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  1. #1
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Question Fiberglass work in cold weather

    I need to start the glass work on my stringers and deck on my 21' Four Winns but temps are in the 30's in NJ.
    The boat is tented in with tarps,my question can it be done? Can I pump in heat from a propane heater to aid the curing process,or should I use some electric heaters? Just looking for some ideas! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    We had a member here that heated his transom work space to do cold weather fiberglass work. I do know there are specific temperature ranges for fiberglass. Being tented and heated is nice however...... The fumes will be overwhelming.

    I hope who ever did the cold weather work will pipe in...... I don't remember who it was
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  3. #3
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!


  4. #4
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Thanks Bob I did see a limited amount of info when I searched... I'm a little hesitant in using the heater with an open flame because of the flammable nature of resin fumes....I guess heat lamps would be my best bet... I can open parts of the tent to allow ventilation when working and then seal it up and keep it warm inside. Maybe someone has done this before and can give me some insight

  5. #5
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Ayuh,... 1 trick is to have whatever you're puttin' resin, 'n glass On, up to temp...

    A COLD hull will suck away any heat you put into a small area you're workin' on....

    Ain't sayin' Cold weather glassin' Can't be done, but it is Troublesome...
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  6. #6
    Vice Admiral Yacht Dr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Hello Rick..

    The first thing your going to need is a Resporator !..

    If you can bring the temp up to about 70ish and the surface isnt cold then your golden ( with a respo ).

    I wouldnt keep your tent open when your glassing ( the glassing shouldnt take too long on a 21 footer ).

    You can use your propane turbo heater to get the warming process up and turn it off before you start the layups. ( keep a fire extinguisher on hand ).

    Basically your working in a climate modified CAVE..you warm it up..get in do your biz and get out. You should have someone to check on you every so often.

    YD.

  7. #7
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Thanks Doc
    I do have a good respirator and will be working with a buddy. I will heat everything up to temp and do my lay up.... then I'll close her up and have some electric heaters to keep the temp up while it cures.

    This site is the best! It's refreshing to find nice people willing to lend some knowledge! Thanks again for everyone's input!

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    i know for a fact ive tried it you cant fiber glass 50 deggre or less weather. and thats a bad idea to do with heathers in a plastic tarp thing. the fumes if get to much could elode the tent your in your better off waiting to spring or puting it in a gararge with ventilation. i plan on fiber glassing my new deck in spring and be on the water in a mounth or so after

  9. #9
    Vice Admiral Yacht Dr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Nothing will Explode...

    Heat your tent..then glass....

    Your house will stink .. way bad..but it wont explode .. you have more chance of spotanious cumbustion with wheat or flour then you have with resins...

    Gasoline on the other hand....bad bad in your garage...resin..not so bad...parts per/sq ft is Very low to explode when your even using a power grinder...

    Ive Never seen glassing explode..or even catch fire in a hot bucket..but just me...

    YD.

  10. #10
    Supreme Mariner oops!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    i did a thread on this a few years back, no problem !

    cant find the thread......but its called glassing in cold temps.....i think its also in the hull extension thread.

    what you have to do is fool the materials !

    keep your resin and glass in the house. (so they are both at the 75 deg range)
    heat the substraight with a big quartz lamp.
    heat the air as best you can.
    mix everything
    run out with the materials and glass it.
    keep the lamp on it and the heat in the air as long as you can.....done.

    resin and glass wont know its cold if you have the substraight warm/hot. the substraight will keep the mix warm till the reaction starts.....
    the trick is to keep the lamp on it while the resin is coming off the back end of the cure....this will give you the stregnth.

    your repair can be done just as strong as you doing it in the summer.

    cheers
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  11. #11
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Thanks Oops

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Yacht Dr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    You also might consider Infrared lamps for heating the substrate ( the hull ) ..

    They are 250w ( HO heat bulbs/low light ) instead of the 500w Halogens ( HO light/lower heat + more $$ to run VS. IR bulbs ).

    Basically your home Depot hollowgens ( pun ) is good for light..but not so good for Heat ( especially directional heat ). And 500w a pop it kinda like buying a heating pad to boil water..Very expensive to use.

