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Q-talk 88 - Q-tips Builder Hints

Be sure to include a drain hole forward of each bulkhead to allow water to drain out. The hole only needs to be about 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Drill the hole from the inside out to aid in your positioning. Flox the area around the hole so there is no exposed foam.

1) Remember the mixing (tongue depressor) sticks? Make one good strong one by gluing two together. A coating of epoxy makes it a solid mixing stick that is reusable. Just wipe off the gunk and re-use.

2) Plastic brushes (from Wal-Mart) last a lot longer than wooden brushes. They can be cleaned with acetone and reused many times.

3) Small batches of epoxy (for patch or fill jobs) can be measured out accurately by using syringes purchased from the pharmacy. They can be cleaned and reused with very little wasted epoxy. Since epoxy costs $80/gallon or so, saving money is important.

4) Do not use cheap sandpaper. You will pay 5x the price in skinned knuckles, wasted time and poor finishes. Forget the dollar store or discount prices and save yourself the frustration in finishing time. Cut sanding belts and stretch to fit over boards for long sanding "blocks". Do not forget to clean them by brushing or blowing off residue to prevent gum-up.

5) Fine pinholes in the filler stage can be worked ?one at a time? rather than re-rolling the whole finish. By using bamboo skewers, matchsticks, Q-tips, or other items, small droplets of filler can be dabbed on and reworked a lot quicker than sanding off most of a complete recoat. This will save you a lot of elbow- grease, time and frustration in dealing with those pesky pinholes.

6) Surface inspections during the priming stage can be done at night with a flashlight held along the surface at an angle. This highlights the imperfections well beyond what can be seen under the shop lights. It allows you to look at the surface from many directions. Low spots will really pop out with this method and can be filled in with primer at that time.

Thanks to Roy Shannon for many of these ideas. Kurt.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #88 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.