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Bubble-Less Epoxy


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#1 gmorin71

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 06:55 AM

I haven't been building rods for decades, but at this point I have built several and feel as though I have gotten pretty good at it. The one area that is still a crapshoot is the epoxy. I feel like every time theres at least a couple of spots where there's an air bubble and it pains me to look at it.

 

anyone have any tips on mixing bubble-less epoxy? I recently watched a video where it was mixed in a ziploc back and pushed with a credit card, or any straight edge...anyone ever try that?

 

any tips would be appreciated.



#2 Carl Z

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 09:02 AM

I feel like every time theres at least a couple of spots where there's an air bubble and it pains me to look at it.

 

any tips would be appreciated.

Don't look at it so closely. :)

 

I have been building rods for well over 10 years and epoxy is still a pain.  If you figure it out, stay with what works.

 

Air bubbles:

  • conventional wisdom is don't get them in the epoxy in the first place.  Stir slowly but thoroughly and take your time.  Some people us an epoxy mixer which rotates the cup and you put a ball bearing in the cup to promote the mixing.
  • Heat the epoxy before measuring it.  This will keep the epoxy more fluid and the bubbles will escape more.
  • Pour the mixture out onto a flat surface before using (aluminum foil)  to let the bubbles pop.
  • If the epoxy is getting thick, stop and mix up a new batch
  • Put it on thin and use multiple coats.
  • Do as I say, not as I do.  

I have had some good finishes come out, but it really is attention to detail and patience.  Covering signature areas really does me in. 

 

Good luck and let us know what works for you.



#3 jsid6g

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 11:32 AM

As Carl Z said is all true , what was not brought up is how to apply it , I have to let it flow off the brush [ I don't paint it  ] some people even use a spatula to apply ,     try them all an find one way that works for you , good luck do net us know what way works for you , 

  one trick that help me , after I mix " not whip " let set for a little,  then put one drop of DNA on top of  mix an see what happens , all the bubbles on top are gone , well most are, don't mix it in use as is , works for me  



#4 Greg LaPolla

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 09:29 PM

I Always use a bubble buster after applying epoxy.  Shoot the flame abut 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch above the epoxy and it will pull the bubbles right out.



#5 gmorin71

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 05:38 PM

Thanks guys!

#6 BGreer

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 06:13 AM

I mix my epoxy using a home made mixer.

I mounted a motor on a bracket that is at about a 45 degree angle. I mounted a PVC end cap to the motor.

I just put my measured epoxy in one of those disposable mixing cups, throw a clean 3/8 inch ball bearing in the epoxy to help mix it.

Then I just put the epoxy cup in the PVC end cap and turn the motor on.

 

In 5 minutes, my epoxy is perfectly mixed, completely crystal clear, and free of bubbles.

 

Here are a couple pics.

 

Brian

 

12445543465_0f14ede47f.jpg

 

12446023474_7eac76c262.jpg



#7 jfred17

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 02:14 PM

Does anyone use an alcohol burner to smooth out the epoxy once applied and get the bubbles out?



#8 Goduster

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:12 PM

Allcohol burners are an accident waiting to happen


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#9 BGreer

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:58 AM

I agree with Ron. I wouldn't use an alcohol burner near the rod for getting rid of bubbles.

 

It's better to be as "bubble free" as possible before you apply the epoxy to the blank.

If any bubbles show up while applying the epoxy, use a hollow coffee stirrer to blow on the individual bubbles to get rid of them.

 

And....if you are getting bubbles in the epoxy while applying it, you should maybe look at your technique. If you use a brush, the ends of the bristles on the brush are a sure way to get bubbles into the epoxy.



#10 Washougal

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 06:31 PM

Most people with alcohol burners I've seen get the flame way to close to the work,and are way to impatient to get the results, that's why many builders avoid them like the plague.
If you fully saturate your brush and have no air bubbles in the bristles before you apply the finish it helps a lot. If you let your first coat soak in for 5+ minutes than remove all excess down to the thread than let it set up, than mix and apply a super fine coat over the first it's real hard to not have a nice, light, bubble free end result. At least that's my trouble free process.

#11 Carl Z

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 05:58 PM

Allcohol burners are an accident waiting to happen

Especially if you thin your epoxy.  Open flame against thinned epoxy= epoxy flambe.  

Carl's rod building error #74



#12 fishbum

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:25 AM

Does anyone use an alcohol burner to smooth out the epoxy once applied and get the bubbles out?

Propane torch for the last 40 years.



#13 John T.

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:20 AM

When I used a brush, I loaded the bristles woth epoxy to eliminate any air pockets.  I then put the brush on the foil where I poured out the epoxy and pressed out any excess.  Also, let the epoxy spread out on the foil and gently blow on it with a straw.  Just don't drool on the epoxy.  A straw can be used to blow on the wraps.


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#14 rrjansen

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:40 AM

Lots of good suggestions above.  I would add that I have gotten good results with spraying a slight mist of acetone over the acetone shortly after you have finished applying it.  I bought one bottle from Mudhole of the commercial stuff but now I just refill with acetone.



#15 rrjansen

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 09:49 AM

Spray it over the epoxy, not acetone.  Sorry





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