Inexpensive epoxy recommendations for glue up - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Inexpensive epoxy recommendations for glue up

I'm going to build a replacement rudder for a friend's Sunfish and instead of using marine ply, I'll rip strips of mahogony and glue them "cutting board style". i.e. basically they'll be 1"x3/4" x 12" and I'll glue them lengthwise. I am looking for inexpensive water-proof epoxy recommendations. It's not a big rudder (maybe 24"x6") so I don't need a huge amount and typically anything sold out of Marine/Boating stores has too large of a markup for me. Any good but inexpensive epoxy recommendations?
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 07:04 PM
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All epoxies are essentially waterproof, so we can get that out of the way.
As for what brand? I always used West Systems on all of my boat work. Expensive - Yes. Customer support - Excellent. All necessary additives are available.
Available in hot or cold weather formulas. If you read their website, it's an education in itself in epoxy usage. Whether you buy theirs or not, read their products and additives recommendations. then buy what you want. Unfortunately for you, I have no one else to recommend. I'm sure most epoxy products are good. Hope someone else will be of more help.

Also keep in mind that Epoxy adheres to polyester, but not the other way around. If money is an issue, make it out of polyester and add a final layer or two of epoxy on top.

Good luck and have fun on your project.

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post #3 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 07:19 PM
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if on a budget, I would use TiteBond III for laminating
and several coats of a good marine spar varnish.
a weekender sailboat rudder does not see much time actually
submerged in water.
this leaves a finish that is easy to repair each season with a light
sanding and a couple more coats of spar varnish.
using mahogany is a big plus.
many wooden boats are created this way. if it is good enough for
a boat - it is good enough for just the rudder.

,

,
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 07:27 PM
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BTW, plywood can handle flexing a lot better than solid woods. If you decided to go that route, and didn't want to go with marine ply, go with Baltic Birch and NOT the Home Depot or Lowes version. Baltic Birch (the good stuff), is almost as strong as marine grade - no voids. If building from scratch, you can water proof it with epoxy.
I am not familiar with the Sunfish construction. Will this rudder be encased in fiberglass?

Also, where do you live? Someone here might be able to steer you in the right direction for supplies.

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post #5 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 07:53 PM
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You can have cheap, or you can have good, but in general you cant get both. I second Tony's recommendation of West Systems. I use their G-Flex epoxy for my knifemaking needs, and it is without a doubt the strongest epoxy ive tried for sticking wood to metal, and i have no doubts that the same could be said for a wood to wood bond and is my recommendation for most things epoxy related. Its not too bad price wise either, at $20 for an ounce kit, and most of the West line is pretty competitive for price

I really cant stress my hatred for cheaper epoxies. The lower the price goes the worse the bond sees to be, and the more brittle the material itself is. I have about the same hatred for 5 minute epoxies, the faster the cure is the worse the bond is. Stick to one of the good manufacturers, West Systems in my case, and go with the longest practical cure time

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post #6 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 08:29 PM
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just to clarify the project. a photo of the Sunfish and its rudder.
it does not require a whole lot of maintenance to keep it in shape.
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 07:50 AM
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Forget everything I said. Somehow, the size got completely past me. I didn't realize it was that small.
Now that I re-read your post, here is a quote: " basically they'll be 1"x3/4" x 12" and I'll glue them lengthwise". Does this mean that to get the length of the rudder to 24", you are going to glue these things end to end? That just wont work.
The width only needing to be 6" wide? Is this correct?
What is the required thickness?

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post #8 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 09:48 AM
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Staggered layers, as in brick laying,with no two ends next to each other will work, but a word of warning, Titebond 111 is not designed for constant immersion in water, so like the others, i say go west systems epoxy.

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 09:54 AM
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I have been on a Sunfish several times and am familiar with the
rudder and center daggerboard. I guess the 12" size registered
as a typo in my brain because I know it is about two feet long
and was thinking of gluing 24" strips together - not 12".
and yes, it is a really bad, bad idea to glue end grain strips.
lots of info on the vintage Sunfish sailboat on the web for things
like the sails, ropes, rudder, centerboards, etc.
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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It appears I can't edit my original post, so I'll update it here. I was just guessing at the sizing of the raw board based on memory (although I meant to type 24" length not 12") since I was at work however the board size I'll glue up will be 8"x27"x3/4", and from there I will cut and shape it accordingly. For that I will rip and glue 11 or so 3/4"x3/4"x27" strips of Mahogany. I was hoping I could find something cheaper than West marine - yes it's the best, but it's overkill and something lesser will work fine if I can find it, and no it won't be a 5-minute epoxy. (By the time I buy enough of those small tubes, I'll have spent as much or more than if I'd have gone West)

As for plywood - it is prone to rolling shear which will tear off the laminations and that is what happened with the prior rudder. Gluing up strips of 3/4"x3/4"x27" cutting-board style with alternating grains is the strongest route to go.

