Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

Applying Polyester Gelcoat over Epoxy

By Mike Barnard

There are some myths out there as to whether you can apply gelcoat over epoxy. Andy Miller addresses the issue. He has a great understanding of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, having used it for years as owner and chief repairman of Miller Boatworks in Herbster, Wisconsin. Andy knows his stuff. What’s even better is that, when he’s unsure about a detail, he contacts us for the right answers.  Continue reading

Techniques for Fiberglassing Overhead

By Tom Pawlak

The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading

carbon fiber air scoop

Carbon Skinning

Why reinforce with carbon fiber?

By Don Gutzmer

Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading

West System Epoxy

That’s a Fact!

Useful information about WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Mike Barnard

Using gelcoat over WEST SYSTEM

It’s a myth that if you plan to gel coat over a repair, you must make the repair with polyester. We’ve used gel coat over epoxy for decades, shown it in our instructional videos on repairing fiberglass boats, and discussed it in past issues of Epoxyworks. Continue reading

502 Black Pigment

502 Black Pigment

by Mike Barnard

On January 1, 2015, we began selling a new WEST SYSTEM Epoxy pigment. We already had the 501 White Pigment and the 503 Gray Pigment, so it seemed right to introduce our new 502 Black Pigment. Just like the 501 and the 503, it alters the color of the epoxy mixture without affecting the cured physical properties. Similarly, the maximum acceptable loading is 3%. This is great for hiding a surface with a single coat of black epoxy. Adding more pigment will increase the opacity, but can skew the mix ratio because there is epoxy resin in the pigment. Continue reading

Talkin’ the Talk

By Julie VanMullekom

Here at GBI we’re not just your average epoxy “retailer.” We are the leading provider of quality epoxy products and service. Quality epoxy as in; we dream a big, sticky, epoxy dream, research it, develop it and produce it.  Service as in; packed within our 20,000(ish) square foot walls is a wealth of knowledge and experience so vast that it has enabled us to educate hundreds of people worldwide on the features and benefits of West System® epoxy.  Spanning from A to Z….Alaska to Zimbabwe. . Yeah, I know. Alaska. Mind. Blown. Continue reading

Fairing Basics

By Jeff Wright

The goal of fairing is to create a surface without bumps or hollows.

Fairing Compound should be of a consistency that can be troweled onto a surface without sagging. Add 407 Low Density or 410 Microlight filler to mixed epoxy, checking the consistency as you stir in the filler to determine if the mixture has the correct viscosity for your application.

Continue reading

G/5 Five-minute Epoxy, A Versatile Glue

By Tom Pawlak

G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive is a fast curing two-part epoxy that allows 3-5 minutes of working time. It has an ideal viscosity which allows it to penetrate porous surfaces yet is viscous enough to bridge gaps when gluing broken objects. It adheres to a number of surfaces including wood, ceramic, metal, leather, plaster, stone, fiberglass, glass, cork, some plastics and paper. G/5 is an excellent choice for quick repairs around the house, high-end crafts and much more. Continue reading

Aluminum Adhesion

By Tom Pawlak

In January of 2015, we stopped offering the 860 Aluminum Etch Kit in the WEST SYSTEM product line. Before making that decision we ran a series of tests that compared bond strength of 105 Resin/206 Hardener and G/flex 650 Epoxy on aluminum surfaces prepared a variety of ways. As usual, we used the PATTI (Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Test Instrument) to test adhesion. Continue reading

Rough Rider

Smiles All Around

By Mike Barnard

For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats.

The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new.  Continue reading