Above: Babyface Nelson is a replica of Baby Bootlegger, a Gold Cup racer designed by George Crouch and built by Nivens in 1924.
Cover Photo: After two years of work, Bruce Hutchinson launched BABYFACE NELSON at Gull Lake in western Michigan.
What was I thinking? That phrase kept running through my mind during the 2000 hours over two years it took to build Babyface Nelson. Now that it’s complete and I’ve logged 50 hours on the water, I can say it was a worthwhile venture. It’s too much fun! People have commented that it must have taken a lot of patience to complete the project. Patience had nothing to do with it: it was perseverance. I ran out of patience about the second layer of cedar planking! Continue reading →
Above: Shown upside down, the base of Jon Staudacher’s trailer is a series of plywood torsion boxes, doubling as storage compartments. The depth of the boxes makes a very lightweight, rigid structure.
Over the years, we have featured some of Jon Staudacher’s more innovative projects and ideas. From his extreme house, to race boats, to aerobatic airplanes, to a gate at the end of his driveway, to something as simple as a paint roller brake, Jon has always sought the simplest method to build his projects. Jon’s latest project is no exception.
During week-long, hands-on classes, renowned furniture maker Michael A. Doerre demonstrates the building techniques he uses to make his original design, the Number One Chair. He teaches students a system of construction and leg seat joinery based on the use of a table saw, band saw, router, and simple hand tools. Continue reading →
If the patterned non-skid on your production-built fiberglass boat needs repair, you may be interested to know that flexible molds are available for making professional-looking repairs. Continue reading →
Above: The two foam halves of the rebuilt rudder, with the plywood core, are dry fit around the post before bonding.
What started out to be a relatively easy job of replacing the motor mounts and cutlass bearing on my 1983 Nelson/Marek 36 turned into building a completely new rudder. Once I removed the rudder, I had planned on fairing it and applying a WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy with 422 Barrier Coat Additive. barrier coat. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed that the rudder appeared to be bent.
Above: Bonding fasteners in high-density urethane (HDU) foam calls for drilling an oversized hole slightly shallower than the fastener length and setting the fastener in an annulus of thickened epoxy.
Many of our readers who are familiar with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy products for building and repair already know the benefits of fastener bonding techniques. WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has been used in other industries for many years as well, and these folks apply knowledge and techniques developed in the marine and aerospace industries in their work. A good example is the sign industry, a huge industry in the U.S. with companies ranging from mom & pop garage operations to multimillion-dollar corporations. Continue reading →
Above: Surface treatment can make all the difference in epoxy adhesion to metal. Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash
We have performed tens of thousands of adhesion tests over the years and many of these tests were done on metal surfaces. Below is a summary of tests done on a variety of metal surfaces and done with a variety of surface preparations. As you look at the chart, notice the surface preparation that gives the highest number.
Above: Epoxy vs. polyester in a typical fiberglass boat repair cross-section.
Even though we’ve been promoting the use of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy for repairing fiberglass boats (boats made with polyester resin) in our manuals and Epoxyworks for many years, we continue to receive inquiries asking whether it is appropriate to use epoxy for polyester boat repair. Because of the misinformation still prevalent in marinas, local yacht clubs and on the Internet, we felt it was time to restate the case for epoxy. Continue reading →
Most production fiberglass boats are made with polyester resin, and we’re often asked if it’s appropriate to use polyester gelcoat over epoxy. WEST SYSTEM® epoxy is a wonderful material for repairing polyester fiberglass boats. One reason for this is the ability of epoxy to form a stronger mechanical bond to a damaged laminate than polyester resin. Epoxy also provides a better moisture barrier than polyester resin. Continue reading →
Above: A handle trick when you want to cast an epoxy tabletop is to warm epoxy resin and hardener to 80° F to reduce viscosity, then let it pour from a puncture in your mixing cup. These steps will eliminate most bubbles behind.
Pouring a thick coating of epoxy onto a tabletop can produce a unique effect. With a ¼” thick coating, you can cast an epoxy tabletop with a variety of objects covered in the epoxy for decorative accents. Coins, fabrics, sticks of wood, memorabilia, and photographs have been used in this decoupage application. Here are a few tricks to make things go more smoothly. Continue reading →