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Thread: Epoxy fairing filler

  1. #1
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    Default Epoxy fairing filler

    I use West epoxy and have always used West 407 lightweight filler when needed. I like itís consistency and ease of sanding but tired of taking several coats of primer to cover the purple color. Is there a similar easy sanding fairing filler that is white or near white that works well with West?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    410 microlite

    don't worry, about a ding
    cuz every little ding, gonna microlite

    410 is even lighter in fluffiness. it remains waterproof, but almost no strength.I think they recommend to not use it over a sixthteenth inch thick.
    It still needs priming to fill the microwhatzit holes.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 05-24-2022 at 09:55 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    1/16” ?! We’re talking a different level of finish here. In her best days Snoose has a twenty foot paint job.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    I think System 3 has a filled epoxy that is whiteish. It's already formulated for patching/fairing.

    Jeff

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Yes 410 is white and sands like a dream, but . . . every stinking time I have used it, pinholes appear when I sand it, and again, and again, and again. Like Groundhog Day. Also, the West guidance says you need to put a coat of epoxy on top of 410 to ensure it won't absorb moisture. I have stopped using 410.

    For me, at least, 407 is much better, because I haven't had pinhole problems and you don't need to seal it with a coat of epoxy.

    West sells a white color additive. But I don't know if it would be OK to add it to 407, or how much it would change the color. But you could add it to un-thickened epoxy and put a coat on top of 407 before you prime. That should help with your issue.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Back when West spoke English and sold by using language instead of numbers you had your red balloons, white spheres and white fibres. Bog, filler/ fairing/fillet, and glue powder. You needed three powders in your boat kit.
    Spheres are now sold as filleting compound but always has and still does make a great filler or fairing compound for exactly the reasons above.
    I think it's 411 now.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    You can buy ceramic or glass microspheres either hollow or solid. They are white-ish in color. The hollow kind will make a fairly lightweight filler. The solid ones make a somewhat harder, heavier filler. The hollow kind share the same finishing characteristics that phenolic microballoons have. If you sand the area fair you will be cutting some of these tiny spheres on the surface open. This leaves very tiny air-filled craters. Paint will bridge them OK, but when left out in the sun, the air inside can expand, pop the paint bridge and make visible pinholes in your paint job. For this reason, the best idea is to fill, sand fair, then give it a resin top coat to bridge the craters with something too strong to pop, sand that smooth and finally paint over the sanded epoxy.

    Filling with solid spheres avoids this potential pinhole problem, though it adds more weight and creates a somewhat harder (and tougher) surface to sand. In any case, the surface you will be painting over will not have that dark, microballoon color and will be substantially more durable than the WEST 410.

    solid:
    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/p/c/adva...-microspheres/

    hollow:
    https://www.amazon.com/Glass-Bubbles...d_gw_ci_mcx_mi

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    As a fairing additive, I use glass bubbles. I get Ďem from Mertonís Fiberglass supply. http://www.mertons.com/Additives/bubbles.html. $48 for 5 gallon pail. I add a little Cab-O-Sil which makes the filler spread more smoothly. Similar price for Cab-O-Sil.
    Mertonís also offers fiberglass cloth, tape, double bias.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    I've been using BIN, a shellac base stain sealing primer(recoat in 45 mins, sometimes) over the sanded 407 with repair work. Spot prime with oil-base topcoat prior to finish coating. 410 might allow you to single coat the Bin but it is not as durable. There are probably better ways but I work with what I have handy. / Jim

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    cuz every little ding, gonna microlite
    I see what you did there Bruce...
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    I wonder if another primer might do a better job of hiding the 407 filler?

    My brother is a sometimes house painter, and, any time he has stains or other discoloration to deal with, he uses Kilz primer, which is supposed to cover just about anything.

    I am not suggesting that you try Kilz on your boat. But I am wondering if there is a marine primer that is the better at covering multi-colored surfaces than what you have been using?

    Would it make sense to try one of the high build primers to get better coverage? I have found that Pettit EZ Primer is thicker than other primers. I wonder if it would cover West 407 better?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    I see what you did there Bruce...
    using a hard dingy fer 40 years....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Seibert View Post
    I wonder if another primer might do a better job of hiding the 407 filler?

    My brother is a sometimes house painter, and, any time he has stains or other discoloration to deal with, he uses Kilz primer, which is supposed to cover just about anything.

    I am not suggesting that you try Kilz on your boat. But I am wondering if there is a marine primer that is the better at covering multi-colored surfaces than what you have been using?

