Tag Archives: Jim Derck

Metal Door Repair

WEST SYSTEM 410 Microlight® to the Rescue!

By Jim Derck

At the end of moving day, after many large items had passed through the doorway, our house’s steel door was left with a nasty crease about a foot long. The door had a foam core. The needed repair was just a fairing application with no structural component. Continue reading

Getting the Clearest Fiberglass Finish

By Jim Derck

If you are using the strip planking method to build a canoe, kayak or even a telescope, you already appreciate the beauty of wood. The following tips will help you achieve the clearest possible fiberglass coating to protect and reinforce the wood and show off your handiwork. Continue reading

Simple Shop Tools to Make

By the Gougeon Technical Staff

Making a hole-locating tool

When replacing planking, often you have to drill a new hole through the wood and “hit” the existing hole on the frame (so as not to riddle the frame with new holes). This tool will help you properly locate the new hole. You can either modify a set of barbecue tongs to make this tool, or fashion one from strips of aluminum. Drill a hole in the blades. Attach a pointed stud to the lower blade. Continue reading

Sharp fiberglass corners

Sharp Fiberglass Corners

By Jim Derck

It’s difficult to prevent cloth from lifting when fiberglassing around a sharp wooden corner. Even if you were able to lay glass tightly around a sharp corner, it could easily be dented. The slightest compression of the underlying wood could leave a void, and an invitation for moisture and the problems it creates. To avoid these problems, we always recommend rounding over the corner so the glass will lay flat against the surface. However, there may be times when you need a sharp corner. Here’s a method to make sharp fiberglass corners that are strong enough to prevent dents and protect the underlying wood. Continue reading

Getting the Most out of Mini Pumps

By Jim Derck

When using WEST SYSTEM® 300 Mini Pumps, the most important things to remember are:

  1. Read the instructions.
  2. Use one full pumps stroke of resin for each one full pump stroke of hardener to get the proper resin-to-hardener ratio.

If you’re ever concerned that your pumps aren’t metering properly, simply mix a test batch of 3 pump strokes each of resin and hardener. Stir thoroughly and make sure it’s fully cured before continuing with your project. Continue reading

Low-Tech Adhesion Testing

By Jim Derck

Before beginning a project, it’s a good idea to test the adhesion between epoxy and the materials to be used. Preliminary adhesion tests can help you choose the best materials and surface preparation methods. It can also help to avoid a surprise bonding failure.
At Gougeon Brothers, Inc. we use a Pneumatic Adhesion Tensile Testing Instrument (PATTI) for adhesion tests. After the PATTI test stud is bonded to the test surface, the stud is pulled in tension until it releases. The instrument gauge gives a precise pounds per square inch reading at failure. Continue reading

Use Release Fabric for Smooth Fillets

by Jim Derck

Our 403 Microfibers and 405 Filleting Blend are excellent structural fillers but they’re fibrous and leave a rough surface when used to make fillets. To end up with a surface that is ready for coating or re-bonding without having to remove amine blush or sand smooth, apply a narrow strip of 879 Release Fabric after the fillet is made. Continue reading

Durable Edges for Centerboards & Flip Up Rudders

by Jim Derck

When centerboards and flip up rudders drag across the bottom, the first fiberglass to abrade away is usually the leading edge at the bottom. This exposes the end grain of the wood, allowing water to be absorbed the length of the centerboard or rudder. The wood then expands, cracking the fiberglass along the leading edge and causing more problems. When it is time to repair the tip, it usually takes a long time to dry the wood for an effective repair. Continue reading