By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composite Materials Engineer
Have you ever wondered how laminate thickness can be determined without breaking out the epoxy and reinforcement fabric? The answer is simple—use math. While some of you may have just lost interest because you think math is too difficult, I can assure you that this math requires nothing more than some basic multiplication, addition, and division. Let’s get to it.
Knowing how much epoxy you will need for a project before you start will save time, money, and frustration. Luckily, it is fairly simple to get a ballpark idea of how much epoxy your project will require before you start mixing.
Epoxy safety begins with working cleanly. When handling WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy resin and hardener, take steps to keep epoxy out of your eyes and off your skin and clothing. Ventilate your workspace to protect your respiratory system. Minimize the amount of epoxy that gets on your work surface and tools. Regardless of the type of boat repair you have planned, follow these safety practices.
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.
Scarfing wood together dates back ages. Scarfing is the process of cutting corresponding angles (or sometimes shapes) on two similar pieces of wood and gluing them together to create a larger piece of lumber or plywood. The most common place scarfing is used is in building a stitch-and-glue canoe or kayak. Continue reading →
Why can’t I apply epoxy to vertical surfaces? This is a question Gougeon Technical Advisors are asked all the time. Our response? Why, sure you can! You just need to apply it in thin coats using a foam roller. I’ll provide some tips for preventing sags or runs when coating vertical surfaces, achieving a thin coat, and choosing the best hardener for your working temperature.
Pre-finishing parts with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy before installation is a technique that was popularized by guess who? The Gougeon brothers. It can save time and increase the quality of the finish. Coating small parts can also be a challenge, but it’s much easier if the parts are held in a way that provides good access for roller and brush coating. Continue reading →
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 →
What is the difference between abrasion and impact? What materials hold up best against each of them? These questions often come up when talking about skid plates. Skid plates are a protective layer, typically on canoes and kayaks, that reinforces the areas of the hull most likely to suffer damage from abrasion and impact. Continue reading →
My idea for this thickened epoxy application method was borrowed from my grandfather, a notable oil painter. What I remember the most about him is how he painted. He used standard oil paints but did not use a brush. Instead, he painted with cake decorating cones and his fingers.
One day, when I was working on applying some thickened WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy, I had an epiphany: my grandfather used cake-decorating cones to “draw” with oil paints and he was very accurate with them… maybe that would work with thickened epoxy. It has about the same consistency (viscosity) as oil paints. Continue reading →