A while back, as I was waiting in the reception lobby of a major American corporation, I had the chance to admire the curved reception desk and other oak furniture in the room. However, when I examined the reception desk more closely, I could see facets in the oak veneer instead of a nice, smooth curve. I immediately realized that the cabinet builders had sawn closely spaced saw kerfs in the back of the panel so they could bend it to shape. I thought there must be a better way.
The following is a description of “the better way” — the methods of building expert Jon Staudacher, to create curved walls and curved face cabinets. Jon’s boat and airplane building background, coupled with the unique properties of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy, have combined to create very elegant solutions to difficult construction problems. Continue reading →
The following photos detail some recent repairs made by the owner and crew of Jester, a 2005 C&C 99. Jester is well equipped and has been meticulously maintained by her skipper and only owner, Greg Horvath. Jesterhas only sailed in fresh water and is stored indoors during the winter. She is also the boat I’ve raced aboard here in Saginaw Bay as well as around the Great Lakes including the Port Huron to Mackinaw Race and the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs. Continue reading →
My father has grown very fond of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and his box of epoxy-related items has been growing at a steady rate. The overflow of his box in an already “treasure” packed garage emphasized his need for an organization and storage system for these materials. We have had several requests for this same type of solution lately, so I did some digging and found a great Boatbuilder article from 1986 written by J.R. Watson. Inspired by this article, my father and I built our own interpretation of the Epoxy Caddy.
We compared the cost and weight of four panel types:
• Epoxy coated XL Plywood Boat Panel
• Epoxy coated Okoume Marine Plywood
• Epoxy/fiberglass/balsa cored composite
• Epoxy/fiberglass/core cell foam composite
Many WEST SYSTEM® customers appreciate the benefits of cored composite construction. They understand that it creates a part that is lightweight, strong, and stiff. We often receive calls from these customers inquiring about using a composite panel when building or repairing something that would normally be made of plywood. Such projects may include a Continue reading →
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.
Since so many projects in Epoxyworks incorporate plywood, we felt it might be valuable to discuss briefly the types of plywood and some construction methods best suited to it. It’s easy to understand why people like plywood and choose it for so many projects: it is readily available, comes in convenient sheets (typically 4’×8′), is pretty light for its stiffness and strength (1/8″ plywood weighs about 11 lb per 32 sq ft panel), and is a bargain when compared to the price of many composite panels. However, plywood also has its weak points. There are limits regarding shape development because plywood can be compounded (bent in two directions at once) very little. In addition, plywood contains end grain on all its edges, Continue reading →
Thomas Heavner of Seattle Washington designed and built his own 18′ plywood runabout. Mr. Heavner sent pictures of his project and wrote, “This is the first boat of any kind that I have designed and constructed. Your book (The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction) made it possible to build this boat.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) asked Composite Concepts, Inc. to build a three dimensional version of the SAE logo for the SAE International Congress Banquet in Detroit, Michigan. An easy feat, until you consider the size of the letters. They are 22′ tall, 56′ wide and 4′ deep, with a horizontal 2′ high split down the middle. Add some projection and neon lighting, and you have an impressive back drop for the engineers receiving their awards at this black tie dinner. The speakers entered the stage from under the letter A before they approached the lectern. Continue reading →
Jon Staudacher, renowned boat and airplane builder, and his wife Kathy recently designed and installed a unique floor in their house in Bay City, Michigan. Their extensive collection of house pets were more than the existing carpet could take, so they decided a wooden floor would be more wear-resistant and easier to maintain. The resulting floor is easy to keep up, while maintaining the contemporary look of their house. Continue reading →
A long time ago, I was building a 16 foot William F. Crosby design—a plywood, skiff-like sailboat. I was having trouble figuring out what to do because the plywood was only half as long as my boat was going to be. (Up to that point, all the boats I’d built were 8 footers.) I thought my prayers were answered when I heard that a distant lumber yard had some “special stuff” 16 feet long. But when I arrived at the yard, I thought I had been deceived. The “special” 16 foot plywood had been made that long by joining two standard 8 foot sheets, with a joint that looked pretty vulnerable and weak. I reluctantly bought the material on the assurance that it was plenty strong and I was not being deceived. Continue reading →