Above: Robbie loads the trebuchet for another practice shot before the competition.
A while back, my nephew Robbie, about 15 years old at the time, asked for help building a trebuchet (a form of catapult) for an upcoming Science Olympiad competition that his school was involved in. He had located a nice set of plans online that were based on a lattice-type structure using hardwoods. The website offered a fairly detailed plan and included project photos to help during the build. Continue reading →
I hesitated to write this article about repairing my old lawn mower because my friends accuse me of being a cheapskate. The text and photos to follow will only strengthen their argument. That being said, I can’t be the only person who would prefer to fix something rather than buy new. Besides, I can’t resist the opportunity to experiment with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading →
Above: This joint style in an edge-glued, 1/8″ thick HDPE plastic strip which holds tight when deflected and is a good choice when gluing plastics.
One of our goals for G/flex® was the ability to bond to a variety of plastics. This was an ambitious goal because plastics historically have been used as mold release surfaces for epoxy, allowing the epoxy to release from the plastic when cured. While developing G/flex, we tested adhesion to a number of plastics with a variety of surface prep methods. Continue reading →
D-ring pads are often attached to flexible surfaces with urethane adhesives to gain load-carrying capacity where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. They are used on waterproof fabric cargo bags, heavy tarpaulins, and inflatable boats. They are also sometimes used on the decks of canoes and kayaks to hold cargo in place on long trips. D-rings are not typically used on polyethylene canoes and kayaks because the urethane glues are not recommended for use on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. We experimented with gluing D-ring pads with G/flex 655 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive to HDPE plastic with that end-use in mind. Continue reading →
Above: Meade’s removable hatch, installed on the Gougmaran.
Meade Gougeon installed the original hatches on his Gougmaran, but he wasn’t convinced he had selected the ideal locations. Prior to installation, he thought about how difficult it would be to remove and relocate them if he used one of the flexible adhesive/ sealants made for this purpose. There had to be a better way, one that would allow hardware to be easily removed yet seal out water. Continue reading →
G/flex Epoxy is a toughened, resilient two-part epoxy engineered for a superior grip to metals, plastics, glass, masonry, fiberglass, and wet and difficult-to-bond woods. Introduced in June 2007, G/flex Epoxy is currently available in two consistencies: G/flex 650 Epoxy, a liquid epoxy, and G/flex 655 Epoxy Adhesive, a pre-thickened epoxy. Both have a 1:1 mix ratio. Continue reading →
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 →
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: The cracked polyurethane foam planter pot upon which Tom performed this simple pot repair with epoxy. You can see the household cling wrap he used to hold the cracked pot together while the epoxy cured.
My wife Mary and I recently went to the local building center to purchase a large planter pot for our patio. After we had agreed on a nice large terra-cotta beauty, I noticed another large pot that had a serious crack. I asked the associate for a price on it, knowing it would be easy to repair with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. He said I would be doing him a favor if I took it away. So we came home with two pots for the price of one. Continue reading →
Necessity is the mother of invention, and razor blades are often called into service for a variety of tasks around the shop other than shaving. Here are a few.
Razor blades can be used in a pinch to apply caulks and thickened epoxies with great precision. They do a great job filling isolated pinholes and scratches, especially when the blade is laid at a low angle (nearly flat) when spreading the putty. Continue reading →