Unveiling the esoteric secrets of epoxy resin works. /PART 2

This is the second part of the tips and tricks selection to manage easily your epoxy works ; here we will focus on how to handle the resin properly , which is quite a nightmare when start to work with resin for a medium sized project

  • resin is messy, but we can manage to avoid it to became horribly messy

  • gloves, gloves, gloves: work ALWAYS wearing latex /nitril gloves, change them if they are punctured or broken or if they have became too messy with resin , you will use a lot of latex gloves box, it’s normal.
    • Pour and mix the resin always in the same area and only there, make a “resin desk” and a “resin area” , protect the scale by wrapping it in plastic film; cover all the desk and the area floor with cardboard and change them with clean ones when resin starts to be literally everywhere.
    • Pouring the resin: if you use big resin cans (we use 20kg cans, they are cheaper than small packages), pour off your next hour work resin quantity from the big can, let us say one or two liters, in a small bucket ; you will use this bucket to pour the resin precisely in the final working pot, on the scale, and weight the resin ; same thing for the hardener (or B component) with its dedicate one liter bucket, this will allows you to keep the big can clean and be very precise weighting the resin. At the end of the day you can pour back in the big can the unmixed resin you did not use (it is important to do this with hardener because it oxides quite quickly)
    • the working pot: we use a two liters one or smaller ones for small jobs, they are made of heavy plastic but slightly flexible (I think here they are sold as products for cheese industry) ; you will need several of them
    • cleaning the pots: we normally let the rest of the resin sets in the pot and then we clean them pushing and flexing them until the resin breaks in several big parts and the pot come out of the process clean (using compressed air helps ); using violence against pots is a vital part of the cleaning process !
    • Cleaning all the other stuffs : as long as the resin has not set you can clean spatulas, roller, paintbrushes, scissors with acetone ; pour acetone in a large bucket and leave the tools inside covered with acetone ; if you let the resin sets the only way to clean epoxy is to grind it away.
    • Scissors: my advice is to have two scissors at least: the “wet resin work” scissors and the ones you will use to cut the glass fabrics with no resin involved; the first ones will be the scissors you will use to make the small cuts required when you are laminating , they will end up dirty with mixed resin so they’d better be metal scissors that you can throw on the acetone without any worry.

In the next episode we will focus on pratical tips about filletting (liquid joinery ) and glass taping works ; you can find it here

few pictures to complete this chapter : our beloved plastic pot new and at he end of a working day, no corners (that means 100% of resin can be used) , strong but flexible , it can survive several boat buildings ; a box gloves, use them ALWAYS ; a really messy resin desk at the end of the day