    Red ... think Red when heating something .. there are other High end IR or radiant products..but for 10 bucks a pop for IR bulbs@250w..they are hard to beat ( oh..and they dont blind the crap outa ya.. they just make your light blue walls look funny when you get out of that environment lol ).

    Peace.. YD.

  13. #13
    Master Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    I don't do it period, there are many more variables that come into play, especially with the method you are thinking of using.

    The chances are greatly increased for voids, air pockets, poor adhesion, etc.

    The biggest problem is maintaining a consitent temp on the surfaes you are working with, and if nice gust of wind comes up and blows a tarp open you better move quick to attempt to keep those temps where they were.

    If you really must do it, then use heat lamps and stay away from propane and kerosene heaters. Even then I strongly recommend pulling the cars out of the garage and let them reside temporarily in the driveway.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Halogens throw out a lot of heat, they illuminate ok too.

    I did transom work in cold weather.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Just want to chime in here and say it can be done... I've been working on glassing my stringers/deck and it's been less than 60* every day (40s some days!). Only one day did I have any curing problems and that was because my heat died out early so it got cold (and incorrect mixing ratios)... brought the heat back up the next morning and the stuff cured.

    I can't say for using any kind of gas heat, but I can say that I had no problems using an open flame because I was using a wood burning fireplace. My "boat tent" is about 20ft x 15ft so it's not real big. The fumes didn't get too bad but my tarps aren't air tight so some air was gusting in with the winds.

    It would be a good idea to get a cheapo thermometer that you can hang by the boat to monitor temps..

    One more thing.. Good idea on storing the resin inside so it stays room temp, BUT be ready for it to stink up the whole house, even if the lids are on tight. I tried this one time and the next morning the smell about knocked me down! Needless to say, there were some other not-so-happy people in the house too! This was with 5gal buckets, can't say for the one gal jugs. Maybe putting them inside a garbage bag and sealing it would help with the fumes.

    Good luck! I'm too impatient to wait for spring... boat needs to be done by then (hah!)

  16. #16
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Our enclosure is pretty good. I used one of those portable canopies and shortened the legs... It sits on the gunnels and along the bow. We used heavy tarps to wrap the entire boat and ran some string lights along the ridge of the canopy. We can open the front and back for ventilation. I'm pretty sure we can keep it heated enough to cure the glass. I'll start with tabbing in the stringers and see how it goes......even if I have to wait till spring for the deck at least I can get the stringers and foam done

  17. #17
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba1235 View Post
    I don't know about the FG resin but I know for certain that the petroleum byproducts in the exhaust of both propane and kerosine heaters will contaminate gel coal and cause no end of problems. Don't ask how I know this...
    No gel coat on this deck Carpet over mat

  18. #18
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Check this thread out. http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/my-install-transom-27-deg-weather-367380.html

    Hey Bubba, I definitely have heard about the issues with kerosene heaters and paint/glass work but I was thinking propane wasn't as bad in that department? Is it?
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  19. #19
    Petty Officer 1st Class Psiclown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Buying the "Fast" kicking hardener will help too. The stuff I use is rated down to 40 degrees. Whereas the slow hardener is rated to a minimum of 60 degrees.


  20. #20
    Commander rickryder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    I will be using poly resin for this job. I have read poly vs. epoxy threads till my head was spinning.....I guess as long as the prep work is done properly I should have no problem with poly for my repairs. I might do the stringer repair with some epoxy because I will be splicing the stringers in,but the deck I will go with the poly to off set some of the cost. Is the poly more flammable?

  21. #21
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Quote Originally Posted by rickryder View Post
    Is the poly more flammable?
    I think so. It certainly stinks about 900x worse than epoxy.

    Poly is fine. Your boat was built with it. I would not mix materials though. Stick with one or the other.
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  22. #22
    Vice Admiral Yacht Dr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiberglass work in cold weather

    Yup..poly IS more flammable..but not explosive..

    Your Main concern with using poly is the MEKP ( hardener ) thats the most dangerous of anything that you will use..including the Acetone. Keep that MEKP away from flame or heat please. In fact dont even let it touch your skin.

    West system epoxy is good..but Very expensive.

    I agree with EZ..use poly for everything.

    And again..resporator and eyewear!!!!

    YD.

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