Author Archives: ewadmin

penetrating epoxy sample blocks

Penetrating epoxy: legend or myth?

By Bruce Niederer

I’m fast approaching my 22nd year of working here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. From my first day on the job, I have lived the controversy surrounding penetrating epoxies vs. high-solids epoxies in general and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy in particular. I have met with the formulator and founder of a popular brand of penetrating epoxy and talked to him many times over the years. He is a nice fellow and passionate about his product, but in the end we had to agree to disagree. Continue reading

bibble-free casting

Bubble-Free Casting in Knotholes and Cracks

By Don Gutzmer

Customers often ask us to recommend a WEST SYSTEM product for filling cracks and knotholes in wood. The best choice is 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener. Used properly, this product combination produces a strong, transparent casting. I will use large logs with huge voids to demonstrate the best practices for achieving a clear, bubble-free casting with 105/207. Continue reading

large wooden vessel repair

Large Wooden Vessel Repair

By Tom Pawlak

In the spring of 2016, several US Coast Guard vessel inspection officers from the east coast attended our 2-day Professional Fiberglass Boat Repair Workshop. Afterward, they asked if we would consider creating a document that they could hand out to commercial boat owners, captains and vessel reps that would provide guidelines for proper use of WEST SYSTEM products for repairing and maintaining larger wooden vessels subject to Coast Guard inspections. They were having an increasingly difficult time because a number of commercial boat operators were repairing their own vessels using techniques that caused concern. The reasons given for using these questionable procedures vary from trying to save some money to the short supply of qualified wooden vessel shipwrights who could complete work in a reasonable amount of time. To make their case that their repairs were appropriate, some operators handed the Coast Guard Inspection Officers the WEST SYSTEM Wooden Boat Restoration & Repair manual. Unfortunately, some were cherry picking information and techniques intended for repairing smaller recreational wooden craft, and not following all of the recommended procedures for avoiding problems. Continue reading

Vivacious

Hot Canary Becomes Vivacious

By Alex Boelkins

For readers of Epoxyworks, the name Hot Canary should ring a bell. Constructed in 2011 by an employee team at Gougeon Brothers, Inc., she was built as a winning platform for the Everglades Challenge. Having completed several of these self-supported, expedition races, and with the sad passing of Jan Gougeon, the highly customized i550 Hot Canary was listed for sale, ready for new adventures. Continue reading

Mike Barnard

Michael A. Barnard

1987—2017

The family of Employee Owners at Gougeon Brothers Incorporated lost Technical Advisor Mike Barnard, who passed away on 7/28/17. Our customers who had the opportunity to work with Mike will know that we lost an incredibly friendly, educated, and patient young man. I had the wonderful opportunity to be Mike’s manager for over 6 years, and hoped to keep him challenged until I retired. But fate took our favorite Eagle Scout well before we should have had to say goodbye. Continue reading

WOW

By Mike Barnard

Epoxyworks 43 Cover Large

Cover Photo: WOW, a 20′ Glen-L Rivieria built by Mark Bronkalla

In June of 2000, Mark Bronkalla launched his nearly complete but unnamed boat. The boat turned heads wherever Mark took it and the reaction from bystanders was a universal “WOW.” This is how the beautiful home built 20 foot Glen-L Riviera got its name.

Mark had never built a boat before, and found lackluster information from first-time boat builders like himself. Websites or blogs with good information tended to end once the structure was built. Mark used his background in woodworking, marketing and computer science to share his first-time boat building experience to encourage and help other first-time boat builders. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of this build where WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was used. Anyone considering a build similar to this should consult Mark’s website, bronkalla.com, for more detailed descriptions of each step. Continue reading

Fake It Until You Can Make It

By Don Gutzmer

Wood inlay marquetry has been around for a very long time, and I am always looking for different ways to use epoxy. I have learned that it is possible to use a laser jet printer with a clear transparency film to print an image, then transfer that image onto a substrate coated with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, resulting in the look of marquetry without all the cutting, fitting and craftsmanship. (Ink jet printers do not work with this process because the ink does not transfer to the transparency film.) The image could be a picture of a wood inlay or whatever you can imagine. Here is the process I have found that works the best. Continue reading

G/flex Does It

By Hugh Horton

The project was creating a shower pan for an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) bathroom in the home I’ve been building in Cedar Key. How does one satisfy shower pan requirements of Levy County Florida and meet ADA suggestions, too, when the floor is concrete, twelve feet above ground? Continue reading