WEST SYSTEM: A bath tub… with a difference
What do you get if you cross an architect, a boat-builder and a cabinetmaker? You get Marco Casavecchia, who builds a variety of exquisite wooden items from his studio in Susa, Italy. Here, he talks to us about a recent project: a stunning wooden bathtub.
How did the project come about?
A customer approached me about building a bathtub and it dawned on me that typical bath styles are not particularly comfortable. I suggested to my customer that we build one in wood.
The bathtub is built with vertical staves around a simple male mould that defines the overall shape. The staves are tapered to accommodate the difference in girth between top and bottom, then joined with a bead and cove joint. The concave–convex joint lends very well to the varying angles between the staves around the mould.
After gluing all the staves I ended up with a multi-faceted surface. Then came the hard labour of fairing the surface inside and out. Finally I fitted and glued the flat bottom.
The first bath I built was in mahogany. Then I built several others in pear wood, sequoia, western red cedar and cherry.
Which WEST SYSTEM® or PRO-SET® epoxy products did you use? How did they help?
I have used WEST SYSTEM epoxies for my boat building work since the early 1980s. So when I decided to build a wooden tub, it was a natural progression to use WEST SYSTEM epoxy – but this time, to keep the water inside instead of out!
I used WEST SYSTEM 105 Epoxy Resin with 209 Extra Slow Hardener™ for gluing the staves. Then I used WEST SYSTEM 207 Special Coating Hardener™ for coating, and G/flex® for the bottom joint. WEST SYSTEM products worked superbly as usual – I didn’t have any problems.
Probably when my first customer told me that my bathtub is proof that every other bathtub is wrong!
What’s your top tip for people looking to start a similar project?
Use well-seasoned, dry, stable wood and of course use WEST SYSTEM epoxies. Make sure you use at least four coats before varnishing with a high gloss two-pack polyurethane varnish.
Thanks to Marco for telling us about his project. Have you got a project to share? Contact us and you may feature in a future edition of epoxycraft!
To view more of the items that Marco builds, visit his blog.
To learn more about WEST SYSTEM epoxy products, visit the website.