Last update, July 25, 2010
West System epoxy resins for finishing surfaces, hardener, fast epoxy glues, pumps and fillers.
West System Dealer with small quantities, tools and customer support.
Dealer products, quantities, prices, product descriptions and use. A download file.
See Coastal Concept Products and Packages.
MEK or Acetone.
A construction polyurethane glue like Gorilla.
Small cups, tongue depressors, hypo syringes and round sticks.
Rubber gloves are a must.
Most builders have some form of fast acting glue around. There are those times when you want to tack something while you prepare Epoxy or delicate items like gluing string to wire. CA is in most cases an instant bonding agent. It has been found that the better brands are the most reliable and convenient to use. We have found that ZAP, found in hobby stores, and provide good service and easy application. An accelerator is needed if you want to work fast. Most sailors will carry some in their toolkit to the lake.
G-5 and G-Flex are fast acting glues with very good longevity in the marine environment. They are handy for small and medium jobs for in the shop and at the pond. These can be mixed in very small batches. We use a very small cup (like they serve pills in at the doctors office) for quick tiny jobs. Field kits are available.
Epoxy resin, like the West System, is a more refined resin and is almost clear. There is just the hint of amber. This is the resin of choice for finishing a balsa deck and undercoating for moisture protection. This can be thinned, as you like with MEK. Pumps in the cans (sold separately) produce the correct mix for the batch. This is high quality epoxy resin and is not cheap. The mix is generally 5:1, so get a smaller amount of hardener.
It is also effective as glue called the goop here. To make it manageable, various fillers can be mixed into the batch until it has the consistency of toothpaste, put into a large syringe or cup and dispensed where needed, like applying a deck. Often just using a gloved finger is effective. This is good for installing the framework for the deck. This is also the proper way to install the balsa sheet to the framework and hull gunwale flanges. Product information and the processes are in the deck covering section.
The polyurethane glue has been used in the construction of crates, cradles and sail cases. It is strong and durable. This is excellent for screw attached structures for bonding the parts and preventing loosening or decaying connections. It has not been used on decks because it expands out of seams as it cures. A deck application is more critical than; say a cradle, so it has not been tested.