Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

Sealing and Priming

By Ted Moores

This article is Lesson 4 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.

The way a finish ages has everything to do with the way it is anchored to the wood. Sealers and primers are often taken for granted; we simply read the can and follow directions. There are so many reasons for using a sealer and many methods for applying them. Let’s look at what we learned while sealing Sparks, the electric launch I built. Continue reading

Getting the Most Out of G/flex®

By Julie Van Mullekom
Are you the kind of person who just can’t get enough of a good thing? Looking for a better way to squeeze out that last little bit of G/flex adhesive from your tube rather than resorting to pliers, a vise or maybe even Grandma’s rolling pin? Maybe you’d like to get a fatter bead of adhesive or your tube is a bit clogged. Boy do we have the some easy and inexpensive tricks for you! Continue reading

Shelf Life in Real Life

While WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has a long shelf life, age will eventually affect its handling characteristics and cured strength. When stored for very long periods, hardeners may turn darker (reddish to purple), become thicker and give off more odor. 105 Resin may lose some clarity and also become slightly thicker. Use extra care when mixing age-thickened products (stir extra thoroughly), and if color and/or clarity are crucial to your project, buy some fresh resin and hardener for best results. 207 Special Clear Hardener is specially formulated for clarity and flow. Continue reading

Recycling & Disposing

By Glenn House

Over the course of the last couple years Gougeon Brothers Inc. has partnered with Waste Management Inc. to implement a comprehensive recycling program that has been both simple and effective. We are now recycling emptied plastic and metal containers, shrink wrap from bulk packaged items, dispensed adhesive cartridges, cardboard boxes, miscellaneous soft and rigid plastic items, office paper, magazines, etc.

Our customers may also recycle many of the containers and related packaging items Continue reading

Epoxy Compression Test in Progress

Determining Epoxy’s Physical Properties

BY MIKE BARNARD

In this article I’ll describe our standards for testing epoxy and how we test epoxy to determine its handling characteristics and cured physical properties.

Testing Standards
These are the standards we follow no matter which epoxy we are characterizing.

Two-week room temperature cure
After proper metering and thorough mixing epoxy will continue to cure after it has solidified, until all amines have paired up. Over years of testing we have found that two weeks of curing at room temperature, which we define as 72°F (22°C), is a good indication of its full strength. Continue reading

Letters to the Editor – White Oak

By Bruce Niederer

We consider ourselves students as well as tech advisors and so are always open to learning something from others. Our readers are generally pretty savvy people, and when they take the time to write us a thoughtful letter, we feel compelled to share what we learn from them with the rest of our readers.

My article, White Oak Redux (Epoxyworks 34) generated two responses we wanted to share. The letters, along with my replies, follow. Continue reading

The Coupe de Ville of Epoxy Caddies

By Mike Barnard

My father 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, so I did some digging and found a great Boatbuilder article from 1986 written by J.R. Watson. Inspired by this article, my father and I built our own interpretation of the Epoxy Caddy.

Transporting epoxy with the 300 Mini-Pumps in the containers is typically awkward with a risk of overturning. The pumps could become damaged, and the alternative, to remove them, is messy and unnecessary. We always store the epoxy with the pumps in place. Inadvertently, a drip will cause a mess. A pot placed under the mini pumps will catch those rascals, but if the containers or the pot are not positioned correctly all’s for naught. The glue caddy solves both transportation and storage problems.

A caddy can be simple or as elaborate as you want. One could design it to become an epoxy work station complete with storage for brushes, stir sticks, hand cleaner, gloves, paper towels and so on. Or it could be designed simply with cutouts for containers and drip pots. One can simplify or expand upon the concept, tailoring to meet your needs.

Set whatever size containers you are going to use together, trace around their bases onto the plywood, and cut it out with a sabre saw. Position the drip pot cutout so it will be under the spouts of the mini pumps. With pots in position, you’re ready to go to work.

1. Lay out the items you want in your caddy on a sheet of plywood. Trace the outline of each item. Be sure to include a drip cup below the resin and hardener mini pump spouts.

2. Cut out the shapes of each item slightly oversized as necessary.

3. Add sides, a bottom and a handle to complete the caddy.

Bubble-Free Coating

By Mike Barnard & Don Gutzmer

WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has long been a popular choice for clear coating table tops. It works great as a buildup coat and a moisture barrier. It also showcases the beauty of wood grain and fiber weaves. Formulated with boat building in mind, WEST SYSTEM epoxy is not intended as a final finish coating. You may find it a bit more difficult to achieve a perfect surface with epoxy than with a coating formulated specifically for final finishing, such as varnish.

However, WEST SYSTEM offers some distinct advantages. It builds up quickly: a single coat of 105 Epoxy Resin® with 207 Special Clear Hardener® offers about four times the thickness of a typical coat of polyurethane varnish. WEST SYSTEM epoxy is also an excellent moisture barrier, stabilizing the surface so your final finish coat will look beautiful longer. Continue reading

Adhesive Bonded Structures

By Jeff Wright

Fiberglass reinforced plastic and other composites influence the design of many products manufactured today. Boat hulls, sports equipment and airplanes can easily take new, complex shapes when composites are used in place of traditional materials. Reinforcing structures also benefit from the versatility of composite materials when prefabricated components are bonded with a high-strength adhesive. This article will discuss some of the engineering aspects to consider when designing or repairing an adhesively bonded composite structure. Continue reading

White Oak Redux

White Oak Redux

By Bruce Niederer and Bill Bertelsen

Building stuff, especially boats, with wood is much like a religious calling; once you hear the call, there’s no turning back. Those who’ve heard the call will not suffer fools willingly, so when I decided to conduct some white oak adhesion and shear testing and report the results in Epoxyworks 31, skeptics and believers alike took to the internet wooden boat forums-and had no problem speaking their minds! Having healed from the pummeling I took in some quarters, I’m back again to report the promised follow-up test results. Continue reading