A better way to do filleting (at least for old codgers)

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A better way to do filleting (at least for old codgers)

Postby DanaDCole on Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:22 pm

I was having a really hard time filleting the floor joists and other areas down in the bilge area. After clambering into the boat with the "pastry bag" flopping around and dropping thickened epoxy here and there, I was having trouble getting a good bead while in some very contorted and uncomfortable positions to get at the joints. This might work fine for a younger person, but I found it very tiring so was doing a poorer job, and sometimes starting to shake with the fatigue.

I discovered West System 810 fillable caulking tubes on the West Marine site and decided to give them a try. (I don't like using the forum to advertise a particular product, but so far I haven't found this in any other brand.) Here's a shot of the used tube in the gun and an unused tube below it:
After filling the tube, you put in the plug and load it into the gun. I found it is best to have the business end of the tube in place where the fillet is to go when installing the plug and mounting the tube into the gun--epoxy is bound to be ejected while you are doing this. You can keep re-filling the tube until the epoxy starts to cure--use a dowel to push the plug out each time. I only used this particular tube twice because I had some other jobs to do. The first time I loaded it with 12 pulls on the epoxy metering valves plus thickener and it was only half-full or less. The second time I tried 17 pulls and it was still not full. I think a tube will hold at least 20. Obviously you want it is as full as possible so you don't have to refill as often and so there is the least possible amount of air between the thickened epoxy and the plug.

The gun I am using has a 6:1 mechanical advantage. I found that I had to squeeze very-very hard with a standard gun even with something like Gluezilla or Six-10. The high-powered gun works easily with the filleting mix also--you just have to squeeze the trigger a lot more times.
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