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Argg! Who has successfully fitted fibreglass porthole liners?


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I am just getting to the end of fitting out a tiny 20ft narrowboat as a studio boat.  I made the poor decision of buying fibreglass porthole liners,  as the wait for wood ones, which is all I've fitted previously,  was far too long, and I've been trying to keep costs down. Nightmare.  I am sure I'm missing a trick here. 

Your thoughts please...especially if you have actually fitted them, on the best way to do so. I've tried a couple of ways with little success.

I'm really wishing I had gone with wood now!

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Whats the problem?  A friend fitted them and they looked quite good, dunno how he did it and how difficult it was though.,,

 

I assume they are quite textured on the inside, various epoxies stick anything to anything, but personally I like screws, I don't care if they look a bit industrial, just knowing that things will come apart when required makes me happy. Black screws are good 😀

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You can't screw them, they are far too thin. Tried double sided sticky window tape, thick ish, nope, tried assorted adhesives, but they just don't want to stick.

@dmr , could you ask your friend his solution please?

I have searched topics here, blogs, and YouTube to no avail. Bloggers seem to end up getting wood ones later!

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4 minutes ago, Ally said:

You can't screw them, they are far too thin. Tried double sided sticky window tape, thick ish, nope, tried assorted adhesives, but they just don't want to stick.

@dmr , could you ask your friend his solution please?

I have searched topics here, blogs, and YouTube to no avail. Bloggers seem to end up getting wood ones later!

 

Its somebody who I am no longer in touch with so sadly can't help. So is the liner a shallow "tube" that goes across the insulation and a flange like a big washer that goes against the lining? If so why cant you screw through that into the lining?

West System epoxy sticks to most things

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The instructions for model kits made of fibre glass often suggest scrubbing with a soap ( not detergent ) solution prior to gluing. Detergents contain oils that inhibit many glues.

Edited by Eeyore
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I've no experience with these, but in general when fibreglass stuff is made the mould is coated with a release agent so it doesn't stick to the mould. Some of this could still be on the liner and prevent any glue sticking to it. Acetone seems to get recommended a lot for cleaning any oils, stains and other contamination off of fibreglass.

If you try acetone, clean them outdoors, as it is very volatile solvent and will do your head no good at all if used in a confined space like a small boat cabin. 🤢

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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I am with Jen, its probably the release agent and some reins (epoxy I know) seem to produce a wax film cross the surface as they cure.

 

I would wash in very hot water and detergent or sugar soap and then wipe over with acetone or in  my case Panel Wipe degreaser because I have it in stock and it may be easier to obtain. Keep turning the cloth so you don't smear the wax back on.

 

Edited to add: if the adhesive is to be applied to the hidden surface of the liner I would also abrade it where the adhesive is to be placed.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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11 hours ago, Ally said:

I am just getting to the end of fitting out a tiny 20ft narrowboat as a studio boat.  I made the poor decision of buying fibreglass porthole liners,  as the wait for wood ones, which is all I've fitted previously,  was far too long, and I've been trying to keep costs down. Nightmare.  I am sure I'm missing a trick here. 

Your thoughts please...especially if you have actually fitted them, on the best way to do so. I've tried a couple of ways with little success.

I'm really wishing I had gone with wood now!

We made ours an interference fit in the cut outs of the lining, I dislike glueing someting like that in case it ever needs to be removed, some fit better than others, so every time we hit something those ones  fall out, but not a grand nusance in the scheme of things, I've had a little success with stick on velcro but never really pursued that, cheap enough to give it a try?

What we do like is that they do not need varnishing and never get water stains like all of the wood linings that  I have ever seen do.

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Thanks so far, i will definitely give them a clean up to check there is no release agent left on, thanks for that advice!

 

dmr, they aren't a tube, just a thin liner with a curved edge that goes to the line out, and obviously one to the port. 3d but only a single very thin layer. They seem to damage easily, both were damaged on the edge when delivered but luckily once cut to fit, we lost the damage. No way you could screw them.

This is how thin they are. This was attempt how- ever- many, in this case using double sticky window tape, which we also put round the port to accept the neck, with a bit more adhesive for good luck. We left it strongly braced for 24 hours, and they are there but not neatly to the lining, not solid at all. Though the tape did grab them well. We have fixed wood within the line out around the port, to help, but still they ease away.

