Gadabout came about after the US Navy asked Phil Bolger & Friends Inc. (PB&F) to develop a container-transportable power cruiser. This was a rather irresistible opportunity. We had been developing a modest sequence of design concepts to match a variety of unusual requirements for the Navy. This time they wanted us to design this craft, and manage the prototyping of the project from the earliest stages of construction to final testing. While our design office had never built anything bigger than perhaps 16 feet, we understood the basics of how any design would be built. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: This custom pedal car was the 1st place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.
For the past two years, the Drafting/Pre-Engineering autobody class I teach at Tuscola Technology Center in Caro, Michigan has been invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Summit Racing. Students build a custom pedal car that is displayed and judged at the AutoRAMA show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Summit Racing either supplies participating schools with one of their stock pedal cars which can be modified and customized, or students may build their entry from scratch. We constructed our entry from scratch both years. Our first car was inspired by the Delehaye roadster and built of aluminum in an Art Deco style. Continue reading →
Meade and Jan Gougeon were inducted into The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) in October of 2015. Meade and Jan, along with their brother Joel, founded Gougeon Brothers, Inc. in 1969. They were selected because of their pioneering work in the use of epoxies for boat construction, and because each is an accomplished sailor. Continue reading →
The prospect of fiberglassing overhead when laminating the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading →
I was talking to my friend Blake Rivard about doing something different for his motocross bike. We settled on a carbon fiber airbox (air filter cover). On his bike, the airbox sits just below the handlebars where the gas tank usually is. I started with removing the plastic piece and cleaned it so no dirt would be present in the final product. The original airbox would serve as a mold for the finished piece. Continue reading →
Big Jon (BJ) serves as a reel for retrieving and letting line attached to floating planer boards in and out from a boat while trolling. Planer boards are used to get fishing lures off to the side of the hull so the lures aren’t following directly behind the boat while trolling for walleye. The further the planer board is reeled out, the further the lures are from the side of the hull. BJ has served Tom and Lorraine Klinski well but recently developed some cracks in what appears to be a black nylon plastic. Continue reading →
I teach mechanical engineering at Hartland High School in Hartland, Michigan. As summer approaches, keeping students interested in learning while wrapping up the school year can be a challenging task. My students learn the principles of technical design while guiding through a fun, hands-on, year-end design project. Continue reading →
It’s a myth that if you plan to gel coat over a repair, you must make the repair with polyester. We’ve used gel coat over epoxy for decades, shown it in our instructional videos on repairing fiberglass boats, and discussed it in past issues of Epoxyworks. Continue reading →
Male Mold Plug and Composite Shell Construction Techniques
By David M. Sianez Ph.D.
After many years of pursuing techniques for male mold plug creation and composite shell construction, I’ve developed a method that is inexpensive and fast. It calls for sheets of rigid foam insulation stacked and screwed in multiple layers to achieve the desired mold shape, then covered with multiple layers of carbon fiber and Kevlar cloth. WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy is used to bond the composite structure and cured at room temperature.
Composite shell construction became a pursuit for me following a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. While walking through the exhibits I came across a human-powered speed vehicle called The Gold Rush. It had been ridden by cyclist Fast Freddie Markham, the first person to exceed 60 mph on a faired bicycle. Going that fast under human power alone was an idea that challenged me, and later became my passion. Continue reading →