Monthly Archives: March 2015

Summer in the City

The MOMA Beatfuse project

All of the seams on the MOMA Beatfuse pool bottom were sealed using 3″ cloth tape and three coats of epoxy.

By Jerry Briggs

Each year The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center conducts what is known as the P.S.1 / MOMA Young Architects Program. The competitors vie for the opportunity to build a temporary architectural project in the 17,000 square foot outdoor galleries of P.S.1 in Queens, New York. The structure serves as a venue for the popular outdoor music series, “Warm Up” which runs from June through September each year and boasts attendance in excess of 100,000 visitors per season. Continue reading

Building an Ecosystem for Salmon

Salmon growing up in a custom-built progressive ecosystem, ready for release.

By Ken Filipiak

The science teacher at the school where my wife works (West Ottawa Macatawa Bay School in Holland, Michigan) called me for help with his leaking aquarium which had flooded his classroom. This was no ordinary aquarium; it was one he had custom-built to show a progressive ecosystem—a brook to a stream to a pond for raising salmon. Continue reading

Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Partners with Van Dam

The Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan is partnering with nationally known Van Dam Custom Boats of Boyne City, Michigan to develop the school’s second-year advanced boat building course. The nine month full-time career program will run concurrently with the boat school’s Basic Boat  Building Course at their 12,000 square-foot facility in northern Michigan. As the project boat for the course, Steve Van Dam gave the school his plans for the  Cederville 26.5, a re-designed version of Van Dam’s custom 30′ day cruiser. Students will build the composite wood hull, and design and construct the boat’s  interior including its twin berth cuddy cabin. They’ll also install the engine, electrical and water systems. Continue reading

Building Composite Tubes

With WEST SYSTEM and braided fibers

By Captain J.R. Watson

Tubes are used on boats for hard tops, T-tops, Biminis, dodgers, bows, bow and stern pulpits, rails, canoe and kayak paddle shafts, boat hooks, and so on. Composite tubes built with epoxy and reinforcing fibers offer advantages over metal in terms of light weight, custom shapes and sizes, and corrosion resistance. Composite tubes can be faired and painted to produce a seamless appearance to match the boat, or left to show the carbon fiber. I’ve been experimenting with approaches to building a variety of composite tubes. Following are some things I’ve tried (some that worked and some that did not) that you may find of value if you want to produce composite tubes yourself. Continue reading

Artist Christopher Tully

This colorful kitty is by Christopher Tully.

by Mike Barker

Artist Christopher Tully does two unusual things with epoxy in his work. He creates large clay relief scenes with lots of detail made up of many tiles. After they are bisque fired he brushes on epoxy and heats them with a torch so the epoxy penetrates deeply into the porous clay. This creates an extremely strong surface that still has great detail. He then applies a primer and paints it with acrylics and a clear coat. Continue reading

Single Outrigger Motorboat by Russell Brown

Readers’ Projects, Issue 29

Single Outrigger Motorboat

Russell Brown designed and built this single outrigger motorboat for his friend Josh Sutherland. Although not completely finished when the photo was taken, it was “pretty well tested and didn’t seem to have any really bad habits,” says Brown. It is 24′ long and built fairly ruggedly. It uses a 20 hp Yamaha four-stroke and goes about 18 knots with three people on board.  Russell, the son of legendary boat designer Jim Brown, designs and builds foils, boats and other composite projects in Port Townsend, Washington. Visit www.ptwatercraft.com.

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This lounge chair is a piece of handcrafted furniture by Michael Fitzpatrick

Readers’ Projects, Issue 28

Handcrafted Furniture

Growing up in Wesley Hills, New York, Michael Fitzpatrick was influenced by his grandfather, a furniture maker and housewright. He set up his own studio in Boston a few years ago and makes exceptional, handcrafted furniture to order, like the lounge chair (above). He uses WEST SYSTEM Epoxy for most of his projects, especially the bent laminated pieces. He also just purchased a COZY license and is considering using epoxy for the experimental airplane. Visit his website for more information about his handcrafted furniture. www.bostonfurnituremaker.com

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Storm the Castle

By Tom Pawlak

A while back, my nephew Robbie, about 15 years old at the time, asked for help building a trebuchet (a form of catapult) for an upcoming Science Olympiad competition that his school was involved in. He had located a nice set of plans online that were based on a lattice-type structure using hardwoods. The website offered a fairly detailed plan and included project photos to help during the build. Continue reading

Quick Lawn Mower Repair

By Tom Pawlak

I hesitated to write this article because my friends accuse me of being a cheapskate. The text and photos to follow will only strengthen their argument. That being said, I can’t be the only person who would prefer to fix something rather than buy new. Besides, I can’t resist the opportunity to experiment with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading