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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
Larry Columbo built WILDEST DREAMS, a 30′ tall, swan-shaped floating sculpture on his front lawn in Brewster, New York. The unusual watercraft has a cabin that sleeps two just below the neck. The swan’s wingspan is 60′. Larry is a commercial artist who has built other boats, including a 16′ Viking ship and a 42′ Roman Galley. He uses WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. Continue reading →
IIT Architecture students designed and built a building facade panel system. This project was meant to simulate a real-world challenge and give hands-on experience working with carbon fiber. Their instructor also led the group of students who created the FIBERwave pavilion in Epoxyworks 40. Continue reading →
Super Fan Builds created this Groot swing set for one of their nominated Super Fans. The structure was made from a steel frame encased in foam and covered with fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. See the full video on Youtube.