Tag Archives: Bruce Niederer

Plywood Boat Construction

Effects of fiber reinforcement — stiffness vs. weight

By Bruce Niederer

One of the most widely chosen materials for boat building projects is plywood. It is easy to work with, it is relatively inexpensive, and many kits and plans are specifically designed for plywood construction. Often times a fiberglass skin is laminated over the outside of the hull, primarily to provide some abrasion resistance, but also to add a measure of stiffness, because we all know stiffer is faster! And herein lies the downside: Fiberglass and epoxy add weight to the boat. How does one resolve this contradiction of strength versus weight? Continue reading

When Things Were Rotten

By Bruce Niederer

Bruce’s law: The amount of time and effort required to complete an unexpected boat repair is exponentially proportional to how soon you planned on launching.

I am sure I am not alone in this observation. Such was the case this spring as my father and I prepared Triple Threat, our 30′ Pearson Flyer, for another season of racing. I knew the bow floor boards, made of marine plywood and falling apart, would need to go. I had started to build replacements over the winter using foam core, fiberglass and epoxy. But when I climbed aboard and removed the old ones, Bruce’s law kicked in big time. Continue reading

How I Repaired a Wood-Cored Diving Board

And made it better than new!

By Bruce Niederer

Backyard pools can be a joy. They can also be an expensive, time consuming headache. While I don’t have any ideas about how you might escape the cleaning and chlorination chores, I do have an idea that might save you the cost of replacing that old, weather beaten blue diving board that has faithfully stood a stoic guard over the deep end all these years. Continue reading

Climbing Drum Peel Test for Adhesives

By Bruce Niederer

No matter how you use WEST SYSTEM epoxies, you expect us to back up the products and methods we recommend with solid data based on tests that simulate “real life” applications. To this end we began conducting the ASTM 1781-93 test method known as the Climbing Drum Peel for Adhesives. As expected, the results from this test method compliment the data we’ve already compiled using the PATTI (Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Testing Instrument) meter. Continue reading