bronze, glass & epoxy sunflowers

Bronze, Glass, and Epoxy Sunflowers

By George Gish

My sunflower project began after I’d brought home from the farmer’s market three sunflowers planted in a small barrel. I placed the flowers on the patio outside my kitchen’s sliding glass door. Every time I sat at the kitchen table, I looked out at this bright splash of color and felt pleasantly relaxed. That happy, soothing view ended two days later when deer ate the sunflowers. I wanted my view back, but knew that buying more flowers would just provide another meal for the deer. I decided to re-create the flowers in something they couldn’t eat: glass and bronze. Continue reading

Modern Vardo

Building the Modern Vardo

By Greg Ryan

This vardo was an exciting project and design collaboration with my friend Jill. Recently retired, she and her husband were looking for adventure and a home away from home.

Jill and I studied vardos (Romani wagons), modern RV’s, train cars and tiny homes, borrowing elements from each. This vardo is only 8′ x 12′ yet has a queen size bed, bathroom, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, holding tanks, a furnace, AC/DC electricity, a fold-down porch, and plenty of storage. It is solar-powered and completely self-contained. The wagon is insulated as well. Continue reading

faster, neater fillets

Faster, Neater Fillets

By Tom Pawlak

When creating lots of epoxy fillets, a faster way to apply the thickened epoxy is with an 810 Fillable Caulking Tube. It takes a bit of time to transfer the epoxy into the tube, but it is wonderfully efficient for applying epoxy to the joints. Compared to other application methods, it’s also less messy. Continue reading

wooden dory makeover

Obsessing About Obsession

A Wooden Dory Makeover

By Greg Hatten

In the past few years my river dory, Obsession, has traveled a thousand rocky river miles in all kinds of weather, dodged a million rocks (and hit more than a few) while running rivers in Yellowstone, Tetons, Olympic, Rocky Mountain, Rainier and a dozen other National Parks.

This dory has run backward through a rapid on the Rogue River, run sideways through a rapid on the McKenzie River, and slammed into a wall at Mule Creek Canyon on the Rogue River so hard that it split a rib, shattered an oarlock, and was put out of commission for a month. Continue reading

penetrating epoxy sample blocks

Penetrating epoxy: legend or myth?

By Bruce Niederer

I’m fast approaching my 22nd year of working here at Gougeon Brothers, Inc. From my first day on the job, I have lived the controversy surrounding penetrating epoxies vs. high-solids epoxies in general and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy in particular. I have met with the formulator and founder of a popular brand of penetrating epoxy and talked to him many times over the years. He is a nice fellow and passionate about his product, but in the end we had to agree to disagree. Continue reading

bibble-free casting

Bubble-Free Casting in Knotholes and Cracks

By Don Gutzmer

Customers often ask us to recommend a WEST SYSTEM product for filling cracks and knotholes in wood. The best choice is 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener. Used properly, this product combination produces a strong, transparent casting. I will use large logs with huge voids to demonstrate the best practices for achieving a clear, bubble-free casting with 105/207. Continue reading

large wooden vessel repair

Large Wooden Vessel Repair

By Tom Pawlak

In the spring of 2016, several US Coast Guard vessel inspection officers from the east coast attended our 2-day Professional Fiberglass Boat Repair Workshop. Afterward, they asked if we would consider creating a document that they could hand out to commercial boat owners, captains and vessel reps that would provide guidelines for proper use of WEST SYSTEM products for repairing and maintaining larger wooden vessels subject to Coast Guard inspections. They were having an increasingly difficult time because a number of commercial boat operators were repairing their own vessels using techniques that caused concern. The reasons given for using these questionable procedures vary from trying to save some money to the short supply of qualified wooden vessel shipwrights who could complete work in a reasonable amount of time. To make their case that their repairs were appropriate, some operators handed the Coast Guard Inspection Officers the WEST SYSTEM Wooden Boat Restoration & Repair manual. Unfortunately, some were cherry picking information and techniques intended for repairing smaller recreational wooden craft, and not following all of the recommended procedures for avoiding problems. Continue reading