Category Archives: Techniques & Tips

New Repair Kits

New for 2012, WEST SYSTEM is offering three specialized boat repair kits designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Each contains the right materials and instructions for making lasting repairs and retails for around $30 at your local stocking WEST SYSTEM dealer. Continue reading

Sanding

Sanding Tricks of the Trade

BY DAMIAN MCLAUGHLIN

All of the boat builders that I know have little tricks that make a job go faster or do it better. Fairing a 40′ custom-built hull is an arduous task which is often accomplished with two-man teams and fairing boards. We do 90% of the work with a grinding device. Almost everyone in the business will agree that a grinder will remove a substantial amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling that removal. Continue reading

Shop Floor Testing Methods

Shop Floor Testing

By Jeff Wright

Boat builders or advanced hobbyists often want to learn more about the characteristics of the fiberglass laminate they’ve just created. But sending samples to a professional testing laboratory can be expensive and impractical. Fortunately, there are some tests you can do in the shop that yield reasonably accurate results.

Before you begin to test laminates in your own shop, it’s important to understand the difference between shop tests and standardized tests. Many organizations such ASTM, ISO, or UL provide established test procedures defining a specific test method. These may specify things like sample preparation methods, equipment and acceptable environmental conditions. These standards allow the test to be repeated by different people at different locations all over the world.
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Sassafras 16 Family Build Weekend

by Grace Ombry

Epoxyworks 31

Cover Photo: Semi-finished Sassafras 16 canoes on display at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport.

WEST SYSTEM®, Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) and nine family groups joined forces at the 2010 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut this June to build nine Sassafras 16 kit canoes. With only a blue and white striped rental tent to shield them from the unseasonably hot weather in Mystic that weekend, everyone labored hard to get their boats a long way toward completion in just three short days. Continue reading

So Stands the Mighty Oak

By Bruce Niederer

People have been building boats using white oak for centuries, sacrificing blood, sweat and tears to engineer wonderful and enduring vessels of all shapes and sizes.

Oak was often used because of its desirable properties and behavior. It is dense, strong, rot resistant, holds fasteners well and can be steam bent. In the days before glues and adhesives, oak planking was used because it would swell considerably which resulted in tight and sound hulls, meaning little leaking and dry interiors. Of course, time marches inexorably forward and eventually builders began using adhesives to augment or, in some cases, replace mechanical fasteners.

We’ve been debating the issue of gluing oak ever since. Continue reading

Testing for Damage Tolerance

By Jeff Wright

Ted Moores and his company, Bear Mountain Boats, build wood epoxy strip plank canoes, manufacture kits and publish books on building strip plank canoes and kayaks. This method of construction provides a very light yet stiff structure and also enables the hull shape to have compound curves. Moores has 30 years of experience and his designs have logged many safe miles. He understands the forces boats are subjected to when paddled on the water and during transportation. Continue reading

Using G/5 as a Clear Filler for Dented Varnish Trim

By Tom Pawlak

A few years ago a customer approached me at one of the trade shows to say he loves our G/5 Five-Minute Adhesive for filling dents in wood trim prior to reapplying varnish. I thought what a great idea. It cures clear, can be wet sanded in an hour (longer if you are dry sanding) and can be varnished over without a problem. It looks much better than filling with wood putty because it is clear. It can be difficult matching the surrounding wood color when filling with wood putty.

I used his tip the last time I prepared my wood strip canoe for a fresh coat of varnish. It had Continue reading

Saving foam roller covers

Saving Your 801 Roller Frame

By J.R. Watson

When you’ve completed a coating task using a 801 Roller Frame and 800 Roller Cover, what next? The roller frame is reusable. But if you leave it resting in the pan while the residual epoxy cures, you‘ll probably ruin both the reusable pan and the roller frame. If you lay the roller and frame on a work bench, it will be stuck there the next day.

Setting the roller on a piece of plastic will bring you closer to success but in any instance where the roller frame rests on a surface while the epoxy cures, the cover will accumulate Continue reading

Weather Forecast: Destruction

By Julie Van Mullekom

I’ve been with Gougeon Brothers, Inc. since 1996 and 13 of those years were in the Order Entry Department where I talked to many interesting customers working on all sorts of projects. In 2007 I became a member of the Technical Department. Now, rather than giving product pricing to customers or advising them on the quantity they may need, I’m able to see how those products evolve from just a mere gleam in someone’s eye to a product we are proud to call our own. For me, being a part of this process means among many other things, handling our testing data. My role ranges from filing it all the way to building data bases for the many tests we perform in house. Continue reading