If you are new to epoxy the thought of glassing your board might be a bit intimidating. With a bit of knowledge you will likely see epoxy is quite forgiving and allows more control than other adhesives we use in the shop. Unlike other adhesives that require drying time, epoxies require the two parts to be mixed to begin a chemical reaction that causes the liquid harden. The amount of time you have to work with is determined by the speed of the hardener. If you are feeling stressed about glassing your board you can simply choose a slow hardener and remove the time crunch/pressure.
How much fiberglass and epoxy are required to glass a wooden board?
It will take less than a 1.5-gallon kit and most likely more than the next smaller kit. Your best bet is to buy a 1.5-gallon kit knowing ahead that you will have some resin left over. Epoxy stores forever and having to buy a second small kit will cost way more. As long as epoxy is not mixed so you do not have to worry about shelf life. Even epoxy that has hardened in the jug can be reheated and used without problems as long as it isn’t contaminated.
Epoxy behaves much like honey before it is mixed and some brands crystallize to a solid in the container. I accidentally threw out jugs of epoxy thinking it was unusable after it hardened in the container. I now know that a hot water bath with turn that unusable looking solid back into perfectly useable resin.
What weight glass should I use on a wooden board?
Use 4-ounce E-glass. It comes in 42” wide rolls that are perfect for paddleboards and it is cut to the correct length and width after it is rolled on the board. Fiberglass should be rolled or specially folded to prevent stressing the weave so try to buy local if you can. The 30″ cloth that is standard for surfboards is too narrow for paddleboards so go bigger if your supplier doesn’t have the right width. You will require a length of glass twice the length of your board plus 2 feet. This gives you 6” of extra length at the nose and the tail on both the top and bottom layer.
Fiberglass is measured by weight per square yard for the glass only. It might seem like a minor difference jumping from the 4-ounce glass that is recommended to 6 ounce but remember this is the weight of the glass only and not the weight of the resin required to fill the weave. The “E” designation specifies the weave pattern so make sure you are getting style #1522 if E-glass isn’t the local term.
Is “Insert Brand Name” a good epoxy?
There are many great epoxies on the market but I have only used a few different brands. In reality every brand has slightly different quirks and curing schedules and once you know them you will think it is great. I currently use SilverTip Epoxy from System Three. SilverTip is more expensive than the other brands I have used but it is easy to achieve excellent results with it. Resin Research is the surf industry standard but it is slightly quirkier for homebuilders and possibly not quite as clear? MAS epoxy & Entropy have good reputations in the wooden board world as well if you are not on the West coast.