushers.

    I finish my boats bright so the transparency of the fiberglass is important. I bought some glass from Jamestown Distributors and it was a bit too translucent for me. Not sure where these retailers get their glass but I prefer the glass from SysThree for its transparency.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I met the MAS guy in a bar in Anguilla last year.
    He has two SMOKIN hot daughters!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I found a great deal on Raka non-blushing hardener so I'm going to give it a go. I think I'm going to get my glass from Noah's marine. A bit cheaper than bear mountain but I still know it wets out well and finishes transparent. Mo'poxy, can you explain to me how you posted your picture? I've been trying but I think the details are outdated and I can't get it to work.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    As a follow up: where do you all typically get your glass? Good quality/transparency and a good price? I'm not asking for sales-pitches because I know there's a line there somewhere for what's considered advertising and not allowed on the forum; I'm just looking for a few recommendations for quality suppliers with reasonable prices so I don't overpay too much or wind up with translucent glass.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    You might check on this thread, same question.

    http://www.kayakforum.com/cgi-bin/Bu...ass-suppliers/

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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by Garagebuilder View Post
    As a follow up: where do you all typically get your glass? Good quality/transparency and a good price? I'm not asking for sales-pitches because I know there's a line there somewhere for what's considered advertising and not allowed on the forum; I'm just looking for a few recommendations for quality suppliers with reasonable prices so I don't overpay too much or wind up with translucent glass.
    I've been very happy purchasing from: Noah's Marine, Bateau, Duckworks, Hamilton Marine

    Hamilton has $15 off orders and has 60in wide 6oz cloth.
    - John

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Thank you all. For anyone else's information, I have looked up all of the above suggested places and priced out cloth. Though all have decent options, I found the prices at RAKA to be the best, and they have 6oz cloth in 60" widths (which is what I was looking for). Gulfstream Composites also had a good selection at good prices, though I think they are currently having website trouble.
    Thanks again!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Still looking for help posting pictures though...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    DUCKWORKS BBS offers a virtually complete selection of items that would satisfy your needs

    http://duckworksmagazine.com

    look at the left side of their home page for their offerings

    great source for home builders

    their DWX epoxy has UV inhibitors, is quite clear, little/no blushing and is way less toxic than most...

    nice folks, not that many of the others aren't...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by Garagebuilder View Post
    Still looking for help posting pictures though...
    You can't.
    You have to provide a link to a drop box or something f'ed up like that.
    "Search" on the forum, there are lots of member lead tutorials.
    Good luck.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I also have been using Raka, for about 10 years. I have found it to be user friendly and a durable finished material. I do not baby my first paddleboard I build with it, pull it up the beach, tie it off to boulders, and paddle it quickly up onto shore so I can step straight onto land when the water is cold. All that has happened is my paint scratches off, the reinforced epoxy is fine. If you end up buying your resin from Raka I see no reason not to buy the cloth from them as well. As they know that they are compatible. I had the company I work for switch to using fiberglass cloth from Raka for industrial molds we make. It has worked great for that as well.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    NO! DON'T buy that stuff!

    I made the mistake. DON'T BUY FANTASYCRAP FIBERGLASS. The advertisement does not mention the finish, so I emailed them and they responded saying that it has a silane finish. I don't think it does.

    It was very difficult to wet out. It will not produce a clear finish, not even close. We applied it last week on Okoume with MAS epoxy. It was difficult to wet out the cloth. I have used MAS before and it is an excellent resin that wets out as well as any. http://www.oneoceankayaks.com/Epoxtest.htm

    I have used Raka, West, MAS, Epiphanes, Progressive, and several other epoxies and fiberglass from Thayercraft, Aircraft Spruce, the local boat shop and others. None of the resins or cloths purchased from any other source ever gave me any trouble.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Dave,


    Which fantasycrap fiberglass where you talking about - specifically?

    The RAKA in post #22?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    The "FantasyCart" cloth was in the OP. Some stuff out of China, apparently.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I know nothing about the cloth, but I will be going on my third season using total boat epoxy. I have no problems at all with any total boat product.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    The "FantasyCart" cloth was in the OP. Some stuff out of China, apparently.
    I believe he was talking about the stuff I asked about in my original post, which I have since decided not to use. Definitely using resin and glass from Raka for this build.
    Last edited by Garagebuilder; 03-09-2017 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Typo

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I meant to take the quote from post #24

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    My go to suppliers:
    For fibre glass cloth the fiberglass site www.fiberglasssite.com
    For epoxy resin US Composites www.uscomposites.com
    Both companies deliver on service, product, price and quick deliveries.
    I have used Raka, MAS, Total Boat and others without any problems.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by bnaboatbuilder View Post
    There are plenty of excellent epoxy brands which are equal to West System and less expensive.

