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Best way to spread epoxy?


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I have been using epoxy to seal my bodies before finishing. It has worked, but it still needs some improvement.

I am using an epoxy that is meant to be used as a finish. Its supposed to level out, but it never does.

I want to find a way where i can get it poured and spread even enough to be able to leave it full thickness on there, instead of sanding it almost all the way back. any ideas?

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The kind i used suggested that. I used a torch after to get a few bubbles out and level it. Guess what happend?

I literally made the ENTIRE covered area filled with little bubbles. Not an inch on the top that wasnt filled with a thousand bubbles. I had to sand it off.

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I used ZPoxy on one and treated it like Tru- oil. I used nitrile gloves and spread on in thin layers with my finger tips. It was easy to work into the pores and was never thick enough to get bubbles. It sets in 30 minutes so I could do the front, wait 5-10 minutesto dry and flip it to do the back. When the back was coated and another 5-10 minutes to dry, I could flip it and add coats to the front. The coats were thin so it took several to build up, and I had to level the little ridges at the end, but they were small because of the thin coats.

Worked good for me.

SR

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Thanks for the reply scott.

Z poxy is pretty dang expensive from what i have seen. This stuff i have is good, but it is very thick and hard to spread like that.

I wish i could find a way to spread it level enough to have it almost to full finish thickness, then spray on top of that.

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Some companies will supply viscosity reducers as an additive to their epoxy range that would aid levelling. Pretty sure West Systems has such an additive for their products.

I've done the same thing Scott has suggested, but only as a grain filler which was then sanded back down level to the surface of the wood, so the final appearance of the dried epoxy wasn't an issue. Managing epoxy as a final coat to be completely level over non-flat surfaces (eg, backs of necks, carved-top bodies, cutaways etc) is going to be extremely challenging. All the examples I've seen of using epoxy as a final coat have always been flat surfaces - table tops, bar tops, decorative paperweights etc.

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Use a hot water bath to heat the epoxy before pouring it on.

Ideally for a two part you would heat the two parts separately in the hot water.

Worst case combine the epoxy in a taller cup and place the cup in a a small bucket of hot water to get it viscous. Then mix it and pour.

Flame is hard to control. I usually use a heat gun to smooth it out. A hair dryer on low would work as well

Don't you live in the Desert? Just leave the bottles of epoxy in the sun for a few hours before using.

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I have left them in the sun when it was almost 100* out. It still never leveled out once spread. If there were any spreading lines left, they stayed.

Curtis, I only intended on doing this to the top and headstock, so all flat surfaces.

Thanks for the replies. I am probably just going to ditch the gloss finishes again. Both the recent ones i did are already completely sunken back and look horrible.

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I'm not saying that epoxy specifically would require a sealer coat prior to application, however I would be very suspicious of putting it over open pores. It would be the first thing I would test. If the epoxy isn't going on bubbly, the bubbles are occurring on the workpiece. If the bubbles are already in the epoxy because of how it is mixed, that is a different matter.

I recall a YouTube video on ridding silicone of bubbles prior to making a high-precision mould. The gold standard is a vacuum pump and bell jar, however I recall some other method of getting rid of bubbles in the mix. Not sure if that might transfer directly over to epoxy if a bubbly mix is the issue. Heating the components prior to mixing sounds like a good plan though. RAD and guitar2005 are on the ball there.

Here we go: 4:15

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Again, I only had problems once with bubbles, because of the torch. I only use the torch to try to level it out. It didnt level out and it got bubbles.

The other 2 times i used it i went on fine with no bubbles on bare wood, but never got it level enough.

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Luis, I had the same problem on my last build with limba and walnut. I tried West Systems 105 resin and 207 clear hardener as pore-filler. Like you found, it went on really thick and didn't self-level at all. Sanding back was a major effort and I went through to bare wood in places. For the third application, I thinned the mixture with denatured alcohol (can't recall how much) -- and that worked out better. I also used a space heater in the room. Even then, I still found pores that weren't filled, especially on end grain. It also yellowed the limba more than I had expected - I wondered if my hardener had gone bad over time? Finally, I gave up on the pore-filling and continued with top coats of Deft Danish oil. Overall, a disappointing result.

The next time I build, I will get a fresh tin of WS 207 hardener ($$), try the hot-water bath trick, and thin it even more so that I can apply it like Scott described.

Edited by wisdom727
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I have done that, minus the hair drier.

Even with a credit card there are still lines that dont come out.

Hope this stuff can help somebody else, since i am not going to be building or finishing any longer.

yeah, but you should always be able to sand down the file lines with 220 grit easily.

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I have done that, minus the hair drier.

Even with a credit card there are still lines that dont come out.

Hope this stuff can help somebody else, since i am not going to be building or finishing any longer.

yeah, but you should always be able to sand down the file lines with 220 grit easily.

It has definitely never been easy with 220. That stuff dries pretty dang hard. Then i always sand through somewhere else while trying to get the lines out.

Again, thanks for the advice. But i dont intend to try epoxy or any finish anymore.

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Personally, I've never used epoxy to fill pores. I've used the stew mac stuff which is ok, then I just fill with finish.

No grainfiller has ever worked for me like that. And if there is ever ANY pores left that i fill with finish, it always sinks back into the grain within a week. That is the whole reason i went with epoxy. Literally NOTHING stops finish from sinking into finish here for some reason.

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Personally, I've never used epoxy to fill pores. I've used the stew mac stuff which is ok, then I just fill with finish.

No grainfiller has ever worked for me like that. And if there is ever ANY pores left that i fill with finish, it always sinks back into the grain within a week. That is the whole reason i went with epoxy. Literally NOTHING stops finish from sinking into finish here for some reason.

The key is to seal the wood with a sanding sealer first, and let things rest between steps... but you're right, there's always a bit finish sinking in. Personally, I like that.

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Personally, I've never used epoxy to fill pores. I've used the stew mac stuff which is ok, then I just fill with finish.

No grainfiller has ever worked for me like that. And if there is ever ANY pores left that i fill with finish, it always sinks back into the grain within a week. That is the whole reason i went with epoxy. Literally NOTHING stops finish from sinking into finish here for some reason.

The key is to seal the wood with a sanding sealer first, and let things rest between steps... but you're right, there's always a bit finish sinking in. Personally, I like that.

That is the exact reason i dont use sanding sealer anymore, since it shrinks more than anything. If it was that easy, then i could just build up enough sanding sealer until it is level and grainfilled.

I literally cant sell guitars becuase they have some shrink back into the grain. I think it looks incredibly crappy and badly done. If a finish is going to to be a smooth gloss finish, it needs to be like glass or else it isnt even worth it.

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