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Xynole Question


Howard
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PAR, Tom Lathrop or anyone else who knows.........

 

Which of these two wet out fabrics would you describe as Xynole?

 

Right or Left?

 

I ask as I ordered some recently, and the new stuff differs from what I had previously been using.

 

 

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Xnole is a type of polyester.  So both could be Xynole, just with a different weave.  So both may not be the same product, but both could be Xynole.  Unless you have further information you haven't shared I don't see what more you can determine than this.

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I don't think one of them is the polyester fabric marketed as "xynole". I don't even think it is a polyester. I think it is something else. I am planning to sheath the P26 with Xynole......to take advantage of it's known abrasion resistance properties, but that all blows up if I put down something that isn't. Vendor (a well known one) assured me it is. I don't believe him......but I have no way of knowing which is which except to ask those I know have used the real stuff so would know the difference. 

 

BTW, if you do a google search on "xynole fabric", the results are very limited. Apart from the many references to it in boat building lore (Parker was a big advocate of it and referenced it by name), the name/term "xynole" appears to be made up by those who retail it. By some accounts, the term "xynole" isn't even known or used as such by the company that makes it. It is some type of open weave polyester fabric product that was developed for some other industry but it's properties were found to be desirable for use with epoxy and boats, so gets used for this on a very limited basis. Very limited, as there are only a handful of places where you can buy it because the manufacturer only sells it in 3000 yard rolls.

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 Vendor (a well known one) assured me it is. I don't believe him......but I have no way of knowing which is which except to ask those I know have used the real stuff so would know the difference. 

 

Why don't you believe him?  You have shown no evidence or reason to do so.  Then again I only know what little you have shared.

 

Do you already have a piece you bought and are unsure as to whether you should use it?  If so, I wouldn't consider anyone's opinion based on looking at a photo enough to belay my fears if I had doubts.

 

Have you already bought and applied some to the boat and now the new stuff looks different?  If so I would definitely want to reconcile this issue.  But  I have no suggestions.

 

Have you considered Dynel?  This stuff is used as a canvas substitute on wooden boats. It has the abrasion resistance you are looking for.   Decks and cabin tops are the only place one can epoxy an older boat and get away with it.  Though a purist will do canvas again.

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For the hopelessly curious:

 

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?6640-Xynole-polyester-cloth

 

A lot of good info on the subject, but what caught my eye started around post #31.

 

Dave:

 

Nearly 10 years ago, I ordered several yards of these synthetic fabrics to test. These included xynole, dynel and olefin, among others. So my only knowledge or reference to what I assume must be xynole, is based on that. It is NOT, the same product that was recently sold and delivered to me as xynole. So one source or the other has it wrong. If I'm going to spend $8 a yard for something represented to be xynole (the same cloth described and referenced in the above WB thread), then I do want to make sure it is in fact the same thing.

 

Aside from now having 20 yards of the stuff, I at least have some point of reference with this........enough to see there is a difference and for the red flags to go up. If the vendor is currently selling this stuff as xynole, and it is not, they need to know about it and stop selling it. If not for my prior experience, they could have sent it to me, it be wrong, I'd use it, and never know the difference. How many other builders are doing that on a daily basis? If they are right, then the first guy was wrong. Either way, somebody is wrong, I'm just trying to figure out which it is.

 

As an analogy, say I had a project that I for sure wanted to be using white oak on, but didn't really have any experience using white oak and didn't know for sure what it looked like. So somebody could sell me red oak......oak is oak?.........or even white ash, or worse, any old wood.......wood is wood, right?............. and if I didn't know the difference myself, and if they assured me it was what they said, I could, out of ignorance, use the wrong thing by mistake. I don't want to make that mistake.

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Can you send the supplier (Defender?) a swath of each and ask for an explanation?

 

I sent the supplier the above photo and they assured me theirs was the real stuff. Assuming both do the same, then what? BTW, I don't subscribe any sinister motive to any of this.........more likely a misunderstanding on the part of the maker and sellers. Since the name "xynole" isn't anything they recognize or use, likely they are guessing which one it is. It doesn't help that the two products look very similar when dry. Its not until you wet them out that it becomes readily apparent they are so different.

 

My solution is to go back to the guys who have used, tested and written about it and let them tell me which is the same one they were talking about and pick that one as the one to go with.

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If it helps, the product on the right is thinner, and has a white thread that remains visible, even after wetout. How much thinner? About half.

 

Sample on the left goes mostly translucent after wetout and puffs up in size about double. It is left with surface nubs, even after one or two fill coats.

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Sample on the left goes mostly translucent after wetout and puffs up in size about double. It is left with surface nubs, even after one or two fill coats.

 

That is what the Dynel I used did.  I applied it with 1 wet out coat, let it cure, cleaned the blush, sanded off all the nibs, then did 2 hot coats with graphite powder.  It came out beautiful.

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Sorry for the cloak and dagger, but didn't want to lead anyone to a conclusion. Having worked with these, it would have been obvious to me as black and white which was which, but again, that is based on only the limited samples I have worked with. Those could have been wrong too.

 

Have talked to enough people by now to get some things cleared up, but at the same time, other things more cloudy.

 

In the original photo, sample on the left is what Defender sent me as Xynole. Sample on the right is what I just got from RAKA. Again, obvious to me they are not the same.

