How do you clean epoxy resin tools? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-28-2020, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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How do you clean epoxy resin tools?

Hi guys, need some ideas on how to properly clean spatulas, mixing cups and bowls. Is better to use thinner or acetone than dish soap or smth and then just hot water them? Thnx.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-28-2020, 10:06 AM
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welcome to the forum, RJ.
since epoxies are as varied in properties as the paints we use,
I suggest you start with what is recommended on the products you use.
after awhile, you will find that it is easier to use disposable utensils
vs trying to clean them up. if I use metal tools, I just simply wipe off
the excess with a napkin or towel and put it away.
I do this with my stainless measuring spoons.
in my personal use, there no need to fret over such matters.

this is an open forum with all levels of skills and talents.
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we would much rather see posts of: "How do I do this"
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hope you enjoy your stay.

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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 05-28-2020 at 10:11 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-28-2020, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
welcome to the forum, RJ.
since epoxies are as varied in properties as the paints we use,
I suggest you start with what is recommended on the products you use.
after awhile, you will find that it is easier to use disposable utensils
vs trying to clean them up. if I use metal tools, I just simply wipe off
the excess with a napkin or towel and put it away.
I do this with my stainless measuring spoons.
in my personal use, there no need to fret over such matters.

this is an open forum with all levels of skills and talents.
please feel free to join in the conversations that you find interesting
and ask questions to expand your skill levels and share what you know.
if you would like to know more about something, you can start a new thread.
we like to see photos of projects to share with others.
when addressing specific issues or concerns, sketches, drawings and photos
will get you the most accurate responses. (and we can all be on the same page).
when you get time, you can complete your profile through the "User CP"
with your location and whatever you want in your signature line that will
show in all your posts. looking forward to seeing some of your projects.

we would much rather see posts of: "How do I do this"
~ vs ~ "How can I FIX this" . . . .

hope you enjoy your stay.

.
Wow, great, thxn for an answer and such a warm welcome!
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-28-2020, 11:02 PM
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I use small Paper Dixie cups. You can buy a couple hundred for about 5 bucks.

I eat Popsicles all summer long to ensure I have an ample supply of stir sticks year round. Sometimes I will wipe the glue off the stick and use it again once the glue hardens.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-29-2020, 05:43 AM
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I use acetone when I need to clean things, usually my hands.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-29-2020, 06:51 AM
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Popsicle sticks are very, very cheap. Use once and throw away.
Mixing cups: Instead of making jellow, we buy the jello in cups already made. These small cups are good mixing cups for most of my epoxy repairs. Again, use once and throw away. In warmer weather, the heat generated by the epoxy will melt the cup while setting up so keep the cups on a metal surface.

As for metal tools, you can wipe them down with lacquer thinner while the epoxy is still active. Acetone is better. Once it sets, it's too late. Then you will have to sand or grind it off.

Plastic Tools: epoxy wont stick to most plastics. If it cures on a plastic spatula, just peel it off.

Keep in mind that epoxy is temperature sensative. If you look at the West System website, there should be charts - temp vs. set-up time for each of their products. Quality control on West System products is excellent. You can set your watch by those charts.
Havent bought any in years, but last time I recall, they even have a 'Tropical Hardener' which is slower to cure in the summer months.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-29-2020, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
I use small Paper Dixie cups. You can buy a couple hundred for about 5 bucks.

I eat Popsicles all summer long to ensure I have an ample supply of stir sticks year round. Sometimes I will wipe the glue off the stick and use it again once the glue hardens.
Hey thanks, once I've got an idea to fill a tabletop with sticks and epoxies (similar to river tables), so I guess it's time to order some Popsicles and make it.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-29-2020, 11:07 AM
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The craft stores sell large packages of popsicle sticks and tongue depressors very reasonably, so why save them.

I do have my wife save the little plastic cups from 1 serving fruit, pudding, and apple sauce for me. These are great for glue, mixing small quantities of paint, etc. We actually seem to buy more of these single serving foods that I can reuse the cups from, so I've been giving some of my woodworking friends quantities of these when my supply seems to be overflowing.

I also keep a box of plastic straws handy in my shop. When I glue something together, I use a straw, pressed into the corner to scrape the still wet, but partially set, excess glue from the corner. As I press the end of the straw into the corner, it forms into the correct angle and works perfectly for this. As I scrape, the glue collects inside the end of the straw. I snip this glue filled part off, and repeat the scrape of the next glue joint. I can usually do an entire project, using just one straw per project. I then usually wipe the joint with a dampened paper towel to clean the wood surfaces of any remaining glue, so my finishing steps won't show glue lines.

Charley
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-03-2020, 06:43 AM
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When St*rB**ks and the like re-open, nick a few of their wooden stirrers. Don't be too cheeky though, buy a coffee too

Blogger | Designer | Maker | Entrepreneur | https://grantcrawley.uk | IG: @grantcrawley.uk
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-03-2020, 12:42 PM
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i did a lot of fiberglassing a couple years ago. i quit cleaning tools with solvent, it was just too wasteful. paint mixing sticks and harbor fright chip brushes are disposable. i had a couple of paint mixing cups, dried residue just peels out when you roll the cup in your hands. most of the time i'd leave the brush in and let it dry, a quick roll and pull on the brush pulled it all out. small batches i used non-waxed paper cups to mix in and toss after single use. curing heat will melt the wax in a paper cup.



plastic beer cups do not work well for fiberglass. trust me
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-03-2020, 05:41 PM
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Acetone will clean wet epoxy. I mix the epoxy and hardener in Large plastic cups. A lot of epoxy in smaller cups creates unwanted heat. I cut a wire coat hanger and bend it to a T shape on the end. The straight portion goes in a cordless drill.
This mixes the hardener and epoxy quickly and thoroughly. I throw out the cup when done and keep the wire mixer for several more mixings before tossing it out. If you spread epoxy with the plastic spreaders that are made for it, cleaning the dried epoxy is done by smacking the spreader with a hammer several times. The dried epoxy will crack off.
I never use the pumps for accuracy, I pump the mix into plastic cups that I mark on the outside for the amount I need.
Then I pour the hardener into the epoxy and stir with the drill and T shape wire.
Mark the outside of disposable cups by adding water to a measuring cup. Pour into the disposable cup and mark it.
Dump water out and let the cup dry .

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