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Mr T

epoxy question

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Had a weird experience on the rainshadow blank I just wrapped last week. About halfway through the epoxy application, the mix started "growing" lumps in the finish. They looked like hardened pieces of epoxy, about the size of grains of sand. Took a while to pick em out of the finish, and the results were not as good as I hoped for.

It is Flex coat high build, used their syringes, careful about measuring, this batch worked fine on another rod about 5-6 months ago.

 

It got me wondering about shelf life, is there any?

 

Also wanted to get your input on epoxy. Who makes the best, what do you use? and why?

 

thanks, T-

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In fact, epoxy supposedly does not have a shelf life, in reality, epoxy has a usefull shelf life of approx. one year. What happens after one year is that some discloration takes place, some crystalizing of hardner starts to take place, etc. What I suppect is that your hardner started to crystalize. Heating it in a pot of warm water for about an hour turns it back to normal for a short while. Personally, I throw the stuff away when it does that. Finish is one of the cheapest things you put onto a rod that you have built so I want a high quality fresh batch when I do it.

 

Your favorite epoxy is one that you learn to deal with with minimum errors and are used to working with. All high builds tend to yellow with age, some oxidize more than others when exposed to sun and salt air. On high build finishes, I find that the ones with the shorter working times normally are of a higher quality in resisting the ambering and oxidizing than others. The exception is Aftcote and Crystal Coat. They both have exceptional long working times and yet are extremly high quality in regards to ambering or oxidizing.

 

I also look for a finish that the manufacturer tests throughly before putting on the market. Some manufacturers constantly change the makeup of their finish and you never know how to react to different problems you have with their finish. If you are brand new to the hobby, ask around a little and find out which finishes have been around for a long time and are consistant in their offering, then pick one and try it. Remember, everyone has their "favorite" type of finish so when asking around, ask what is their favorite and what overall problems do they have with it. Expermint on scrap pieces of blank with sample wraps, not on a custom rod.

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Thanks for the quick response; have a feeling I had an old batch to start with. The hardener did seem "goopier" than last time I mixed some up.

 

two questions

 

1). where do you find crystal coat? Did a google for it, came back with a lot of woodworking finishes...

 

2. Been told to put the epoxy on a flat sheet of foil to keep working time extended. Is this correct?

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T...

 

I had the same thing happen, with the same product that you used, although I just thought that I had somehow contaminated the mix... occasional tiny, clear lumps would show up that I had to pick off the wraps with a bodkin. Mine was a fresh purchase, bought from Mudhole, as this was the first rod I built. The epoxy, otherwise, looked fine once it hardened.

 

As to your other question about spreading it out while using... "yes", spreading it on foil helps dissipate the heat generated by the chemical reaction.

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Personally, I throw the stuff away when it does that. Finish is one of the cheapest things you put onto a rod that you have built so I want a high quality fresh batch when I do it.

 

 

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