Author Archives: Grace Ombry

rudder and dagger board

Sunfish Wood Restoration

By Don Gutzmer

During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden daggerboard and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany daggerboard and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading

Epoxy bowl

Epoxy Bowls

By Joe Llewellyn

I am a woodturner working on a wood lathe making various round objects from bowls to bottle stoppers to pens. This includes epoxy bowls.

I started turning irregular pieces of wood like burls and became frustrated with all the defects in the rotten or punky wood, and the various holes that needed to be filled or stabilized in order to keep the piece together. I began using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener as recommended by the WEST SYSTEM technical advisors. Continue reading

WOW, a home-built runabout that's still beautiful after 17 years of regular use.

WOW 17 Years Later

A home-built runabout

By Mark Bronkalla

WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.

WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading

One Small Trailer & a Teardrop

Home-built camping trailers

By Mike Lance

These two trailer projects came about after my good friend Orrin and I had been messing around with WEST SYSTEM products for the past forty years. After building and racing a hydroplane in the Seventies, we built a 21′ cedar strip two-person kayak in 1980 and an 18’6″ cedar strip canoe in 1981. In 1981 we placed second in the 320-mile canoe race across New York state using our kayak. Both boats are shown in May/June 1985 edition of The Boatbuilder, Gougeon’s precursor to Epoxyworks.

Continue reading

Self Defense Canes

Wood-Epoxy Canes Do Double Duty

By Mark Copeland

Her’es how I got into building self-defense canes: After working for many years as a master plumber, followed by many more at Automotive Concept Studios where I fashioned conceptual car models from clay, I ended up with arthritis and two hip replacements. All the heavy work had caught up with me, leaving me disabled and dependent on a cane. I decided to leave Michigan during the winter months and move to Zephyrhills, Florida. I settled in and started looking for an activity to do, maybe metal detecting, fishing or golf.

Downtown, I happened by a martial arts school and stopped in to watch a class. Afterward, the owner (Master Gary Hernández) and one of the instructors (Ms. Karuna) introduced themselves to me. Both have 4th-degree black belts. I explained my health issues: limited mobility and the need to use a cane. They outlined a class Master Hernández teaches in Cane-Fu®, which is specifically beneficial to someone in my situation. Continue reading

Tunnel Hull numbers

Tunnel Hull

A restoration with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Ed Stubbs

I’m rebuilding and restoring this vintage tunnel hull race boat for Steve Roberge. It was his late father’s boat and he wanted to restore it. We took it to my house to do as a home project.

I love using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy because there is very little odor or product waste, especially when compared to working with polyester resins in less than ideal temperatures. Continue reading

My First Cadillac

Restoring a 1954 Cadillac Runabout

By Bruce Niederer

One never really knows when the Fickle Finger of Fate will be pointing in your direction, but it sure did one day early last fall in 2015 at my brother’s shop—Nelson Niederer Woodworking in Bay City’s south end.

One day out of the blue a young man walks into the shop and relates a story about an old boat he found in his grandpa’s barn. He knew he wouldn’t really have the money nor the time and expertise to restore the boat. Nonetheless, he would hate to see it forgotten and disintegrating. Nelson told him to bring it by and he’d take a look. What he brought back was an extremely rare,  14′, 1954 Cadillac Runabout—in great condition! Cold molded, no frames. Mahogany veneer hull construction with a mahogany planked deck. The seat cushions and bimini top in good shape. No rot in the hull— only a little on the ends of the splash rails. Continue reading

Darth Vader cosplay helmet made with epoxy

You Can Build It With Fiberglass

Cosplay Glass’s Fabricated Helmets and Props

By Clayton Woods

Using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy Resin and fiberglass products, I have created numerous helmets, props, and pieces of armor for costuming and cosplay. Cosplay means to dress up as a character from a book, movie, or video game. Employing unorthodox and oft times experimental methods, I have kept costs low and my creativity heightened.

Just about anything you dream up can be built with fiberglass. The only real challenge is to get a close initial shape. After that, you can add or remove material with relative ease. As it is impossible to hang fiberglass in the air, you just need something to put those initial layers on. Continue reading

modified 808 spreader filleting tool

Bonding with Epoxy Fillets

By Tom Pawlak

Building with epoxy fillets is especially beneficial when attaching bulkheads to hull sides, attaching hull sides to hull bottoms where the faces of the plywood are coming together at ever-changing angles. Gluing plywood structures together with epoxy fillets saves considerable time constructing the joints and reduces the overall weight of the structure compared to more traditional methods using wooden cleats and screws. The strength and gap-filling qualities of epoxy eliminate the need for precisely fitted wood cleats that otherwise require time and skill to create. When gluing with conventional adhesives, that are non-gap filling such as resorcinol glue, wood cleats need to be well fitted, need to be wide enough to provide sufficient glued surface area, and provide enough thickness for screws to be driven into. Continue reading

GLBBS 2016

The employee-owners of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are proud to congratulate the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Class of 2016. Comprehensive Graduates (1st year)—Justin Bensley, James Biernesser, Daniel Cinal, Lauren Gaunt, Robert Hankenhoff, Sam Hoffrichter, Wayne Marmon, James Nelson, Mark Pugh, and Ariana Strazdins. Career Program Graduates (2nd year)—Mark Bilhorn, Caleb Gulder, Sean Libby, and Danton Thon.