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Old 16-09-2008, 14:55   #1
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West System Epoxy Slurpee

In this post, I take public delight in my own stupidity. This post is a little gross -- TMI so to speak. Doing dumb things always remind me of my own humanity: Teaches me to keep the edge out of my voice when my daughter does something "stupid."

I finally decided where to mount the anchor roller, and I hired the guy who fabricated the bowsprit to return and drill the three holes through the sprit. He drills the holes and based on what I have learned here, I know I have to fill the holes with epoxy and redrill the holes.

While mixing the epoxy I get the brilliant idea that I need a turkey baster-like device to get the epoxy all the way into these 11 inch long horizontal holes. It hits me: The wire hangers that come from the laundry lady are made with rigid cardboard tubes about the right length. You can see where this is going.

I get the hangar and remove the cardboard tubing and stick the tube and suck up some epoxy. I am very careful to suck a little bit. I put my finger over the mouth hole and insert the tube into the hole and gently blow while pulling back the tube. Voila!! Epoxy in a long horizontal hole!!

I am feeling utterly brilliant and confident. I keep the process up, and work the holes in order.

Well, I lost my concentration on the last hole --- I dont know where my mind was, but it was not one with the cardboard tube. Next thing I know, my mouth is FILLED with a very WARM and thick viscous material. I will never forget the taste. It started to get to the back of my throat when I snapped to and realized what was going on. I gagged and my mouth exploded as the epoxy erupted straight outward, spraying my beautiful newly varnished sprit with epoxy. The sea below turned rainbow as epoxy chunks and goblets sprinkled onto the waters sank below the surface.

I spat and hacked and scooped seawater into my mouth vainly trying to get the sludge out between my gums and under my tongue. You get the idea.

I cleaned myself as best as I could and I was freaked. I kept expecting the first signs of neurotoxin poisoning to hit. But no shakes or tremors or blurred vision came. I lost all sensation of taste for about 6 hours. Coffee, soda, water, juice -- I could feel the difference in fluid, but taste was a loss for a while.

What is so very interesting to me is how easily -- again -- I did something so stupid.

Michael
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Old 16-09-2008, 15:01   #2
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AH, SO you're human. These kind of things just keep us humble!
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Old 16-09-2008, 15:49   #3
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Ahhhhhhhh that's hilarious! Brings back memories!!! I remember my first experience with epoxy. I learned a few things.
  1. You can't wipe uncured epoxy from your hair
  2. you can't comb cured epoxy from your hair
  3. if you drop the cup with epoxy on the floor it's gonna fly everywhere
  4. don't try to cover up the epoxy spill on the floor with a piece of carpet
Did I mention this was in the laundry room?
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Old 17-09-2008, 04:32   #4
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5. Always have a bottle of vinegar on hand.
It gets epoxy out of all the nooks and crannies if applied before cure.
I keep a bottle in the shower.

Mike
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:22   #5
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Sort of reminds me of when I was appling epoxy to the bottom of my boat. I am new to eye glass wearing, well anyway, I was really beat from a long day at the boat and went to sleep early. The next morning I wake up and put my glasses on and I'm blind. I can't see a dam thing. My glasses were covered with epoxy.
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Old 17-09-2008, 09:42   #6
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First time I used epoxy I didn't realize how much heat it generates when curing. I was trying to fill a void (an unused 4" instrument hole in the cockpit) with thickened stuff, covering the back of the hole with cardboard from a note pad. Seemed like a good idea at the time... When it began curing, it got amazingly hot, started steaming, hissing, and all sort of other scary things. Thought I was going to burn my boat up! Never did that again!

Oh, and vinegar is a great tool with epoxy. You can also use it to clean tools. Not as efficient as acetone but a lot more friendly.
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:22   #7
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Oh Boy

So this is what I have to look forward to.

Actually am fascinated with epoxy. Having had succuess with a couple of small jobs I look for places to use it. Kind of like duct tape when all else fails epoxy it.

