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A Canoe, Epoxy, and a Garage in the Dead of Winter

Discussion in 'Strippers, Stitch-n-Glue, and Other Wood Composite' started by RoadRunner, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    OK, so I',m coming close to major steps in construction that involve epoxy. Unfortunately, I'm building in the garage, and the temperature around here is low enough to make successful epoxy curing impossible. The garage door is insulated, but windows to the outside are not. I have a portable propane heater that gets the room up as high as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but maintaining that temp overnight and while at work isn't safe and consistency isn't guaranteed while not being monitored. So, as per usual, I'm reaching out to my online WCHA mentors to ask if there is anything I can do, or if I need to wait until spring breaks and I have a lot of time off.

    One point I forgot - I'm using the West System sold by Bear Mountain Boats. Not sure if that has any impact on a solution, but wanted to mention it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I'd wait until the weather cooperates... but others who have more experience with epoxy than I may have better solutions.
     
  3. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm with Paul !
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  4. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Sorry for the extra post.
    Check with West System.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  5. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm with Paul !
    Check with West System.
    I keep my shop at 70F while glassing, and will keep it above 60F for a week, while curing.

    Maybe work on trim, or seats until it warms up !

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  6. OP
    OP
    RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks guys. That's what I figured was the best approach. Only other thing would be to set up a safe, more robust heating source, and I don't know of that is realistic. Thanks again.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Jim, how do you have your shop heated? Central HVAC?
     
  8. Grizzle

    Grizzle One repair / restoration so far......

  9. Grizzle

    Grizzle One repair / restoration so far......

  10. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    I've used fast hardener in some pretty low temps, usually after starting with a moderate temp- though not down to freezing. I will heat the shop, work it and let the temps fall when I am done. I've read that you don't want the temp to fluctuate up and down during cure however a steady falling off of temps is okay. I would read gougeons boatbuilding, or reach out to them directly as they have pretty good tech support , for the best advice. You've come this far so it would be a shame to have a major setback, but I know it's tough to wait tith a project and spring around the corner! An electric hot plate will keep both components viscous for mixing and spreading as well. Todd should be along any time now to sort you out......
     
  11. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I really don't know how low you can push it. Most of the things that I glue with, or coat with epoxy need to stay that way, so I usually won't go below about 65 degrees throughout the initial curing time. The prospect of dealing with resin that didn't set up properly (due to temperature, inadequate or incorrect mixing, etc.) is something to avoid, and very often a real pain in the rear to have to fix. I'd probably check with the Gougeon technical guys to see what they suggest for limits. It may simply be a case where the best bet is just to wait for better weather.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks all. The only other realistic option for me, other than waiting for warmer weather, is to figure out a heating system that I can run safely while unattended.
     
  13. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have two 220volt hanging electric heaters, and a very well insulated, 26X30 shop. Each heater has three settings, 3000W, 4000W, and 5000w. I never need more than the 3000w settings, even in sub zero temps.

    For just plain working, I keep it at about 50F.

    I have suffered all my life working in an unheated garage. I know where you're coming from !
    I had to wait until I retired, and the opportunity presented itself !
    Hopefully your time will come, sooner than mine ! But until then, hang in there !

    Jim
     
  14. OP
    OP
    RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    That's great Jim, thanks. So, how would I shop for something like that? Rather, where would one look? Who sells that sort of thing?
     
  15. OP
    OP
    RoadRunner

    RoadRunner Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Well, I guess I figured this one out on my own. A quick search for hanging heater for garage gives me all sorts of options.
     
  16. Jim Dodd

    Jim Dodd LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Mine are Comfort Zone brand. I got a real good deal on them locally. And hung them myself. IMG_0769_zps8tktr2gh.jpg
    You can see one in the upper right hand corner.

    Jim
     

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