Author Archives: Grace Ombry

WOW 17 Years Later

WOW 17 Years Later

By Mark Bronkalla

WOW, the home-built runabout I completed in 2000, has been a focal point of summer activities for our family and friends over the years. We’ve spent hundreds of happy hours out on the water, and taken it on vacations to northern Wisconsin, Kentucky, and New York. The majority of WOW’s use has been in Lake Nagawicka in Southeast Wisconsin.

WOW is a 20′ Glen-L Riviera with an inboard 350 cubic inch V8 engine. The hull is constructed of white ash frames, okoume plywood inner laminations, and a Honduras mahogany outer layer. The exterior is sheathed with 4 oz. fiberglass cloth on the deck, and 6 oz. on the sides and bottom. Primary construction was over one winter (see WOW by Mike Barnard in Epoxyworks 43). We started the build at the end of August 1999 and launched at the end of June 2000. The project continued with ongoing additions for the first several years, including upholstering the seats, installing a snap-on cover, a swim platform, cup holders, a wakeboard pylon, and a sound system. Continue reading

One Small Trailer & a Teardrop

By Mike Lance

My good friend Orrin and I have been messing around with WEST SYSTEM products for the past forty years. After building and racing a hydroplane in the Seventies, we built a 21′ cedar strip two-person kayak in 1980 and an 18’6″ cedar strip canoe in 1981. In 1981 we placed second in the 320-mile canoe race across New York state using our kayak. Both boats are shown in May/June 1985 edition of The Boatbuilder, Gougeon’s precursor to Epoxyworks.

After I had competed in the Sikaflex® Challenge races over a number of years, a book on teardrop trailers caught my interest. Having some plywood left over from the Seventies I started thinking that I could build a small camping trailer for my wife and me. There existed a real problem: would my wife actually sleep in something this small? With encouragement from my daughter, Karen, to build it for the sheer fun of building, I mentioned the idea to my wife, Terry, saying that I would understand if she declined. Her response: “How dare you try and exclude me from your next adventure?” Game on. Continue reading

Self Defense Canes

By Mark Copeland

After working for many years as a master plumber, followed by many more at Automotive Concept Studios where I fashioned conceptual car models from clay, I ended up with arthritis and two hip replacements. All the heavy work had caught up with me, leaving me disabled and dependent on a cane. I decided to leave Michigan during the winter months and move to Zephyrhills, Florida. I settled in and started looking for an activity to do, maybe metal detecting, fishing or golf.

Downtown, I happened by a martial arts school and stopped in to watch a class. Afterwards, the owner (Master Gary Hernández) and one of the instructors (Ms. Karuna) introduced themselves to me. Both have 4th degree black belts. I explained my health issues: limited mobility and the need to use a cane. They outlined a class Master Hernández teaches in Cane-Fu®, which is specifically beneficial to someone in my situation. Continue reading

Tunnel Hull numbers

Tunnel Hull

By Ed Stubbs

I’m rebuilding and restoring this vintage tunnel hull race boat for Steve Roberge. It was his late father’s boat and he wanted to restore it. We took it to my house to do as a home project.

I love using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy because there is very little odor or product waste, especially when compared to working with polyester resins in less than ideal temperatures. Continue reading

My First Cadillac

Restoring a 1954 Cadillac Runabout

By Bruce Niederer

One never really knows when the Fickle Finger of Fate will be pointing in your direction, but it sure did one day early last fall in 2015 at my brother’s shop—Nelson Niederer Woodworking in Bay City’s south end.

One day out of the blue a young man walks into the shop and relates a story about an old boat he found in his grandpa’s barn. He knew he wouldn’t really have the money nor the time and expertise to restore the boat. Nonetheless, he would hate to see it forgotten and disintegrating. Nelson told him to bring it by and he’d take a look. What he brought back was an extremely rare 1954 Cadillac 14′ Runabout—in great condition! Cold molded, no frames. Mahogany veneer hull construction with a mahogany planked deck. The seat cushions and bimini top in good shape. No rot in the hull— only a little on the ends of the splash rails. Continue reading

You Can Build It With Fiberglass

By Clayton Woods

Using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy Resin and fiberglass products, I have created numerous helmets, props, and pieces of armor for costuming and cosplay. Cosplay means to dress up as a character from a book, movie, or video game. Employing unorthodox and oft times experimental methods, I have kept costs low and my creativity heightened.

Just about anything you dream up can be built with fiberglass. The only real challenge is to get a close initial shape. After that, you can add or remove material with relative ease. As it is impossible to hang fiberglass in the air, you just need something to put those initial layers on. Continue reading

modified 808 spreader filleting tool

Bonding with Fillets

By Tom Pawlak

Gluing plywood structures together with epoxy fillets saves considerable time constructing the joints and reduces overall weight of the structure compared to more traditional methods using wooden cleats and screws. The strength and gap-filling qualities of epoxy eliminate the need for precisely fitted wood cleats that otherwise require time and skill to create. When gluing with conventional adhesives, that are non-gap filling such as resorcinol glue, wood cleats need to be well fitted, need to be wide enough to provide sufficient glued surface area and provide enough thickness for screws to be driven into. Building with epoxy fillets is especially beneficial when attaching bulkheads to hull sides, attaching hull sides to hull bottoms where the faces of the plywood are coming together at ever-changing angles. Continue reading

GLBBS 2016

The employee-owners of Gougeon Brothers, Inc. are proud to congratulate the Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Class of 2016. Comprehensive Graduates (1st year)—Justin Bensley, James Biernesser, Daniel Cinal, Lauren Gaunt, Robert Hankenhoff, Sam Hoffrichter, Wayne Marmon, James Nelson, Mark Pugh, and Ariana Strazdins. Career Program Graduates (2nd year)—Mark Bilhorn, Caleb Gulder, Sean Libby, and Danton Thon.

 

Readers’ Project, Issue 44

ROCKET Ice Yacht restored with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

We came across the historic ROCKET ice yacht at the WoodenBoat Show in Mystic, Conn. The ROCKET is 50′ long has a 900 sq. ft. sail and was built in 1888. After many decades of deteriorating in storage and some stop and start restoration attempts, the surviving parts (cockpit, plank, and rudder) were sold to a foundation that formed to restore the historic vessel. In 2003, the Rocket Ice Yacht Foundation of New Jersey purchased what remained of ROCKET for one dollar from the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club. The project was led by boat builder Bob Pulsh, a retired plumber from Port Monmouth N.J. Bob and his team of volunteers used WEST SYSTEM Epoxy to restore and reconstruct the ice yacht’s parts. The project was completed in 2014.

Continue reading