In midwinter, we purchased a portable barbecue and would, by summer, need some kind of table to support it. The table was to be located in an old English garden setting. We wanted a compact, all-weather structure that could be permanently affixed just off the edge of a patio, blend into the surroundings, complement a nearby picnic table, conceal a 20 lb LP gas container, and outlast a long succession of barbecue grills.
Our table design was completed by early spring. Retired Gougeon technical advisor, Brian Knight, agreed to build it as an example of high-quality, all-weather construction using treated lumber and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading
August 7, 1945 – December 18, 2012
A visionary, ingenious, a great innovator who could see beyond boundaries, on of a few people to really have changed the boatbuilding game in his lifelong quest for speed. This is how boatbuilders and designers, sailors and iceboaters recall Jan Gougeon. A natural engineer, Jan became an accomplished boat designer and builder who was always thinking about his next boat. His vibrant boyish enthusiasm lit up the room. Jan was a fierce competitor who shared tips and technology openly, offering astute and encouraging advice to novice and veteran sailors and builders alike. Continue reading
Using the Lost Foam Method
By Brian Knight
I used lost foam construction to fabricate a fiberglass air scoop for my son’s Formula Continental C race car. Our project started because a modification to the shape of the race car body necessitated the construction of a new air scoop. The air scoop is bolted to the car body so if either the air scoop or the body is damaged (a very likely scenario), the repair will be simpler. To fabricate the scoop, I made a Styrofoam male mold, surrounded the mold with fiberglass, and then dissolved the Styrofoam to leave a hollow part. I used Styrofoam to build the male mold for several reasons. It is readily available at most lumberyards, it is easy to shape with files and sandpaper, and it is easy to dissolve with lacquer thinner.
By Greg Hatten
On March 21, 2012, river runners from five western states, Canada, Japan and Chile launched five homemade boats, replicas of important historical designs, in an attempt to complete a 24-day self-guided traverse of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. The replica boats represented a snapshot of river running in Grand Canyon during the 1950s and 1960s, just before Glen Canyon Dam took control of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. Continue reading
This article is Lesson 4 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.
The way a finish ages has everything to do with the way it is anchored to the wood. Sealers and primers are often taken for granted; we simply read the can and follow directions. There are so many reasons for using a sealer and many methods for applying them. Let’s look at what we learned while sealing Sparks, the electric launch I built. Continue reading
By Captain J.R. Watson
A grapnel or grappling hook is a device with curved tines or “flukes” attached to a rope used for retrieving overboard objects. For pleasure boaters, a grapnel should be small, lightweight and made of non-rusting materials. I think every cruising boat should have one. The only ones I could find were too large, or were a folding grapnel anchor, not a retrieving hook.
To get what I wanted I had to make my own. I settled on a treble configuration and chose galvanized steel. Although plenty strong, this grapnel is intended for light service, up to about 40 lb, which is about as much as the average person can lift with a line anyway. Continue reading
By Tom Pawlak
Ten years ago the rear fender on my son John’s 1991 Honda Accord was damaged just forward of the wheel. It had been repaired at a local body shop, but four months later the same fender was rusting. I took it back to the body shop. The manager apologized and agreed to redo the job, but said there wasn’t much metal for his technicians to work with because the car had rusted significantly prior to the accident. He couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t rust again.
I asked him if he would consider painting both rear fenders in exchange for me rebuilding the problem fender, and he agreed. I planned to rebuild the fender myself with epoxy, and also rebuild the rusted fender on other side. I knew I’d be able to do a much better job with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and fiberglass than with the polyester-based putties the auto body repair shop had used. Continue reading
Are you the kind of person who just can’t get enough of a good thing? Looking for a better way to squeeze out that last little bit of G/flex adhesive from your tube rather than resorting to pliers, a vise or maybe even Grandma’s rolling pin? Maybe you’d like to get a fatter bead of adhesive or your tube is a bit clogged. Boy, do we have some easy and inexpensive tricks for you! Continue reading
While WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has a long shelf life, age will eventually affect its handling characteristics and cured strength. When stored for very long periods, hardeners may turn darker (reddish to purple), become thicker and give off more odor. 105 Resin may lose some clarity and also become slightly thicker. Use extra care when mixing age-thickened products (stir extra thoroughly), and if color and/or clarity are crucial to your project, buy some fresh resin and hardener for best results. 207 Special Clear Hardener is specially formulated for clarity and flow. Continue reading
By John Wojciechowski
When I told my brother that I was going to build a boat he asked me, “Why?” I didn’t discover the answer until after the project was completed.
I work in the Operations Department at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. and have been here 12 years making WEST SYSTEM® products: epoxy resin, hardeners, fillers, packaging fiberglass etc. But I’d really never used it on a big project. The company has always been involved in boats and boatbuilding, so I figured a boat project of my own would provide me with some ‘how to’ epoxy experience.
I could envision my two young daughters rowing a boat their dad built, but I had to convince my wife. I like to fish and so do my girls, so a good fishing skiff couldn’t hurt. “Think of all the fish fries,” I told my skeptical wife. Continue reading