In this strip planking series, we will take a look at how we have used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to utilize less than ideal wood and look at ways of building boats with wood that will be low maintenance and age gracefully. Since working safely with epoxy has allowed me to have a long career using it, you will hear a lot about safety. Continue reading →
I decided to modify my new plastic snow shovel with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive. This winter (2011) in Bay City, Michigan, we’ve seen a couple of big snowfalls and lots of small ones with 1″ to 2″ of accumulation. Not enough snow to bother breaking out the snowblower, so I usually shovel it by hand. About 10 years ago I fell in love with the plastic snow shovels that are lightweight and the snow slides off of them easily compared to the metal snow shovels that are heavy and snow clings to stubbornly. Continue reading →
I was inspired to build my first strip-planked dinghy while working for a talented woodworker in a quaint little wood shop in Nashville, Tennessee. He showed me a strip-built canoe, something I’d never seen before. The wheels in my head started turning. I was completely captivated. Continue reading →
The John Williams Boat Co. (JWC) on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, recently a set of iakos for the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hôkûle’a, built and maintained for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We sailors sometimes think of ourselves as adventurers and explorers, self-sufficient and capable of handling the vagaries of wind and weather. But our view of voyaging includes refrigeration to keep the food and drink cold, sail handling and navigation systems to make sailing easy and safe, and a good dry, comfortable boat so we remain content while sailing to the ends of our own personal world. When we compare that to the skills and equipment of early voyagers, it can be almost embarrassing. Continue reading →
Here at the Gougeon Brother’s Boat Shop Meade and Jan Gougeon are preparing for another attempt at the Everglades Challenge, a race Meade calls “A true aquatic adventure.” The expedition-style race covers about 300 nautical miles over a maximum of eight days. It’s a grueling challenge; roughly 40% of starters ever make it to the finish line.
Why not build what you can’t buy? Do you sometimes need a replacement part for your boat, home or recreational vehicle and find out it’s no longer available? Discontinued. Source unknown. Can’t be found. Maybe the price borders on insanity or, you need a part that simply does not exist and never did.
“Okay,” you say, “I need it, can’t get it, my only option is to make it.” Continue reading →
I accidentally punched a hole in my motorcycle’s magnesium crankcase or ignition housing cover. A lot of the guys I work with also ride motorcycles, and in talking with them, I found out that it is not uncommon to punch a hole in the crankcase. I work here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. as Operations Supervisor in the Epoxy Department where we do production mixing, assembly, packaging, and quality control of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.
The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine, teaches students decision-making skills, care, patience, forethought, and responsibility through traditional boatbuilding. Instructors guide each apprentice through building two to four boats during a two-year apprenticeship.
The philosophy behind The Apprenticeshop is that learning is best accomplished through direct experience. Apprentices in this program learn craftsmanship and problem solving through each step of wooden boat construction from lofting, molds, framing, planking, and decking to finish work and rigging. Continue reading →
After earning a B.A. in Philosophy, David Cumming began his craft by restoring lesser furniture (often salvaged) and then trading “up” for better pieces, learning about the nature of furniture construction in the process. Continue reading →