Epoxy finish


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Personally I like to use West System 105 resin and 207 hardener.  There are other brands available but I tend to stick with what I'm familiar with and have always had good results.  Pretty easy to work with, just make sure to apply it in the proper temps, and look to laminate the coats rather than trying to get all the material put up in a single application.  Use a decent brush to minimize bristles falling out..


Are you able to post a couple pics of your project?  might be able to make further recommendations on application :)

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Let me expand on BW's reply...


1. More thin coats work better than few thick

2. Successive coats must be applied within the 24-hour set time

3. If the surface is flat, use an adhesive roller: http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=2109&familyName=Bodi+Laminating+Epoxy+Rollers

4. Key to a clear epoxy finish is not to trap air bubbles. Think folding pancake batter, not beating egg whites...

5. For 207/209, you must follow temp guides - 205/206 is more forgiving of excursions

6. Jamestown Distributors(large Marine supply house) has instructional videos on epoxy, coatings, lamination technique, etc 

7. Jamestown distributors sell purpose-made adhesive brushes...

8. You must apply each thin coat fairly quickly -- after about 20-25 mins, the layer will start to setup and you'll get drag marks

9. Get yourself some Smith's Epoxy Remover from JD -- if you get drips/etc, it's about the best solvent to wipe-back

10. If you are finishing open-grained species (think Oak), you are comitted once you start -- there's no going back.

10a. Using closed-grained species (think Hard Maple) allows some margin for error -- you can wipe-back with Smith's Solvent if you are quick.

11. Since you are making a tackle box, you need a UV coating. BW uses Pettit - I use Epifanes - I'm using Pettit on my next project

12. For a tackle box, you may want to look at CPES instead (it's easier to work with for those new to epoxy finishes). Jamestown distributors has good video on EPES+UV coating. BWT has a good video of 206(maybe 207) with Pettit on his site: http://boatworkstoday.com/

​13. BWT and I have different approaches - he uses 207 and I use CPES - each has pros/cons. 207 is more durable and you need fewer coats. CPES penetrates more deeply, easier to apply, can mix as much as you want, takes 3hrs to setup so you can finish complex projects and you don't risk an Epoxy Volcano: 



For an idea of how clear 207 cures, see related post: 

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==> Jamestown Distributors(large Marine supply house) has instructional videos on epoxy, coatings, lamination technique, etc 


Wanted to expand on this a bit. JD is a large marine supply house. I use them exclusively for all-things-nautical and for much that is not...


Are they the cheapest --- nope. But they have other saving graces:


It's getting harder and harder to determine quality from places like Amazon...

Everything JD sells is good quality -- i.e. they don't sell cheap crap.

While their inventory isn't as large as McMaster-Carr, it is extensive. Their catalog is about 500 pages.

They have a large collection of "how-to" videos on adhesives, varnishes, polys, etc, etc. -- I think it's over 100 at this point.

Their customer service/tech support staff know their sh*t -- if you've got a question on varnish, 2-part poly, adhesives, etc they can answer it.

They have a program like Amazon Prime. I think it's $49/year and I make heavy use of it.

If you want really tough finishes for outdoor projects, go for marine products... They are more expensive, but they do last..

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I agree about Jamestown Distributors.  I've dealt with them for years.  It's funny, but I just came here from placing an order with them.  I ordered some CPES and Epifhanes varnish to refinish some wooden garage doors, as well as some new West Systems pumps.  I just found out through them that the new yellow topped pumps are not compatible with the old white topped pumps.  I just ordered some pumps to have on hand since I recently had to go into my stash for a replacement pump.


I had a boat business back in the '80s. A tornado wiped it out in1988 in Raleigh, NC.  I had a bunch of repaired boats sitting in the yard.  Some done with polyester, and some with epoxy.  When they got slammed into the concrete wall of the building next door, it was a very good study in what was stronger than what.

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==> I ordered some CPES and Epiphanes varnish to refinish some wooden garage doors

If you're still in Raleigh it shows the weather difference between NJ and NC -- I did exactly the same thing about five weeks ago...


==> I just ordered some pumps

I use the WS bulk metering pumps... I just got tired of using the hand pumps...


==> BWT and I have different approaches

Wanted to expand on two points:


Cost: Both WS and Smiths are expensive products (about $100-$200/gal depending). West builds a durable finish far faster -- a coat or two and you're done. While CPES claims that one or two coats are all your need, I typically need four or five... In every project I've done, I've never needed less than four coats... All things considered, you will consume less West than CPES.


Durability: West will build a film offering some protection to the project (think poly, varnish, etc). CPES behaves more like a polymerized-oil finish -- it absorbs into the fibers and strengthens the fibers upon curing. There is no film with CPES, so some topcoat is required. With an outdoor project, it's a push -- both West and CPES require UV topcoat (typically varnish or poly). On an indoor project, you can use epoxy as both seal coat and topcoat...


One final point: CPES stabilizes punky, flaky, etc stock. So if you've got yourself a garage door with minor rot at the weatherstripping, you can use CPES to stabilize the wood, apply a topcoat and reapply the weatherstripping. Good to go...

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Thank you for all the responces. A lot of information for a novice. I will go to the web sites recomended and try to purchase some vidios. I am still in the process of putting ot together but will post pictures when i finish. Might be awhile as im not fast! Just one more question if i could. It will have both vertical and horizonal pieces, can i put the epocy on before i assemble it? If i use epoxy instead of glue for the joints? I appreciate all the help.

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