New Entry Door

11/07/2007

 
When I acquired Morning Star she had been sitting uncovered and unattended for 3 years. The wood entry door was cracked, split and delaminating. My plan was to replace the door with one of fiberglass and eliminate any future refinishing.
Picture
The original door.
First I needed to make 2 over sized fiberglass panels. These were laid up on a sheet of melamine. Fiberglass will not stick to melamine. A layer of white gel coat was painted on to the melamine and then the laminates applied to this. This will give me a good finish for the gelcoat on the outside of the doors and minimal sanding.
 The two panels are side by side on sheet of melamine.

The wooden core of the door was a frame around the outside edges with additional cross pieces to frame the window and at the point of the door hardware. The frame was glued together with epoxy and some wood gussets.

The wooden core was used to mark the fiberglass panels and cut them to size. The panels were then glued to the wooden core. Rather than use epoxy, I used Sikaflex caulking. I felt this would provide a good bridge between the smooth wood and the uneven fiberglass panels. If I was doing it again I would use thickened epoxy.
Since I was reusing the old window a matching hole was cut for this, as well as holes for the lock hardware.

My plan was to paint the door with a close matching 2 part paint, Endura. In preparation for this I sanded the fiberglass panels. This removed much of the white gel coat and removed the fine texture of the melamine panels. The door and paint were then taken to a body shop familiar with Endura and spray painted.

The window and hardware were then mounted and the entire unit mounted on the boat.

Overall I am very pleased with the result. A major improvement and now maintenance free. The paint colour, Oyster White, is a very close match without going through the hassle of a custom mix.
 


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