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Old 11-07-2004, 09:51 AM   #1
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Fiberglass Resin to coat the new floor?

After doing all kinds of work for months on the AS, our shell is close to going back on. We are finishing the floor, we used exterior grade, moisture resistent, etc... we want to be sure of water not being so much of a problem down the road, it would be lovely if this beast could last atleast another 36 years on this rebuild as it has on the original build from AS. We are thinking of laying everythign out, bolting down the floor, and then skim coating it with a layer of fiberglass resin, also touching up the sides of the wood. What are your reactions to using fiberglass resin to seal the wood? Any better/other suggestions?
--Chad Bleakney--
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JeepinAudiophile
After doing all kinds of work for months on the AS, our shell is close to going back on. We are finishing the floor, we used exterior grade, moisture resistent, etc... we want to be sure of water not being so much of a problem down the road, it would be lovely if this beast could last atleast another 36 years on this rebuild as it has on the original build from AS. We are thinking of laying everythign out, bolting down the floor, and then skim coating it with a layer of fiberglass resin, also touching up the sides of the wood. What are your reactions to using fiberglass resin to seal the wood? Any better/other suggestions?
--Chad Bleakney--
Personally I like it. I do think you will need to pay close attention to how you coat the wood. I would not install the plywood in untill it is coated.
Both sides and all four edges. Pay attention to pin holes. When they are dry and ready to install have a can of wood perservative handy to coat the holes you drilled to place the floor.
Have you thought about a different material such as All-A-Board composite panels.
Good Luck

My $0.02
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
Personally I like it. I do think you will need to pay close attention to how you coat the wood. I would not install the plywood in untill it is coated.
Both sides and all four edges. Pay attention to pin holes. When they are dry and ready to install have a can of wood perservative handy to coat the holes you drilled to place the floor.
Have you thought about a different material such as All-A-Board composite panels.
Good Luck

My $0.02
You would not recomend leavingthe botom side open? I was thinking to seal the top and sides from water, but theave the bottom open for breathing. The wood has been outside for a while, mostly under cover, but it will have some water absorbed. My plan was to lay down all the wood, then skim the top with resin and a squeegee, touch up the edges then let it be. When it comes time top put the shell on, we'd lightly sand the surface to smoothe out any imperfections and give the tile adhesive something to grab. This like I said is still open for discussion, which is why I posted the question. I just thought it to be better to allow the wood to breath, but do not know. Thank You, explain if possible, and I welcome other ideas and affirmations of ones already offered. --Chad Bleakney--
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:50 PM   #4
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Chad, I wouldn't use polyester resin. The resin for that task is epoxy. The epoxy soaks in much better. It is also more waterproof, albeit more expensive.It also does not have the strong lingering odour of polyester resin. The yacht building trade will use polyester resin for building hulls and decks with glass fiber reinforcing, but epoxy resin is used for wood penetration. The ideal is to totally encapsulate the timber in epoxy resin. This includes sealing the inside of any hole, after it has been drilled, and before any fastener is inserted. This is too great a demand for the installation of a floor in a travel trailer, IMHO. Coating one side will slow down drying out after any dampness. I would rather use treated sheet material to avoid decay. The recent replacement for CCA treatment of plywood would be worth considering. Nick.
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:58 PM   #5
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In lieu of fiberglass resin which is a polyester based product, I would suggest using West System Epoxy which is readily available at Marine stores. Polyester based resin is likely to remain "fumey" for quite a while. Your trailer could wind up smelling like the inside of a fiberglass boat for quite some time. The West System Epoxy is easily applied using the West System foam rollers and it should not be fumey at all. The brand name WEST comes from Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique . Be sure to mix it in very precise proportions, then apply 2 coats, sanding between coats to protect, 3 coats to make watertight. Encapsulate the wood in epoxy to make it completely watertight.

That said, it is not all that necessary to coat the wood with fiberglass resin or epoxy, just saturate it with a top quality wood preservative, like Olympic Stain wood preservative, or, seal it with 3 coats of boiled linseed oil. The "lin" in linseed oil is a basic ingredient in "linoleum" and most oil based paints. Mix the boiled linseed oil, 1 part boiled linseed oil to 3 parts mineral spirits, then apply 3 coats to the wood or until the wood will no longer absorb it. The mineral spirits will allow the linseed oil to penetrate deeply into the wood. This will seal the wood against absorbing the moisture which would lead to decay and rot. Be sure to not use a copper based wood preservative as it may react with the aluminum. Boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits should be readily available at Wal-Mart or any building supply store.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:06 PM   #6
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In my case - I just epoxied the edges - about 4" - the rest of the plywood was sealed with Varathane - do not see the need to do anymore since it was just the edges that rotted after 45 years

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Old 11-07-2004, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
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In lieu of fiberglass resin which is a polyester based product, I would suggest using West System Epoxy which is readily available at Marine stores. Be sure to mix it in very precise proportions, then apply 2 coats, sanding between coats to protect, 3 coats to make watertight. Encapsulate the wood in epoxy to make it completely watertight.

This seems to be the way to go I had forgot about Wests, I had a neighbor who used it and 15 years later it is still like new.

