Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

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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Calculating Epoxy Use When Using WEST SYSTEM® Accessories

By Terry Monville – GBI Technical Advisor

Taking the time to do quick, rough calculations at the beginning of a project can help you save on money and frustration in the long run. This can be especially helpful if you’re new to working with epoxy and haven’t quite developed the intuition yet for how far your epoxy will go. Here are some numbers we’ve collected over the years for estimating epoxy coverage when working with our WEST SYSTEM® Accessories. Continue reading

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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Preparing to Fair

By Greg Bull – GBI Technical Advisor

Those new to the process of fairing a boat’s hull or deck are quick to mix up a batch of fairing compound, WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy with a low-density filler, and apply it to the surface, so they can start sanding right away. My experience in boat repair and construction has taught me the importance of making a fairing plan and selecting the correct materials before any epoxy is mixed.

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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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Swim Platform Rebuild

 By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

If your swim platform is experiencing water penetration, a repair or even a rebuild could be in your near future. We’ll show you how to measure the damage, and perform a successful repair that will last for years to come.

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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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