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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:36 am 
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Location: Indialantic, FL
I bought a second hand set of EPO rudders that had been painted with latex paint, which had cracked, peeled, and was rubbery. First step was to strip that off using Paint stripper. Here's a picture showing one rudder before stripping, the other after.

Image

Step 2 was to fill the dings with West System epoxy and filler.
Step 3 was to roll on West System epoxy with the graphite powder mixed in.
Step 4 was to wet sand that finish with 600 grit paper
Step 5 was to spray with Rustoleum appliance epoxy. It took forever to dry hard.
Step 6 was to wet sand with 1500 grit wet and polish with wax
Final Result
Image

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:58 am 
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I am planning on doing this to my rudders. I have a Q. Does the epoxy go on smooth, how much sanding do you have to do to get smooth finish.

Also if you were going to paint it, you did not need the graphite powder. I think the graphite powder might even prevent the paint from sticking. I heard people who have used graphite powder in their epoxy complain that every time they touch it there hands get black.

They look better than new.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:59 am 
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wow that looks awesome!!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:19 am 
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Jmecky,

I used the "roll and tip" method to apply the epoxy. You put the epoxy/graphite mix on with a small roller to get even coverage, and then smooth it out using just the very tip of a cheap 2" foam brush. The cured finish was pretty smooth as is, with just a few lines where my brush stroked had overlapped. It didn't take much sanding at all to get a very smooth surface. I added the graphite powder to the epoxy for strength, so that it doesn't get scratched/dinged as easily. The final surface is the black appliance epoxy paint. I did this so it can easily be patched/fixed with wear.

Mark

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:40 am 
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I'll agree they look awesome.

I'd be curious how they perform, especially in regards to humming. The original EPOs were notorious for being loud out of the box and needed trailing edge work to keep them quiet. It does look like that was done to these in the before-stripped picture.

Re: the graphite powder additive, Gougeon Bros. advertises the 423 Graphite Filler as a "tough, low-friction coating, or as a bearing surface when thickened with fillers." It doesn't add significant strength and probably wasn't necessary, but it did provide a nice, dark substrate for the paint. You probably could have just finished it out (without the painting) and it would have looked almost identical to the original finish. (The painted / waxed finish is more glossy than the original finish.)

As long as the epoxy/graphite is fully cured and cleaned, the graphite shouldn't come off when handling it.

When you mount those up in the castings, make sure to use some thin Delrin washers (get the thin stock from McMaster-Carr) to keep them from getting scratched.

BTW, did I mention those look awesome?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:53 am 
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MBounds,

Thanks. The trailing edges HAD been sanded, but I made them a little thicker with the added epoxy and paint. Hopefully they won't humm! I haven't mounted them on the boat yet but did notice that they are thicker in the middle than the stock white plastic rudders. I'll definitely need to use the washers to keep them from getting scratched by the casting.

Mark

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:38 pm 
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wow! incredible job. If I send you mine would you consider doing them (for a fee)?

Do you have any pictures of how you rolled on the epoxy?--that seems to be the most daunting part of the job.

Bravo--inspiring stuff...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Mark, I had similar positive results with Rust-Oleum high gloss appliance epoxy on my old EPOs. Three years later and they still look great. However, I did have one problem: Two spray coats and the finished rudders did not fit back into my old style H18 rudder castings, even with a liberal coat of grease. I ended up having to sand off the top 3" or so around the holes and leaving that area bare/unfinished. I take it this wasn't an issue for you?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Hi Reuben,

I'm not really interested in doing your rudders as I'm barely finding time to go sailing these days.

Sorry, but I didn't take any pictures of the roll-and-tip process, but I remember seeing a youtube video of someone doing it. The rollers are pretty easy to find, including at your local Walmart store. They are about 1 1/4" diameter, but I'm just guessing. You mix the epoxy as directed, pour a little on the surface and just roll it out. When the entire side of the rudder is covered, you use a 2" foam brush and just lightly go across the surface. You'll see how it smooths it out.

Mark

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Hi Brian,

It's funny that you should ask....yes, my refinished rudders ended up too thick to fit into the castings (new type) and consequently I never installed them! I'm having too much fun with the old style rudders (that I also refinished) to mess with it. I'll eventually sand them down in the upper area to get them to fit. I'm afraid to try to force them in and break a casting.

Mark

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