Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

The viscometer has a paddle which measures a sample's resistance to flow (viscosity). Each sample is test for 3 minutes to ensure an accurate reading.

Quality Control: It’s what we do

By Pat Dammer – GBI Lab Technician

At Gougeon Brothers Inc., customer service and support are paramount. Throughout the decades (five strong and counting), we’ve built our WEST SYSTEM® product line on a model that places customer satisfaction at the forefront. Many WEST SYSTEM users know first-hand that we strive for customer success no matter the project. Our customers’ projects range across an extremely wide spectrum. What many users may not know is the extent of product support that grinds away behind the scenes before a batch of our epoxy even hits the retail shelves. I’ll provide a look at just one of our churning gears that isn’t so obvious at first glance-quality control (QC). Continue reading

Sample of a carbon fiber/Kevlar laminate affected by abrasion. The left side is unaffected where as the right side has been abraded. Note the fraying from the Kevlar fibers.

Improving Impact and Abrasion Resistance

By Rachael Geerts – Composites Materials Engineer
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

Choosing the Right Wood for Your Boat Repair

Why pressure-treated plywood is a poor choice

By Terry Monville – GBI Technical Advisor

A very high percentage of boats in the U.S. are at least 30 years old. It doesn’t surprise me when a boat’s plywood components fail due to water intrusion. In my experience, the transom is the first area to rot out in most trailerable boats. That’s not to say the first thing to rot couldn’t be the cockpit floor, stringers, or motor mounts. Continue reading

Mike Lenemens thickened epoxy application technique was borrowed from his grandfathers painting method.

Thickened Epoxy Application

By Mike Lenemen

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

which epoxy is recommended? WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and G-flex epoxies

105 or G/flex?

Take the quiz

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

“Should I use the 105 System or G/flex® Epoxy for my project?” This is a great question. Here’s what a Technical Advisor thinks about when recommending one type of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy over another. Let’s start by comparing the handling characteristics and mechanical properties of both the 105 System and G/flex. This will show you the advantages of each and when one system is better suited over another for your project. Continue reading

health and safety

Avoiding Respiratory Irritation

By Glenn House – GBI Health and Safety

When our team of experts select the raw ingredients for WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy products, we strive to achieve excellent physical properties with the lowest possible risk to human and environmental health. There is a safe exposure level for most substances. The more toxic the substance, the lower that level will be. Overexposure occurs when the safe exposure level is exceeded. When this happens, the substance can impact your health. Continue reading

West System Epoxy

The Basics of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Don Gutzmer

For those who want to work with epoxy resin and hardener, each February Gougeon Brothers provides a Fiberglass Boat Repair Class for repair professionals. Here are some of the basic techniques we teach in the class, as well as helpful tips for working with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

Epoxy’s Cure Stages

What is the difference between working time, pot life and cure time? All three are slightly different. Continue reading

Epoxy casting can be done in many colors and depths

Casting Epoxy

By Rachael Geerts

Casting epoxy is really catching on. Live edge tables with bright centers, clear coasters with stones, wood, or shells intricately placed, or even beautiful jewelry can be made with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. With so many people venturing into using epoxy this way, I will address common questions about casting depth, colorants, bubble removal, and finishing. Continue reading

WEST SYSTEM 300 Mini Pumps

300 Mini Pumps

To buy or not to buy?

By Terry Monville

Do I really need the Mini Pumps?

If it’s a two-part epoxy, why are there three pumps in the package?

The pumps look the wrong size to fit my cans. Are you sure these are the right ones?

Selling WEST SYSTEM Epoxy in a retail environment for more than 20 years, those were the three most common questions I received.

These are valid questions. We’ve all been in a situation where the salesperson is trying to upsell us or has no clue what we really need. In the case of Mini Pumps, however, the salesperson is trying to do you a favor.

Continue reading