So so far nobody has really successfully fitted them...hoping still for someone to nip by with a "oh! Simple! Just use ******" 

IMG20210213114911.jpg

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1 minute ago, Ally said:

 

So so far nobody has really successfully fitted them...hoping still for someone to nip by with a "oh! Simple! Just use ******" 

 

Recollection hazy now havent seen the boat for 9 months but when we used the velcro we had to glue wooden blocks to the porthole to fill the gap I don't recollect any issues here , with either the wood sticking to the porthole or the velcro to the wood the actual problem was sticking the velcro to the boat lining which had a vinyl covering. I think we probably used polyurthene glue for the wood.

porthole.jpg

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

Do the suppliers not give instructions for fixing?

No! 

 

1 hour ago, Phoenix_V said:

Recollection hazy now havent seen the boat for 9 months but when we used the velcro we had to glue wooden blocks to the porthole to fill the gap I don't recollect any issues here , with either the wood sticking to the porthole or the velcro to the wood the actual problem was sticking the velcro to the boat lining which had a vinyl covering. I think we probably used polyurthene glue for the wood.

porthole.jpg

So sort of like this? Tried that, fell off! (See photo below)

 

1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

You say they ease away. Does that mean the flange sits proud of the cabin lining. If so have you relieved the lining to accept the radius on the inside of the flange?

 

I expect you have but you never know.

Yes, we currently have it sort of free floating by the cut out, to allow that, but the liner just won't fix tight to the port or line out. Perhaps I'm being too pernickety? 

IMG20210213104614.jpg

Might try velcro though! Thanks!

 

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You could try a dense adhesive/expanding foam applied as a bead on the inside of the flange (before fitting), then cut it back to give a flat surface to fix and a little extra strength. 

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2 hours ago, Ally said:

So sort of like this? Tried that, fell off! (See photo below)

yes thats it, dont recall them falling off it should certainly be possible to stick wood to fibreglass, then just the self adhesive velcro, as I said it was the vinyl covered cabin wall that was our weak point the velcro never stuck to it well.

another thought have you asked the supplier

 

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1 hour ago, BWM said:

You could try a dense adhesive/expanding foam applied as a bead on the inside of the flange (before fitting), then cut it back to give a flat surface to fix and a little extra strength. 

I had wondered if expanding foam might work. Knowing how well it sticks, if we braced it again it might just hold it? 

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1 minute ago, Ally said:

I had wondered if expanding foam might work. Knowing how well it sticks, if we braced it again it might just hold it? 

even if it doesnt stick should give a nice interference fit if you use it inside the "hole"

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1 minute ago, Phoenix_V said:

yes thats it, dont recall them falling off it should certainly be possible to stick wood to fibreglass, then just the self adhesive velcro, as I said it was the vinyl covered cabin wall that was our weak point the velcro never stuck to it well.

another thought have you asked the supplier

 

I am suspecting the release agent is what is causing us so many problems now. Never having used fibre glass before like this, it hadn't popped into my head. *goes off to find some acetate *

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Or cellunose thinners. Take a little fish paste jar into a car body paint shop, they'll almost certainly give you a drop. A bloke asking there though would probably get a refusal.

 

Edited by bizzard
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34 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Acetone may be better.

Good point, I'm going to blame predictive text!

14 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Or cellunose thinners. Take a little fish paste jar into a car body paint shop, they'll almost certainly give you a drop. A bloke asking there though would probably get a refusal.

 

Now I have to buy and eat fish paste! 🤢 actually,  that might stick them!!

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4 minutes ago, Ally said:

Good point, I'm going to blame predictive text!

Now I have to buy and eat fish paste! 🤢 actually,  that might stick them!!

Crab paste is best.  Mine wasn't predictive text, I meant it, cellulose thinners has a serious and powerful aroma. I used to stick stamps in my album with jam. honest injun.

Edited by bizzard
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19 minutes ago, Tonka said:

What about nail polish remover. Is that not acetone

It certainly used to be. Possibly still is. I must look...whilst I'm not girly enough to paint my finger nails,  I do do my toe nails through the summer....black! 🤣

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