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 →
Gougeon Brothers, Inc. has supported our local tallships—Appledore IV and Appledore V—since they arrived at their downtown Bay City facilities on the Saginaw River. These steel-hulled, gaff-rigged schooners are typical of the type that sailed the Great Lakes and coastal waters right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the primary means of transporting goods and people over long distances. Continue reading →
Above: A properly engineered scootboard chassis. Even without the resources of a well-equipped test lab, Bill Bertelsen, GBI’s test engineer, was able to gather useful composites data using the equipment at hand—in this case, a spring clamp, a ruler, a digital camera, and an 8-year-old girl. ,
Above: Statue repairs are underway on “Shep,” a molded fiberglass figure that was knocked off its base and belongs in the outdoor nativity set of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Essexville, Michigan.
Creating lasting outdoor art has challenged humans since the dawn of time. One has only to think of the pyramids (still there), Stonehenge (mostly there), the Colossus of Rhodes (long gone), or the Easter Island monoliths (surviving, but then two heads are better than one). In more recent times, there’s Mt. Rushmore, Stone Mountain Georgia, and the Statue of Liberty. The goal is nothing less than perpetuity. But of course, outdoor sculpture needs to be done right or it won’t last. Making statues, e.g., permanent structures that look like people, is particularly difficult. Continue reading →
Above: The Swift Solo in action. The complicated rig is designed to be managed by one person while they hang from the side of the boat.
Swift Solo, a single-handed skiff built by Bram Dally.
When Meade Gougeon asked me if I’d write a piece about what I’m up to for Epoxyworks, I was honored. He had read the January 2002 article on my single-handed skiff in Sailing World and offered the assistance of GBI (Gougeon Brothers, Inc.) to do some extensive testing for us on several composite samples. Continue reading →
Previous Epoxyworks have reported test results from the “Hydromat,” a unique structural test developed at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), after a rigorous review by its D30 Committee on Composites, approved the Hydromat test method as an official ASTM standard. Continue reading →
Our Technical Advisor Jim Derck (now retired), noticed that some fabrics seemed to have a remarkable thirst for epoxy. To determine exactly how much epoxy it takes to wet out and bond different kinds of fabric, Jim conducted a carefully controlled experiment. Continue reading →