    In no particular order:
    System Three, RAKA, MarinEpoxy (Bateau, Duckworks), U.S. Composites, TotalBoat, MAS, and more I've forgotten

    This is just not true. You do get what you pay for with epoxy. While there are cheaper options, physical properties (strength) can be very much lower with cheaper epoxies.
    Some epoxy companies make claims about their products (including physical properties) that are far from the truth. Misinformation about epoxy seems to be the norm instead of the exception.
    WEST 105/207, the epoxy that the person that started this thread was planning to buy before all the "advice" started coming in has the highest physical properties of any "low blush" epoxy and has the fastest "through cure", meaning that it can be painted or varnished as soon as it can be sanded.
    Some people seem to have an attitude about the biggest name in epoxy, but I think it is unfounded. WEST has taken their role incredibly seriously from the beginning and they continue to do so.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    My well founded opinion is for West 207 hardener With 105 resin, It'sis supreme for clear glass (amber actually) and has UV filters that most don't even mention.

    Gonna build a canoe? well, we are all experts on the outside of a hull; "drape and drip"... .. it's the inside hull "pushNpuddle", that makes most of us wonder why we ever thought we could epoxy coat a boat!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...58#post3996158

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Dave,

    Which fantasycrap fiberglass where you talking about - specifically?
    The RAKA in post #22?
    I responded to the OP. I skimmed through the rest and had no issues. If you read my entire post, you would see that I said that I have used Raka and had no problem. I would hate to see anyone else buy fantasycraft cloth.
    This is the OP:
    Quote Originally Posted by Garagebuilder View Post
    I am building a canoe side-by-side with a friend who is also building one. We will be glassing soon, and it is just about time to buy the fiberglass/epoxy. I have been set on buying west system epoxy (105 and 207) as discussed in Canoecraft and a lot of instructional videos I have watched, and ordering the fiberglass from Bear Mountain Boats, as I know it is compatible with west system, and comes rolled and free of wrinkles. My friend has just found stuff called "Fantasycart Fiberglass cloth, 6.48oz at 59"x50' for significantly less money, and recommended to be used with total boat epoxy which is also cheaper. I am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" but I figured it's worth asking the people who have been doing this a long time if performance is comparable.
    Have any of you used either (or any others)? I live in North Carolina, about 1/2 mile from the ocean, so it is warm and humid.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    The "FantasyCart" cloth was in the OP. Some stuff out of China, apparently.
    It is a shame that any of it left China.
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    "About Us
    We are manufaturing of vidieo game toys and costumes.Now we are expending our business to Auto parts, Outdoor Sports, Home and Office Suppliers."

    Don't know.....but it's a rather strange source for boatbuilding supplies. It reads like they're probably originally from somewhere in the Orient.

    http://www.fantasycart.net/industrial---scientific.html
    Yes, you got that right. Caveat emptor.

    Edit: I wanted to get an obvious negative response out there about that cloth because I would hate to see anyone else here stuck with that garbage. Todd's was the only post that specifically warned against the junk, but since he knew better than to have the bad experience himself, I wanted to make it clear how right he was. It comes folded. I much prefer rolled as I have gotten from Thayercraft (now only on ebay) and Aircraft Spruce. I have not purchased or can't remember purchasing cloth from RAKA, CLC, Duckworks, Fiber Glast, but I think that they are all reputable.

    Marc; (next post #33) Thought so. No problem.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-10-2017 at 01:15 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    Dave,

    Thanks, I did the opposite, read it all over time, but forgot the beginning.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Fiberglass/ epoxy type

    I'm pretty much in agreement with Russell. There are several good brands of epoxy resin out there, but all brands are not the same, and if you think they have all done anywhere near the amount of research, testing, product development and specialization, consumer education and customer tech support that Gougeon Brothers has with WEST Epoxy, you're dreaming. Many of the others have simply jumped on the band wagon, but that band wagon was built with WEST epoxy. Having used the stuff since it first came on the market in the '70s without a failure, I will continue to support and recommend it.

    I also get a real hoot out of all the blush phobia on these forums. A huge percentage of it is spread by folks with no experience dealing with it, who probably got their information off the internet somewhere - more often than not written by somebody else with no real world experience with it. It's a lot like alternative facts. I can use a blushing resin like 105/205, pre-coat a wooden hull, lay on two layers of fiberglass cloth, add multiple bias strips of glass over the stems for reinforcement, roll on about six thin filler coats to fill the cloth weave completely without amine blush ever presenting any problem. It is all a matter of timing, as well as actually reading the instructions, which way too many people never bother to do. A week later when it has fully cured, I'll spend a few minutes washing the blush off before I start sanding it smooth, because blush tends to clog sandpaper faster and could inhibit the bond of the paint. Even if you are using no-blush resin, you should still be washing down the hull if it's been sitting for a while. Odds are that something has probably settled on it that you really don't care to incorporate into your boat.

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