The Rot Doctor


Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000

Hey doc, I've got a '64 C.C. Cavalier with a rotten spot on the bottom. It's 3/8 ply. I got all the bad wood out and squared it up which leaves me with a hole 2 1/2 by 2 ft. What I want to know is if you can tell me what I'm going to need from you to finish it up. It also has a soft spot on a 12" piece top side just along the windshield. I would like to put something on or in it so I could paint over. If you could send me a list of stuff I need and I'll order it. I appreciate any help and advice you can give. This is my first woodie and I'm trying.
Thanks, Bill K.

For the soft spot along the windshield, just remove any paint, make sure the wood is dry, then apply as much CPES as the wood wants to soak up. After letting this cure, fill in any cavities with Fill-It epoxy putty, then when this cures, sand and paint.

Now for the hole. You will need to make backing plates to go around all the edges of the hole. Cut 8" wide by 2 or 2 1/2 ft. (whatever length is needed to cover a side) pieces of 3/4" plywood. Attach these to the inside of the hole, half over the hole, half over the old wood. Glue them in place with All Wood Glue, held in place by screws from the outside. With epoxy glue you want to make sure that you do NOT starve the glue joint. If the hull is curved where you are going to attach the backing plates, you could squeeze the glue out as you pull the backing piece to the hull with the screws. To avoid this you can put small spacers at the points where the backing plate touches the hull first. 3" x 1/2" x 1/16" plastic or stainless steel strips would work for spacers.

Once the glue for the backing plates has had a chance to harden, you can glue a replacement piece of 3/8" ply into the hole. Again, hold the plywood to the backing plates with screws while the glue dries, using spacers to prevent squeezing the glue completely out of the joint. After everything sets up you can fill in any low spots with Fill-It, and sand any high areas down. Treat any bare wood with CPES before you paint, and you are back in business.

If you have any further questions, or anything I've outlined is unclear, let me know. I'll try and answer any questions.