Workshop cleanliness for open layup

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shadow

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New-to-me workshop was used for wood working. Sawdust everywhere, even on the ceiling. Needless to say all this will be vacuumed and wiped and maybe a fresh coat of paint on the walls/ceiling.

The concrete floor is what concerns me. It's your typical brushed finish concrete like you would have in a garage with what appears to be some sort of coating. It's not even remotely smooth. After vacuuming, brushing, and mopping you could still see sawdust in the small valleys and troughs of the floor. In these cleaned floor areas you can wipe your finger and manage to bring up some dirt/dust even after the cleaning described earlier. My intuition is that walking over this floor will kick up dust.

How clean of a space is needed for doing wet layups? How clean for vacuum bagging, infusion, other composite techniques?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
 

Jay Kempf

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Depends on your goals. I painted a couple cars in a dusty garage. I hosed the whole interior down before starting the paint cycles. Then wet sanded out the finished product and buffed. If you are going to do infusion you need a clean table to work on and clean supplies. So if dust is falling everywhere actively that wouldn't be ideal. But normally you are putting a mold on your build table and cleaning it and the tools prior to closing the bag. After that nothing can get in and contaminate the bag.

In my layup room I built a huge stiff, very level table and floated bar top epoxy on it. That lets me bag against the table which is convenient. The room isn't perfect but I can give it a good clean once in a while.
 

kent Ashton

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Dust is like cornstarch in a jumbalaya! Just kidding. I doubt you can get any amount of wood dust in an open layup that would matter. If I was pulling shapes out of a mold, that'd be a different story--I'd want a clean mold but even then, it probably wouldn't matter. I do suggest keeping your fiberglass rolls wrapped or in a box.
 

robertl

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New-to-me workshop was used for wood working. Sawdust everywhere, even on the ceiling. Needless to say all this will be vacuumed and wiped and maybe a fresh coat of paint on the walls/ceiling.

The concrete floor is what concerns me. It's your typical brushed finish concrete like you would have in a garage with what appears to be some sort of coating. It's not even remotely smooth. After vacuuming, brushing, and mopping you could still see sawdust in the small valleys and troughs of the floor. In these cleaned floor areas you can wipe your finger and manage to bring up some dirt/dust even after the cleaning described earlier. My intuition is that walking over this floor will kick up dust.

How clean of a space is needed for doing wet layups? How clean for vacuum bagging, infusion, other composite techniques?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
There are self leveling epoxy products that you pour on the floor, squeegee it around and let it cure. It's supposed to give a really smooth and durable finish.
Bob
 
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BJC

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Another option is to polish the concrete floor, but that could be expensive starting with a broom finish.

See any box store floor for an example.


BJC
 

TFF

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I have found if you do not stir up dust, it stays put. Also depends on if you are working on the ground or on a table. On the ground I would have to seal it in. On a table, not really. Stirring is still the biggest deal. Don’t sweep day of to three or four before. The stuff on the floor likes it there, only you are the one stirring it up. I have painted cars on dirt floors and “unclean“ hard floors. No wetting the floor. Don’t stomp around; be careful where you drag the hose. The humidity change is why I don’t. Not the only way though.

Tape some visqueen on the floor. Under the bench or mould. If you have to produce a part daily with multiple moulds going at once is different than once a week on the weekend fun.
 

shadow

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Thanks to everyone for their input!

The consensus seems to be that I should be ok as long as I'm not an idiot about things and take a couple/few small preventative measures.

The plan is to make a couple assembly tables so they can be arranged into different shapes, as needed.

My go to option if the dust was unacceptable was indeed renting a floor polisher then follow-up with some form of coating. I'll look into the self-leveling epoxy products.

I have the leaf blower and fans, I will give that a go.

There is no footer on this slab so screeding a new layer of concrete would not be possible without quite a bit more effort.

Thanks again for all the responses!
 

cblink.007

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If you think sawdust is bad wait until you start sanding a moldless part to make it pretty. 😷
Good times...not!
20200524_153912.jpg
Moldless composite finishing...the ultimate test of one's patience!

To think we will have to play this game once again when we start the full scale plug!!
 

wsimpso1

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Cleanliness for open layups? I would run a bench brush over the working surfaces and make sure nobody does any sandblasting or air hosing from a few minutes before you start until after you finish. If your area is prone to blowing dirt and sand, you should close the doors and windows. Really, it does not get more complicated than that. Avoid obvious dirt, wax, oil, water, and food in your cloth, resin, and part and you will be good.

One big hint on contaminants - Many of us wax our work tables and molds so that epoxy does not stick to them. You NEED to keep the wax, applicators, buffing towels, and buffer in one tub. Those items come out for use and go back in the moment they are not being used. Never leave dried wax alone - buff it out and clean up the dust. All wax dust is swept off parts and vacuumed up. Wax in your lamnates and adhesives is BAAAAD.

Billski
 

wsimpso1

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Good times...not!
View attachment 101307
Moldless composite finishing...the ultimate test of one's patience!

To think we will have to play this game once again when we start the full scale plug!!
Cblink,

That looks like someone might be trying to use minimum filler... If yes, well please look at this:
Post 25 is where I cover filling and fairing the flaps and ailerons. I have been using this method on sailboat repairs and plugs and molds and now parts, and it cuts way down on cycles and hours.

Billski
 

cblink.007

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Cblink,

That looks like someone might be trying to use minimum filler... If yes, well please look at this:
Post 25 is where I cover filling and fairing the flaps and ailerons. I have been using this method on sailboat repairs and plugs and molds and now parts, and it cuts way down on cycles and hours.

Billski
I like it, and thank you for sharing. I had way too little on the underside you are seeing; I did not make the same mistake on the top. Making the plug will be so much fun!
 

pictsidhe

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Cblink,

That looks like someone might be trying to use minimum filler... If yes, well please look at this:
Post 25 is where I cover filling and fairing the flaps and ailerons. I have been using this method on sailboat repairs and plugs and molds and now parts, and it cuts way down on cycles and hours.

Billski
you also don't have to deal with layers or differing hardness due to slightly different mixes. That does not make profiling any easier.
 

wsimpso1

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you also don't have to deal with layers or differing hardness due to slightly different mixes. That does not make profiling any easier.
In fact that is what the prime directive of fairing (put it on once, take it off once) is all about.
 

cblink.007

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Ok, so I saw in a previous post, and an HBA member discussed using a jagged edge putty knife to apply the micro in a uniform depth, then filling in the valleys. Looked like this (and I apologize for not remembering who posted this pic):
IMG_20180611_155901.jpg
I was about to try this technique over a practice piece, just to see if it worked good. Thoughts?

The model I am about to start testing turned out OK (with respect to finishing)...good enough for small scale testing, but I want the full size plug perfect for obvious reasons! Thx for the feedback!
 

wsimpso1

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The toothed spatula method is even talked about in the Gougeon Brother's Boat Building Book. If this works for you, terrific. I have used it and it gave me the same problems as with conventional fill and sand cycles. You get places that sand easier than others, which drives waves and fill and sand cycles that never really level out. The only one I count on now is what I detailed in the log entry on my flaps.

Bill
 

cblink.007

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You get places that sand easier than others, which drives waves and fill and sand cycles that never really level out
I was actually thinking the same thing, which would kind of be a no-go on a compound curved surface. My big problem with my finishing was that I feel I simply fouled up the application (the top looked like a horribly done birthday cake..to my fiance's amusement), and had enough low spots that almost had me glaring at my can of bondo...but I survived it...and learned for next time. Fun times, and again, thanks for sharing your technique!
 

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