This winter (2011) in Bay City, Michigan, we’ve seen a couple of big snowfalls and lots of small ones with 1″ to 2″ of accumulation. Not enough snow to bother breaking out the snowblower, so I usually shovel it by hand. About 10 years ago I fell in love with the plastic snow shovels that are lightweight and the snow slides off of them easily compared to the metal snow shovels that are heavy and snow clings to stubbornly.
My problem with plastic shovels is they wear out after one or two seasons at best because my driveway is made of fiber-reinforced concrete. It is like a huge piece of 80-grit sandpaper waiting to devour my plastic shovels. Continue reading →
We sailors sometimes think of ourselves as adventurers and explorers, self sufficient and capable of handling the vagaries of wind and weather. But our view of voyaging includes refrigeration to keep the food and drink cold, sail handling and navigation systems to make sailing easy and safe, and a good dry, comfortable boat so we remain content while sailing to the ends of our own personal world. When we compare that to the skills and equipment of early voyagers, it can be almost embarrassing. Continue reading →
People have been building boats using white oak for centuries, sacrificing blood, sweat and tears to engineer wonderful and enduring vessels of all shapes and sizes.
Oak was often used because of its desirable properties and behavior. It is dense, strong, rot resistant, holds fasteners well and can be steam bent. In the days before glues and adhesives, oak planking was used because it would swell considerably which resulted in tight and sound hulls, meaning little leaking and dry interiors. Of course, time marches inexorably forward and eventually builders began using adhesives to augment or, in some cases, replace mechanical fasteners.
A local sailor stopped by our shop with an old plastic hatch that was slightly warped and badly cracked. He hadn’t been able to find a similar hatch to replace it. He wondered if we had an epoxy that could be used to repair the hatch. I said G/flex would likely work but to know for sure we needed to do a bit of adhesion testing. Continue reading →
If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small eye pads (also called pad eyes) in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes this lightweight carbon fiber or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line eye pads for his sailing canoes.
He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The eye pads are easy to make and amazingly strong. Continue reading →
Fly fishing, particularly for Atlantic Salmon, has been my lifelong hobby. The fly rod itself has an ancient past but its technical prowess as an instrument to launch line and fly to a designated spot on the river was epitomized by the arrival of handcrafted split bamboo rods in the late nineteenth century. Continue reading →
My wife’s 2000 Audi TT has a very sleek shape, and these smooth lines are carried under the hood with molded plastic engine covers that provide a very clean-looking engine. Unfortunately, when I was servicing a burned-out bulb, I attempted to remove the covers in the wrong sequence which caused a tab to snap off. Continue reading →
Todd Lynch, one of our valued employees, brought in a damaged plastic panel from the back end of an 11-year-old pop-up camper and asked if it was worth fixing. It came from his hunting camper which had been rear-ended. He just wanted it to be functional. The impact had made cracks at nearly every screw hole for holding the panel in place, making it doubtful it would last another trip down the highway. Continue reading →
Spot prime metals with G/5 in place of slower drying paint primers for indoor applications prior to applying latex paints. Latex paint can be applied to G/5 about ten minutes after the epoxy is applied and while the epoxy is still soft. G/5 provides a thin barrier and prevents rust that otherwise forms in latex paint when it dries over bare steel.
Model railroad set builders create natural looking surfaces by applying a film of G/5 adhesive and then sprinkling small objects onto the surface while it is still uncured. These Continue reading →
WEST SYSTEM® Six10 is a two-part, pre-thickened epoxy adhesive formulated with properties that make it perfect for many adhesive applications. Compared to other ready-to-dispense adhesives, its particular physical properties make it ideal for stitch and glue boat construction, fiberglass laminate repair and general bonding. This new formulation has a good balance between the elongation and toughness of G/flex® and the strength and stiffness of our 105 Resin-based epoxies. You can use it with as many materials as possible including wood, metals and composites. The long working time with fast thru-cure and unique shear thinning are additional characteristics formulated into Six10 that contribute to its ease of use. Continue reading →