CLEANING UP THE LAPS
Before you can do the other side you need to pull the tape and remove the excess glass (drip skirt). It is important to do this step carefully as any missed bits of tape will be trapped under the new coat of epoxy. If you time this step correctly it is a simple task, if you let the resin fully cure it is much harder.
This task is done by carefully holding a sharp razor blade and cutting right along the tape line on the deck. It is best if you can do this “cut lap” before the epoxy fully hardens. It should be cured enough that it is not tacky or gummy, but not so hard that it becomes difficult to cut with the razor blade. You can flex the drip skirt to test if the time is right. Make sure you remove all of the tape while you are cutting with the razor blade, or else it will show up under the top lamination. You should be left with a nice, clean lap-line along the deck rail. Don’t worry if this line isn’t perfect as this area can be overlapped with the other side.
The tape should just peal off leaving a nice clean edge.
You can use the same razor as a scraper to remove the hard edge left by the tapeline and any stubborn tape bits that remained. This is also a good time to use a razor blade to scrape off any lumps/drips that you didn’t catch earlier.
FLATTENING THE LAPS
One of the keys to a good glass-job is making sure your laps are as clean and flat as possible. To do this, you need to carefully sand away any bumps or wrinkles along the lap line using a sanding block with medium grit sandpaper or cut them out with the razor. Try to feather the edge of the lap as flush to the board as possible, being careful not to sand into the exposed wood. Sand away any of those hanging-strands of fiberglass, wrinkles, or bubbles that may have formed during your lamination. It is better to deal with any high spots in the weave now and minimize the chance of “burn through” when you are doing your final sanding.
Once your lamination has cured enough to flip, you’ll want to clean up the lap line. The key here is to try to smooth out this seam as much as possible using a hard sanding block or the back of a razor blade. The goal is to create a nice taper for the next lamination to overlap. Really just try to stay on the high side of the lap and smooth away any big bumps or dried strings of fiberglass. Once you have sufficiently flattened the laps, you will want to wipe down the entire board with some denatured alcohol and a clean rag. This cleans up and prepares the surface of the board for the next stage.
Note: The board in this tutorial had both the lamination coat and hot coat completed on one side and then the next day both coat were completed on the other side. There is no real right or wrong order so you can do the steps in the order that is best for your time schedule.
If you have any drips that ended up on the bottom make sure you sand them flat before you laminate the second side. If you leave high spots like this you will most likely find them later when you are sanding your gloss coat. All weave must be covered to be waterproof so it is smart to deal with these mistakes early.
TAPING THE RAIL
The second side receives a drip edge just like the the first side. If you drop down just below the apex of the rail you will end up with two layers of glass on the part of the rail that is most likely to be abused. Try to get this second tapeline fairly straight as it makes it easier to sand the rails fair. You want to make sure you don’t leave any spots on the rail uncoated so if your lap line is wavy start in the worst area and stay are this elevation. If you did your taping correctly on the previous step, your rail along the nose and tail areas should already be completely coated, so these area might end up with a full overlap for extra protection.