A while back, as I was waiting in the reception lobby of a major American corporation, I had the chance to admire the curved reception desk and other oak furniture in the room. However, when I examined the reception desk more closely, I could see facets in the oak veneer instead of a nice, smooth curve. I immediately realized that the cabinet builders had sawn closely spaced saw kerfs in the back of the panel so they could bend it to shape. I thought there must be a better way.
The following is a description of “the better way” — the methods of building expert Jon Staudacher, to create curved walls and curved face cabinets. Jon’s boat and airplane building background, coupled with the unique properties of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy, have combined to create very elegant solutions to difficult construction problems. Continue reading →
Cover Photos: Our special issue on building features practical and simple techniques.
Building a natural finish wood-strip canoe can be exciting and a bit daunting, particularly if it is your first clear finish canoe. You’ll commit time and money to the project and your expectations may run high. Most people are happy with the results of their first strip composite project, but deep down they wish some aspect of it was a bit better. Continue reading →
A visionary, ingenious, a great innovator who could see beyond boundaries, on of a few people to really have changed the boatbuilding game in his lifelong quest for speed. This is how boatbuilders and designers, sailors and iceboaters recall Jan Gougeon. A natural engineer, Jan became an accomplished boat designer and builder who was always thinking about his next boat. His vibrant boyish enthusiasm lit up the room. Jan was a fierce competitor who shared tips and technology openly, offering astute and encouraging advice to novice and veteran sailors and builders alike. Continue reading →
Cover Photo: The finished 24′ front columns built by Pleasant Bay Boat & Spar Company.
Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar Company is a boat building and spar fabrication shop located in Orleans on beautiful Cape Cod. We have been building, restoring and repairing boats on the Cape since 1999.
Shortly after I set up shop, I began making spars and created a niche for the business. With a lot of help and advice along the way, I developed an efficient system to make hollow “bird’s mouth” poles that were turned into masts, booms and gaffs for sailboats, and flagpoles. The machinery didn’t know the difference. Working with boat builders and designers pushed us to go further. The crew expanded to include Doug Ingram, our full time spar maker. The masts got longer and more complicated. Flagpoles were shipped as far away as Bermuda or installed on the facade of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Our reputation grew exponentially with the level of experience. Continue reading →
A few years back Mary, my better half, suggested I make a stained glass lamp for our den at home. There are molds commercially available for making glass lampshades. They hold glass pieces in position in the desired curved shape until the soldering process is complete. Unfortunately, the shape I wanted was not available. I wanted something similar in size and shape to the fabric-covered lamp shade in the den. In the end, I decided to make a custom mold. Continue reading →
This article is Lesson 3 of a series. See bottom of page for links to additional articles in this series.—Ed.
Designing and building a successful skeg for Sparks (our 30′ hybrid electric launch featured in Epoxyworks 32) took some head scratching. But in the end, it was just another combination of wood and WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Our skeg needed to be functional and age gracefully, yet be reasonably quick and easy to build and install. This project was an ideal opportunity to explore the limits as well as the advantages of combining wood with epoxy to engineer simple solutions to complex problems. Continue reading →
My father has grown very fond of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and his box of epoxy-related items has been growing at a steady rate. The overflow of his box in an already “treasure” packed garage emphasized his need for an organization and storage system for these materials. We have had several requests for this same type of solution lately, so I did some digging and found a great Boatbuilder article from 1986 written by J.R. Watson. Inspired by this article, my father and I built our own interpretation of the Epoxy Caddy.
WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has long been a popular choice for clear coating table tops. It works great as a buildup coat and a moisture barrier. It also showcases the beauty of wood grain and fiber weaves. Formulated with boat building in mind, WEST SYSTEM epoxy is not intended as a final finish coating. You may find it a bit more difficult to achieve a perfect surface with epoxy than with a coating formulated specifically for final finishing, such as varnish.
However, WEST SYSTEM offers some distinct advantages. It builds up quickly: a single coat of 105 Epoxy Resin® with 207 Special Clear Hardener® offers about four times the thickness of a typical coat of polyurethane varnish. WEST SYSTEM epoxy is also an excellent moisture barrier, stabilizing the surface so your final finish coat will look beautiful longer.Continue reading →
Fiberglass reinforced plastic and other composites influence the design of many products manufactured today. Boat hulls, sports equipment and airplanes can easily take new, complex shapes when composites are used in place of traditional materials. Reinforcing structures also benefit from the versatility of composite materials when prefabricated components are bonded with a high-strength adhesive. This article will discuss some of the engineering aspects to consider when designing or repairing an adhesively bonded composite structure.Continue reading →
A couple of years ago my son Ian asked me about building an A Class catamaran. Having built several of these in the past and knowing what was now on the market, I came up with a build method that would:
Allow us to build a competitive design.
Be at or under the class minimum weight of 165 lb.
Be as strong and stiff as anything on the market.
Be competitive in quality and price, but not get trapped in exotic equipment expense. This meant no vacuum bag, no pre-preg, no resin infusion, and no autoclave.