Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

Sanding tricks from Damian McLaughlin

Sanding Tricks of the Trade

By Damian McLaughlin

All of the boat builders that I know have little sanding tricks that make a job go faster or do it better. Fairing a 40′ custom-built hull is an arduous task that is often accomplished with two-man teams and fairing boards. We do 90% of the work with a grinding device. Almost everyone in the business will agree that a grinder will remove a substantial amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling that removal. Continue reading

Shop Floor Testing Methods

Shop Floor Tests

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

Boatbuilders or advanced hobbyists often want to learn more about the characteristics of the fiberglass laminate they’ve just created. But sending samples to a professional testing laboratory can be expensive and impractical. Fortunately, you can do these simple shop floor test that will yield reasonably accurate results. Continue reading

At the end of the three-day Family Build Weekend, the nine family teams pose with their assembled Sassafras 16 canoes. After some additional sanding, coating and finishing these handsome lapstrake canoes will be ready for the water.

Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry
Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Family Build Weekend Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June for the Family Build Weekend to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

So Stands the Mighty Oak

Testing Epoxy’s Adhesion to White Oak

By Bruce Niederer — GBI Technical Advisor

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.

We’ve been debating the issue of gluing oak ever since. Continue reading

A mold was taken from an undamaged column base covered with stretch wrap.

Repairing Damaged Wood Trim

A Professional Technique

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

When repairing or replacing missing sections of damaged wood trim such as in wood moldings, it helps to have a way to do it efficiently. If you’re repairing historically significant architecture, your method should disturb as little of the original wood as possible.

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Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright — Vice President of Technical Services

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

The repairs are transparent and difficult to detect.

Repairing Dented Varnish with G/5

By Tom Pawlak — GBI Technical Advisor

Photo above: Dented varnish repaired with G/5 Five minute adhesive. The repair area is quite difficult to detect.

A few years ago a customer approached me at one of the trade shows to say he loves our G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for filling dents in wood trim prior to reapplying varnish. I thought what a great idea. It cures clear, can be wet sanded in an hour (longer if you are dry sanding), and can be varnished over without a problem. It looks much better than filling with wood putty because it is clear. It can be difficult to match the surrounding wood color when filling with wood putty.

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An S hook will save your foam roller frame.

Saving Your 801 Roller Frame

by Captain James R. Watson

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.

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Julie examines a 3" × 6" coupons after a long exposure in the QUV test machine. In a matter of days, the accelerated test subjects the samples to the equivalent of months of normal weather.

Weather Forecast: Destruction

QUV Accellarating Weather Test Machine

By Julie Jezowski

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

Using G/5 Five Minute Adhesive

G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive

Uses and Tips for Furniture Repair and More

by Tom Pawlak and Captain James R. Watson

Above: G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive is applied neatly to a furniture joint. 

Let’s look at some ways G/5 Five-Minute-Adhesive can be used around the house for everything from furniture repair to building model railroads.

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