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Question Mr Sanford

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Question Mr Sanford
I have followed your rehab process for some time. The workmanship and final results are amazing and the willingness to share are greatly appreciated.

One really dumb question. What is epoxy, and what is thickened epoxy? Is it something you buy?

RVZ
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Ron~


The epoxies I use are marine epoxies. I have tried many brands over the years and now use U S Composites (in Florida). There are no marine supply stores here in dairy country, so I buy many of my supplies over the web.


http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html



I use epoxies for both boats and decoys. Epoxies are both adhesives and sealants. Epoxies typically involve both a resin and a hardener and must be mixed together thoroughly before use. I use 635 thin resin with medium hardener, which are mixed 3 parts resin to 1 part hardener. I use graduated mixing cups to measure the volumes very carefully then mix with a tongue depressor.


I use "straight" (no thickeners) epoxy for gluing up decoys and boat parts but mostly for sheathing a wooden surface (usually a boat) with fibreglass cloth (or other specialty fabric. For example, I will be sheathing some marine plywood "flap boards" (as soon as the plywood arrives at my lumber yard) with 6-oz fibreglass cloth.


As you have seen, I also use straight epoxy to coat decoys - painted on a with a brush then sprinkled with fine sawdust or ground walnut shells - to give a tough and waterproof skin - usually over foam decoys.



I use "thickened epoxy" for filling - and sometimes for joining uneven surfaces. There are several products that can be added to the mixed epoxy to provide particular characteristics. The website describes the properties of the different fillers.



http://www.uscomposites.com/fillers.html


I use their Fairing Compound most often. It is not for structural strength - but sands readily (important when working with epoxies) and is relatively light weight. Other fillers I use from time-to-time are Cabosil (fumed silica), Graphite, Milled Fibers, Chopped Fiberglass Strands.



Important properties of epoxy are that it can break down in UV light (sunshine) and extreme heat. So, it should be protected with paint or a varnish with UV filters. Also, epoxy is chemically incompatible with mat (chopped strand mat) - which is commonly used in boatbuilding (therefore, polyester resin is sometimes the better choice). And, once cured (which is best in full sunlight or next to a warm stove), many epoxies leave an "amine blush" on the surface - which must be removed prior to painting. I wash with warm water, then sand with 120- or 150-grit - then wipe with acetone - before applying paint.



It's a wonderful tool for duck hunters - but - like so much else - one must pay attention to details.


Hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions.



SJS







Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Thank you Steve,

I followed your paint process last summer for a rig of13 Goldeneye, at least as far as my painting ability would allow. I did one Herters 72 with the latex paint / sawdust mixture that held up quite well. The rest of the rig was urethane foam of the Lou Tisch variety.

I would think epoxy is quite durable but more cumbersome to work with.

Now that I am retired full time, I can experiment with the attic full of Herters 72's I have.

RVZ
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Good morning, Ron~


Sounds to me like Epoxy Education will be the perfect topic to ensure brain health during your Golden Years! (we need to keep learning...)


If you'll just be using it to coat decoys, make sure you have:


1. Epoxy + Hardener
2. Measuring/mixing cups (8 oz are handy for smaller jobs)

3. Chip (throwaway) brushes. I use 1.5" brushes with China (boar hair) bristles that I buy in bulk (PaintStore.com)

4) Latex or nitrile gloves


If your 72s have worked long and hard, you might want to look through this tutorial to see how I handle repair and reinforcement:


https://stevenjaysanford.com/re-painting-broadbill-decoys/


All the best,


SJS


Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Feb 25, 2022, 10:25 AM
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Rod, in addition to what Steve has said...upon Steve's advice a couple months ago I bought from US Composites some Epoxy Resin, Hardener and fiberglass cloth to do repairs/upgrade on my sneakbox. I had never done much work with epoxy (excluding my Bondo work on cars/trucks, gelcoat 'ding" repair on my Center Console and countless repairs I have done with JB Weld) so I was skeptical about how messy the sneakbox job would be. US Composites had very good pricing compared to other sources I checked. Along with their Resin/Hardener I bought their Dispenser Pump Kit which kept the job neat and tidy--not messy at all. The pumps (one each for Resin and Hardener) make it easy to mix very small amounts if desired--I use a separate plastic spoon for each. Keep a paper cup under the spout of each dispenser pump to catch/recover the occasional drip. I thought I would need a lot of chip brushes for the job (did 6 or more batches/layers) but happily discovered that after a brush gets hardened with mixed epoxy just soaking/brushing-up the next batch of epoxy softens the brush to a quite useable state. Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors make great stirring sticks to be used in paper cups (finally found a use for all those fast food cups) . I store the Resin and Hardener with the Pumps in-place all inside the shipping box (as received from US Composites) on a shelf ready for any small job that might arise. This US Composites epoxy is handy stuff!
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Thanks again Steve. My 72"s were barely used and in fine shape. I think they were purchased 20 years ago from a guy in southern Michigan. All Mallards, rigged on long lines. Go figure?

RVZ
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
David,
My only experience with fiberglass and resins was a long time ago, 1988. I purchased a two man scull boat kit from Lou Tische and assembled it at work in a custom van conversion paint shop. The guys painted it open water grey for me.

RVZ
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Re: Question Mr Sanford In reply to
Good morning, David~


Great info! It shows the importance of "working clean" with epoxy. I try to minimize sanding by wiping any excess judiciously during the cure.



And, you've inspired me to try the pumps I bought several years ago. They are still in the plastic they came in. I've never quite trusted the accuracy for small volumes - but I will jump in soon. (I try to re-use mixing cups when I can - which works well when using just straight epoxy. I can usually peel the cured epoxy right out and get a clean cup - but not so well when it's been thickened.)



All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com