    Would it make sense to try one of the high build primers to get better coverage? I have found that Pettit EZ Primer is thicker than other primers. I wonder if it would cover West 407 better?
    interlux 2000...or the like

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Quote Originally Posted by JimConlin View Post
    As a fairing additive, I use glass bubbles. I get ‘em from Merton’s Fiberglass supply. http://www.mertons.com/Additives/bubbles.html. $48 for 5 gallon pail. I add a little Cab-O-Sil which makes the filler spread more smoothly. Similar price for Cab-O-Sil.
    Merton’s also offers fiberglass cloth, tape, double bias.
    Jim,
    Are glass bubbles the same thing as "micro balloons"?
    If so, I have used them and they make a really great fairing filler.
    That's a super price on fillers compared to what I found last time I made a purchase.
    Thanks for the link.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Total Boat Total Fair is very easy to mix, apply, scrape, and sand.
    It mixes to a light green color, and I have no trouble covering it with paint.
    No extra sealing step like with micro balloons.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    I was going to try Total Fair on my current project, but the instructions say that you can't apply it over surfaces that have 1-part paint on them. Since I didn't have the energy to completely strip the paint from my Lightning, I stuck with West 407 filler.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    ^^^ Mike, one can put epoxy on just about anything, including one part paint, it just will not bond with the wood ,or other epoxy,that is hiding behind the one part paint . WEST w105 /407 will have the exact same problem.
    This is why , eventually ,over time, I no longer use any one part product on the outside of my boats. you wind up with a mish mash of products. they look good for a spell, but any repair/ding/future fairing.,...you have more work and less quality.
    Its good to follow manufractuters instructions, but comprehend they have to protect themselves.
    plus, the fairing of a boat involves the "putty" AND the undercoating...they become married. both should be a compatable product. they should sand similarly. if you are building up with an alkyd undercoat( interlux precote /petit ezprime),the fairing putty SHOULD be a one part...it comes back to bite you in the butt.
    one part fairing compound that dries fast and sands well? yea...that is a problem int it?
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 05-25-2022 at 10:08 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    I use WEST 410 Microlight filler which cures to a very light tan, more like the color of coffee with lots of cream.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Thanks all, some great advice here but much of it for nicer finishes than needed for my boat. Sheís neither a workboat nor a show boat, but I paint on her a bit every year to protect her and keep her looking somewhat clean from twenty feet or so.

    So after a round of sanding, priming and finish painting a part of the pilot house yesterday, Iíve decided to stay with the products Iím familiar with; West 407, Interlux Pre-Kote, and Marshallís Cove enamel. I think my problem with covering the purple 407 had more to do with sanding the primer too much. If Iím careful about applying the primer smoothly, it really doesnít need much sanding, if any, before the finish enamel, and the purple is covered.

    I love seeing the beautiful finishes some of you do on your boats, but Snoose will just admire them from a comfortable distance.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Back when i started working in the boat game (1979-80) at Thames marine we had great 45 gallon barrels of microballoons, the stuff was cheap! Then west discovered that if you packed it in tiny carboard tubes the price could be jacked sky high.
    Same with Colloidal silica, west stuff costs a fortune, Cabosil which appears to do exactly the same job is a fraction of the price.
    For fairing i have always used 407 & painted over it with a high build epoxy primer such as Hempels light primer which was excellent.
    Another filler that is cheap is Fillite, its a grey green colour & more granular than microballons, mixes in real easy but can be used as a fairing filler if some cabosil is mixed in with it to stop it sagging.
    Of course if you are not too worried about longevity & want to use 1 part stuff just go to your local car paint supplier & get a gallon of polyester pud, as a mate of mine used to say "P38, Dont have to wait"!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    ^^^ Mike, one can put epoxy on just about anything, including one part paint, it just will not bond with the wood ,or other epoxy,that is hiding behind the one part paint . WEST w105 /407 will have the exact same problem.
    This is why , eventually ,over time, I no longer use any one part product on the outside of my boats. you wind up with a mish mash of products. they look good for a spell, but any repair/ding/future fairing.,...you have more work and less quality.
    Its good to follow manufractuters instructions, but comprehend they have to protect themselves.
    plus, the fairing of a boat involves the "putty" AND the undercoating...they become married. both should be a compatable product. they should sand similarly. if you are building up with an alkyd undercoat( interlux precote /petit ezprime),the fairing putty SHOULD be a one part...it comes back to bite you in the butt.
    one part fairing compound that dries fast and sands well? yea...that is a problem int it?
    Concur. However, I had to learn it the hard way, so am likely to never forget it !

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Epoxy fairing filler

    Good experience with System 3 Silvertip Quik Fair https://www.systemthree.com/products...-fairing-putty . Mixes 2 to 1 by eye, dries for sanding in 3 hours, "wood" colored, sands flush and very smooth, no pinholes, fills maybe at least 1/4" deep, can refill deeper holes with a second coat in the aforementioned 3 hours. Covers easily with primer then paint.

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