System Three Quik Fair — First Impressions

Quik_Fair_A_and_B (Medium)I am trying to have the bottom of the boat painted by the middle of April but I don’t think I will make it.  Boat building is a journey not a destination and I have been learning how to use System Three Quik Fair, a two-part epoxy fairing putty.  Quik Fair comes in two tubs, A which is tan and B which is white.  They are mixed at 100 parts of A to 44 part of B by weight. The A and B are somewhere between mayonnaise and peanut butter but stickier.

Rule Number 1.  Don’t get any A or B in the wrong tub. 

I took some old spoons and marked then A and B and I only have one tub open at a time.  I measure out 100 grams of A on to the plywood palette and then put the A spoon in a tin of vinegar.  I then measure out 44 grams on B, making sure that I don’t get any A on the B spoon.  The B spoon goes in to the vinegar which should neutralize the epoxy until I get a chance to clean the spoons.  I then mix the A and B well using tongue depressors with one end cut off.  My 6 x 6 inch palettes are too small; I should have made them 8 x 8 inches.

quik_fair_on_hull (Medium)I put two batches of 144 gram of Quik Fair on about 1/4 of the hull and I ended up sanding most of it off.  I also found that I had high spots that took a lot of sanding and low spots that didn’t have any Quik Fair.

Rule Number 2.  Put a thin skim coat hull to help find the high and low spots when sanding.

I  made a longboard which is not that long; 4 x 10 1/2 inches which is a little smaller than a 1/2 sheet of sand paper.  I spray a thin coat of adhesive on to the sand paper and wait a minute so it gets tacky and that allows me to peel of the sand paper when it is used up.  I sand in an X pattern; down the hull at 45 degrees to the left and then back the other direction at 45 degrees to the right. I found that if I was not creating dust or I could not feel the sand paper cutting I was wasting my time.

Rule Number 3.  Use good sand paper and replace often.

Some of my sand paper would clog up in a minute and I spent more time changing the paper than sanding.  I found that 80 grit 3M SandBlasterPro “Only at Lowe’s” sand paper worked the best with a good balance of being aggressive without making deep scratches.  I could sand an entire panel with 2 half sheets if I brushed the sanding dust off the sand paper regularly.  On the high spot I went through the Quik Fair into the epoxy and on the low spots there was either no Quik Fair or the Quik Fair was rough.  Any place that I sanded the Quik Fair was almost glass smooth and any place I missed for rough or shiny.

Rule Number 4.  Make sure the Quik Fair has cured before sanding.

System Three says that Quik Fair will cure in 3 hours at 70°F; my garage is at 55°F and the Quik fair was not cured at 3 hours, 6 hours and still soft at 12 hours.  I could tell the Quik Fair was not cured because the sand paper would get clogged in a few strokes.  Once cured Quik Fair was easy to sand as long as I did not put too much on.

Rule Number 5.  The last step to applying Quik Fair is to smooth out the ridges.

I found that as I apply the Quik Fair with the squeegee I would always have some ridges on the hull.  I would try to smooth them out but sometimes I would make a mess and have to re-apply the Quik Fair.  Sam Devlin talked about using a cloth wetted with denatured alcohol to smooth out the epoxy fillets which got me thinking that might work for the ridges.  When I have put the entire batch of quick fair on the hull I would thoroughly clean my squeegee with a paper towel dipped in denatured alcohol.  I would then go over the ridges with the clean and slightly wet squeegee.   I would clean the squeegee often.  I found that I could knock down most the the ridges without messing up the fairing.


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