Ken's Kayak Pages


I started to use polyester resin as the final finish, but had some problems due to what I suspect was a bad batch.  It took so long to sand it off (that stuff is hard), I chickened out and went with spar varnish.

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finish_06.jpg (42625 bytes) Here's one reason I was so excited about the polyester resin . . .  The plug on the left is the cured polyester resin left in my cup, it is glass clear.  The haze on the surface is the wax, which would be sanded off. The design is from the bottom of a 1 qt. plastic milk jug.  The plug on the right is from the opaque, tinted epoxy used to coat my coaming.
finish_01.jpg (68047 bytes) Applying polyester resin - I masked the hull at the sheer to keep drips on the newspaper,  instead of creeping around to the deck. This pic is immediately after I spilled and spread the resin with a brush.  It used most of a 12oz mix and took about 30 min., mostly verifying I had wet the entire hull surface.    One sidebar - The entire house now smells of the resin, I'll report how long it takes to dissipate . . .  Thank goodness we can build them out of epoxy . . .
finish_04.jpg (56274 bytes) Change of Plans: I decided not to trust the polyester resin, or to sand polyester resin ever again . . . That stuff eats sanding disks like mad - I opted to use spar varnish for the final finish, right over the PR. There are lots of reasons for my decision, suffice to say it didn't work out as I had envisioned.  Here is my first coat of varnish, applied with a rag (the bottom of a white crew sock), it came out great.  After several more coats it will be leveled and buffed to a mirror finish.   I used some UV protected spar varnish I got on closeout at Wal-Mart, for $6/gallon.  It looks clearer (less amber) than the overpriced stuff the other kayak builders seem to like using.
finish_05.jpg (36158 bytes) Close-up, showing the lack of surface dust in an absolutely uncontrolled environment.  I am shocked.  The door is open, the garage has 1/4" of dust in the corners, unswept for a few weeks, and no surface dust appeared while the hull dried.  I guess preparation is more important than a controlled environment . . . ?
finish_07.jpg (74694 bytes) First coat of varnish on the deck.  I used Kent's latest discovery about using Scott blue shop towels for a rag and it worked just great.  No lint to speak of, and a very smooth application.  Amazing how well things work when we all share information.

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