Tag Archives: Don Gutzmer

West System Epoxy

The Basics of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Don Gutzmer

For those who want to work with epoxy resin and hardener, each February Gougeon Brothers provides a Fiberglass Boat Repair Class for repair professionals. Here are some of the basic techniques we teach in the class, as well as helpful tips for working with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

Epoxy’s Cure Stages

What is the difference between working time, pot life and cure time? All three are slightly different. Continue reading

A scrap of curved fiberglass panel was the perfect piece to extend the nose of the car body to match the new profile.

Building Composite Parts

Using a car body mold to modify a race car demonstrates this approach to building composite parts using different kinds of molds.

By Don Gutzmer – Technical Advisor

Featured image (above): A scrap of curved fiberglass panel was the perfect piece to extend the nose of the car body to match the new profile.

Creating things has been a passion of mine over the years, and I continue to improve my skills and grow more proficient at building composite parts. I also enjoy the challenge of helping others create one-off composite parts. I’m happy to share some of the materials and techniques I’ve used over the years to build composites with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and provide an example of a recent project. Continue reading

Joining Plywood with epoxy

Joining Plywood

By Don Gutzmer

Many boat parts require plywood lengths greater than the standard 8 feet, so joining together two panels of plywood is an important step. The most common methods of joining plywood are the butt joint with backer block, the scarf joint and a hybrid between the two. Each method offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain applications so it’s important to be aware of each joining method. Continue reading

bibble-free casting

Bubble-Free Casting in Knotholes and Cracks

By Don Gutzmer

Customers often ask us to recommend a WEST SYSTEM product for filling cracks and knotholes in wood. The best choice is 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener. Used properly, this product combination produces a strong, transparent casting. I will use large logs with huge voids to demonstrate the best practices for achieving a clear, bubble-free casting with 105/207. Continue reading

rudder and dagger board

Sunfish Wood Restoration

By Don Gutzmer

During the fall of 2016, I took a technical call from a customer who owned a Sunfish Sailboat. He lived in the area and was looking for help repairing a few minor gel coat cracks and restoring his wooden dagger board and rudder. I told him I would be happy to help because this would be a good opportunity to write an article about using WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener for the wood restoration part of his project. The mahogany dagger board and rudder had weathered over the years because of only being varnished. Continue reading

Fake It Until You Can Make It

By Don Gutzmer

Wood inlay marquetry has been around for a very long time, and I am always looking for different ways to use epoxy. I have learned that it is possible to use a laser jet printer with a clear transparency film to print an image, then transfer that image onto a substrate coated with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, resulting in the look of marquetry without all the cutting, fitting and craftsmanship. (Ink jet printers do not work with this process because the ink does not transfer to the transparency film.) The image could be a picture of a wood inlay or whatever you can imagine. Here is the process I have found that works the best. Continue reading

Cold Weather Bonding

By Don Gutzmer

“Whats the lowest temperature WEST SYSTEM Epoxy can be applied?” During cold weather, this is a common question our Technical Advisors are asked. Fortunately, its one were well equipped to answer. Gougeon Brothers, Inc. got its start in the world of DN Iceboat racing. Both Meade and Jan Gougeon have won multiple DN cup races worldwide. Its not unusual for an iceboat to need repairs mid-regatta, so part of the discipline of iceboat racing is getting epoxy to cure despite cold working environments. The trick is using strategies that bring epoxy temperatures up to adequate cure levels in cold working environments. Continue reading

Warm Temperature Bonding

By Don Gutzmer

During warm summer months, handling characteristics of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy will be different than at other times of the year. Our cure times are based on an ambient temperature of 72°F, but in warmer temperatures the epoxy will cure faster. There are some steps you can take to ensure good results when using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy in warm environments. Continue reading