Category Archives: Tools to Make or Modify

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

faster, neater fillets

Faster, Neater Fillets

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

When creating lots of epoxy fillets, a faster way to apply the thickened epoxy is with an 810 Fillable Caulking Tube. It takes a bit of time to transfer the epoxy into the tube, but it is wonderfully efficient for applying epoxy to the joints. Compared to other application methods, it’s also less messy. Continue reading

modified 808 spreader filleting tool

Bonding with Epoxy Fillets

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Building with epoxy fillets is especially beneficial when attaching bulkheads to hull sides, attaching hull sides to hull bottoms where the faces of the plywood are coming together at ever-changing angles. Gluing plywood structures together with epoxy fillets saves considerable time constructing the joints and reduces the overall weight of the structure compared to more traditional methods using wooden cleats and screws. The strength and gap-filling qualities of epoxy eliminate the need for precisely fitted wood cleats that otherwise require time and skill to create. When gluing with conventional adhesives, that are non-gap filling such as resorcinol glue, wood cleats need to be well fitted, need to be wide enough to provide sufficient glued surface area, and provide enough thickness for screws to be driven into. Continue reading

Mother of Invention

Spring-loaded wire cutters

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

In 2011, our Technical Advisors Bruce Niederer and Don Gutzmer were packing tools for a trip to Mystic Seaport where they would once again provide guidance and instruction to families participating in the WoodenBoat Show’s Family Boatbuilding event. They recalled from the previous summer that spring-loaded wire cutters were very helpful for removing the twisted copper wire used to temporarily hold stitch and glue boats together after the joints cured. Unfortunately, none that were spring-loaded could be found. Continue reading

Grapnel

Make Your Own Grapnel

By Captain J.R. Watson

A grapnel or grappling hook is a device with curved tines or “flukes” attached to a rope used for retrieving overboard objects. For pleasure boaters, a grapnel should be small, lightweight, and made of non-rusting materials. I think every cruising boat should have one. The only ones I could find were too large or were a folding grapnel anchor, not a retrieving hook. Continue reading

Mike's fancy epoxy caddie

The Coupe de Ville of Epoxy Caddies

By Mike Barnard

Inspired by an old Boatbuilder article by Captain James R. Watson, my father and I built our own deluxe epoxy caddy, which we call the Coupe de Ville of Epoxy Caddies. My dad has grown very fond of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and his box of epoxy-related items has been growing at a steady rate. The overflow of his box in an already “treasure” packed garage emphasized his need for an organization and storage system for these materials. We have had several requests for this same type of solution lately. Continue reading

Quick Fix for a Damaged Table Saw Rip Fence

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

25 years of use (some might say abuse) had taken its toll on the heavy aluminum rip fence on our Delta Rockwell 12″–14″ Tilting Arbor Saw. Deep saw kerf grooves on the face of the fence had become a hazard because wood occasionally got hung up on it when ripping stock. Over a few months, each time I used the saw I thought about how it could be repaired. While the plan was still developing in my head, more than once I clamped a flat piece of plywood to the rip fence face to temporarily create the smooth surface that I needed.

Continue reading
snow shovel blades

A G/flex Modified Snow Shovel

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

I decided to modify my new plastic snow shovel with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive. This winter (2011) in Bay City, Michigan, we’ve seen a couple of big snowfalls and lots of small ones with 1″ to 2″ of accumulation. Not enough snow to bother breaking out the snowblower, so I usually shovel it by hand. About 10 years ago I fell in love with the plastic snow shovels that are lightweight and the snow slides off of them easily compared to the metal snow shovels that are heavy and snow clings to stubbornly. Continue reading

carbon fabric is stretched gently in all directions to remove any slack.

Project X Fairing Technique

By John M. Thomas

Jan Gougeon’s newest boat, currently called Project X (later christened STRINGS —Ed), is in the home stretch to completion, and Jan is addressing the fine tweaks of coaming and fairing by using a special fairing technique. Continue reading