Bridgedeck, Kerfing

Kerfs glued, coved, taped.

Posted by Paul

I think the kerfing of the forward web would have been a difficult job had it not been for the kerfing I did when making the dinghy. I had confidence that it would work well and it did. I am very happy with the end result and happy with the speed and relative ease at which I got the job done.

I have now squeezed a runny mix of glue into the kerfs and glued the curved panel to the webs, glassed it whilst the kerf glue was still wet, coved the web panels and glassed them wet too. This saves a tricky sanding job on the inside of the curved section and also gets me a chemical bond of the glues rather than a mechanical bond.

After I had squeegeed a runny mix of glue into all of the kerfs I used a combination of legs and screws to hold the panel up in place. I found that having an adjustable leg (2 50mmx100mm planks clamped together at varying heights) helped to get the panel up tight against the webs and then screws (with washers) held it in place from there. I then adjusted the length of the leg and repeated the process until I had the panel up tight all over. I then used the squeegee again to clean up the excess glue.

I had pre-cut 5 sheets of double bias glass to the size of the curved sections between each web panel, so once I had removed the excess glue from the kerfs I started on glassing the panels again. The glassing once set returns the strength that the kerf removed from the panel and also seals it. The inside of these sections will be deck lockers and the anchor locker. I will probably lay an additional layer of glass in the anchor locker to prevent any chance of it wearing through with the constant motion of chain against it but I will do that toward the fit out stage once I determine the windlass layout and chain fall.

Once I had the forward section glassed and taped I had to tab the curve join into place before the glass set otherwise once set it may have been too hard to move. I need to tab the entire panel on both sides to ensure it is fair and that the join is level. Here and there the deck panel is either too high or too low and the tabs will lift or push down the panel into place for gluing.

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