Monthly Archives: June 2015

Epoxy Compression Test in Progress

Determining Epoxy’s Physical Properties

BY MIKE BARNARD

In this article I’ll describe our standards for testing epoxy and how we test epoxy to determine its handling characteristics and cured physical properties.

Testing Standards
These are the standards we follow no matter which epoxy we are characterizing.

Two-week room temperature cure
After proper metering and thorough mixing epoxy will continue to cure after it has solidified, until all amines have paired up. Over years of testing we have found that two weeks of curing at room temperature, which we define as 72°F (22°C), is a good indication of its full strength. Continue reading

Repairing JESTER. Who’s Laughing Now?

By Greg Horvath as told to Bruce Niederer

The following photos detail some recent repairs made by the owner and crew of Jester, a 2005 C&C 99. Jester is well equipped and has been meticulously maintained by her skipper and only owner, Greg Horvath. Jesterhas only sailed in fresh water and is stored indoors during the winter. She is also the boat I’ve raced aboard here in Saginaw Bay as well as around the Great Lakes including the Port Huron to Mackinaw Race and the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs. Continue reading

Letters to the Editor – White Oak

By Bruce Niederer

We consider ourselves students as well as tech advisors and so are always open to learning something from others. Our readers are generally pretty savvy people, and when they take the time to write us a thoughtful letter, we feel compelled to share what we learn from them with the rest of our readers.

My article, White Oak Redux (Epoxyworks 34) generated two responses we wanted to share. The letters, along with my replies, follow. Continue reading

Stray Cat Strut

By Andy Davidson

I have just about finished restoring a Gougeon Tornado. I’ve always had and loved catamarans, and this one had been sitting out in the sun at the Oklahoma City Boat Club for years. Bob, a fellow club member, offered some parts. His plans were to “chainsaw the hulls tomorrow” and put the pieces in the club Dumpster. That was the push I needed. In a moment of insanity, I told him there was no way I could let him do that. Continue reading

The Modern Bronze Age

By Kirk Williams

In 2010, I was given a commission to do a base relief sculpture for the Pioneer Care Center, a new retirement home in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The sculpture, called “Creation of Life” was to be mounted on a wall about 14′ off the floor. I knew I had to make it strong and lightweight. The method I used was to sculpt the design in oil based-clay on a large wooden easel. Then I covered the finished clay sculpture with several layers of clear silicone, occasionally adding cheesecloth for build up and strength. When the silicone was thick enough, I built a mold cradle, made of plaster and gauze reinforced Continue reading

columns

Pleasant Bay Columns

By Suzanne Leahy

Epoxyworks 34

Cover Photo: The finished 24′ front columns built by Pleasant Bay Boat & Spar Company.

Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar Company is a boat building and spar fabrication shop located in Orleans on beautiful Cape Cod. We have been building, restoring and repairing boats on the Cape since 1999.

Shortly after I set up shop, I began making spars and created a niche for the business. With a lot of help and advice along the way, I developed an efficient system to make hollow “bird’s mouth” poles that were turned into masts, booms and gaffs for sailboats, and flagpoles. The machinery didn’t know the difference. Working with boat builders and designers pushed us to go further. The crew expanded to include Doug Ingram, our full time spar maker. The masts got longer and more complicated. Flagpoles were shipped as far away as Bermuda or installed on the facade of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Our reputation grew exponentially with the level of experience. Continue reading

Building a Custom Stained Glass Mold with G/5

By Tom Pawlak

A few years back Mary, my better half, suggested I make a stained glass lamp for our den at home. There are molds commercially available for making glass lampshades. They hold glass pieces in position in the desired curved shape until the soldering process is complete. Unfortunately, the shape I wanted was not available. I wanted something similar in size and shape to the fabric-covered lamp shade in the den. In the end, I decided to make a custom mold. Continue reading

Skeg Construction for SPARKS

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 3 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

Designing and building a successful skeg for Sparks (our 30′ hybrid electric launch featured in Epoxyworks 32) took some head scratching. But in the end, it was just another combination of wood and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Our skeg needed to be functional and age gracefully, yet be reasonably quick and easy to build and install. This project was an ideal opportunity to explore the limits as well as the advantages of combining wood with epoxy to engineer simple solutions to complex problems. Continue reading

The Coupe de Ville of Epoxy Caddies

By Mike Barnard

My father has grown very fond of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and his box of epoxy-related items has been growing at a steady rate. The overflow of his box in an already “treasure” packed garage emphasized his need for an organization and storage system for these materials. We have had several requests for this same type of solution lately, so I did some digging and found a great Boatbuilder article from 1986 written by J.R. Watson. Inspired by this article, my father and I built our own interpretation of the Epoxy Caddy.

Transporting epoxy with the 300 Mini-Pumps in the containers is typically awkward with a risk of overturning. The pumps could become damaged, and the alternative, to remove them, is messy and unnecessary. We always store the epoxy with the pumps in place. Inadvertently, a drip will cause a mess. A pot placed under the mini pumps will catch those rascals, but if the containers or the pot are not positioned correctly all’s for naught. The glue caddy solves both transportation and storage problems.

A caddy can be simple or as elaborate as you want. One could design it to become an epoxy work station complete with storage for brushes, stir sticks, hand cleaner, gloves, paper towels and so on. Or it could be designed simply with cutouts for containers and drip pots. One can simplify or expand upon the concept, tailoring to meet your needs.

Set whatever size containers you are going to use together, trace around their bases onto the plywood, and cut it out with a sabre saw. Position the drip pot cutout so it will be under the spouts of the mini pumps. With pots in position, you’re ready to go to work.

1. Lay out the items you want in your caddy on a sheet of plywood. Trace the outline of each item. Be sure to include a drip cup below the resin and hardener mini pump spouts.

2. Cut out the shapes of each item slightly oversized as necessary.

3. Add sides, a bottom and a handle to complete the caddy.

Bubble-Free Coating

By Mike Barnard & Don Gutzmer

WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has long been a popular choice for clear coating table tops. It works great as a buildup coat and a moisture barrier. It also showcases the beauty of wood grain and fiber weaves. Formulated with boat building in mind, WEST SYSTEM epoxy is not intended as a final finish coating. You may find it a bit more difficult to achieve a perfect surface with epoxy than with a coating formulated specifically for final finishing, such as varnish.

However, WEST SYSTEM offers some distinct advantages. It builds up quickly: a single coat of 105 Epoxy Resin® with 207 Special Clear Hardener® offers about four times the thickness of a typical coat of polyurethane varnish. WEST SYSTEM epoxy is also an excellent moisture barrier, stabilizing the surface so your final finish coat will look beautiful longer. Continue reading