Monthly Archives: October 2014

The putty knife scraper used as a push scraper.

Scrapers—Versatile Tools for Working with Epoxy

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor
Above: A putty knife scraper is being used as a push scraper.

My first experience with cabinet scrapers occurred shortly after hiring into Gougeon Brothers. Bill Slaby, a wood/epoxy technician who specialized in mold building, routinely used cabinet scrapers to remove irregularities on cured epoxy coatings. Continue reading

ARION

Damian McLaughlin Rebuilds ARION

By Kay Harley

Above: ARION as she looked in 2001.

Damian McLaughlin, a custom boatbuilder from North Falmouth, Massachusetts, has been designing, repairing, and building boats for more than thirty years. Recently, he finished the reconstruction of Arion, heralded at its launch in 1951 as “The first auxiliary sailboat built with fiberglass,” and “The largest one-piece hull of reinforced plastic in the world.” In 1950, Sidney Herreshoff, son of the famous Nathaniel, designed the 42′ Arion to be built using what was then an innovative new material: plastic resin reinforced with glass fibers, otherwise known as fiberglass. Continue reading

Building an Efficient Icebox

Building an Efficient Icebox

by Captain James R. Watson

For maximum enjoyment when cruising on small craft, you need to carry food and beverages and keep them cold for the duration of the trip. While you can purchase good icebox/coolers in many shapes and sizes, these may not quite fit where you want or keep food cold long enough on extended cruises. Building a custom icebox with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is neither difficult nor expensive.  You can make it exactly the right size and build it in place or make it portable. You can also make it more efficient than a store bought icebox. I’ll show you how I built one to suit my needs, but these construction techniques are easily adaptable to your own requirements. Continue reading

Chair Repair

With WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

by Brian Knight—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: The chair repair.  Masking tape protects the seat, and the arm is clamped in position while the epoxy cures.

My cousin, Gary, brought me the broken chair shown in the picture below. The spindle and arm assembly was broken off where it attached to the seat of chair. Although the chair was not a priceless antique, it had sentimental value and he wondered if I could do a chair repair. While I was not concerned about the structural aspects of the repair, the cosmetics could be difficult. Fortunately, the spindles were not badly splintered so it was reasonably easy to make the repaired area look good. Continue reading

fiberglass tub and shower repair

Fiberglass Tub and Shower Repair

By Tom Pawlak

Construction of fiberglass tubs and showers uses methods and materials similar to those for building fiberglass boats. Gelcoat is applied to a mold and allowed to cure. Then chopped fiberglass and polyester resin are applied over the gelcoat and worked into the surface. To create a stiff and strong fiberglass tub or shower enclosure, the laminator uses a grooved roller to compact the fibers against the gelcoat. The quality and strength of the laminate depends on Continue reading

house trim repair

A Quick Architectural Fix

Wood Trim Repair

by Mike Barker

Last summer I used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to repair a small section of rot in a rough sawn cedar trim board on my house. Before gutter was installed, the trim board was wet frequently, but well ventilated. Only a narrow center section of the #2 grade, 1″×12″ board seemed to be vulnerable. Continue reading

epoxy rocket

Epoxy Rocket Science

Above: Palmer Hudson with his epoxy rocket, Glory. The rocket was 6″ in diameter and 9′ tall. The 3″ diameter motor was about 22″ long, with somewhere around 623 lb of thrust and a burn time of 2.6 seconds. 

Palmer Hudson’s epoxy rocket, Glory was built out of phenolic tubes covered with fiberglass cloth. All construction was done using the WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and Fillers. Continue reading

Guillimot Kayak

Readers’ Projects, Issue 19

Ed Van Kirk’s Guillemot Kayak

This Guillemot kayak (left) is the work of Ed Van Kirk of Constantine, Michigan. Ed built both of these kayaks of redwood and sugar pine, using Nick Shade’s book The Strip-Built Sea Kayak as a reference. The double-seater is a Guillemot kayak, 20′ long with a 30″ beam and weighs 73 lb. The single-seater is a Little Auk kayak, 10′ long with a 29″ beam and weighs 43 lb. Ed has also built a 14′ Wee Lassie Two. Continue reading

Optimist prams sailing before the Liberty Bridge on the Saginaw River.

Building Optimist Prams

For a Community Sailing Program

By Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Optimist prams built by the SBCSA in the Gougeon boatshop, sailing before the Liberty Bridge on the Saginaw River.

EW-18 cover

Cover Photo: A new fleet of Optimist prams was built to serve the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association

The Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) was founded in 1995 by a group of local sailboat racers who shared a vision of a grassroots organization to provide area youngsters and adults a low-cost introduction to sailing. We began that first season with three Transfusion 547’s purchased for the association by Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (GBI) and a half dozen used Optimist prams donated by the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association. Continue reading

estimating epoxy amounts for fiberglassing

Estimating Epoxy Amounts

By Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: The layout of an Optimist pram provides an example of how to go about estimating epoxy amounts.

This formula will help you estimate the amount of mixed epoxy needed to wet out fiberglass cloth (assuming a resin-to-fiber ratio of 50:50) and apply three rolled epoxy coats to fill the weave of the cloth, i.e. “fill coats.” Continue reading