Tag Archives: Tom Pawlak

Making Custom Wastebaskets

By Tom Pawlak

I don’t know about you, but I have problems finding wastebaskets that fit the spaces I have in mind. The baskets are either way too small or a bit too large for the opening. It happened at a previous house we lived in and it happened again in our current home. My solution was to make my own baskets with 4 to 6mm (3 16″ to 1 4″ thick) plywood sealed with and glued together with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Continue reading

Make Your Own Soft Eye Pads

By Tom Pawlak

If you look closely at some of the photos in the Bufflehead article, you will notice small pad eyes in strategic locations inside and outside of Hugh Horton’s Bufflehead. Hugh makes these lightweight carbon or Twaron™ reinforced nylon line pad eyes for his sailing canoes.

He glues them onto the decks or inside his sailing canoes—wherever they’re needed to hold supplies in place or hold flotation inside the hull. The pad eyes are easy to make and are amazingly strong. Continue reading

Camper Panel Repair

By Tom Pawlak

Todd Lynch, one of our valued employees, brought in a damaged plastic panel from the back end of an 11-year-old pop-up camper and asked if it was worth fixing. It came from his hunting camper which had been rear-ended. He just wanted it to be functional. The impact had made cracks at nearly every screw hole for holding the panel in place, making it doubtful it would last another trip down the highway. Continue reading

Small Craft Builders Rendezvous

By Tom Pawlak

In July 2008 I attended the Small Craft Builders’ Rendezvous in Peterborough, Ontario at the invitation of Ted Moores and Joan Barrett. Their company, Bear Mountain Boats, was one of the sponsors of the gathering which included modern wood and epoxy constructed boats as well as traditionally built wooden canoes. Those attending ranged from professional builders to serious amateurs. Continue reading

The Lighthouse Project

By Tom Pawlak

Bob, my brother-in-law, has a beautiful yard that he has set in a nautical theme. He had been looking at lighthouse plans and asked if I was interested in helping build one with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. All the plans that he looked at were for flat paneled six or eight-sided lighthouses built with plywood. I was interested in a project that was a bit more challenging and unique, so I suggested we build a stripped plank version. That way the tower could be round and tapered like many of the popular lighthouses around the world and it would differ from the flat-sided variety often seen in people’s yards. Bob liked the idea, so he went online and found photos of lighthouses that he liked. In the end, we based our design on Marblehead lighthouse located on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie. Continue reading

Using G/5 Five Minute Adhesive

G/5 Uses and Tips

By Tom Pawlak and J.R. Watson

Spot prime metals with G/5 in place of slower drying paint primers for indoor applications prior to applying latex paints. Latex paint can be applied to G/5 about ten minutes after the epoxy is applied and while the epoxy is still soft. G/5 provides a thin barrier and prevents rust that otherwise forms in latex paint when it dries over bare steel.

Model railroad set builders create natural looking surfaces by applying a film of G/5 adhesive and then sprinkling small objects onto the surface while it is still uncured. These Continue reading

Gougeon 12.3 canoes

The Gougeon 12.3 Canoe

by Tom Pawlak

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Cover Photo: A small sampling of the Gougeon 12.3 canoe family. Robert Monroe’s cold-molded canoe (foreground) came from a half-mold that eventually resulted in the a 12.3 mold (object directly behind first canoe) which has been used since 1989 to produce dozens of offspring that reflect a wide raged of tastes and technology.

The Gougeon 12.3 canoe represents several decades of experimentation by employees of Gougeon Brothers. Dozens have been built but no two are exactly alike. The evolution of the Gougeon 12.3 parallels our love of boating, passion for innovation and desire to build better boats—all of which contribute to the products we produce today.

It started 35 years ago with a personal project of Jim Gardiner, who was an employee of Gougeon Brothers at the time. He wanted to build the lightest solo canoe possible  Continue reading

Storm the Castle

By Tom Pawlak

A while back, my nephew Robbie, about 15 years old at the time, asked for help building a trebuchet (a form of catapult) for an upcoming Science Olympiad competition that his school was involved in. He had located a nice set of plans online that were based on a lattice-type structure using hardwoods. The website offered a fairly detailed plan and included project photos to help during the build. Continue reading

Quick Lawn Mower Repair

By Tom Pawlak

I hesitated to write this article because my friends accuse me of being a cheapskate. The text and photos to follow will only strengthen their argument. That being said, I can’t be the only person who would prefer to fix something rather than buy new. Besides, I can’t resist the opportunity to experiment with WEST SYSTEM® epoxy. Continue reading