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  • Gelcoat

    I am attempting to do a practice run with gelcoat prior to spraying on my hatches. A few questions here:

    Can this be sprayed with an automotive type paint gun using the venturi principle?

    And what are the proper mix ratios for the hardener and the PVA?

    Any advice would help alot.

  • #2
    I was at FGCI over the weekend and was talking to the guy there about just that issue. While they make a $400 gun that mixes as it shoots, he seemed to think that it would be no problem. Just catalyze as you normally would put it in your spray gun and shoot. Rinse with acetone immediately after each batch. The one variable was that we were discussing the use of Gelcoat with Duratec high gloss addative which would, as the name implies, give it a high gloss sheen. The samples that they had created there with this mix were beautiful.
    1975 23\' Tampa,FL

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    • #3
      You can use an El Cheapo automotive touch up gun or a HVLP gravity feed gun. Both are available for 50-70 bucks at Sears or Home Depot. They will do just fine for Gelcoat.

      Spraying gelcoat effectively is an acquired process. I highly recommend using Spray reducer from Minicraft. Its a similiar product compared to the Duratec, but allows the gelcoat to keep more of its resin properties... its a stronger gelcoat. I do know of a guy who did an entire boat with gelcoat/Duratec, but I haven't heard how its holding up. Probably fine.

      When you spray gelcoat on to a large surface its a good idea to either hot coat the surface with a slightly thinned vinylester resin and spray the gelcoat w/ additives after the hot coat has tacked. OR to spray a dust coat of gelcoat, let that tack and then come back with gelcoat/additives. I like the first alternative. The purpose of these is to reduce surface tension so that you won't get any pock marks on the freshly applied gelcoat once you stack it up 15+ mils. Its also a good idea to use wax additive in gelcoat, Lets say to use the wax additive inthe final coat if your doing multiple coats. If your doing multiple coats you'll want to wait about 30 minutes between coats.

      Like I said, its a touchy application process. Its a good idea to do some practiceing on some surfaces to figure these things out for yourself. Pretty much everyone I talk to has their own recipee that works for them. Theres alot of good additives out there that you need to know when to use and when not to use. Call Minicraft and talk to one of their tech guys. I'd say call FGCI tech support too, but I can't ever get one of their guys onthe phone.
      Slidell, LA 1993 Mako 261B - Temperance

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      • #4
        How exactly does that minicraft reducer work? Sounds interesting, does it have the same gloss?

        I did my deck that I didn't like with the duratec/gelcoat and it seemed like a good product an pretty strong,it was my application that sucked.
        1975 23\' Tampa,FL

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        • #5
          Its very similiar, but its not mixed in 50/50. Its only mixed in up to 30% and you kinda have to do some experimenting to find the perfect blend for a given temperature... Which I haven't messed around with the stuff enough to find that out yet. I just mix it about 25% and go with it. It smooths the gelcoat out realy nice, but it doesn't cure with an absolute gloss. You'll still have to go back and do some light sanding and buff. But its deffinitely better than the old orange peel where you had to spray 2 coats of 15mils and sand one of them away! The reducer also has some UV inhibitors and a high wax content.
          Slidell, LA 1993 Mako 261B - Temperance

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          • #6
            I saw this when trying to find that reducer on the minicraft website. http://www.minicraft.com/Retail/3M/pps.htm Looks like a good way to make a cheap gun better.

            Which reducer was that anyway?
            1975 23\' Tampa,FL

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            • #7
              These paint guns are pretty good. The price is right.

              http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43430



              http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47016


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