Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

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

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

Azek® PVC Deck Boards

An option in boat construction or repair?

By Bruce Niederer

Wood has always been used in fiberglass boat construction, in stringers and oftentimes as core in high compression areas such as under cleats, stanchions and winches. Wood works great in these applications but we all know that the big problem with wood is the fact that it rots if it gets wet. Here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. (GBI) we have spent long hours writing manuals and training people to use proper techniques using epoxy to keep wood dry and strong. Continue reading

Warm Temperature Bonding

By Don Gutzmer

During warm summer months, handling characteristics of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy will be different than at other times of the year. Our cure times are based on an ambient temperature of 72°F, but in warmer temperatures the epoxy will cure faster. There are some steps you can take to ensure good results when using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy in warm environments. Continue reading

Applying Polyester Gelcoat over Epoxy

By Mike Barnard

Andy Miller has a great understanding of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, having used it for years as owner and chief repairman of Miller Boatworks in Herbster, Wisconsin. Andy also maintains BoatworksToday.com, a website featuring instructional boat repair videos. Having watched, verified and referred people to the videos on Andy’s website over the last few years, I know that Andy knows his stuff. What’s even better is that, when he’s unsure about a detail, he contacts us for the right answers. This gives me a lot of confidence in the methods featured in the videos at the Boatworks Today website. Continue reading

Techniques for Fiberglassing Overhead

By Tom Pawlak

The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading

carbon fiber air scoop

Carbon Skinning

Why reinforce with carbon fiber?

By Don Gutzmer

Carbon fiber has very high strength-to-weight ratios and higher stiffness compared to many other reinforcing fabrics. These special properties make it ideal for applications in aerospace, automotive, military, and even sporting goods. When combined with a WEST SYSTEM Epoxy it can be used to build high-end composite parts. Continue reading

West System Epoxy

That’s a Fact!

Useful information about WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

By Mike Barnard

Using gelcoat over WEST SYSTEM

It’s a myth that if you plan to gel coat over a repair, you must make the repair with polyester. We’ve used gel coat over epoxy for decades, shown it in our instructional videos on repairing fiberglass boats, and discussed it in past issues of Epoxyworks. Continue reading

502 Black Pigment

502 Black Pigment

502 Black Pigment

On January 1, 2015 we began selling a new WEST SYSTEM Epoxy pigment. We already had the 501 White Pigment and the 503 Gray Pigment, so it seemed right to introduce our new 502 Black Pigment. Just like the 501 and the 503, it alters the color of the epoxy mixture without affecting the cured physical properties. Similarly, the maximum acceptable loading is 3%. This is great for hiding a surface with a single coat of black epoxy. Adding more pigment will increase the opacity, but can skew the mix ratio because there is epoxy resin in the pigment. Continue reading

Talkin’ the Talk

By Julie VanMullekom

Here at GBI we’re not just your average epoxy “retailer.” We are the leading provider of quality epoxy products and service. Quality epoxy as in; we dream a big, sticky, epoxy dream, research it, develop it and produce it.  Service as in; packed within our 20,000(ish) square foot walls is a wealth of knowledge and experience so vast that it has enabled us to educate hundreds of people worldwide on the features and benefits of West System® epoxy.  Spanning from A to Z….Alaska to Zimbabwe. . Yeah, I know. Alaska. Mind. Blown. Continue reading