Category Archives: Vacuum Bagging

average multiple layers applied by hand lay-up

Laminate Repair: Infusion vs. Wet-Bag

By Rachael Geerts – GBI Technical Advisor

Many products, especially boats, are now being manufactured with a process called Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM), also frequently referred to as infusion. The main topics of this article are: what infusion is, how to repair an infused part with vacuum bagging vs. infusion, and the results of our study comparing a vacuum-bagged repaired laminate and an infused repaired laminate. Continue reading

A typical vacuum bag setup

Vacuum Bagging Basics

By Rachael Geerts – Technical Advisor

Featured image (above): A typical vacuum bagging setup.

What is vacuum bagging?

Vacuum bagging is when a composite that is laid up and wet out by hand is then put under vacuum to compact the laminate and force out excess epoxy. Vacuum bagging has been a choice method of manufacturing and repairing composites for a long time. Continue reading

Self Defense Canes

Wood-Epoxy Canes Do Double Duty

By Mark Copeland

Her’es how I got into building self-defense canes: After working for many years as a master plumber, followed by many more at Automotive Concept Studios where I fashioned conceptual car models from clay, I ended up with arthritis and two hip replacements. All the heavy work had caught up with me, leaving me disabled and dependent on a cane. I decided to leave Michigan during the winter months and move to Zephyrhills, Florida. I settled in and started looking for an activity to do, maybe metal detecting, fishing or golf.

Downtown, I happened by a martial arts school and stopped in to watch a class. Afterward, the owner (Master Gary Hernández) and one of the instructors (Ms. Karuna) introduced themselves to me. Both have 4th-degree black belts. I explained my health issues: limited mobility and the need to use a cane. They outlined a class Master Hernández teaches in Cane-Fu®, which is specifically beneficial to someone in my situation. Continue reading

FIBERwave PAVILION

By Alphonso Peluso and his Spring 2014 IIT Architecture Students Joseph Bertucci, Cecilia Campos, Dijon Dunmore, Xinyun Huang, Jared James, Ryan Kim, Dakotah Lucas, Jeffrey McQuiston, Nick Rienstra, Teresita Pineda, John Seaman & Jeffrey Wigen

The FIBERwave PAVILION was designed and built as part of a student-based design research studio. Carbon fiber was used because when coated with epoxy it can become as hard as steel, and added layers enhance its strength. It offers designers great control over structural properties and is incredibly lightweight. Continue reading

completed skim board

Vacuum Bagging a Skim Board at MITES Competition

By Ben Gougeon and Don Gutzmer

For the past couple of years Gougeon Brothers Inc. has been involved with the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society (MITES). This non-profit organization consists of over 600 members involving both high school teachers and students who believe in the power of hands-on learning. The students build a project throughout the year and compete in the MITES annual regional, state and national competition.

Continue reading

Common Errors in Fiberglass Repair

By Jeff Wright

While most of our customers are successful when using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to repair damaged fiberglass, we have become familiar with some common mistakes that are easily preventable. These mistakes are made by both professionals and amateurs. The information discussed in this article is available in our Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual and WEST SYSTEM User Manual, and on the WEST SYSTEM website.


Typical Repair

fiberglass repair

A typical fiberglass repair in cross section.

This diagram illustrates how we recommend laminating a repair after the damaged Continue reading

Birth of the Gougmarans

by Meade Gougeon

Epoxyworks 25

Cover Photo: Brothers Meade & Jan Gougeon aboard their power catamarans with Dick Newick-designed hulls — GOUGMARAN and MAGIC CARPET.

In 2003, my brother Jan and I began talking about building a motorboat. This would be a first for the brothers, who up to this point have focused all our efforts on sailboats. Just a few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that we would ever take up power boating. But time and circumstances change one’s views, especially as we enter our senior years. We have always regretted that major parts of our home waters, the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, Michigan, have been too shallow for our sailboats. Some of the most attractive parts of the Bay with the best wildlife have been off limits to boats that draw more than 18 inches. Continue reading