I was recently asked for help in choosing adhesives for a large spar-building project. This led to much thought and discussion with the wonderful WEST SYSTEM® Technical Advisors. The choices we made won’t surprise anyone, but the reasons we made those choices are worth explanation. Continue reading →
Typically, when a fastener fails on a boat, it pulls out of the wood or fiberglass that it was screwed into. There are many causes for this failure: shock loading, fatigued from being pulled on one too many times, or moisture softening the wood. Let’s take a look at how using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy can improve the holding power of a fastener in wood to give you fewer troubles on the water.
If you’ve ever used Pinterest, then you know that it is filled with projects that give a false sense of confidence in your own artistic abilities. Hence, the wildly entertaining “Pinterest fails”. Mindlessly scrolling one day, when I probably should have been doing something productive, I stumbled across a rustic wood wall art piece. A little epoxy, some scrap wood, and I can build that. No problem.
It’s no secret that bonding to plastic can be a challenge. Identifying what type of plastic you are working with—ABS, PVC, HDPE, LDPE, UHMWPE, and this list goes on—is your first step. Continue reading →
Many boat parts require plywood lengths greater than the standard 8 feet, so joining together two panels of plywood is an important step. The most common methods of joining plywood are the butt joint with backer block, the scarf joint and a hybrid between the two. Each method offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain applications so it’s important to be aware of each joining method. Continue reading →
When creating lots of epoxy fillets, a faster way to apply the thickened epoxy is with an 810 Fillable Caulking Tube. It takes a bit of time to transfer the epoxy into the tube, but it is wonderfully efficient for applying epoxy to the joints. Compared to other application methods, it’s also less messy. 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 →
“What’s the lowest temperature WEST SYSTEM Epoxy can be applied?” During cold weather, this is a common question our Technical Advisors are asked. Fortunately, it’s one we’re well equipped to answer. Gougeon Brothers, Inc. got its start in the world of DN Iceboat racing. Both Meade and Jan Gougeon have won multiple DN cup races worldwide. It’s not unusual for an iceboat to need repairs mid-regatta, so part of the discipline of iceboat racing is getting epoxy to cure despite cold working environments. The trick is using strategies that bring epoxy temperatures up to adequate cure levels in cold working environments. Continue reading →
Because a newer epoxy formulation we offer is great for aluminum adhesion, we stopped offering the 860 Aluminum Etch Kit in the WEST SYSTEM product line in 2015. Before making that decision we ran a series of tests that compared bond strength of 105 Resin/206 Hardener and G/flex 650 Epoxy on aluminum surfaces prepared a variety of ways. As usual, we used the PATTI (Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Test Instrument) to test aluminum adhesion. Continue reading →