Faced with the expense of having several custom round windows built for his new house, Jon Staudacher figured it would be cost-effective to build the frames himself. He used his background as a boat builder and some of the characteristics of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy to help him along. Here’s how he approached the project. It’s a neat technique that you could use for a variety of projects. Continue reading →
Just an hour after the hot air balloon took off from a quarry in Illinois, a helium cell in the balloon burst at 21,000 feet. Two hours later the 165′-tall balloon with its carbon fiber gondola landed in an Indiana cornfield. After bouncing and skidding across the snow-covered field, the capsule, with Kevin Uliassi safely tucked inside, snagged an irrigation rig, finally bringing it to a halt. Continue reading →
What has eyes yet cannot see? A potato. But not this one. This special spud is 15 feet long and hangs in an indoor/outdoor market. It also houses a security camera which peers out of smoked Lexan® eyes. So this potato does see, guarding the real potatoes and bananas from would-be vegetable larcenists.
Suppose you needed a 15 foot-long potato. Well, not a real potato, but a sculpture that looks just like a potato. Unlike your run-of-the-mill spud, this one would have to hang outside exposed to wind and weather. It would need to be sturdy and light weight. You’d also need it to last a long time — no rotting allowed. What would you make it out of? Continue reading →
Thomas Heavner of Seattle Washington designed and built his own 18′ plywood runabout. Mr. Heavner sent pictures of his project and wrote, “This is the first boat of any kind that I have designed and constructed. Your book (The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction) made it possible to build this boat.
Bruce’s law: The amount of time and effort required to complete an unexpected boat repair is exponentially proportional to how soon you planned on launching.
I am sure I am not alone in this observation. Such was the case this spring as my father and I prepared Triple Threat, our 30′ Pearson Flyer, for another season of racing. I knew the bow floor boards, made of marine plywood and falling apart, would need to go. I had started to build replacements over the winter using foam core, fiberglass and epoxy. But when I climbed aboard and removed the old ones, Bruce’s law kicked in big time. Continue reading →
A typical spade rudder for sailboats is made up of two fiberglass skins that define the shape of the rudder, a metal mandrel that is an extension of the rudder post, and foam core which bridges the space between the skins and mandrel. In order for a rudder like this to work properly, its fiberglass skins must be attached to the core and the core must be attached to the metal mandrel. Side loads on a rudder exert compression loads on the core which transfer into the mandrel. If the components become detached, the rudder can deflect excessively and eventually develop cracks in the fiberglass skins. Continue reading →
Rob Neill of Naples, Florida began building models after retiring from his job at the local power company. He spent two years building this 15′ radio controlled replica of the Iowa class Battleship, New Jersey, using wood, WEST SYSTEM® epoxy and brass. Starting from scratch, he completed a set of plans by scaling photographs and drawings from library books, then lofted a mold from the plans. Continue reading →
When two or more fiberglass laminators meet, the discussion always turns to resin application and hand wet out tools. In some respects, this is much like a political or religious debate. I thought it might be helpful to describe some of these tools, and identify (as I see it) the best tools for laminating. Continue reading →
This battleship replica was built by Rob Neill of Naples, Florida. He began building models after retiring from his job at the local power company. He spent two years building the 15′ radio-controlled replica of the Iowa class Battleship, New Jersey, using wood, WEST SYSTEM epoxy and brass. Starting from scratch, he completed a set of plans by scaling photographs and drawings from library books, then lofted a mold from the plans. Continue reading →
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) asked Composite Concepts, Inc. to build a three dimensional version of the SAE logo for the SAE International Congress Banquet in Detroit, Michigan. An easy feat, until you consider the size of the letters. They are 22′ tall, 56′ wide and 4′ deep, with a horizontal 2′ high split down the middle. Add some projection and neon lighting, and you have an impressive back drop for the engineers receiving their awards at this black tie dinner. The speakers entered the stage from under the letter A before they approached the lectern. Continue reading →