Cover Photo: WOW, a 20′ Glen-L Rivieria built by Mark Bronkalla
In June of 2000, Mark Bronkalla launched his nearly complete but unnamed boat. The boat turned heads wherever Mark took it and the reaction from bystanders was a universal “WOW.” This is how the beautiful home built 20 foot Glen-L Riviera got its name.
Mark had never built a boat before, and found lackluster information from first-time boat builders like himself. Websites or blogs with good information tended to end once the structure was built. Mark used his background in woodworking, marketing and computer science to share his first-time boat building experience to encourage and help other first-time boat builders. In this article, I’ll give a brief overview of this build where WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy was used. Anyone considering a build similar to this should consult Mark’s website, bronkalla.com, for more detailed descriptions of each step. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
As an Eagle Scout, I understand the work ethic and dedication each Boy Scout must have in order to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. It requires earning 13 merit badges demonstrating knowledge on topics ranging from cooking to nuclear science to music. As of January 1, 2014 there are over 120 elective badges a Scout can earn beyond the required 13. A Scout must obtain a certain number of elective merit badges for each rank. Continue reading →
When most epoxies are exposed to the atmosphere (especially cold and damp conditions) a secondary chemical reaction can occur at the surface of the epoxy, leaving a waxy looking by-product called amine blush. This water-soluble film appears only at the end of the cure cycle, and never at all when WEST SYSTEM® 207 Special Clear Hardener is used.
Much ado is sometimes made regarding blush, but the reality is, it’s easily avoided and easy to remove. Continue reading →
Many times each day we get questions about sticking to various substrates. Most questions are on something that we have already tested, so we check our large database and advise on how best adhere to the surface. Other times the request is unique and we are unsure if WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy will stick to it or not. In the event we do not have any experience bonding to a material, we recommend testing adhesion. Many times this means gluing a wood block to the surface, then pulling the Continue reading →
Putting epoxy resin and hardener into a single cartridge was an idea we had years ago, but the technology was never around to do it. Once the technology became available (in the form of a u-TAH chambered cartridge with a mixing wand), we needed to develop a two-part epoxy to go in it.
We chose the characteristics we wanted for this new epoxy: long open time, fast through-cure, full cure overnight, and ability to cure at low temperatures. With these Continue reading →