Tag Archives: Tom Pawlak

Testing DCPD Blend Laminates

By Tom Pawlak

Gougeon Brothers recently did R&D testing for a manufacturer who wanted to know if WEST SYSTEM® epoxy could effectively repair injection-molded parts made with fiberglass and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) blended polyester resin that included an internal mold release. The hoods and decks for many jet skis and snowmobiles are made with this material.

DCPD blends in polyester cause it to cure rapidly and cross-link thoroughly. This feature helps to reduce emissions from the resin but makes it difficult to repair Continue reading

G/5 Adhesive Tips

By Tom Pawlak

Many of us at Gougeon Brothers experiment with WEST SYSTEM® products on personal projects at home as well as at work. We often push products and techniques beyond the limits recommended in our literature. Sometimes the experiment fails, sometimes we discover something very useful. Continue reading

Protective skin creams-do they affect adhesion to the surfaces we touch?

By Tom Pawlak

We recently completed adhesion testing for a boatbuilder who was concerned about surfaces being contaminated by workers who use protective skin creams. The builder wanted to be sure that residue from the protective creams did not contaminate objects touched by workers throughout the day. We tested five products: Derma Shield™, Gloves in a Bottle™, Unique Skin™, SBS 46 Protective Cream™ and SBS 40 Medicated Skin Cream™. Continue reading

Scraper

Scrapers—Versatile Tools for Working with Epoxy

By Tom Pawlak

My first experience with cabinet scrapers occurred shortly after hiring into Gougeon Brothers. Bill Slaby, a wood/epoxy technician who specialized in mold building, routinely used cabinet scrapers to remove irregularities on cured epoxy coatings. I was intrigued with how quickly he could smooth up the epoxy with his scraper and particularly how he could get the epoxy to come off the surface in a continuous thin ribbon similar to wood shavings from a sharp wood plane. Bill was passionate about the benefits of scrapers and felt they were seriously underrated tools. He liked the absolute control you have in removing epoxy Continue reading

Fiberglass Tub and Shower Repair

By Tom Pawlak

Construction of fiberglass tubs and showers uses methods and materials similar to those for building fiberglass boats. Gelcoat is applied to a mold and allowed to cure. Then chopped fiberglass and polyester resin are applied over the gelcoat and worked into the surface. To create a stiff and strong tub or shower enclosure, the laminator uses a grooved roller to compact the fibers against the gelcoat. The quality and strength of the laminate depends on Continue reading

Make Shop Tools Quickly with G/5

By Tom Pawlak

Gougeon Brothers’ G/5 Five Minute Adhesive can be used an infinite number of ways to repair and build a great variety of projects. From filling stripped screw holes in drywall to repairing broken wooden furniture, its versatility is limited only by one’s imagination. I value G/5 in my workshop because its quick cure time lets me build quality jigs, fixtures and molds that are available for use almost immediately. Continue reading

Repairing Individual Gelcoat Blisters

By Tom Pawlak

Gelcoat blisters can be a serious problem if left unattended. At some point, your hull may need extensive repair, including gelcoat removal and epoxy barrier coats as described in Gelcoat Blisters: Diagnosis, Repair & Prevention. However, if you have isolated blisters and a manageable number to repair individually, we often recommend that you patch individual blisters and continue to use the boat until you determine the cause and extent of the problem. Continue reading

SCHEHERAZADE

By Tom Pawlak

On a break from the Maine Boatbuilders Show in March, we visited Hodgdon Yachts, Inc. and found significant progress on their latest build, a 155′ Bruce King designed wood/epoxy ketch, named Scheherazade. This is Hodgdon Yachts’ largest wood/epoxy vessel to date. The project is roughly 60% larger than Antonisa, the 124′ sailing yacht they launched last year.

Scheherazade is being built in Hodgdon’s new 20,000 square foot facility located at the water’s edge in East Boothbay, Maine. A project this size would not have been possible in Continue reading

Bonding to Corian™ and Wilsonart™ Laminates

By Tom Pawlak

We recently did adhesion testing to Corian and Wilsonart surfaces with WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin and 206 Hardener at the request of a composite panel manufacturer. Corian and Wilsonart are mineral filled acrylic panels that look like granite and are often used as countertop material in kitchens and offices. Cabinetmakers and contractors typically use the panels in ½” thickness for residential applications. They are quite heavy, though not nearly as heavy as actual granite. Corian and Wilsonart are similar solid surfaces in that they can both be cut with conventional tools, then wet sanded and polished to a nice shine if they are damaged during installation. They are also available in thinner forms alone, or laminated over Continue reading