People have been building boats using white oak for centuries, sacrificing blood, sweat, and tears to engineer wonderful and enduring vessels of all shapes and sizes.
Oak was often used because of its desirable properties and behavior. It is dense, strong, rot-resistant, holds fasteners well, and can be steam bent. In the days before glues and adhesives, oak planking was used because it would swell considerably which resulted in tight and sound hulls, meaning little leaking and dry interiors. Of course, time marches inexorably forward, and eventually, builders began using adhesives to augment or, in some cases, replace mechanical fasteners.
Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits, and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading →
Photo at top: How a simple S hook can save your 801 Roller Frame.
When you’ve completed a coating task using an 801 Roller Frame and 800 Roller Cover, what next? The frame is reusable. But if you leave it resting in the pan while the residual epoxy cures, you‘ll probably ruin both the reusable pan and the frame. If you lay the roller and frame on a workbench, it will be stuck there the next day. Here is a simple solution to this problem that will allow you to reuse your frame again and again.
Above: Julie examines a 3″ × 6″ coupons after long exposure in the QUV weather test machine. In a matter of days, the accelerated test subjects the samples to the equivalent of months of normal weather.
I’ve been with Gougeon Brothers, Inc. since 1996, and 13 of those years were in the Order Entry Department where I talked to many interesting customers working on all sorts of projects. In 2007 I became a member of the Technical Department. Now, rather than giving product pricing to customers or advising them on the quantity they may need, I’m able to see how those products evolve from just a mere gleam in someone’s eye to a product we are proud to call our own. For me, being a part of this process means among many other things, handling our testing data. My role ranges from filing it all the way to building databases for the many tests we perform in-house. Continue reading →
Above: A combination square is used to mark the two edges along the entire length of the corner before applying reinforcing fiber tape.
Composites are a blend of resin (in this case mixed epoxy) and reinforcing fiber. Folks often ask, “How strong are they?” It is difficult to answer this question due to many variables including resin type, fiber type, fiber orientation, and resin/fiber ratio. To give a value for a laminate, we reduce the variables. Values shown in this article were done with test samples using WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin®/206 Slow Hardener® at room temperature (70°F). Reinforcing fibers are Episize™ materials. Continue reading →
WEST SYSTEM® Six10 is a two-part, pre-thickened epoxy adhesive formulated with properties that make it perfect for many adhesive applications. Compared to other ready-to-dispense adhesives, its particular physical properties make it ideal for stitch and glue boat construction, fiberglass laminate repair and general bonding. This new formulation has a good balance between the elongation and toughness of G/flex® and the strength and stiffness of our 105 Resin-based epoxies. You can use it with as many materials as possible including wood, metals and composites. The long working time with fast thru-cure and unique shear thinning are additional characteristics formulated into Six10 that contribute to its ease of use. Continue reading →
Above: the state-of-the-art lab where Gougeon chemists perform much of the company’s epoxy testing.
By now most of you know that we are the manufacturers of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. But you may not know what is involved in the manufacturing and more specifically, the formulating of WEST SYSTEM. It’s not just slapping some chemicals together and then packaging it up into a pretty box. To date, we have performed thousands of tests and generated thousands of test results. Continue reading →
D-ring pads are often attached to flexible surfaces with urethane adhesives to gain load-carrying capacity where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. They are used on waterproof fabric cargo bags, heavy tarpaulins, and inflatable boats. They are also sometimes used on the decks of canoes and kayaks to hold cargo in place on long trips. D-rings are not typically used on polyethylene canoes and kayaks because the urethane glues are not recommended for use on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. We experimented with gluing D-ring pads with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive to HDPE plastic with that end-use in mind. Continue reading →
It all started when I got a tech call from somebody asking if WEST SYSTEM® 105/206 would accept a nail pounded into it, after it was cured, with no pilot hole. I confidently said that it would not work well and in most cases, it would fracture the epoxy. Just for fun, I went out in the shop and tried it because even though we all pretty much agreed it wouldn’t work, nobody had ever actually done it. Well, we were right—the nail caused a “brittle” failure. Continue reading →
Above: Mixing G/flex with other WEST SYSTEM Epoxies increases the versatility of these epoxy systems.
WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin-based epoxy is a very versatile system. For years, experienced users have been mixing and blending the various product combinations in countless ways. For example, users may blend 205 Fast Hardener and 206 Slow Hardener to make a hardener with a modified cure speed. Different uses of 410 Microlight® Fairing Filler provide a further example. Many customers assume that the only use of 410 is to make a fairing compound—it is added to thicken epoxy to a peanut butter consistency to create a light, easily-sanded filler. Continue reading →