Epoxy Choices? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-26-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Epoxy Choices?

I am fed up with the 5 minute epoxy that comes in the twin-syringe package. You don't get much, and it isn't very good.

I need epoxy adhesive for various small projects - woodworking and otherwise. I would like to buy a better quality epoxy. Epoxy that comes in reasonable quantities - more than those double-syringe products.

I am NOT building a river table. I am NOT making blanks for woodturning applications. I am NOT using it to coat a surface.

What I want is epoxy for special adhesive needs, and the occasional structural fill for a small space or gap or missing chunk of wood.

Here are my questions:

* I found gallon (!!) containers of "epoxy resin coating" from China for around $10-$15. It can't be very good, but the price is right. Even if half is wasted, the price is too good to be true (yeah, I know).
-> Can "epoxy resin coating" be used as an epoxy adhesive for my needs?
-> Does anyone have experience with it? Was it a good experience? :-)

-> What would you recommend as a good value, good epoxy for my needs in a larger-than-syringe size?
-> Where did you find it?

Your epoxy experience and advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-26-2020, 07:11 PM
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I ordered two of those $10 epoxy gallon kits off of ebay.
waited, waited and waited. finally contacted the seller for
the status. the reply was: this person is no longer a member of ebay.
and I got my $20 refund from ebay almost immediately.
so I wouldn't put too much effort into those products.
I have switched from the double barrel syringes to the small 8oz kit
of JBWeld 1:1 ratio and am pleased with that product.
available at my Big Box Stores.
the downside is I can only find it in the 5 minute set time.
I would much rather have 30 minute as an option.
Epoxy Choices?-81exqxahkil.jpg

for the quart size and larger, I use Raka Epoxy which is not too far
from me which means cheaper shipping.

.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-27-2020, 08:38 AM
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I use West Systems G-Flex Epoxy a lot. You get 9 ounces total of resin and hardener for $25. It's got an easy 1:1 mix, so it's easy to mix a small amount. I put it in big syringes to accurately measure it for mixing.
The name is a bit of a misnomer because while West says it's more resilient that regular epoxy, it still cures hard and can be easily sanded etc. I use it a lot as glue. It's relatively thick, so it stays where you put it and has good gap filling properties.

West also has a variety of other epoxy resins and hardeners. Their 105 resin can be used with a variety of hardeners and additives to control thickness and cure time. Using the pumps they sell will ensure that you dispense the proper ratio of hardener to resin. Between the variety of hardeners and pumps, the initial investment can seem daunting, but I think it's cheaper than buying hardware store epoxy in the long run.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-28-2020, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Bump. I was hoping for additional responses and experiences with epoxy before the thread faded away.

Does anyone know the answer to the question about whether "epoxy resin coating" can be used as an adhesive? What is the difference between "epoxy resin coating" and the various epoxy mentioned above?
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-28-2020, 10:49 PM
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Two words: West Systems...(same as Quickstep).
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-29-2020, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Bump. I was hoping for additional responses and experiences with epoxy before the thread faded away.

Does anyone know the answer to the question about whether "epoxy resin coating" can be used as an adhesive? What is the difference between "epoxy resin coating" and the various epoxy mentioned above?
The coatings are generally designed to be more flexible, and I'd be willing to bet the bond strength isn't going to be as high as an actual adhesive. As a quick analogy, I'd imagine that the adhesive vs coating would be about the same as polyurethane glue vs finish. Similar chemicals, but made for different purposes
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-29-2020, 04:27 PM
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Raka, they are in Florida. I have used their epoxy exclusively for fiberglassing strip canoes. Check out their website, I am sure they have their epoxy and hardener in quarts , maybe pints. The epoxy and hardener will keep a long time .
I believe the hardeners come in slow, medium and fast.
mike
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-29-2020, 05:57 PM
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If you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, this is what I got. Serves me well:

https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Ho...2-Ounce/p/1420
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-30-2020, 12:08 AM
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Do yourself a favor and check out US Composites...give em a call if you like and they can talk you through the proper product for your intended application. I generally buy their 635 thin resin and the slow hardener in gallon jugs...sure it takes 24 hours to cure and hates cold weather but it has a long open time, doesn't flash over so finishing is easier, and doesn't produce too much heat when filling large gaps.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-30-2020, 10:35 AM
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I'm using System III Quick Cure
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Robert
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-02-2020, 08:08 PM
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I've used the West products for years on my boat(s). moved it more and more into my workshop projects.

I have the pumps for the 105 resin/205(6) hardener and also a small electronic scale that I use in conjunction with a couple of small squeeze bottles. I use the pumps for 1-2 cup portions of epoxy. With the drop-by-drop dispensing from the squeeze bottles and the scale I can mix quantities as small as 7 drops (0.7 gram I think).
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-02-2020, 08:40 PM
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I have always used West System Epoxy. i found it incredibly reliable in its accuracy. They have charts that show set-up time for each type of epoxy under different temperatures. You can set your clock by it.
When I had my commercial shops, I bought it by the 5 gal kits. When using it just for personal use, I bought the 1 gal kits. The more you use it, the more you will find other uses for it.

