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Avoid Wasting Epoxy

How to minimize epoxy waste:

Where did it all go? In this tutorial I will try to help explain where all that epoxy disappeared to and how to keep from wasting more of it.

Working too small: It seems counter intuitive, but by working in small steps can cost you a lot of waste. Take for example the glassing in of a bulkhead/stringer/seat/etc. If you do it all in one setting, there is no waste along the way. Any excess epoxy from pre-wetting the parts is then used in making fillet putty, epoxy left from first layer of glass is used on the second layer. If you did each of these step individually, you might have double or triple the amount of waste. Mixing too much for one step only hurts you if you stop working. See our tutorial on working “wet on wet”. Building a boat 3 oz at a time is a sure way to waste epoxy!

Sanding too much when fairing: Fairing waste for a first time builder can be enormous. Fill lows, dont cover the high spots. Read up on faring tips and tricks before starting.

Using too much epoxy when wetting out fiberglass: Amateurs and DIY guys are capable of 50% resin content in their lamination work. This would mean a 50/50 epoxy/fiberglass ratio. The amount of epoxy it takes to wet out at a 60% resin/glass ratio is much more – 32% more ! Your fiberglass must be wet out without air pockets, but try to use only what you need. Give the epoxy a minute or two to penetrate the glass before putting on more, often it just takes a minute to saturate.

Mixing too much: Its hard to gauge exactly how much to mix at a time when your just starting, but keep a mental note of how much you need to mix for certain tasks. For example, I know I can wet out 1 linear foot of 12 oz biaxial fiberglass tape with 1 oz of epoxy, so I mix not much more than that.

Over the years I have used dozens of different epoxies for boat building and repair. I am very happy to offer for sale the products I use myself at Gulfstreamcomposites.com. ------ “We use it, we love it, we sell it, in that order”

If you have any questions on this subject or other boat building, boat repair, or general composites, please post them at our tech support site and we will be happy to help