Let the Filleting Begin

It took a lot of preparation before I felt ready to begin the fillets.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to do these.  I had read a few suggestions, but much was unknown.  At 5:00 pm I started.  I had all fillets for BH 4-7 done by 10:40 that evening.  DSC00001DSC00002DSC00005This is BH 5 on the Starboard side.  It fell approximately 24″ off the boat onto a cement floor.  This fall snapped the top portion completely off the BH.  If you look real close you can see the hair line break running from the V notch to the C curve horizontally.  I epoxied/glassed around the joint.  I’m sure it’s now stronger than the original.  What are the chances of a 24″ fall breaking this BH?  I was very surprised to see it laying in two pieces.  DSC00003These enlarged openings will make gear access much easier.  I’m really glad I took the time to open up these BH’s.  DSC00004This photo shows the pivot bolt end plate installed on the outboard side of the CB case.  The plans show this plate being installed on the inboard side of the CB case.   I moved it for two reasons:  1- I’ll have better access to the bolt from a large hatch on the cockpit sole, and 2- I’m planning to use fixed ballast, so water exposure to the bolt head (and the surrounding calk) is not an issue.   DSC00007Sure fun to see things start to take shape.

Steps I took to accomplish the fillets:

  1. Prepare all needed supplies (plastic cup, gloves, zip lock baggies, stir sticks, wood flour, silica, etc.)
  2. Lightly paint all joints with unthickened epoxy.
  3. Poop out the thickened epoxy into the joint areas to be filleted.
  4. Run a wide popsicle stick through the joint to smooth out the ugly fillet.  Apply pressure and angle as needed to accomplish a smooth joint.
  5. Clean up the jet streams (the small spill out on both sides of the fillet) with a small flat stick or putty knife.
  6. Wait.
  7. Dip your gloved finger in denatured alcohol and run your finger over the joint for final joint smoothing.

What I learned:

  1. Don’t sweat the fillets.
  2. They go on fairly ugly, but clean right up throughout the process noted above.
  3. You can add additional fillet material the next morning, if your fillet appears too small.
  4. Denatured alcohol helps smooth fillets and facilitates clean up.
  5. Have plenty of wood filler, as this process takes a ton of wood filler.
  6. The mixture needs to be fairly stiff or it will run, especially when applied over wet epoxy.
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2 thoughts on “Let the Filleting Begin

  1. Congratulations on ‘going 3D’! I remember the feeling of accomplishment getting to that point. Looks good – nice fillets. I’m surprised your B5 broke on fall like that, but looks like you got it fixed up. — Dave

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