Sticky Issues

Sticky Issues

Bruce Niederer Tech Advisor from Gougeon brothers shares some
more insight into the world of epoxy.

Fellow anarchist and pal Vegas tuned me in to a thread in the Dinghy Anarchist
forum where loyal WEST SYSTEM customers, detractors, newbies and journeymen
were discussing all things epoxy. Thank you, one and all who weighed in on that
thread. The posts covered so many issues that a short reply in the forum just
wouldn’t do, so I took notes and will address a few of the larger issues in a series of
brief articles. This is the third of four.

I don’t intend this to be one big WEST SYSTEM® commercial. Some of the questions
were product-specific and I will discuss the issues that are relevant. I won’t knock
any other brand of epoxy, but will compare and contrast some of the products
mentioned with our product when appropriate.

There were a few posts that discussed penetrating epoxies – a favorite subject of
mine. I’ve had a couple conversations and e-mail correspondence with Steve Smith
the chemist and founder behind both Smith’s® and CPES® penetrating epoxies. He’s
a good guy and very smart as well, but in the end we simply had to agree to
disagree. I want to be clear that any comments I make on this subject are based on
my own experience and testing and I intend no disrespect to Steve or the product

  • What makes an epoxy penetrate?
  • What constitutes adequate penetration?
  • Is one
    type of epoxy better suited to wood adhesion than any other type?
  • Can I simply add
    a solvent to West System?