Ice hockey sticks are exposed to cold temperatures plus high shock forces from contact with the puck as well as with the ice and skates. Hockey sticks can be wood/fiberglass laminates or composites of carbon fiber or aramid. The stick blades often chip and split with use and have to be repaired (or else replaced at $50–$150 each). A customer who repairs and maintains hockey sticks for a local team had been using a conventional epoxy for repairs and found that it often chipped under such use. Continue reading →
The 2006 NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) began for the Flying Tigers, a competitive model rocket club at Caro High School, Michigan, when we accepted the 13th place award in the 2005 Team America Rocketry Challenge at The Plains, Virginia. At that point, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Approximately six months, and thousands of dollars and work hours later, we enjoyed the products of our labor with a perfect flight into the blue Tennessee sky. Continue reading →
Here’s another use of the lost foam method to produce a custom part with a molded interior cavity. In this case, the part was a mast head fitting to hold an internal sheave and provide a route for the halyard to pass. This method can be adapted to a variety of other applications, as demonstrated in Fabricating an Airscoop. Continue reading →
Many WEST SYSTEM® customers appreciate the benefits of cored composite construction. They understand that it creates a part that is lightweight, strong, and stiff. We often receive calls from these customers inquiring about using a composite panel when building or repairing something that would normally be made of plywood. Such projects may include a new center console for a fishing boat or the replacement of flying bridge side shields. Determining the best material requires consideration of many aspects of the project, but often comes down to cost versus weight. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The SWIFT SOLO is a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally. Stiff, durable hulls are crucial to skiff speed.
One of the little-known or understood characteristics of modern fiber-reinforced plastic composites is the loss of some initial stiffness capability after repeated cyclic loading. Loss of stiffness can be significant enough to cause a noticeable effect on performance, depending upon laminate makeup and degree of cyclic loading.
Loss of initial stiffness after repeated cyclic loading was first noticed in several highly competitive racing dinghy classes where older boats that had been sailed hard for Continue reading →
Palmer Hudson sent us these photos of his rocket, Glory. The rocket was built out of phenolic tubes covered with fiberglass cloth. All construction was done using the WEST SYSTEM® epoxy and fillers. Continue reading →
On a break from the Maine Boatbuilders Show in March, we visited Hodgdon Yachts, Inc. and found significant progress on their latest build, a 155′ Bruce King designed wood/epoxy ketch, named Scheherazade. This is Hodgdon Yachts’ largest wood/epoxy vessel to date. The project is roughly 60% larger than Antonisa, the 124′ sailing yacht they launched last year. Continue reading →
Using epoxy with wood and modern high modulus fibers, the homebuilder can create light and strong evolutions of the sailing canoes designed by the Scot, John McGregor,in the 1860s. Modern decked sailing canoes are simple, efficient, solo craft which are equally proficient under sail or double-bladed paddle. Puffin and Serendipity, for example, are 15′ long with a 34″ beam. Their unrigged weight is 45 lb; fully rigged weight is under 70 lb, including Continue reading →
Braided Kevlar®, or composites with Kevlar and carbon braid, are used for joints and many components of my sailing canoes. These include the hull/deck joint, cockpit coaming and spray deck rims, the leeboard bracket and retaining pin, the attachment of the mast step to the hull, the gunter’s yard heel fitting, and the Continue reading →
The original sailing rigs on both Serendipity and Puffin are Hugh Horton’s sophisticated version of the old, but efficient sliding gunter rig (Figure 1). Hugh had put a lot of thought into sailing rigs for canoes and had chosen the gunter because it best fit several needs that he considered mandatory for a cruising canoe. Continue reading →