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Old 04-16-2016, 05:40 PM   #1
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Question Repairing a failed scarf joint on my caprail

I have a scarf joint that has separated on my caprail. My thoughts are to clean out the material in the joint, refasten , and then fill with epoxy. After it sets up, sand and fair the area and then refinish. Are my thoughts correct or is there another method to make this repair?
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:10 PM   #2
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If a scarf joint fails once it will fail again .IMO Id try not to use epoxy I would use mechanical reinforcement to repair the joint .

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Old 04-16-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
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Sounds good if you can get the two surfaces clean and dry. Most epoxies have no UV inhibitors, so maybe think about painting the glue joint with something close to the wood tone to protect the glue.



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I have a scarf joint that has separated on my caprail. My thoughts are to clean out the material in the joint, refasten , and then fill with epoxy. After it sets up, sand and fair the area and then refinish. Are my thoughts correct or is there another method to make this repair?
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:35 PM   #4
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Is it literally coming apart? Or has the seam just opened up?
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #5
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A picture of the joint would be helpful to determine the best fix. Also from my perspective as someone who worked in wood boat repair for nearly 30 years, its more properly called the rail cap. Think of it this way. That pc of wood "caps" the rail it sits on doesn't it? I know its common to say caprail but it irks me a little I confess.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:27 AM   #6
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I had a similar issue arise. After I relocated my boat from a cold climate (Puget Sound) to a warm one (Queensland). Initially I was going to try and mechanically refasten and close the joint. But on advice I accepted that the it was probably a climate adjustment that would be an on-going issue, and the best approach would be to caulk it.

I used an old hacksaw blade to clean out the joint as best I could. Then masked the wood each side and with the help of a putty knife forced the caulk as deep as I could. It cleaned up reasonably well, but it wasn't until the next rail varnish that it ended up as it is in the photo below.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaston View Post
If a scarf joint fails once it will fail again .IMO Id try not to use epoxy I would use mechanical reinforcement to repair the joint .

I successfully repaired something like that in Gaston's pic, caused by some boat tyre-kicker standing on the rail too far from the upright support, to view my, then new, canvas side deck extension, and forced the scarf joint open. I used a recognised wood glue, (Aquadhere), after cleaning the joint surfaces, and then screws up from the metal reinforcing plate below, so they did not come right through, thus allowing a smooth upper surface and no bolt heads to snag clothing of fingers, etc.

After a sand down, and re-coat with the Cetol Marine Clear I use on my 'rail cap', (or should that not be 'cap rail', Puget, since there is no metal rail under it - only the uprights, so the teak is the rail), it looked as good as new, and still does 5 yrs later.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
I successfully repaired something like that in Gaston's pic, caused by some boat tyre-kicker standing on the rail too far from the upright support, to view my, then new, canvas side deck extension, and forced the scarf joint open. I used a recognised wood glue, (Aquadhere), after cleaning the joint surfaces, and then screws up from the metal reinforcing plate below, so they did not come right through, thus allowing a smooth upper surface and no bolt heads to snag clothing of fingers, etc.

After a sand down, and re-coat with the Cetol Marine Clear I use on my 'rail cap', (or should that not be 'cap rail', Puget, since there is no metal rail under it - only the uprights, so the teak is the rail), it looked as good as new, and still does 5 yrs later.
I was envisioning a solid rail like a bulwark or bullrail with the wood cap on top. As to the wood rail on top of stanchions,, I call that a handrail.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:12 PM   #9
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Cap rail 78 if it "caps" the rail.
Hand rail is typically above the cap rail and on stanchions. Wood or metal.
IMO
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfront View Post
I have a scarf joint that has separated on my caprail. My thoughts are to clean out the material in the joint, refasten , and then fill with epoxy. After it sets up, sand and fair the area and then refinish. Are my thoughts correct or is there another method to make this repair?
I think how it is fastened would depend on if the repair is under a load or not. A section of our cap rail has been repaired. After dry fitting, it was epoxied then fastened with counter sunk screws and then teak bungs, sanded and finished. It's a non-loaded area.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Cap rail 78 if it "caps" the rail.
Hand rail is typically above the cap rail and on stanchions. Wood or metal.
IMO
But doesn't rail cap make more sense? Pretty much all the shipwrights I worked with over the years felt rail cap made more sense. Agree on the handrail thing, and that is what I had said. However going off the rails here so to speak on nomenclature, my fault.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:41 PM   #12
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Just for laughs... from Robert Stewards 'Boatbuilding Manual'.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:24 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. 78. "But doesn't rail cap make more sense?" Indeed it does. By the same token, saloon makes more sense than salon as well for the man cabin area. I suppose both of us will have to resign ourselves to...
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaston View Post
If a scarf joint fails once it will fail again .IMO Id try not to use epoxy I would use mechanical reinforcement to repair the joint .

I think this is the way to go but I'll make two changes:

1) Stagger the holes so they are not in a straight line. 2 near the sides at the top end and one in the center at the other end. A triangle.

2) Use a good outdoor wood glue but instead of nuts and bolts, use wooden dowels (Glue them in place also). Drive them through the joint, then cut them off flush, sand and finish.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:01 PM   #15
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Whatever the nomenclature the wooden parts.I will get a close-up photo of the joint this afternoon.
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:58 PM   #16
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The illustration posted above really should put an end to the debate. Its a rail cap. Apologies to the OP and look forward to seeing what the problem is.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:29 AM   #17
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This is the failed joint. Refinish is in progress. Advice needed.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:31 AM   #18
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The joint needs to be mechanically drawn together; not dowels. "Glue" is just that; it is not intended to fill the joint unless in a structural design and prepared for that purpose.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:55 AM   #19
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To mechanically secure the top section, you should have at least 3/8" of thickness where the fasteners would be. Thinner than that, you risk cracking the top section or the fasteners pulling through.

I would consider stabilizing the joint so there is no further movement then fill and finish.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:11 AM   #20
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The Joint

Ditto.
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