1953 Shepherd Model 110S Time for Sikaflex and Varnish

June 12, 2016

It is Monday, so must be seam-semi-filling day. John, RJ and I have been wrestling with how best to execute this task. The bottom of each seam must be filled completely – no voids allowed. Yet the mahogany Sikaflex 191 LOT must not intrude upon each seam’s top edges. They must remain crisp and uniformly sharp.

Our regular seaming technique, filling each seam to be even with the deck’s surface, and then removing the smallest bit to leave a uniformly curved concave surface using one of our shop-made spoons of the appropriate radius.

We tried using a reefing hook backwards, but it is quite heavy and cleaned too much Sikaflex out of the seam.
Then Vermont ingenuity kicked in, when John grabbed a paint stick and tested it in a seam. Perfect. We had our leveling-cleaning tool. But how best might we pay the material into the seam? The standard tip that comes with the 10 oz. tube is just too large, even at the very end. Enter a pair of plyers.

John squeezed the tip, which now fit down into the groove and tested an engine hatch seam. He typically needs two passes to ensure there are no voids or bubbles, but what we did not see was material pushing up and out of the seam.

Several passes with the stirring stick, making sure he was applying the lightest possible pleasure, followed by a wipe down with a cotton shop cloth and, voila, the seam is filled perfectly.

Added bonus: John did the entire engine hatch using less than an inch of the material in the 10 oz. Sikaflex 291 LOT tube!

Sure, we found a super low-rent solution to a vexing challenge, but it is quick, certain and delivers exactly the outcome we were seeking.

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