Great idea about the tube and the vinger clean up sure will be easier on the hands.
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:41   #8
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Yes, vinegar! That is a wonderful suggestions.


Thanks

Michael
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:08   #9
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Once you get over the fear and learn to use it, epoxy is a great tool.

The vinegar will take a bit of scrubbing, but will work. It doesn't instantly dissolve the resin like acetone. It can also be useful for removing dripped resin from surfaces that you probably don't want to wipe with acetone, such as other glassed or painted surfaces.

Also, vinegar is great for cleaning out epoxy syringes so you can reuse them.

Scot
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Old 17-09-2008, 14:09   #10
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Do monitor your health. Signs of poisoning is skin sensitivity like dermatitis. Often found on hands, in bad cases it can be all over your body especially in areas of high sweat and oil producing like Forehead, under arms, behind ears etc etc. If this starts, seek medical advice. It can result in you becoming very ill. The Amine in the hardener is bad news and is accumulative and external signs can be also on the inside causing all sorts of internal irritations that can make you very sick. How do I know?, because I was very ill for well over ten years from somekind of chemical poisoning that most likely was set off by Amine poisoning and I was so bad I had to be placed on Steroids for 8mths and that was not a nice experience.
Do not ever wash epoxy from your hands using solvents. It only allows the Amine to get into your blood stream by skin absorption. Not to mention the solvent getting in as well, which can be even worse. White vinegar is the best. It doesn't stink like malt. It is the Acetic acid that breaks down the Epoxy. There are also dedicated Epoxy hand washes available as well. Well worth buying and keeping on hand. Wear disposable gloves. When mixing in fillers, wear a dust mask. It is really not known yet if they can cause lung damage, but several makers of the powders are now placing warnings on their products.
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Old 17-09-2008, 14:15   #11
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Alan,
All VERY good advice, and I generally try and follow all of it (I'm not perfect...). Since I have a wooden boat I often use wood flour for a thickener (very fine saw dust) and even that can be pretty nasty if it gets in your lungs. Not worth taking chances. Hard to cruise if you have to lug an oxygen tank with you everywhere.
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Old 17-09-2008, 17:39   #12
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Another epoxy trick is to dip your fingers in a bucket of water (you can add some detergent, also) and then form the hardening epoxy with your fingers, like playing with wet clay. This is ESPECIALLY handy when forming those rounded corners on intersecting panels, called fillets. After you putty the goop into the angle, use a beer can (always present in a boatyard) to form the radius, then rub the fillet with the soapy water until it sets. It will be glass smooth and you will save MANY hours of sanding and preserve your fingertips for writing your praises to this tip on Cruisers Forum.
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Old 17-09-2008, 18:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
Do not ever wash epoxy from your hands using solvents. It only allows the Amine to get into your blood stream by skin absorption. Not to mention the solvent getting in as well, which can be even worse.
I actually considered gargling with (a) turpentine or (b) acetone. Yes. Those thoughts did cross my mind.

One heck of warning post Alan. Whatever may happen, I do know I gave my immune system a jolt and might now be easily sensitized to the stuff.
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Old 17-09-2008, 20:03   #14
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Thank you Mike

Thank you very much Mike (for the vinigar tip)
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Old 18-09-2008, 23:21   #15
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Years go I was working for a tug maintenance company. We were in the lunch area when this young guy came running screaming FIRE!!!!!!. We went out and saw billowing smoke from one end of the warehouse. We ran up there and it was a 5 gallon bucket of epoxy paint very hot very smoky but no flame.

He put the second of the two parts in the can and started to mix it with a 1/2" drill with a mixer on it. He thoght there should be more of the second part because the pail wasn't full...so this "Einstein" added another can of catalyst. Well....it set up all right.

They never let him mix paint again and we kept the can of paint with the mixer sticking out....to serve as a teaching aid.
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