Category Archives: Composite Fabrication

Composite snowshoes by Mark Minter

Composite Snowshoes

By Mark Minter, Maker of Composite Snowshoes

Looking for an entry-level composite project? One that needs a minimum amount of materials and construction space, costs less than a boat, but still lets you travel on water? If you live in snow country, why not build a pair of composite snowshoes?

These snowshoes are made from a rigid foam core between two layers of carbon-fiber cloth, edged with 1″ Kevlar tape. A carbon-fiber wrapped wood spar runs across each snowshoe under the ball of your foot. This provides a solid mounting point for a couple of stainless steel eye-bolts to attach a simple toe-and-heel strap for a binding. Fiberglass tape reinforces the top and bottom edges, and the upper surface of the snowshoes where your winter boots contact them.

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Rachael Geertz, Winona Composites Engineering Grad

Winona State University Composite Materials Engineering Program

By Rachael Geerts

Here is an inside snapshot of how the composites materials world is growing at my alma mater, Winona State University. Located in Winona, Minnesota, this university has the only accredited four-year undergraduate program for composite materials engineering in the US. Through this program, students learn the fundamentals of engineering while investigating different materials. This program challenges students both academically and creatively. Students are encouraged to ask questions and strive for a deeper understanding of why things are done the way they are done. From this, they can explore how things can be improved.

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Boyscout Klondike Derby sled.

Boy Scout Composite Klondike Derby Sled

by Tom Dragone, PhD

About the Klondike Derby

The Klondike Derby is an annual winter camping trip held in our district (and many others across the country) for Scouts to hone their scouting skills in a winter environment. During the weekend event, Scout patrols go from station to station around our local Scout Camp, facing challenges that require them to demonstrate their skills in making a fire, navigating with a map and compass, cooking, knot-tying, and applying first aid. The Scouts must bring all their gear with them as they trek from station to station, including ropes, stoves, kindling, and hiking staves. Hence, each patrol is required to have a sled for their gear which they, as a patrol, must haul. The sled must be strong and stiff to hold the patrol gear, yet lightweight because at the end of the weekend there is a race between patrols, and the fastest sled wins.

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Mike Barnard

Michael A. Barnard

1987—2017

The family of Employee Owners at Gougeon Brothers Incorporated lost Technical Advisor Mike Barnard, who passed away on 7/28/17. Our customers who had the opportunity to work with Mike will know that we lost an incredibly friendly, educated, and patient young man. I had the wonderful opportunity to be Mike’s manager for over 6 years, and hoped to keep him challenged until I retired. But fate took our favorite Eagle Scout well before we should have had to say goodbye. Continue reading

Stayin’ Awake at Daryl’s House

By Bruce Niederer

To stay awake at Daryl’s house requires a lot of caffeine—it must if the Box  o’ Coffee idea he came up with is any indication. Epoxyworks readers may recall his riveting article in issue 40 Dirt Bike Loading Ramp. Daryl is talented, imaginative and loves to build stuff with carbon fiber.

Inspiration hit him one day after buying a Box o’ Coffee from Tim Horton’s® on his way to teach a motorcycle safety class to aspiring scootertrash. Disappointed that the Tim Horton’s coffee didn’t stay warm very long, he salvaged the Mylar® bag with its built-in cap and built his own insulated box. Continue reading

Self Defense Canes

By Mark Copeland

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. Afterwards, 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

You Can Build It With Fiberglass

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

Merit Badge

By Tom Dragone, PhD

In Epoxyworks #38, we published an article featuring two projects that met the requirements for the Boy Scout’s Composite Merit Badge. Here, Tom Dragone tells us about two more projects completed by scouts in Troop 7369 from Chantilly, Virginia.

In 2006, the Boy Scouts of America created the Composite Materials merit badge for scouts to earn, to help them learn about the importance of composite materials and encourage them to consider careers in this field. Being an aerospace composites engineer as well as an active scouting advisor, I saw this as a natural opportunity to share my interest and experience in composite materials with the scouts in my troop. I developed a set of projects to help the scouts learn about composite materials and share them in the hope of getting more young men interested in this exciting field. Continue reading

carbon fiber air scoop

Carbon Skinning

Why reinforce with carbon fiber?

By Don Gutzmer

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

FIBERwave PAVILION

By Alphonso Peluso and his Spring 2014 IIT Architecture Students Joseph Bertucci, Cecilia Campos, Dijon Dunmore, Xinyun Huang, Jared James, Ryan Kim, Dakotah Lucas, Jeffrey McQuiston, Nick Rienstra, Teresita Pineda, John Seaman & Jeffrey Wigen

The FIBERwave PAVILION was designed and built as part of a student-based design research studio. Carbon fiber was used because when coated with epoxy it can become as hard as steel, and added layers enhance its strength. It offers designers great control over structural properties and is incredibly lightweight. Continue reading