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Thread: The false economy..?!

  1. #1
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    Question The false economy..?!

    Howdy!!!

    Just gettin started in the world of canoe building so i'm in need of a helping hand! (Also you have to forgive me if the questions im askin seem a touch dim!!!)

    Just got some plans for a stitch and glue touring canoe... Ive got the wood, its all ready to cut up, and now i find myself contemplating the daunting world of resins..! Ive read alot of info about the stuff, and listened to the nice people at West systems propoganda, but i still find myself in a bit of a conundrum... Polyester or epoxy?!

    I know this questions probably been answered a million times but i'm not a fast learner, especially when my budget is on the line!!! The canoe will only be used on a canal and possibly a flat lake, but it'll never see a river! And budget is upmost for me! I'm a student you see!!!

    Ive got a large outdoor space to make it in and, if it means keeping my budget down, then i'll put up with the fumes! Basically, what ive been told is that polyester is just nasty smelling epoxy, ive talked to a guy who's only ever used poly and made two cedar strip canoes, as well as other, similar projects, people have said that if i used poly it would effect the sale value of my canoe but that if im only using it for canals then it'll do the job but then the other side of the argument says poly will kill me, my canoe will sink in an instant and at the end of the day i'll wish i used epoxy dispite my tight walleted tendencies! Is poly the false economy some people say it is or is it the unsung hero of my boat building dreams!!!

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated and i apologise in advance if anyone feels I am or they are repeating previous posts!!!

    Cheers!

    Ian

  2. #2

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    Welcome along. Sorry but I am not that skilled to selfbuild however others will be along shortly.

    Ask away with your questions as this is the strength of this forum. Anyway last time they were asked there wern't as many members so you will get newer and possibly better answers.
    Chris


  3. #3
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    Default

    Most of the canoes I've built I used poly. Epoxy adheres to wood better and for that reason I would recommend epoxy.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  4. #4

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    remember that WEST stands for Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique. You bond wood to wood in such a way that the epoxy becomes part of the wood, and yet has some of the same flex characteristics of wood.

    Poly wont do this. It's a hard inflexible mass, and is limited as to how it can be used.

    Epoxy can be mixed with all sorts of things - cotton, glass beads, carbosil, wood fibres etc to make a glue that will fit any application. Poly wont do that, it gives off so much heat in 'going-off' that anything combustable will often break down.

    Epoxy costs more, but used properly, you use less, and probably have less wastage too.

    Go with epoxy.
    Obscured by Clouds

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  5. #5
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    Cheers guys!!!

    Forgot to ask... Does anyone know a link to a site that sells cheap poly/epoxy from as i cant find anywhere near me (manchester) that sells it!

    Thanks again!

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allhailthegreatpondsnail View Post
    Cheers guys!!!

    Forgot to ask... Does anyone know a link to a site that sells cheap poly/epoxy from as i cant find anywhere near me (manchester) that sells it!

    Thanks again!

    Ian
    You are kidding of course?

    1. Did you want Polyester or Epoxy?
    2. Every damned plastic on the planet can be abbreviated to "POLY" - if you call all of them by the same name it will save anyone the trouble of trying to understand what you are talking about.

    http://www.glasplies.co.uk Stouthport.
    Last edited by DougR; 13th-August-2007 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Change Stockport to Southport (my bad)

  7. #7
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    Default Epoxy or polyester

    Don't even think about using polyester. Epoxy is better for all the reasons given above. Also it's gap filling which means any joints which are less than perfect can be easily and permanently filled. Make sure you wear rubber gloves; some people develop a nasty hypersensitivity. There is a company who sell reasonably priced epoxy. I think it's UK resins or something like that. You should find another thread discussing this. Drawback is you'll have to pay postage. I'm surprised you can't find epoxy locally. Most boat chandlers sell either West or SP. Good luck with the project.

    Garth

  8. #8
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    Hiya,

    Epoxy every time.

    Also, do yourself a favour and get the relevant metering pumps too. They may seem expensive, but they'll save you loads of mess and wasteage, and you'll always know you're mixing the right ratios.

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Hiya,

    Epoxy every time.

    Also, do yourself a favour and get the relevant metering pumps too. They may seem expensive, but they'll save you loads of mess and wasteage, and you'll always know you're mixing the right ratios.

