Hey Guys - KnottyBouyz gave me a heads up about nylon nails which don't need to removed when fairing. I am building a Riviera and starting to laminate the mahogany plywood hull.
I found them in Round Rock, TX at Utility Composites:
Utility Composites International Ltd
2704A Meister Place
Round Rock, TX 78664
800-460-6933 toll freehttp://www.raptornails.com/english/firstframe.html
When I contacted them, I inquired about using staples. Stapling and the removal of the staples in the hull plywood laminations is a serious labor event. I was looking for a method to reduce the time to laminate the hull. They immediately returned my inquiry and suggested that I use the Raptor nylon brad nails rather than staples because they would not sit proud on the wood. These nylon nails require a special nail gun which is rather expensive at $200. The brads costs about $16 per 10,000 and come in strips.
My frame is made of oak so I was concerned that nylon nails would not penetrate much less hold. They offered to send me a test unit with samples of the 3/4", 5/8" and 7/16' brads. They arrived yesterday. I was fortunate that my mahogany plywood also arrived yesterday so I dug into starting.
It took me about 2 hours to cut 8 sheets of plywood into 5" strips and 45 degree angle the ends for the first lamination. I cut the strips with a 15 degree bevel to cause them to lock into each other as I set them in place.
Having everything set up, I was able to laminate the transom single piece and over 3/4" of the bottom on both sides in about 5 hours. I held each piece tight in place and set one brad on each edge and one in the middle. I put 5 brads on the ends at the keel and chine. They held like a vise grip and I did not have to use a single clamp. The 7/16" and 5"8 brad set all the way in the plywood despite the hardness of the white oak frame. The 3/4' brad set a little proud. It took one pass of a hand rasp to knock the top off these proud brads to perfectly smooth with the plywood. So, yes they are truly sandable in place and don't have to be removed. Sorry, I was going so fast that I forgot to take pictures of this before I used up all the sample brads.
Because I did not have to wait to remove clamps, I was able to use the router and a block plane to shape the edges to the hull as I worked. There was no delay but I had to clean the block plane with acetone because I got wet epoxy on it. I will wait next until the epoxy sets on the next layer before I finish the edges.
I tested how much it would take to separate a sample piece of plywood from a piece of oak using both the nylon brads and regular brads from my nail gun. The nylon nails held stronger. I don't know for sure but I suspect the heat from the friction of the nail being driven into the wood may cause the nails to bond with the wood. I tried to remove one brad from the white oak with pliers and could not.
I don't recommend using these brads for the finish lamination of mahogany because I don't know how they will show up in the final finish. But I see no problem with using these for the inner laminations or under paint finishes.
So here is a solution to save a lot of time pulling staples.
My Riviera build - the Midnight Cry Project Video of Midnight in ActionBlog
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