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Make shop tools quickly with G/5 - West System

By Tom Powlak

Gougeon Brothers' G/5 Five Minute Adhesive can be used an infinite number of ways to repair and build a great variety of projects. From filling stripped screw holes in drywall to repairing broken wooden furniture, its versatility is limited only by one's imagination. I value G/5 in my workshop because its quick cure time lets me build quality jigs, fixtures and molds that are available for use almost immediately. These include jigs or positioning fixtures to drill holes in specific locations or guide routers and saws along specific paths for trimming parts to final size. You can also make specialty sanding pads or molds so you can quickly reproduce a damaged section.

To create shop tools like these, you must produce molded images from specific sections of the original parts by laminating with lightweight fabrics and epoxy.

Jigs and positioning fixtures

There are a number of ways to create jigs and fixtures. The best method will depend on the complexity of the parts you hope to locate, trim or drill accurately. If you are dealing with simple shapes that involve flat surfaces, you can make jigs and fixtures from wood scraps and a few dabs of G/5 epoxy. The flat surfaces give you something to easily reference from and accurately position multiple parts of the same shape. On more complex parts, especially those that involve curved shapes or radiused edges, you can create fixtures by laminating with several layers of lightweight fabric and epoxy.

To laminate with G/5 and fiberglass fabric, you'll need several small batches of epoxy, lightweight fiberglass fabric or cotton fabrics, filler for thickening the epoxy, and a mold release of some sort. To begin, protect the part's surface with a mold release, such as Meguires Mirror Glaze automotive paste wax, so the epoxy will not stick. You need four to five coats to ensure easy removal after the epoxy laminate has cured. Other release agents that work well include plastic food wrap, shiny cellophane tape, and some forms of furniture polish. Mix a small batch of G/5 and quickly apply it to the fiberglass so it has time to soak into the fabric before gelling. By the time you mix another small batch of G/5, the previous layer will have soaked into the fabric and cured enough so you can continue laminating. Apply additional layers so the fixture will be stiff and strong. You can carefully remove the fixture from the original part about 30 minutes after applying the last layer. Remove by gently forcing wood wedges between the original part and the laminated fixture. G/5 initially cures to a hard rubber-like state that continues to harden over several hours.

Once removed, the fixture can hold parts in specific locations for machining purposes or to index from or locate defining features on production parts. Each jig allows machining operations to be performed in exactly the same location on each part produced. Once you have made the part/mold, glue on bushings so you can accurately position drills to make holes in exactly the same spot at exactly the same angle on any number of identical parts.

G/5 thickened with 403 Microfibers is ideal for creating thickened epoxy putty for gluing in and filleting around the drill bushings. 403 Microfibers works well because it stirs in quickly, leaving more time for working with the adhesive.

If you plan to use your molded fixture for trimming or for guiding a router, you need to incorporate reference surfaces into the tool to accurately position routers and guide circular saws along a specific path.

Contoured sanding pads

G/5 also works great for creating contoured sanding pads. A molded-to-shape sanding pad can be helpful when you need to sand lots of identical wood molding. You can make contoured sanding pads by laminating with lightweight fiberglass or cotton fabric and G/5 epoxy. To do this, prepare a section of molding from which you want to pull an image by covering it with 2" wide shiny cellophane tape. The tape acts as a mold release, allowing removal of the sanding pad after the epoxy cures. As described above, apply multiple layers of fabric and epoxy to create a stiff sanding pad. Remove the molded sanding block by forcing wood wedges between the plastic tape and the epoxy.

Copyright 2002, Gougeon Brothers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Modified on 10/28/02.
Reproduction in any form, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. EPOXYWORKS, Gougeon Brothers, WEST SYSTEM, Episize, Scarffer and Microlight as used throughout this publication, are trademarks of Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan, USA.

Epoxyworks 18 / Fall 2001

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