Category Archives: Shop Tricks

Tips for Clear-Finished Wood

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

The beauty of naturally finished wood on a boat is appealing to many boat owners, but the maintenance of clear wood finishes is an ongoing task. One way to reduce this task is to stabilize the moisture content of the wood with epoxy. Residents in Michigan or Florida may need to varnish their clear-finished wood surfaces yearly. In this article, we share expert tips for applying epoxy and fiberglass to wood surfaces for a clear, bubble-free finish.

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Planer Chip Diverter Built with G/flex

By Stephen Clark

Back in the ’70’s I bought a 10″ INCA jointer/planer. It came with a molded plastic chip diverter for use when set up as a planer. Back then, there were no thoughts on the designer’s part of attaching a dust collector to the diverter. The diverter simply spewed chips out the front, right onto the work piece being fed through for thicknessing.

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Calculating Laminate Thickness

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.

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Epoxy safety

Basic Epoxy Safety Practices for DIY Boat Repairs

By Grace Ombry GBI Retiree

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.

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Proper Fastener Bonding

By Terry Monville – GBI Technical Advisor

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.

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Scarfing is easier with the Scarffer

Getting to Know the Scarffer

By Terry Monville — GBI Technical Advisor

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

Applying Epoxy on Vertical Surfaces

By Greg Bull — GBI Technical Advisor

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.

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Several small parts coating by Russell Brown

Coating Small Parts

By Russell Brown — Port Townsend Watercraft

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