Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

Fairing Basics

By Jeff Wright

The goal of fairing is to create a surface without bumps or hollows.

Fairing Compound should be of a consistency that can be troweled onto a surface without sagging. Add 407 Low Density or 410 Microlight filler to mixed epoxy, checking the consistency as you stir in the filler to determine if the mixture has the correct viscosity for your application.

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G/5 Five-minute Epoxy, A Versatile Glue

By Tom Pawlak

G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive is a fast curing two-part epoxy that allows 3-5 minutes of working time. It has an ideal viscosity which allows it to penetrate porous surfaces yet is viscous enough to bridge gaps when gluing broken objects. It adheres to a number of surfaces including wood, ceramic, metal, leather, plaster, stone, fiberglass, glass, cork, some plastics and paper. G/5 is an excellent choice for quick repairs around the house, high-end crafts and much more. Continue reading

Aluminum Adhesion

By Tom Pawlak

In January of 2015, we stopped offering the 860 Aluminum Etch Kit in the WEST SYSTEM product line. Before making that decision we ran a series of tests that compared bond strength of 105 Resin/206 Hardener and G/flex 650 Epoxy on aluminum surfaces prepared a variety of ways. As usual, we used the PATTI (Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Test Instrument) to test adhesion. Continue reading

Rough Rider

Smiles All Around

By Mike Barnard

For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats.

The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new.  Continue reading

Flying Dutchman Restoration

By Douglas Heckrotte

Surcease is a late ’50s International Flying Dutchman Class sailboat. The Mahogany hull was cold-molded in Holland and imported by Paul Rimoldi of Miami Florida. Mr Rimoldi made everything else, including many pieces of hardware. He raced the boat on Biscayne Bay into the ’60s and sailed it for many years. He rebuilt the boat in the late ’80s but died before he finished. We bought the boat in August 1992 from his widow and sailed it for almost a season before we discovered that the hull was in very poor condition; the Urea-resin glue between the veneers had begun to turn to dust. We stored the boat and bought another Flying Dutchman.  Continue reading

Simple, Effective Home Repairs and Projects

By Bruce Niederer

I often get calls from a customer asking if his left over epoxy can be used for some small project around the house

The answer is yes, of course! Here are three projects that are perfect examples of what you can do with those partial cans of WEST SYSTEM® resin and hardener.

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Controlling Exotherm

By Mike Barnard

When mixing larger batches of resin and hardener, pot life— or the amount of time that elapses before the epoxy hardens in the container—is very important. You need to estimate how much mixed epoxy you will use in a certain amount of time. Variables that affect this calculation include temperature, volume, surface area, hardener speed, the insulating quality of the substrate the epoxy is exposed to, and any fillers used.  Continue reading

Light as a Feather

By Tom Pawlak

Last Father’s Day I received a new light and sleek bicycle from my family. It is by far the nicest bike I’ve ever owned. I enjoy riding it to work in the spring, summer and fall. Because it is so nice, I decided I didn’t want to bolt on the aluminum bracket used previously over the back wheel on my old bike. The bracket had served multiple purposes. It supported my travel bag and it acted as a fender to keep road water off my back while riding. I decided I would ride with a backpack instead to reduce bulkiness and thought it would be nice to make a lightweight fender that I could snap on for those rainy days. That would allow me to remove it for longer trips and on nice weather days. Continue reading

When the Cat’s Away

By Julie Van Mullekom

Like a lot of people, when I’m at work I like to keep busy. It makes me feel good about myself and the bonus is that the day just flies on by. Having said that, it’s also nice to escape from the walls of my office now and then and head out into the shop to see what the guys are working on. For some reason this gravitational pull I feel from the shop occurs more when my boss is away. We can just call it an unexplained phenomenon and leave it at that. During some of my excursions to the shop rather than just observing they let me help them with the projects they’re working on, which I absolutely love! Continue reading

Strings Centerboard Adjustment

By Greg Bull

Strings, as unique as the man who designed it, continues to be a work in progress for us at GBI. In Jan Gougeon’s first year of sailing Strings, he noticed the boat felt sticky at times. He thought it might be the centerboards jibing too much and the solution might be locking them straight. The center boards work as jibing boards by having two high spots on each side of a centerboard head creating the pivot point to get the boards to change angle, or jibe. The actual pressure from the boat going through the water and wanting to slide sideways gets the boards to jibe. Continue reading