Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Finishes, paints and coatings

Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Tue May 09, 2017 12:57 am

Last year I bought an '04 teardrop that needed some refurbishing. The biggest problem was a hole in the galley hatch that was caused by shutting the hatch with a cabinet door left open. The hatch has an undamaged metal frame, with an inset luan panel and filon glued to the laun and the metal frame. It had a camo wrap on it that I have stripped off, so the outer surface of the filon is like new except for the hole. When I bought it I was just going to do a fiberglass patch , but decided to re-skin the hatch, and bought a 5x7 piece of filon. The hatch is 4.5x5, so I have enough filon to recover the hatch. I was going to tear it all off of the frame then inset new luan in the frame, and and re-skin the frame and luan with the new filon. After looking at the clean filon still on the hatch, I am thinking about sanding it down and laminating the new filon on top of it. Does the sound reasonable, or should I strip it all down to bear metal and redo both the plywood and the filon?

I also need to get the right contact cement. I am hoping a local rv repair place will sell me some.

I do have a deadline of mid-June to have it completely finished, as the someone is renting it go from the PNW to the midwest.

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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kokomoto » Thu May 11, 2017 8:08 pm

Ugghhh! :frightened:

Thanks for the post. Now I'm glad I'm building my galley with no doors.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby KCStudly » Fri May 12, 2017 10:57 am

I guess the approach you take depends on how much you want to hide/blend the repair vs. how much you can stand it looking like a patch.

I'm not super familiar with Filon, but seem to recall it being a fiberglass based product, perhaps polyester based? If so you might be able to temporarily form a piece to the inside with mold release on it, then fair and laminate/fill the hole from the outside. Perhaps with a ply or two of glass weave then some mat. Shouldn't be too hard to fair the outside to where the vinyl wrap can be patched or replaced. Might be a little harder to make the inside blend.

Hard to say if it is worth stripping the whole thing down to the frame, but I doubt it would be worth it. If you try the patch method and don't like it, stripping it off could be the backup plan.

What is the inside finish/texture? Is it just paint on luan?

In theory you could cast the temporary backer off of the inside surface of the hatch (using mold release on an undamaged adjacent area) and then use that as a temporary form fitting backer for the repair, but I suspect you can get a nice stiff piece of flashing or something to take the shape and seal pretty easily w/o going to that trouble.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Sat May 13, 2017 7:33 pm

KCStudly wrote:What is the inside finish/texture? Is it just paint on luan?

It is just a decorative paper glued to the luan.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Sat May 13, 2017 7:38 pm

I decided to remove the existing luan and filon, and totally replace it with new material. Now I need to remove 13 year old contact cement and silicone caulk, fun times ahead.

The removal wasn't too bad. I mostly used a stiff putty knife and a hammer. Cleaning it up will take more time.

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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby KCStudly » Sun May 14, 2017 10:01 am

:thumbsup:
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Thu May 18, 2017 10:31 pm

The old rock hard contact cement has been cleaned off. I tried several chemicals for removing the cement, but a little bit of old gasoline softened it right up, and then I was able to just rub the contact cement off. Now I just need to remove the silicone around the edges and it will be ready for re-skinning.

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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby aggie79 » Fri May 19, 2017 8:40 am

That's a lot of work, but I think you'll be happy that you took the time to go back to "good structure" for your repairs. :applause:
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby KCStudly » Fri May 19, 2017 12:15 pm

aggie79 wrote:That's a lot of work, but I think you'll be happy that you took the time to go back to "good structure" for your repairs. :applause:

+1

Yup. :thumbsup:
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby Nobody » Fri May 19, 2017 7:45 pm

There's a product called De-Solv-it, available at Lowes or Home Depot I believe. It is said to remove silicone from constuction surfaces, even old, set stuff, & leave no trace. If you don't remove the silicone completely, chances are you won't be able to 'stick' the new surface skin to your frame. Think there may be two versions of the product. I'll include pix of both...

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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Sat May 20, 2017 7:37 pm

Nobody wrote:There's a product called De-Solv-it, available at Lowes or Home Depot I believe. It is said to remove silicone from constuction surfaces, even old, set stuff, & leave no trace. If you don't remove the silicone completely, chances are you won't be able to 'stick' the new surface skin to your frame. Think there may be two versions of the product. I'll include pix of both...


The silicone isn't on the surface that I will be applying the new filon to. It is on the back side and edges (and was over the old filon), to hold the trim on for waterproofing at the hinge. But, I do want to remove it, so I have a clean surface when I put the new trim on.

I may get the new luan tonight, so after the silicone is removed, I'll wipe the frame with alcohol, and install the new luan and filon.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Sat May 20, 2017 9:47 pm

I tried some goo gone citrus gel that I had on hand, it softened it, but not enough. I'll let it soak overnight and see if it does more. If that doesn't work I may pick up some de-solv-it, or try the heat gun approach.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Sat May 27, 2017 9:14 pm

I tried the heat gun approach. It sort of worked, but went back to soaking in gasoline, scraping with a putty knife, followed by scrubbing with a brass bristled brush, and finally scrubbing with a gas soaked Dobie pad. Got it all cleaned off, then washed it several times with Dawn. It will get an alcohol wipe down right before re-skinning.

Bought some 1/8" birch ply, cut it to size and got the first coat of urethane on the interior surface and the edges. One or two more coats, and I hope to assemble and glue the new skin on it Monday.
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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby kayakbuilder » Mon May 29, 2017 8:31 pm

New 1/8" birch plywood insert. It is ready for the filon to be installed. I decided to wait until I can get help contact cementing the filon in place. It is definitely a 2-person job.

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Re: Re-skinning Galley Hatch

Postby Noreast » Tue May 30, 2017 10:08 am

Looks good! I really like how that hatch construction looks. Nice and simple, lightweight
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