Can't Caulk a 1/2 inch Gap

Old 10-14-2012, 02:08 PM
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Default Can't Caulk a 1/2 inch Gap

I again proved to my self that I am terrible at caulking. A huge mess.

The gap is about 1/2 inch, 10 feet long. I am using Boatlife Life-caulk.

I taped both sides of the gap and layed one bead, let it sit for a while. Came back for the final bead. Tried to level it with a putty knife. It was partly skimmed, I just ended up with a lumpy mess. I tried smoothing with acetone on my finger, made it worse.

Any suggestions on how to do this?

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:18 PM
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You have to work it while its fresh and only do a foot or so at a time to prevent skimming especially if its hot out. You'll want mineral spirits, shop rags, tape and nitrile gloves. Tape off the area as you did. Put gloves on, caulk a foot or so, wet finger with mineral spirits and smooth out slowly. As your finger loads up with excess caulking, wipe off excess onto rag and keep smoothing with your finger. Don't let too much caulk build up or you will have a ridge left when you go to pull the tape off. As soon as you are done caulking everything and smoothing out pull the tape and touch up any areas as need be.

This method has always worked for me, just take it slow, sounds like you let it set up way too long initially.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:23 AM
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Mix up a spray bottle with one third dishwashing liquid and two thirds water. Lay your bead of caulk down, I would do about have the joint. Then spray the caulk with the mixture and tool it smooth with a small margin trowelor the mortor joint tools brick layers use. Don't play with it just spray run the tool down it and walk away. Make sure you don't spray where you haven't caulked yet.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:35 AM
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For a gap that large you may need backer
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:29 AM
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Thanks you guys for the suggestions.

Waiting on no rain to try it again.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:40 PM
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Get the thickest NYLON line that you can get into the crack. Fill the crack with the line, then caulk over it.
Also, if you are doing a deck seam or anywhere else on the boat that is exposed to the sun, DO NOT use Life Caulk. Use Life Seal or some other caulk that is UV stable. LifeCaulk will yellow and crack within 8-12 months if it is exposed to the sun.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:54 PM
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very easy, go to your local hardware store, get yourself foam backerod, 10 feet of either 1/4" or 1/2" buy a good caulking tool(one that glaziers use) there is no need for mineral spirits and wet this and liquid that.......the proper quality caulking tool is all you will need.....take this advice, I am a professional carpenter and have done lots of caulking and glazing in my day. It would be a good idea to have a simple wet rag on hand at all times during the job. Don't forget to cut the plastic tip of the caulking tube to the proper measurement(don't over size the cut, otherwise you will just have a big mess) Oh and an expensive caulking gun is NOT needed, a cheapy is just fine.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:11 PM
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Ditto Boatless. the problem isn't the 1/2' it is the 10ft long. do a few feet at a time, use backing rod, and level as you go.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:43 AM
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what are you caulking thats this big?
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