Sunday, April 29, 2007

More float lamination plus bubble trouble

(FYI: I will be not be working on the boat for M-Thu this week, due to some extensive work committments. I do have Friday off and will get back to work then.)

The starboard float side that I laminated on Friday turned out reasonably well - only a handful of small bubbles in the laminate; I circled them and left them for later repair. My son helped me to swap the port float for the starboard one, on the float frames. After placing and trimming the glass...

...I went ahead and laminated it:

It was a pretty warm day and I had high hopes that the the laminate would cure quickly without any bubbles. Sadly, this did not happen. This morning I was quite disappointed to find a ton of bubbles all over the new laminate.

Here's a picture of the float with the bubbles circled:

And another:

(You can actually see some of the bubbles in the pics above. No, each circle is not an entire bubble -- I merely circled groups of bubbles to make it easy to locate them, is all. Most bubbles were circular in shape - about 1-2" square. A few were "ripple" bubbles where there would 3-6" long of a raised bubble area.)

I'll be honest, getting all of these bubbles is really, really depressing. Progress is going to be slow if every laminate I do needs major sanding and patching to remove bubbles. Could the glass be at fault? (Ok, I doubt it too.) Really sucks - I wish I knew what I was doing wrong. I do my best to get the glass to lay naturally, and I don't think I'm over-squeegeeing the fabric either. I don't think it's outgassing, because this is foam, not wood (and I haven't even laminated over my wood inserts yet, either). Any tips from anyone out there? I guess I will shoot System Three an email about this as well.

After sanding out the bubbles, I placed new laminate over all of them...

...and wetted them all out. And that was about all I had time for today. To sum up the current state of affairs: I have two floats each at 33% lamination complete. And one has probably five extra pounds of fabric and resin for bubble patching. Argh - can't wait to fair that one.

Well, enough doom-n-gloom for today. Stuff happens, I guess. :)


Tom McCaw said...

Bubbles can be caused by humidity...Ya I know your under cover and its winter...but sudden changes in temperature and humidity can cause nightmares.

F22 #45 Teachers Pet

Roger F-22#27 said...

Hi Jay,
i am quite sure that Your "Bubble problem" has to do with big variations in temperature.
Start cold --) end warm never in reverse..
excuse my english
Roger F22#27