    Blutack.
    absolutely!
    Obscured by Clouds

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  10. #10
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    Default Welcome

    Good to have you along.

    Can't help on the build front.

    Has there really been a great pond snail called 'Allhail'?

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Time to put the alternative view..

    There are two main jobs for resin on a stitch and glue boat.

    1. The seams, which are optionally filleted, and probably taped.
    2. Sheathing - where a glass cloth (or xynole) usually done for abrasion resistance but (esp. strippers) sometimes as a major structural element - the quick and dirty way to tell the difference - glass on both sides is usually structural.

    In general Polyesters are poor glues for wood - there are exceptions but these tend not to be top performance laminating resins. The Idea that they are always rigid and inflexible - is simply wrong - and for 5 spent on a old fishing rod you can have the demonstration piece....

    Many tens of thousands of Mirror Dinghies have been built and sailed using no epoxy at all - though I don't doubt that a good few thousand hours have been spent re-seaming Mirrors where the adhesion was inadequate - you pays your money and takes your choice.


    Metering pumps.... some love them, others loathe them - I would never use them again - instead I use a cheap set of digital scales in a polythene bag and weigh the resin/hardner.

    Smell - this is personal - I don't mind polyester or vinylester - and I've seamed glass kayaks (and glassed my hair to a seat seam) but West epoxy is right alongside Silage as a pleasant smell (NOT AT ALL).

  12. #12

    Default Measuring Epoxy

    I bought a cheap set of digital kitchen scales covered them in cling film as much as I could and used them to measure the epoxy and hardener. Much easier, the hardener tends to gum up the metering pumps. Yes I know there may be differing specific gravities between hardener and epoxy and the ratio may not be exact if mixing requires volumes but it's easier and cleaner and worked for me.


    Epoxy every time.

    Also, do yourself a favour and get the relevant metering pumps too. They may seem expensive, but they'll save you loads of mess and wasteage, and you'll always know you're mixing the right ratios.
    Can you do the Funky Gibbon?

  13. #13

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    Epoxy, but, don't forget your protection:

    http://www.fibretechgb.co.uk/Skincare.htm

    don't use latex gloves - they're no good for epoxy, use vinyl.

  14. #14
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    Default Epoxy & polyester resin suppliers near Manchester

    I've used http://www.deltaresins.co.uk in Marple and found them very helpful.

    The nearest alternative I know of is http://www.resin-supplies.co.uk who a bit further away in Sandbach. I've also used them and found them helpful too.

    Note that the link to Glasplies posted above, they seem to be based in Southport rather than Stockport.
    Good luck with the build.

    Richard

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    The Idea that they are always rigid and inflexible - is simply wrong - and for 5 spent on a old fishing rod you can have the demonstration piece....
    true.

    perhaps I should have prefixed my comment with 'compared to epoxy resin.........'
    Obscured by Clouds

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  16. #16
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    Default Cheers!

    Hi guys!

    Thanks for all the advice! I caved and went for the epoxy! The vast majority seem to think it'll see me right and you guys know ALOT more about these things than me!

    I'll prob be posting again soon with more questions of an obvious nature, not only is it my first build but if/when she's done it'll be the first time ive paddled too, so i promise there really will be some stupid soundin questions headin this way!!!

    Cheers again guys!

    Ian

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by allhailthegreatpondsnail View Post
    Hi guys!

    Thanks for all the advice! I caved and went for the epoxy! The vast majority seem to think it'll see me right and you guys know ALOT more about these things than me!

    I'll prob be posting again soon with more questions of an obvious nature, not only is it my first build but if/when she's done it'll be the first time ive paddled too, so i promise there really will be some stupid soundin questions headin this way!!!

    Cheers again guys!

    Ian
    You're in the same boat as me (no pun intended!). I started my build of a Selway Fisher Raven back in Feb. not having built a boat or canoed before. This site is full of good people and advice. See my blog if you like it may give you some pointers?
    Gibbo.
    _____________________________________________________________ ________
    http://gibboscanoe.blogspot.com/ Please click on the adverts: it earns me money...

  18. #18
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    Cheers Gibbo! Your blog was very useful! Im just commin to the fiddly stage of epoxy so it's good to hear from someone whos been there and done it!

    Ian

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