 

I also had samples from Defender of Dynel and Olefin, and that has clouded things for me. If playing "bet your A$$", I would have bet mine that what Raka sent me and what Defender originally sent me as Olefin were the same thing. Defender described in on the package as "Olifin polyester". When I put swatches of Defender's xynole, dynel and olefin on the same board, they look and behave almost identical. That is what I remember from before for the xynole and dynel (about 10 years ago when I ordered and first played with the stuff). I don't remember the olefin looking like that. I have yet a 4th sample that looks exactly like the stuff RAKA just sent me, but it is in a loose bundle and is no longer marked so I'm not entirely sure what it is (I seem to recall Defender saying it was the same stuff they used on carpet for backing). I used it once on the tip of a rudder and it ground right through, so isn't all that tough. 

 

I now have another order in to Defender for a sample of what they currently sell as Xynole. They don't say too much about it, but do rave on about Dynel. Interesting that I got a response back from Reuel Parker who has written extensively about it. He simply said both samples probably were being correctly named "xynole", which he said were simply polyesters fabrics. He also said both Xynole AND Dynel were polyester fabrics (????) and most likely Xynole was simply a generic form of Dynel and most likely identical. Tom Lathrop didn't seem to think so. None of that information has helped clear anything up.

 

Whatever this stuff is I got from RAKA,  I won't be using it.......at least not as my hull sheathing. The RAKA stuff is almost impossible to cut, so the white fibers might even be something like Kevlar. If so, a layer of that might be good to put into a glass mix up front......on the inside.

 

Depending on what Defender sends this time, I will either be using it or Dynel on the Princess bottom. Not sure what to do with the stuff from RAKA, other than send them my wetout samples and suggest they look into things.

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Dynel and Xynole are not both polyesters. Dynel is, but Xynole is a modiacrylic. I've found a lot of what Ruel Parker writes about is based on quite old research, speculation and plain old superstition. For example he recently suggested his use of penetrating epoxy under varnished surfaces waterproofs it, which is clearly in opposition to all the tests performed both by industry peer and independent bodies.

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This keeps getting better.

 

Called Defender and after hearing my questions, they suggested I call the folks at Southern Industries, who make both fabrics. The product they sell to Defender AND Raka which they both market as Xynole is SI's product number 6044. They only know it by that number and they only make it for this specific use, but both do get their same 6044 product. The reason they only sell it in large rolls is they don't make it for any other purpose. They have to sell that much to make it worth their while to tool up for a production run. They claim their 6044 is intended to be a generic knockoff of Dynel, but also say the 6044 is a polyester and their dynel is a modiacrylic. Maybe in that world, generic knockoff means it looks similar coming off the looms as I would think the physical properties would have to be the same to qualify for that status, but at any rate, that is what I was told.

 

Anyway, they don't know anything about the use of these products with epoxy, or what happens to them when wet out. They did say they would expect the dynel product to puff up much more and take up more epoxy than the 6044 product would. So what they are describing to me as their 6044 product does in fact appear to be consistent with the stuff Raka is selling as xynole. The one on the right side, with the white thread evident. That would leave the one on the left to be dynel or something like it. Wet out, the one on the left does puff up more than the one on the right.

 

I checked with Defender and it was 13 years ago I ordered this stuff and it was only these three products, so it is also possible I have managed to mix up the products on my end over time, or perhaps what Defender sold me the 1st time was not labeled correctly? Guys on the WB forum are telling me the white thread stuff from Raka is what they have been using as Xynole.

 

Am still checking with some folks I know have used xynole, and have also requested a sample of dynel from Defender, to go along with the xynole they are sending me. We may get this sorted out eventually.

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According to Tom Lathrop, product on the right.......the one with the white thread evident, is the one he used in his tests and the one being used and described as xynole. The other on the left is most likely either the dynel or olefin.

 

As such, it appears I somehow managed to swap my fabric samples or Defender did way back when, but at least folks are finally getting me straightened out on the subject.

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Follow up........have done a lot of head scratching on finding a good way to cut these synthetic fabrics. For normal glass work, and with the stuff that I now realize is dynel, it cuts ok with a hand held rotary cutter. Mine is a Dritz I got from JoAnn fabrics. It will not cut the stuff I now know to be xynole. About all I have found that will is a pair of heavy duty serrated scissors. While they will cut the stuff, it's not pretty. With bunching, etc, I normally get a ragged, jagged, saw toothed edge, so if you are trying to cut it neat, good luck.

 

What I have found works well is electric scissors. Places like Jamestown Distributors offer some good cordless options, but cost around $100 shipped. Decided to try a cheaper option and found lots of older Dritz corded electrics on ebay for about $15 shipped. They go through it like a razor through plastic sheeting. With those, you can follow a straight edge and do a good job of making a neat, smooth cut.  Cordless would be handier, but for now, this is what I'm using. These were made back in the 1960's. Mine were made in Switzerland, and appear to be well made, at least compared to what I would expect to come from China if made today. Quality could be an issue, as all of these are used to some degree, but the ones I found look almost new, with no visible wear at all.

 

While this is the ticket for cutting it dry, this still doesn't help when cutting it wet (it will bunch up and slide around, but won't cut), but if you wait until it has kicked to the point the epoxy is gelling up and will barely move, you can cut it with a razor sharp utility knife, then lift off your waste piece. That will leave you a neat edge.

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