That said, it is not all that necessary to coat the wood with fiberglass resin or epoxy, just saturate it with a top quality wood preservative, like Olympic Stain wood preservative, or, seal it with 3 coats of boiled linseed oil. The "lin" in linseed oil is a basic ingredient in "linoleum" and most oil based paints. Mix the boiled linseed oil, 1 part boiled linseed oil to 3 parts mineral spirits, then apply 3 coats to the wood or until the wood will no longer absorb it. The mineral spirits will allow the linseed oil to penetrate deeply into the wood. This will seal the wood against absorbing the moisture which would lead to decay and rot. Be sure to not use a copper based wood preservative as it may react with the aluminum. Boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits should be readily available at Wal-Mart or any building supply store.
I have one question about this type of treatment. What will the mineral sprits mainly the oil in them do to the glue used in the plywood bond?
This type of treatment is mainly done on solid wood not laminates. That being said maybe denatured alcohol insted of the mineral sprits would be better.

Enjoy![/QUOTE]
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:41 PM   #8
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Talking

Quote:
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I have one question about this type of treatment. What will the mineral sprits mainly the oil in them do to the glue used in the plywood bond?
This type of treatment is mainly done on solid wood not laminates. That being said maybe denatured alcohol insted of the mineral sprits would be better.

Enjoy!
[/QUOTE]

Gary, exterior grade plywood is usually put together with waterproof phenol formaldehyde (phenolic) adhesive. It is the Clint Eastwood of the glue world. If confronted by punk mineral spirits it is liable to be similarly unimpressed. Nick.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:06 PM   #9
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Similarly, if mineral spirits impacted the glue in plywood, you wouldn't be able to paint plywood with oil based paint.

I've used West System Epoxy to build sailboats and have a healthy respect for it, however it is not without drawbacks. UV does impact the epoxy, but with enough UV exposure, it also can cause the wood undereneath to break down, leaving the epoxy with nothing to bond to. This becomes a chink in the armour, so to speak, and may let moisture in leading to rot. This is a common problem on wood boats where the wood is often exposed to sunlight. The West System Epoxy can last up to 4 years, but by then it will need to be removed and redone. If you can fully eliminate UV exposure it will stay sound for years and years.

My confidence in boiled linseed oil comes from using it on the front door to our home. It is a mahogany door and after 3 good coats, you can hose down the door and the water just beads up on the surface without soaking in at all. With a couple years exposure to the exterior, the UV may make the surface linseed oil turn black, but the saturated wood still resists water absorbtion.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:06 AM   #10
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Well, I think that I may follow up with the WEST system, I have a distributor for my work that i can order directly to get the stuff at good prices. I can only imagine that the linseed oil will prohibit the flooring adhesive from adhering to the wood correctly, and I hadn't even thought of the smell of the fiberglass. I am rather used to it's fabulous odor, as I use it almost every day at work constructing custom trim panels and enclosures for automotive electronics. The WEST System is probably a better plan, although it is likely to be a week between laying down the resin and getting around to getting the shell on, and then months before the interior goes back in. I still ahve to re-wire all the electrical since it is outfitted with aluminex now, and re-insulate before I can even begin with the inner skin. Thank You all for your comments, and if you feel the need to add information- please add it, If it doesn't help me directly that it may help someone down the road who figures out where the "Search" button is!!! lol. Thank You again everyone, Chad Bleakney
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:56 PM   #11
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Don't use the new treated plywood...

Nick,

I thought that using the new treated plywoods would be a good idea. I found a local source that does the treating, had some sheets made up for me and installed the complete floor. Then I found out that the new type was extra corrosive to metals and in particular to aluminum. I knew ahead of time that it was more corrosive than regular plywood so I used treated screws, etc. but evidently that is just not enough when there is so much of the aluminum and steel in direct contact with the treated wood. Somehow the full extent of the corrosiveness slipped my attention until too late. So I currently have half of the treated plywood out and I am in the process of installing a new floor using a new product called Polyboard. I am taking photographs of the process and intend to document it here in the forums when I am a little further along. In the meantime anyone that is interested in more information about the Polyboard material can look at the following website:

www.newcityresources.com

You can also check out my comments about it in the following forum thread posting #41:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=13045

I believe I have worked out an acceptable way to deal with the lack of stiffness. Supports at a nominal 12" on center seems to work just fine. I am using aluminum channel that is 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/8". I am adding 4 strips down the middle of the AS at 12" on center. More details to following when I get around to posting the details. In the meantime I can try to answer questions that anyone has.

Malcolm
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:21 PM   #12
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Malcolm, your solution seems excellent. The treated ply would necessitate stainless steel fasteningss and a continuous gasket of non-conductive material along the contact lines with metals. That's what we do when joining dissimilar metals on sea-going yachts. I prefer your solution. Bob's idea of boiled linseed oil is also inspired. Boiled linseed oil is a remarkable product. I once (1979) had a pair of heavy leather hiking boots that had become soft and porous to water. I cleaned and dried them, and brushed on a coat of boiled linseed oil every day until no more would soak in. I seem to remember it took at least ten coats. Twenty five years later, the boots are still watertight, with no further treatment during that quarter century. Amazing stuff! Nick.
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