Sorry for the measurement confusion - I need better glasses when I can't see I typed 12 instead of 24. Ugh.
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 02:01 PM
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If it's only 8" wide, I'd advocate making it from a single piece and coating it with epoxy and maybe some fiberglass cloth. I think that even with epoxy, the laminations will fail; possibly at an inopportune time.
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I debated that. Although 8" is pretty narrow, it still will be stronger glued as listed (than 1 piece), and I didn't want it to break on them after I made it.
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-22-2019, 10:54 PM
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In some marine stores, they sell several different brands of epoxy in small amounts and priced reasonably.

I think if they still manufacture the Sunfish, you should be able to call tech support and find out what they are using for their finish. Keep in mind that if you use an epoxy finish, you can't use polyester (Bondo) for future repairs.

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post #14 of 21 Old 10-23-2019, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbk123 View Post
It appears I can't edit my original post, so I'll update it here. I was just guessing at the sizing of the raw board based on memory (although I meant to type 24" length not 12") since I was at work however the board size I'll glue up will be 8"x27"x3/4", and from there I will cut and shape it accordingly. For that I will rip and glue 11 or so 3/4"x3/4"x27" strips of Mahogany. I was hoping I could find something cheaper than West marine - yes it's the best, but it's overkill and something lesser will work fine if I can find it, and no it won't be a 5-minute epoxy. (By the time I buy enough of those small tubes, I'll have spent as much or more than if I'd have gone West)

As for plywood - it is prone to rolling shear which will tear off the laminations and that is what happened with the prior rudder. Gluing up strips of 3/4"x3/4"x27" cutting-board style with alternating grains is the strongest route to go.

Sorry for the measurement confusion - I need better glasses when I can't see I typed 12 instead of 24. Ugh.
Famous last words, those. Believe me, ive been there. Some things you can go the lessar route, adhesives are seldom one of them. Ive had more than my share of glue-ups fail because of that.

And for what its worth, West may be regarded as the 'best', but the price doesnt match, its pretty competitive with other marine epoxies. The average price im finding for marine epoxies is around $50 a quart, West is a bit higher at $60 for the 105a quart kit, but lets be honest, youre working on a boat that im guessing costs 100 times as much as that price difference. May end up being overkill, but do you wanna have to do everything again if underkilling fails?

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post #15 of 21 Old 10-23-2019, 08:54 AM
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I still think one solid piece is less likely to fail than 7 glue joints submerged in water, but if youíre still looking for glue, an 8oz kit of West Marine G-Flex can be had for about $20. I use it a lot and itís good stuff. The name would lead you to believe itís rubbery, but itís not. It dries hard and sands just like other epoxies.

https://www.amazon.com/WEST-SYSTEM-f...27767437&psc=1
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-24-2019, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Quickstep, that may be enough and it's eminently reasonable. Can I buy you a virtual cup of coffee/a beer? :)

Btw, the epoxy is just for the glue-up. I will most likely just put on a bunch of coats of spar but we'll see if I have any/sufficient epoxy left over (doubtful).

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post #17 of 21 Old 10-25-2019, 12:31 AM
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Hey wait a minute

Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
You can have cheap, or you can have good, but in general you cant get both. I second Tony's recommendation of West Systems. I use their G-Flex epoxy for my knifemaking needs, and it is without a doubt the strongest epoxy ive tried for sticking wood to metal, and i have no doubts that the same could be said for a wood to wood bond and is my recommendation for most things epoxy related. Its not too bad price wise either, at $20 for an 8 ounce kit, and most of the West line is pretty competitive for price

I really cant stress my hatred for cheaper epoxies. The lower the price goes the worse the bond sees to be, and the more brittle the material itself is. I have about the same hatred for 5 minute epoxies, the faster the cure is the worse the bond is. Stick to one of the good manufacturers, West Systems in my case, and go with the longest practical cure time
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
I still think one solid piece is less likely to fail than 7 glue joints submerged in water, but if youíre still looking for glue, an 8oz kit of West Marine G-Flex can be had for about $20. I use it a lot and itís good stuff. The name would lead you to believe itís rubbery, but itís not. It dries hard and sands just like other epoxies.

https://www.amazon.com/WEST-SYSTEM-f...27767437&psc=1
I could use a drink after today too...

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post #18 of 21 Old 10-25-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
I could use a drink after today too...
Doh. I think my eyes glazed over when seeing the high word count in your post and clearly I missed the $20 recommendation. I think 8 oz may be enough, so I'll buy both of you beers or coffee. Thank you, sirs.
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-26-2019, 10:23 AM
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You can buy epoxy in small bottles.
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-27-2019, 10:12 AM
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