Friday 25 September 2020

Seatback Fillets

It was time to make the fillets for the seatbacks, where they meet the rear cabin wall, deck and transom.

Two factors would impact how this progressed.

First, these are the most visible fillets in the entire boat and if they are not just right everyone will see it immediately. No compromise on quality can be made here.

Second, making fillets is my least favourite activity on this build. Nothing about it could be described as enjoyable, as readers of previous posts will know. So I was reconciled to not having fun for a few days ...

As always I mixed up a good quantity of wood flour fillet mix, and applied a generous bead all around the seatbacks. I made a bespoke filleting tool to get a nice wide fillet on the deck.

As always it cured like roughcast concrete, spiky as a porcupine.

Here is the first fillet on the starboard side.

It looked absolutely horrible. But I knew it would and was ready to apply two or more layers to get a good finish.

So, as always I dressed the fillets with a carbide burr in a powerful corded drill, and sanded them by hand and with a sanding machine. See previous posts for more detail, if you're curious about this awful process.

This is what the starboard fillets looked like afterwards.

Still horrible but ready for a second layer to make the fillets of equal width and to improve the surface.

Here the starboard side is taped up ready for a second layer.

And here is it is with the second layer in place.

It looks quite a bit better, but after it was dressed and sanded it still clearly needed a third layer for final fairing. I expected this from previous experience, so no surprises here.

Once again I taped up the fillets for the third layer, and this is what the port seatback looked like after application.

Much better. I haven't sanded this yet but it looks like it will turn out nicely. Any minor blemishes or holes can be faired with phenolic glass balloon mix. The key is to make sure the fillets are of even width and really smooth to receive their fibreglass cloth cladding.

Onwards and upwards ...


  1. Hi Stephen, The visual detail of the fillets will trick you.
    Even on Alu pocketship I finish with some fillings just before painting. The fillings/fillets can look completely horible but when you paint it, that visual effect is gone.

    1. I found this when filleting the interior of the hull - as long as the fillets are even and smooth they effectively disappear when painted.

  2. B.t.w Your ship looks very well!