They have thickeners for different uses. Some are to make it a stronger mix, almost like putting gravel in cement to make concrete. Other thickeners are used with the epoxy where filling gaps are easy-sanding are more important than strength. These type fillers are used alot in boat and other fiberglass repairs.
Most of all, their customer service and tech support is excellent At least they used to be haven't used those guys in years.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-03-2020, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for their replies. I ordered the West System G-Flex in the pair of 4 ounce bottles. It should arrive next week.

I'll give that a try and let everyone know how it worked out.
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-04-2020, 02:57 AM
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General epoxy rule I just learned: Store the Resin and hardener in separate, sealed Zip-lock bags, and put the hardener in the fridge if you have a fridge for non-food kinda things.

I wish I had known this before losing 2 separate kits to premature hardening — $50 down the drain, sigh.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-05-2020, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
General epoxy rule I just learned: Store the Resin and hardener in separate, sealed Zip-lock bags, and put the hardener in the fridge if you have a fridge for non-food kinda things.

I wish I had known this before losing 2 separate kits to premature hardening ó $50 down the drain, sigh.
I've never had that problem with the West epoxy. I keep 1 quart container of 105 resin and the associated cans of 205/206 hardener in my garage, pumps installed and ready to go, in sunny San Diego, for 2-3 years with no problems other than the hardener getting darker. Also keep 8 oz. squeeze bottles of the resin and hardener on the same shelf. Never had a bad mix.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-05-2020, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post
Do yourself a favor and check out US Composites...give em a call if you like and they can talk you through the proper product for your intended application. I generally buy their 635 thin resin and the slow hardener in gallon jugs...sure it takes 24 hours to cure and hates cold weather but it has a long open time, doesn't flash over so finishing is easier, and doesn't produce too much heat when filling large gaps.
I also use US Composites epoxy 635 resin but medium hardener. Use if for glue up, filling cracks, laying some glass cloth and fill voids. I keep a couple different epoxy "fillers" on hand as well. The fillers when mixed with the uncured epoxy prior to application will change the viscosity from a thin liquid to a thick liquid, to a paste, depending on the amount of filler added to the batch.

http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html

http://www.uscomposites.com/fillers.html

Phenolic Microballoons
(BJO-0930)
These red/purple color phenolic spheres when mixed with epoxy resins will create a low density paste compound which will sand easily and improve strength/flexibility of the cured resin. Better for large gap filling. * personal note* This "filler" will turn the epoxy from a clear liquid to a Maroon color. Therefore can not be used in all applications.

Aerosil-Cabosil
(Fumed Silica) ( Aer-o-sil 200 )
Thickening agent for epoxies, polyesters, and urethanes. Thicken resins to your own taste by adding varying amounts. Ideal for making adhesives and putties for gluing wood, fiberglass, stone, concrete, etc. However, adding this product will make the cured resin much more difficult to sand. *personal note* Again, adding this filler to increase viscosity with give it a "clear" silicone color, which is not really clear at all.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-05-2020, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McCann View Post
Phenolic Microballoons
(BJO-0930)
These red/purple color phenolic spheres when mixed with epoxy resins will create a low density paste compound which will sand easily and improve strength/flexibility of the cured resin. Better for large gap filling. * personal note* This "filler" will turn the epoxy from a clear liquid to a Maroon color. Therefore can not be used in all applications.

Aerosil-Cabosil
(Fumed Silica) ( Aer-o-sil 200 )
Thickening agent for epoxies, polyesters, and urethanes. Thicken resins to your own taste by adding varying amounts. Ideal for making adhesives and putties for gluing wood, fiberglass, stone, concrete, etc. However, adding this product will make the cured resin much more difficult to sand. *personal note* Again, adding this filler to increase viscosity with give it a "clear" silicone color, which is not really clear at all.
The microballoons are really nice...makes a super lightweight filler that machines easily and is completely moisture proof. I also use the fairing compound to fill in minor surface imperfections during the finishing process. It is much easier to use than bondo on bodywork but takes longer to dry. There is always a trade-off.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-05-2020, 01:10 PM
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Sometimes in order to avoid the silicone caulk look, I add a bit of sawdust to the silica to make it a better wood match. Sawdust alone is too dark. About 30% sawdust to 70% silica usually works well.

MAS makes an epoxy called F.L.A.G. Filleting Laminating and Gluing. It’s already thickened for use as glue.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-06-2020, 09:40 PM
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What he said. West system is the way to go. The resin, at least for me, seems to have an infinite shelf life. The hardener will go bad over time and tend to darken. Fine Woodworking did a test of all glues probably 10 years ago, you can probably find it in their archives. Epoxy, for most woods, has similar shear strength as regular PVA glue, but excels with maple and certain oily woods. Epoxy also gets it's strength from itself and does not require tight clamping pressure like PVA glue does.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-06-2020, 10:52 PM
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We use Cold Cure by System Three. I can buy it in gallons, quarts or pints. It's a 2-1 mixture that can glue or fill.


It says "Product of the USA" instead of the usual "Made in the USA" so It feels like they're dodging the question but it's good stuff and has a long shelf life, although not cheap.
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