Category Archives: Home repair, restoration & improvement

The finished custom wastebasket fits perfectly in the drawer.

Making Custom Wastebaskets

By Tom Pawlak — Retired GBI Technical Advisor

Photo above: The finished custom wastebasket fits perfectly in the drawer.

I don’t know about you, but I have problems finding wastebaskets that fit the spaces I have in mind. The baskets are either way too small or a bit too large for the opening. It happened at a previous house we lived in and it happened again in our current home. My solution was to make my own custom wastebaskets with 4 to 6mm (3 16″ to 1 4″ thick) plywood sealed with and glued together with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Continue reading

laminated denim knife handle

Readers’ Projects, Issue 30

Laminated Denim Knife Handle Material

Knife makers Cliff Fendley and Mike Carter decided to try their hand at making laminated denim knife handle material. After some research, they chose to use WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin with 206 Slow Hardener to laminate pieces of denim fabric into blocks from which they could machine knife handles. Mike first made a 5″ x 7″ piece about 1/2″ thick with alternating front and back layers of blue jean denim. Cliff made a 1″ thick 5″ x 5″ Piece from faded blue jean and 1″ thick 5″ x 5″ piece from faded blue jean and a 1″ thick 1″ x 7″ piece from alternating layers of tan and black denim which he twisted before pressing.

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2-story deck repair

Saving the Deck

A 2-Story Deck Repair

by Jeff Blackmon
Above: Blackmon’s two-story deck is supported by 6×6 redwood posts resting on concrete footings.

I needed to make a deck repair because there was wood rot at the bases of the support posts for my large, two-story patio deck. This bi-level deck has patio furniture on the top level and a built-in hot tub on the lower level. The deck is constructed of 6×6 support posts, 2×12 flooring supports and 2×4s for the finished floor. All of this is redwood. Continue reading

The Lighthouse Project

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Bob, my brother-in-law, has a beautiful yard that he has set in a nautical theme. He had been looking at lighthouse plans and asked if I was interested in helping build one with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. All the plans that he looked at were for flat paneled six or eight-sided lighthouses built with plywood. I was interested in a project that was a bit more challenging and unique, so I suggested we build a stripped plank version. That way the tower could be round and tapered like many of the popular lighthouses around the world and it would differ from the flat-sided variety often seen in people’s yards. Bob liked the idea, so he went online and found photos of lighthouses that he liked. In the end, we based our design on the Marblehead lighthouse located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie. Continue reading

Methodist Church window repair

Revisiting a Church Window Restoration

by Captain James R. Watson

Above: The United Methodist Church in Ludington, Michigan where window restoration was completed with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.

Those working on projects that use epoxy for restoration and rot repair often ask, “How long will this last? Will the rot return?” At Gougeon Brothers, Inc., we have lots of in-house test approaches that can analyze tension, compression, shear, and fatigue. We can also predict the consequences of ultraviolet, arid, tropical, and cold conditions. Still, there’s nothing like real-world performance over time to tell us how long a repair will last. Continue reading

metal door repair with 410 Microlight

Metal Door Repair

WEST SYSTEM 410 Microlight® to the Rescue!

by Jim Derck—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Jim Derck describes how he used 410 Microlight in a metal door repair. Image: A knocker on a metal door. Photo by Felix Luo on Unsplash 

At the end of moving day, after many large items had passed through the doorway, our house’s metal door was left with a nasty crease about a foot long. The door was made of steel and had a foam core. The needed repair was just a fairing application with no structural component. Continue reading

The planter box later that summer, with flowers in full bloom.

Building a Planter Box

by Brian Knight—GBI Technical Advisor

My wife gave me the basic guidelines for a planter box she wanted me to build. First, keep it cheap. Second, she wanted an “L” shape. Third, she provided some rough dimensions. The design was up to me. Logic seems to abandon me when I design something, and this project was no exception. A nice, straightforward box with square corners should have been the default. But after some doodling on paper, I decided to build a planter with flared sides and rounded corners. Continue reading

how to cast a clear epoxy tabletop

How to Cast an Epoxy Tabletop

by Captain James R. Watson—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: A handle trick when you want to cast an epoxy tabletop is to warm epoxy resin and hardener to 80° F to reduce viscosity, then let it pour from a puncture in your mixing cup. These steps will eliminate most bubbles behind. 

Pouring a thick coating of epoxy onto a tabletop can produce a unique effect. With a ¼” thick coating, you can cast an epoxy tabletop with a variety of objects covered in the epoxy for decorative accents. Coins, fabrics, sticks of wood, memorabilia, and photographs have been used in this decoupage application. Here are a few tricks to make things go more smoothly. Continue reading

Repairing a Cracked Plaster Ceiling

by Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Tom’s approach to repairing cracked plaster involves Drilling into the lath and injecting thickened WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

A 100-year-old friend called in tears because her living room ceiling had cracked and she was afraid that the plaster was going to fall. I did my best to calm her and offered to come over and take a quick look. Continue reading

Brian's western red cedar and epoxy fence.

Fence Construction Revisted

My Western Red Cedar & Epoxy Fence

by Brian Knight—GBI Technical Advisor

Above: Brian’s western red cedar and epoxy fence still looks beautiful despite constant exposure to harsh Michigan weather.

Every now and then it is good to look back at an epoxy project to see how it has held up over several years. Above is a photo of the western red cedar fence I built in the summer of 1998 (as it looks today) and below, the fence as it looked during and just after construction five years ago. This fence uses no nails, screws, bolts, etc. to hold it together. Only WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy holds the spindles to the rails and the rails to the posts. Continue reading