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Old 17-05-2015, 18:31   #1
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Epoxy brand for storing aboard

So far I have been using West System epoxy canisters fitted out with their measuring pumps. Storing these onboard has been proven difficult and messy with the pumps attached. I am now looking for a solution or a replacement brand that stores better.

Does anyone know of a good epoxy brand and a good way of storing the canisters onboard?
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Old 17-05-2015, 18:52   #2
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Get rid of the pumps. They just add to the mess. For one time little projects, you don't need a pump. Use the mixing ratio on the can (5:1?). The only long term problem I see with West system is the hardener changes color (rust in the can maybe?) I don't notice any difference in how it works. One trick is to put glass marbles in with the hardener to take up air space in the can.
The super accurate ratio thing is a little overblown. For small projects and general repairs, you can be off quite a bit.
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Old 17-05-2015, 23:20   #3
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Maybe try syringes to get the ratio right. You will need two one for each part so you don't contaminate the other. I did this with two part epoxy paint for small batches with great success or use the foil pouches. The hardener will slowly change color over time once exposed to air. When I called west, they replied it has no effect on strength of bond.

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Old 18-05-2015, 06:33   #4
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

MAS and System Three epoxies are sold in plastic containers, which solves the container rusting problem I always have with WEST.

For the pumps, just remove them and pump xylene or acetone through them to clean them for storage. Replacement pumps are very inexpensive, so also have a spare set.

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Old 18-05-2015, 07:53   #5
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

I use west system and keep it in a 5 gallon bucket w/ gasketed lid.

The 1-gallon size doesn't quite fit with the pump extended and unfortunately the resin pump doesn't have the "screw to lock shut" feature that the hardener pump does, so on my last pump with it for a while I have duct tape ready to tape the whole thing down so it fits. I find this is easier than pulling out the pump and dealing with it's mess. I stick some paper towel directly under the pump output to catch any drips.

The smaller size resin containers fit in the bucket w/ the pump no problem.

I keep a whole repair kit stashed in there, with some MEK, fiberglass cloth, mixing cups, etc.
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Old 18-05-2015, 08:26   #6
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Like anything, the best brand of epoxy may be what you are most used to. I have always liked the 2:1 ratios with System 3 and I like their range of products. They come in plastic bottles from pint to gallon so they're easy to store. I have noticed that when they get cold the resin will partially solidify, but putting the container in some warm water brings it back to right.

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Old 18-05-2015, 08:30   #7
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

+1 On Systems 3, it is easy to work with and I really like the results.
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Old 18-05-2015, 08:58   #8
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

West system will keep well (every other epoxy i know of does as well). Just get rid of the pumps. You can either measure by volume using mixing pots, syringes or anything else with graduated measurements, or my preferred method - buy a cheap digital scale and use that to measure out ratios by weight. That way you can use whatever container you like - disposable cups, the bottom of an old water container, whatever. It also means that if you accidentally over-pour one part you can just calculate how much or the other to add and compensate that way. If you go this route, just look up the mixing ratio by weight for whichever brand you use. This also works for 2 (or 3) part paints, any other resins, and baking cookies :-)
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Old 18-05-2015, 23:32   #9
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Whenever using epoxy or 2 pack paint I mix the correct ratios using stainless steel teaspoons or table spoons depending on how much I am mixing up. I always clean the spoon with acetone before measuring out the hardener to avoid contamination. I have done it this way for a number of years, never using pumps and have always had success. Plus spoons are easy to store and there are a range of sizes available.
The epoxy/paint cans are firmly sealed with glad wrap plastic on the lid. The tins are stored in an area of the boat where the temperature does not vary too greatly ie in a dry locker below the waterline.
This I regard as part of the KISS principle.
Good luck
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Old 19-05-2015, 05:08   #10
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

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Originally Posted by micknor51 View Post
I always clean the spoon with acetone before measuring out the hardener to avoid contamination.
When your budget allows it, spring for a second spoon and use one spoon for each resin/hardener.

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Old 19-05-2015, 07:29   #11
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Never liked the pumps for some reason. I use cough syrup cups to measure little projects and regular plastic cups for bigger ones. I just mark the correct level using shot glasses full of water and wipe them dry before using.
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Old 19-05-2015, 20:04   #12
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

The only epoxy I use now is Epoxy :*Epoxy Resins and Hardeners 635 THIN resin. (2:1) It comes in plastic kits of various sizes. Slow cure, great wet-out, no blush. I have gallons I have stored for more than 3 years - no degradation problems. Stays clear always. One really need the pumps for large jobs. I sometimes use a set of cheap plastic measuring cups. Also, mark the ratio grade lines on your mixing container before you start pouring or buy the throw-away graded mixing containers. I also found a 1" wide throw-away Home Depot brush to be the best mixing stick for wiping the walls and getting a thorough blend. I also use the brush to spread & wet out on glass.
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Old 19-05-2015, 20:28   #13
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Our emergency repair kit onboard contains of a couple of tubes of West Systems Six10, a pre thickened structural two part epoxy in a caulking tube. We figure that in an emergency, we don't want to be dealing with measuring out epoxy and spreading colloidal silica over everything. If you use the mixing syringe, you don't even need a container to mix it in, just squeeze and spread.

Although usually quite frugal, we find this so much easier than mixing our own that we almost always use it, anyway.
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Old 20-05-2015, 02:17   #14
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Hi Mark colemj,
I am currently saving up for another spoon.
The problem then might be that I inadvertently dip the wrong spoon into the the wrong container of epoxy.
Life can seem so complex at times!
Michael
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Old 20-05-2015, 02:44   #15
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Re: Epoxy brand for storing aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by micknor51 View Post
Hi Mark colemj,
I am currently saving up for another spoon.
The problem then might be that I inadvertently dip the wrong spoon into the the wrong container of epoxy.
Life can seem so complex at times!
Michael
Maccas coffee spoons are black..... Qantas spoons are white.... simples.....
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