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I'm preparing to seal up the exterior hull for a wooden kit that I'm building as an RC model.

 

I've heard some people coat the exterior hull in Bondo's fiberglass resin, which despite the name isn't resin mixed with fiberglass, but resin applied to a fiberglass mat that's then afixed to a surface. I bought some, but the fiberglass mat is 0.2mm thick, which is far too bulky. Does anyone just apply the resin without the fiberglass? My hull is only about 16 inches long, so it's fairly small, and probably doesn't need the extra reinforcement that the fiberglass provides. Is the plain resin too brittle and weak or will it work just fine without the fiberglass?

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I've done it successfully many times in the past using epoxy resin. Not sure of any reason a polyester resin would not also serve the purpose of sealing the hull.

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I have done it also. CDW is right that using epoxy or polyester is about the same over time. Some people say that you have to use the cloth for strength and to prevent the finish, (fiberglass) from cracking but I have never had the finish fail. It is pretty much like any other hull coating, you can even add color to it if you want.

Thee only time I ever took any damage to a fiberglass covered hull, (With or without cloth) was when I played ice breaker one day. Ice is HARD and sharp. 

I don't know about epoxy but you can thin down polyester resin with Acetone, (Use care) and it will soak into the wood pretty well making the hull much more resistant and strong.

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31 minutes ago, lmagna said:

I don't know about epoxy but you can thin down polyester resin with Acetone, (Use care) and it will soak into the wood pretty well making the hull much more resistant and strong.

For reducing epoxy resin, I use denatured alcohol. 

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There is an excellent epoxy product specifically formulated for sealing wood. It penetrates the wood surface and when it cures the wood is fully sealed and hardened by the flexible epoxy that has soaked into it. I would use it on any model hull I intended to put into the water. It's extensively used by the professional wooden boat trade. It was originally invented for use in restoring rotted and damaged architectural details on old Victorian "gingerbread" buildings and later as a wood preservative for use in the tropics. From there, it found its way into the wooden boat trade. It's been around now going on 50 years. It can be painted over without further preparation, unlike many other resin coatings which develop an "amine blush" that must be removed before further painting.

 

Smith's "Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (tm)" or just "CPES(tm)."

 

http://www.smithandcompany.org/

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