In midwinter, Grant purchased a portable barbecue and would, by summer, need some kind of weather-resistant grill table to support it. The table was to be located in an old English garden setting. I agreed to build Grant as an example of high-quality, all-weather construction using treated lumber and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.
Above: Tom’s transom saving tip is to epoxy conveyor belt material into place, protecting the transom wood from getting crushed by the motor mount screws.
Ten years ago, I replaced the plywood transom in my 16′ aluminum fishing boat. It had gone bad due to the motor mount screw pads crushing the wood from over-tightening, and from shock loads involved in hanging a motor off the back of a boat and traveling down the road at 70 mph. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: Steve Gembrowski spent 10 years building the Ken Basset designed RASCAL, a mahogany runabout.
Fifteen years! Not that it took 15 years to build; it was more like a year and a half. I first saw a photograph of RASCAL and decided right then, if I ever build a boat, this is the one. RASCAL was a new design by Ken Basset for a modified V-bottom 14’10” runabout with a beam of 5’4″ and hull weight of 420 pounds. For the next 15 years, RASCAL became one of those projects sitting on the back burner, waiting until I had enough time and money to comfortably build her without having to compromise on engine, equipment or material. I’m sure plenty of builders out there can relate. My first step was to set the standard to which the boat would be built. Continue reading →
The 2006 NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) began for the Flying Tigers, a competitive model rocket club at Caro High School, Michigan, when we accepted the 13th place award in the 2005 Team America Rocketry Challenge at The Plains, Virginia. At that point, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Approximately six months, and thousands of dollars and work hours later, we enjoyed the products of our labor with a perfect flight into the blue Tennessee sky. Continue reading →
Above: Batches of epoxy samples awaiting accelerated testing in the hot water bath.
We are constantly testing our products to fully understand and characterize them, and this is important both for ourselves and for our customers. A test method will usually produce results in a timely fashion, but there are times we must use an accelerated testing method so we can get the results before we take that last lonely boat ride across the river Styx. This article describes some of the accelerated testing we do here. Continue reading →
Above: Appledore IV makes her way upriver after a cruise on the Saginaw Bay with her repaired topmasts in place.
The Appledore IV is an 85′ LOA topsail schooner owned by the non-profit organization BaySail, based here in Bay City, Michigan. She is licensed to carry 52, including a captain and crew of three, on educational tours of the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. The main topmast and the fore topmast on Appledore IV were found to have rotted wood when they were inspected in the spring of 2006. Once the topmasts were taken down from the boat, they were brought into the Gougeon boat shop for paint removal and further inspection. Continue reading →
Above: The United Methodist Church in Ludington, Michigan where window restoration was completed with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.
Those working on projects that use epoxy for restoration and rot repair often ask, “How long will this last? Will the rot return?” At Gougeon Brothers, Inc., we have lots of in-house test approaches that can analyze tension, compression, shear, and fatigue. We can also predict the consequences of ultraviolet, arid, tropical, and cold conditions. Still, there’s nothing like real-world performance over time to tell us how long a repair will last. Continue reading →
by Glenn House — Director of Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance
Above: Safely removing uncured epoxy from your tools starts with a citrus-based hand cleaner. Photo by Mariya on Unsplash
Removing uncured epoxy from tools used for applying epoxy often involves solvents that have strong odors and are flammable. A WEST SYSTEM® user suggested an alternative that does not have these problems: a solution of citrus-based hand cleaner and water. This solution will remove uncured epoxy from tools and can remove epoxy that has started to gel if the tools are allowed to soak for a few hours. Continue reading →
Sodium borate is used in a number of commonly used household products from laundry detergent to hand soap. It is also used to treat wood against insect and fungal attacks. Sodium borate is refined from borax, a natural mineral, which is mined throughout the world. One of the largest deposits is in the Southwestern United States. (Think 20-Mule Team Borax™, Death Valley Days radio and TV shows). 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. ,