For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats.
The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new. Continue reading →
Ronnie Janowicz, a good friend of mine, called to say the wooden horn on his antique Edison Concert phonograph was cracked. I had Ronnie bring it by so I could take a look.
I told him it could be repaired very nicely with epoxy if that is what he wanted to do. “Why wouldn’t I want it repaired that way?” he asked. I explained that repairing an antique with epoxy may affect its resale value if the potential purchaser objects to the repair. Some collectors take a dim view of wooden antiques being repaired with epoxy because repairs are not easily reversible like they would be if hide glue was used for repair instead.
Vern, a good friend of mine, turned the exterior of a wooden goblet made from a nice piece of spalted sycamore. Unfortunately, the blank was not as dry as he thought and it cracked along one edge as it sat uncovered on his lathe overnight. He called to see if there was anything available for gluing it back together. I said I had some ideas and asked him to drop it off at work so I could take a stab at the repair. Continue reading →
Early in March of 2012, a local boat owner called our technical line and asked about repairing his cast iron wing keel with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. He asked if a technical advisor would be willing to take a look at the cracks on his keel and recommend the best way to repair it. After looking at the boat I gave the customer a call back and recommended using G/flex® Epoxy. The advantage of G/flex is that it is a toughened system that has a tensile elongation of more than 30 percent, which would prevent cracks from reappearing in the fairing compound. The boat owner then asked if I Continue reading →
G/flex epoxies weren’t developed with coating in mind, but early on in applications testing we discovered they were excellent at dealing with impact. This became evident when we used G/flex 650 (the unthickened version) as a coating and when we used G/flex 655 (the thickened version) as a protective buildup.
G/flex 650 is not optimized for use as a coating, but we found it was worth the extra effort it takes to apply to wooden parts that might get dented in service, such as wooden canoe paddles and boat oars. As a coating, G/flex deflects without cracking when the wood beneath it gets dented. Continue reading →
In 2011, our Technical Advisors Bruce Niederer and Don Gutzmer were packing tools for a trip to Mystic Seaport where they would once again provide guidance and instruction to families participating in the WoodenBoat Show’s Family Boatbuilding event. They recalled from the previous summer that spring loaded wire cutters were very helpful for removing the twisted copper wire used to temporarily hold stitch and glue boats together after the joints cured. Unfortunately, none of the spring loaded wire cutters could be found.
We took a pair of conventional wire cutters (no spring attached) that we had on hand Continue reading →
We spend a good amount of time doing everything we can to inform our customers how best to make WEST SYSTEM® epoxy stick to wood, metal, and even plastic, or underwater with the introduction of G/flex 650 and 655. Still, there are many instances when you don’t want the epoxy to stick to one surface or another.
Are you the kind of person who just can’t get enough of a good thing? Looking for a better way to squeeze out that last little bit of G/flex adhesive from your tube rather than resorting to pliers, a vise or maybe even Grandma’s rolling pin? Maybe you’d like to get a fatter bead of adhesive or your tube is a bit clogged. Boy, do we have some easy and inexpensive tricks for you! Continue reading →
In this article I’ll describe our standards for testing epoxy and how we test epoxy to determine its handling characteristics and cured physical properties.
Testing Standards These are the standards we follow no matter which epoxy we are characterizing.
Two-week room temperature cure After proper metering and thorough mixing epoxy will continue to cure after it has solidified, until all amines have paired up. Over years of testing we have found that two weeks of curing at room temperature, which we define as 72°F (22°C), is a good indication of its full strength.Continue reading →
Building stuff, especially boats, with wood is much like a religious calling; once you hear the call, there’s no turning back. Those who’ve heard the call will not suffer fools willingly, so when I decided to conduct some white oak adhesion and shear testing and report the results in Epoxyworks 31, skeptics and believers alike took to the internet wooden boat forums-and had no problem speaking their minds! Having healed from the pummeling I took in some quarters, I’m back again to report the promised follow-up test results. Continue reading →