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 →
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 →
When Jan Gougeon built Strings in 2010 one of the most interesting features he included, at least from my point of view, was the masthead float. Due to its zeppelin-like shape, this is also called a blimp or a dirigible. The purpose of the float is to make the boat self-rescuing: if the boat tips, the float prevents it from going any farther than lying on its side. The mast and float are then used to right the boat. Jan developed this system when designing the Gougeon-32 back in the late ’80s, so he thought it would work for Strings. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
A dirt bike loading ramp is very bulky and heavy but important for loading everything you need in motocross. You can just use a wooden board thick enough to support the weight of your bike, or you can buy expensive aluminum ramps. But I (Daryl) wanted to build one and give it a personal touch, making it lighter and stronger. Continue reading →
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 →
A skiff is a shallow, open boat with a sharp bow and square stern. After building some skiffs of various designs and having the opportunity to observe them over time, I have found details that have worked nicely that might be of value to others. Continue reading →