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  In the middle of gelcoat repair -- uh oh!

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Author Topic:   In the middle of gelcoat repair -- uh oh!
Chesapeake posted 07-17-2001 02:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for Chesapeake   Send Email to Chesapeake  
Reposted from general section.

Am in the middle of repair on the interior gelcoat of my Nauset using the Spectrum patch kit. Color (whaler blue) is pretty good, but will be slightly off a shade or two. Not perfect, but better than looking at the black gouges down to the fiberglass. I have received excellent advice from LHG and have sanded the gelcoat flush with the surface using 320 grit. Am now ready to progress to 400, 600, 1000, 1500 etc.
Here's the rub (no pun intended) and the question. As I have sanded down to level, even with very small sanding blocks, I have also sanded a bit of the surrounding, original light blue gelcoat. The color of that original gelcoat is now considerably lighter than it was and much duller. As I progress to the finer grits, will the color and luster come back to its original? How much sanding do I do with each new grit and with how much pressure? How long should it take me so I can guage whether I am doing properly?

In one spot (on the transom shelf where the original stern light terminal WAS located and is now replaced with epoxy and gelcoat), I started to see a little black speck. As I sanded it a bit more, it got larger and I realized: "You cut through the gelcoat, dumb @*%!". I mixed up some more gelcoat and just applied it over the break. When I sand tonite, I'll plan on being careful not to cut through again as I sand down. IS THIS THE RIGHT APPROACH? Sure would appreciate some help from the pros out there.

Thanks, in advance.

Bob (Chesapeake)

Bigshot posted 07-17-2001 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Not repeating myself.
hardensheetmetal posted 07-17-2001 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
Bob-

Have not heard from you here in a while, you must be busy with the restoration.

I just got done doing some light blue gelcoat work on my 13. After getting a little put off about Spectrums close, but not quite color match, I tried mixing some of the white exterior with the blue, and it came out a lot closer

Dan

Chesapeake posted 07-17-2001 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Dan:

I have been going regularly to Whaler Forum-aholics anonymous. This is so addictive.

At any rate. I thought about doing that last night - mixing in some white and probably should have tried. We'll see how it turns out.

Dan, back to my question. As you sanded, did the original gelcoat dull out? Did the luster come back as you got up to 1500 - 2000 grit? I just don't know what to expect here.

Bob

lhg posted 07-17-2001 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Bob - sanding dulls out the gelcoat, then you sand it back up through the numbers, then buff it out. Will look like new. Matching colors is always difficult, if not impossible. Gelcoat lightens from UV exposure over the years. That's why it's hard to match colors. Every boat is a slightly different color, depending where it's been.
Chesapeake posted 07-17-2001 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Larry: As usual, thanks for the perfect response to my question.

I was reticent to ask for your thoughts directly as going to the same well too often is a bit selfish. You seem to have an unending wealth of information and knowledge, matched by a willingness to share it with anyone, novice or expert. We all appreciate your presence on the Forum.

Bob (Chesapeake)

PS: What would you use to polish or buff out after the 2000 grit? I guess I'm not all that reticent...

hardensheetmetal posted 07-17-2001 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
Bob-

I (unfortunately) did not heed all of Larry advice, and only wen't down (up?) to 1000 grit, and then compound (white not orange). Now, when I'm out on the water and trhe sun hits the two big flat spots in the bow, I can see some sanding swirl marks. Oh-well, theres always next winter.

Dan

PS, If you do tint with the white, only use a tiny bit (the tip of a popsicle stick).

hardensheetmetal posted 07-17-2001 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
Oh, by the way, someone asked if Jim H. could add a spell check to the forum, great idea, but how about a dictionary too...riticent???, C'mon Bob I'm a damn sheet metal worker not an english teacher!!!

Dan

lhg posted 07-17-2001 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have found that by sanding through to #2000, the finest grit regularly available, you get a MUCH better job. The orange rubbing compound is not needed. I just go to the white automotive style polishing compound (green can), than the Meguires 44, etc. If you do it correctly, you will not be able to see where you worked.

I used to do the standard recs. #600, then rubbing compound, etc. I could always see the repair area. Don't skip the Finesse-it II. It's supposed to be done with an orbital, but if you don't rub like hell until it's completely dry and powdered. That's where the gloss polishing action is.

Chesapeake posted 07-18-2001 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Dan: It is just like that All-in-the-Family seen, Archie Bunker learns a new word and he has to then include it in every conversation for the next week. I will be reticent, er... hesitant to do that in the future.

I got down to 1500 grit last night and the dullness is vastly improved, but still very evident. Am hoping that the 2000 will do the trick. I went from 600 directly to 1500, as I couldn't find the "tweeners" such as 800 and 1000. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

Dan: I am really wishing that I added a little white now. The color variations are starting to show through. I probably should have been more careful to test first. But you know that kit, you are supposed to mix half of it at a time. Live and learn. Maybe I will re-do it all again over the winter, after hunting season ends.

Bob

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