Cover Photo: The Formula 40 trimaran ADRENALIN is just one of the high-end epoxy composite structures built during Gougeon Brothers first 25 years.
Editors note: Our head chemist Tim Atkinson penned this piece on some of the history of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. on the occasion of our 25th anniversary, back in 1994.
In 1969, Meade Gougeon and his younger brother Jan founded Gougeon Brothers’ Boatworks to build iceboats. These lightweight, sail-powered vessels were built of wood laminated with epoxy. By 1973, the company was the largest builder of iceboats in the country. The company rapidly expanded its business into other boat-building efforts. Continue reading →
WEST SYSTEM® 807 Syringes are handy for injecting epoxy into hard to reach areas, but it’s difficult to load the syringe with thickened mixtures that won’t pour into the syringe body. With this gadget, loading non-sag mixtures is easy. It consists of a flat plastic disc with a short length of PVC pipe bonded over a hole cut in the center of the disc. Push the disc down in a container of thickened epoxy and epoxy is forced out through the hole in the disc, through the PVC tubing, and into the syringe. Continue reading →
I recently built a double-ended paddle for my kayak. The blades were made of thin mahogany plywood coated with epoxy. I had coated all the paddle parts with two coats of epoxy the day before, and overnight a thin oil-like film had formed on the surface of the epoxy. This is amine blush. To ensure a good bond between the blade and the shaft, I removed the blush with water, dulled the surface with an abrasive pad, and dried the surface with paper towels. I’m confident using my new kayak paddle because the mating surfaces of the shaft and blade were properly prepared prior to bonding. Continue reading →
After living in our house for eight years and watching the ends of the threshold slowly deteriorate away and a few cracks and checks develop, I decided to replace the storm door, and figured now was a good time to restore the threshold. Continue reading →
Ticonderoga is a 220 ft. sidewheel steamboat built in 1906. She carried passengers on Lake Champlain until 1953. The Shelburne Museum wanted to replace the decks and cover them in a way that recreated the appearance and texture of the original canvas sheathing. But it was equally important that the authentic looking decks be durable enough to survive the unrelenting foot traffic inevitable for such a magnificent museum centerpiece. Continue reading →
Composites have been on the automobile motor sports racing scene for some time now. Indy cars, Formula 1, IMSA GTP (International Motor Sports Association Grand Touring Prototype), and others employ composites to the fullest limit of the imagination (and budget). Engine builders are even beginning to use composites for internal components. Autoweek, Advanced Composites and similar magazines write about composites constantly. But most of these applications involve sophisticated techniques, tooling and materials such as autoclaves and resin-impregnated materials (pre-pregs). These require aerospace-level technology not commonly available or economical for the amateur builder. Pre-pregs and other advanced composites employ adhesives that require an oven to promote curing (post cure). Continue reading →
by C. Joe Parker, Michael D. Arndt & Tim Atkinson — Senior Chemist
In Epoxyworks #3 (Fall 1993), Robert Monroe discussed the idea that polyester is subject to degradation in much the same way as wood is affected by rot. Many cases of blistering are actually much more than a blister directly under the gelcoat. These blisters may be the first sign of laminate degradation. Once this degradation begins, it may be as difficult to stop and just as damaging as rot is in wood. Continue reading →
The Restoration Clinic of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. completed major repairs on the Cartagena Shoes statue, a pair of seven foot by four foot shoes weighing one ton each. In Coral Gables’ Cartagena Plaza near the University of Miami, the shoes are a well-known fixture. They were smashed by a falling tree during Hurricane Andrew, and appeared to have been ruined. One shoe was broken into several large pieces, and the other was crushed. Continue reading →
Bud Hauschild, from Hastings, Michigan, sent us this idea for a drill guide used to accurately drill holes through irregularly shaped surfaces. Additionally, you can use this guide to drill from both sides of a thick beam and have the holes line up. Orthopedic surgeons use a similar device to drill holes in bone for screws or pins. Continue reading →
Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 1994, long before we developed G/flex epoxies which offer vastly superior performance in bonding to plastics including PVC. A much more current article on this subject is Gluing Plastic with G/flex Epoxy by Tom Pawlak and Jeff Wright. If you’re interested in gluing PVC with epoxy, we suggest you start there. The following article is published at Epoxyworks.com for historical purposes only.