Spider Cracks: The Guide

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Spider Cracks are a thorn in many boaters side. They seem to appear out of nowhere, and for no reason. Fixing them can involve more than just slapping on some gelcoat, however, and that is where we come in!

The first step needs to be ensuring that your spider cracks are just that, and not a sign of a soggy core, or a broken support. If the underside looks solid, and the surface is steady, then a spider crack is just a spider crack.

For properly fixing a spider crack, you will want to open the cracks to properly fill them. Usually, the easiest way to do that is with a Dremel. Once you open the cracks to a good size, you can lightly sand the surface and wash it down with soap and water, or Acetone to get the surface clean.

From there, you will want some Gelcoat Putty. Gelcoat putty is sold in many sizes, and only requires you mix in a 1-1/2% ratio of MEK-P Catalyst. Once mixed properly, you can use a putty knife to work the putty in the cracks. Once dry, you will sand to a nice, smooth surface and you are ready for the last part.

Now that you have a nice, smooth surface, you probably notice your white patch is still, well, white. Now you want to apply some gelcoat over the top to cover your patch. We can match gelcoat to a sample you provide, or you can check out the stock colors we have. We even have a brushable gelcoat that just requires you to brush it on and be done.

So, there you have it! Your patch is done, and that pesky spider crack is gone, and your boat is good as new! If you have any questions, you can call our technicians or comment in the section below. We are here to help!

What is Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy?

We discussed Laminating Epoxy and its 5 great key points about the product such as product comparisons, ratio, cure time, and activator results. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our blog, (Click Here ).

Now, let’s change gears slightly and talk about Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy. You may have noticed the Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy’s first appearance looks similar to Table Top Epoxy and after the cure process, both products obtain a clear result. With the noticeable similarities, we assure you there are also differences that make them stand out. For one, Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy works great for surfboards and casting because of it’s 2:1 ratio. In contrast, Table Top Epoxy requires a 1:1, thin pours of no more than 1/4 of an inch. This allows a perfect coating application not casting. Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy 133547provides a clear gloss surface without the need to sand or buff. How is this possible? The results may sound similar to the Table Top Epoxy, however, the Hi Gloss Ultra Clear Epoxy cures to an almost clear finish all due to its zero UV additives. Because the product does not consist of any UV additives, your project will need to be clear coated after it has set up. With its 100% solids epoxy resin system, this product is designed for both laminating, casting and coating applications. It has a great easy wet out with a moderate gel time of 20 – 30 minutes at room temperature in a 1/2 pound mass.

Tip: Cure may be accelerated by mild heat such as lamps or tunnel ovens.

 

5 Key Points on Laminating Epoxy Resin

We can guess that you have used Epoxy before, if not, more than likely you have seen furniture, an object or project with epoxy on it. Now, Epoxy is not the same as Polyester and Vinylester due to its chemical properties. Another difference is, Polyester and Vinylester uses the same hardener and as a result, the appearance between the two are similar, while epoxy tends to have a slight yellow or amber appearance. 125463There are many different categories of epoxy, so today we will highlight one of them; laminating epoxy.

1) The laminating system cures to a high strength moisture resistant plastic, with good physical properties.

2) The ratio is well suited for use with high-solids marine, maintenance coating and bonding agents.

3) The cure time is three days in the sun or a week if it is not. Set time changes with activator and film thickness.

4) If there is an excessive amount of activator applied , the laminating epoxy will be soft and rubbery. In contrast, if there is not enough activator, the epoxy will not cure hard.

5) The epoxy cures faster in high temperatures in thick layer applications.

Please note: additional recoating of this material is thoroughly cured. If the product has cured hard and tack-free, a light sanding and solvent wash is advisable before recoating.

 

An Intro to Liquid Urethane Foam

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Our Liquid Urethane Foam is a two-component Isocyanate/Polyol base, with a pour-in-place system. The urethane apparatus is available in 3 separate density formulations by weight per cubic foot, which is displayed below:

  1.  2 quarts of 2 lb. foam will cover 2 cubic ft.
  2.  2 quarts of 4 lb. foam will cover 1 cubic ft.
  3.  2 quarts of 8 lb. foam will cover 1/2 cubic ft.

*Note: The 2 lb. foam expands the most whereas the 4 lb. & 8 lb. foam expands less.

One can discover the different categories for the use of liquid urethane foam:

  • Marine floatation
  • Art
  • Sculpting
  • Taxidermy
  • Prototyping
  • Mold Making
  • Decorative and Architecture
  • Millwork Pieces

When working with the foam, you will find: it’s resistance to mildew, mold, and solvent. The product also has impeccable durability attributable to it’s fantastic comprehensive strength. WOW! There is certainly a plethora of different purposes for Liquid Urethane Foam, and in addition to that; FGCI receives a number of questions concerning whether or not resin can be applied on top of the foam… We would like to mention that certain types of foam possess different temperature variations which can affect the application process, thus the system must be mixed correctly. If one were to mix in an excess amount of activator, the foam will become soft and spongy.   For more information on how to apply resin to foam, click here: Can I Apply Resin to Foam

Directions for General Small Quantity Use:foam

Step 1: Mix equal parts Base and Activator (1:1 by volume) or mix by weight (approx. 112 parts A-Side: Base to approx. 100 parts of B-Side: Activator).

Step 2: Mixing and metering equipment must accommodate the 1:1 by volume mix ratio.

Step 3: Mix thoroughly using a stir stick or a mechanical mixer. Please refer to Typical Reaction Profiles of Liquid Foam Chart for mix times.

Step 4: Pour immediately after mixing.

Step 5: Allow cooling between pouring.

*Directions may vary by application. For technical support and assistance with critical applications or large pours, please feel free to contact Customer Service at 1-800-272-7890.

 

The Basic Guide to Sandpaper Grit

When a project calls for sanding, one must confirm the correct materials are being used. Reason being is due to the different sizing, backing and grit of the sandpaper. But, how can we identify what type of sandpaper is best? Subjected to the work needed for your project, grit size will come into play. Thus, we must make note that sandpaper is measured by its grit size while others are measured by both the grit and grade of the backing. When buying your sandpaper, check the item to confirm it states the pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) or the grit and size number. This will help when deciding which one is best for the project at hand.

 

123493-smlSandpaper Grit Sizing: If you are looking to remove a previous material such as gelcoat; begin sanding your surface with a 150 grit or lower. A low grit number determines the coarseness of the sandpaper which will give you the ability to remove materials and coatings. Sandpaper with a grit number in the 200’s and higher would be great for finishes such as buffing, polishing or the  removal of small scratches. A high grit number is equivalent to how small the grains are which will allow you to smooth the surface.

 

 

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Sandpaper Weight Grade: One may see grade letters ranging from A-E which represents the durability of the sandpaper, where E is the strongest. For example, (based on the figure above) the red Mirka Royal 40 grit disc would be ranked as the most durable, next the Mirka Bulldog 120 grit Gold, followed by the gray Mirka Bulldog 400 grit Gold .

 

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Here is a great tip!

If you are looking to conduct a wet or dry sanding, the  sandpaper coating must be waterproof. An abrasive that is waterproof will last you longer with end results you’re aiming for in a wet/dry process.