Sweet Composites, 6211 Ridge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816-2641 USA
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Last Update: 20 November 2008

Customer Projects

This page is a gallery of customer’s projects. Anyone is welcome to submit a project, built at least in part with our materials, that they would like to share. We need a photo or two and a brief description of the project. If you have a web page about your project we will put in a link. We can receive photos as e-mail attachments up to about 50 Kb max. If you have high-res photos or if you want to send several so we can select, please put them on a CD and mail them. Or if you have photos you would like us to use that are already on a web site, we can download them from there. We will e-mail you as soon as we post your submission so you can check it for accuracy.

Bill Kirby’s Augsburg Kayak

Bill Kirby started building boats over thirty years ago but had not done one for a long time until starting this project in September 2008. He has maintained a blog about the project. This link takes you to Part 1, which introduces the project. A link at the bottom of that page will take you to Part 2, etc. As of this writing, November 2008, he is up to Part 10 and the boat is virtually complete. His blog is a nice look back at what most whitewater paddlers did in the offseason forty years ago when there were few commercial boats available. A good backyard builder could turn out a turn out a boat lighter and stronger than the typical commercial version, perhaps lacking only cosmetic details. The photos below show the hull layup, seaming, and the finished boat. There are many more pix in the blog.

Kirby hull
Kirby seam
kirby boat

Duemke Cedar-Strip Canoe

Roger Duemke of Ham Lake, MN, and his son Dan built the cedar-strip Redbird canoe pictured below. In 2006 Roger attended a class at The Wooden Boat School taught by Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats. He bought the plans for the Redbird from Moores and the cedar from Great Northern Craft in Vancouver, BC. Clad with epoxy and S-glass from Sweet Composites, the 17.5-foot boat came in at 54 lbs. The canoe’s name is taken from a family-owned cabin in northern Minnesota that was named KWITCHURBLLYAKIN (quit-your-belly-aching). No one complained about anything whenever they could go there. He plans to build a canoe for each of his three adult children and then move on to grandchildren. You can e-mail Roger for more information.

Redbird 2
Redbird 3

Team Outlander Rocket


Charlie Marks of New Berlin, WI, is a member of a group called the Team Outlander MWP3 Project, which is building a rather large and imposing rocket. The nose cone and some other parts are built with Kevlar, fiberglass and WEST System epoxy from Sweet Composites. The group’s web site contains detailed information on this project. It has lots of photos so it is quite a slow download. You can also e-mail Charlie for more information.

Lance Campbell’s Jet Plane

Sled 3

Lance Campbell of Columbia, MO, is building a 1/8-scale working model of an SR-71 Blackbird, nicknamed “The Sled,” a reconnaissance plane designed in the 1950s by Lockheed, which saw service into the 1990s. It is the fastest production aircraft ever built, cruising at Mach 3, and flying about three times the altitude of today’s airliners.

Lance has been doing radio-control models for 20 years, and for the last eight years that has been mostly jet airplanes. The length of the SR-71 model will be 13 feet, with a seven-foot wingspan. It will be powered by two turbine jet engines, each producing 28 pounds of thrust, providing a projected flight speed of 200 mph. Weight of the final plane will be around 55 pounds. It will have retractable landing gear, brakes, and a deployable drogue chute. Carbon fiber will used to strengthen the midsection where the engine mounts and landing gear will be. Kevlar® will be used for the layup of the internal fuel tanks, which should hold about two gallons of fuel, providing flight times of around ten minutes. Lance has been working on the project since January 2002. He has an extensive web site for this and other projects. Look for the link to “The Sled” near the top of the page. You can also e-mail Lance for more information.

Sled 1 Sled 2

These photos show the almost-finshed plug covered with glass cloth and epoxy. The plug will be used to make fiberglass molds for the various parts, which in turn will be used to mold the parts for the final product.

Dale Wenninger’s Model Sailboat

Dale Wenninger of Raleigh, NC, has designed a radio-controlled sailboat called the Marblehead 50/800. The model, 50" in length, was planned as a mentoring project for a 14 year-old and an adult who have had no experience in model boat building. Needing only modest tools and work space, the project is ideal for many situations including youth groups, winter project for a yacht club involving youth or adults, or a project for a parent or grandparent to build and use with a child or grandchild. The building techniques are contemporary, using modern, easily obtained materials, but preserve the charm and grace of designs from the 1930s.

Dale has developed a detailed instructional CD with hundreds of photos and all of the patterns necessary, as well as materials and suppliers lists and other resources. The cost of the boat ready to sail would fall with in the $1500 to $2000 range on the retail market. The project is designed to come in at under $175 – including the radio controls! Not just a toy, it is a sophisticated and competitive model that will be in good standing with any boat in its class. The CD is available from Dale for $30 plus postage. You can e-mail him for more information. Address and phone are 11316 Rumshill Road, Raleigh, NC  27614, — 919-845-9135.   Dale and Peggy moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina in the summer of 2004.

Wenninger 1 Wenninger 2

These photos show the finished model at home and on the water. The living-room shot gives a good sense of scale.

Ed Womer’s Race Car

Ed Womer of Morningside, MD, builds custom race cars. For many years he painted the fiberglass bodies but he recently started using colored gelcoats so that the color is part of the laminate. His own car, pictured below, has three colors all in the same layup. The yellow was sprayed first, then the green, and the blue last. Sections of the mold were covered to block overspray of the different colors. Pigments were also used in the backup laminate to assure a deep, even color for each section. The gelcoat and pigments, as well as laminate materials, are those sold by Sweet Composites. The royal blue was used straight out of the can but white was added to the yellow and green to brighten and lighten these colors. You can e-mail Ed for more information.

Womer 1
Womer 3

Doug Weise’s Sea Kayak

Douglas Weise of Ayer, MA, is building an 18-foot sea kayak called the Merrimac. He designed it using Autocad and is using some innovative construction techniques. He has also built strip-cutting and routing machines to aid in the work. These are designed to use readily available components. There is a lot going on here that I will not try to explain in detail! The kayak itself is made with western red cedar, Alaska cedar, northern white cedar, and redwood for the pinstrips. The hull is clad with style 3733 fiberglass and epoxy, while the deck uses the lighter 1522 fiberglass. Internal graphite ribs of style 1016-1½" unidirectional tape add stiffness where the hull will contact car-top racks. You can e-mail Doug for more information.

Weise kayak

This is an overall view of the kayak on 4 April 2002. The hull in complete and preparations are under way for the deck.

Weise bow Weise tool

This is a closeup of the bow of the kayak on 6 January 2002.

This shows one of the customized machines and the kayak in an early stage of construction on 13 December 2001.

Please contact us to submit a project for this page.