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Thread: DIY canoe epoxy options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default DIY canoe epoxy options

    Hi guys, this winter I am planning on building a super simple canoe, and have a question: can I use the 3m 2 part epoxy from lowes? It's pretty cheap and I'm not planning on making a family heirloom boat. I just want something that will last a few seasons. And for that matter can I use automotive body fillers for my filets instead of wood flour or putty?


  2. #2
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    South Central


    For the best wood to glass adhesion you should use epoxy based resin like System 3, WEST System, RAKA, US Composites. All the stuff at Lowes that I have taken a look at are solvent based polyester resins. They work well on fiberglass but do not adhere to wood very well in the long term. I am assuming that you are building a wood cored canoe. If you are building a glass core then the polyester resins will work fine.

    Bondo works ok for small filets. Larger ones should be made out of the same material you are going to glass the boat with.

    In "Kayaks you can build" the authors prefer to use an auto body filler for the interior of the boat since it more closly matches the wood color once wetted out. Those filets are just creating a nice smooth curve for the glass and are not structural.

  3. #3
    Member ekberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Indiana, only because that's where the check came from...


    I second AK Ray; I've built a number or wood strip canoe's and have always used West System epoxy. There are other good products on the market, however, you can get an incredible amount of information and technical help from Gougeon Brothers on this subject. I would NEVER use an epoxy system not specifically designed for boat building applications.


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