Epoxy snafu

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by bhacksaw posted 07-20-2016 01:54 PM 1338 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bhacksaw's profile


163 posts in 1969 days

07-20-2016 01:54 PM

After my first ever 2-part epoxy pour, I’m left a little disappointed. It didn’t turn out perfect. But I’ve resolved myself to the fact that the clients will be satisfied with it anyway and I need to keep my expectations realistic when trying something out. Anyhow, the pour was for a 8’x26” bartop. There is one area, a couple square inches, that hasn’t cured yet (and it’s been two weeks!). I had my leather chisel satchel sitting on the top while i chiseled of the drippy bits and when i went to put it away, the strap left behind some leather fuzz as it ripped off the bartop. How can it still be curing?!? I know i didn’t mix it enough because its milky in places, but TWO WEEKS? How do i fix this? Just wait? And what’s the best way to get that fuzz off?


28 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile


2436 posts in 4015 days

#1 posted 07-20-2016 02:27 PM

if you didnt mix it well, odds are its never going to cure. If it were me, I would get some acetone and start scrubbing, to get the uncured material off, ( wear gloves and a respirator) then do another pour, with properly mixed material.

Personally I dont see an alternative.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10900 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 07-20-2016 03:38 PM

Charles has it right, of course. Get it off and start over.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29876 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 07-20-2016 04:51 PM

I agree with Charles. A soft spot didn’t get mixed well. In my opinion, the customer will not be happy. Pouring epoxy can be very frustrating.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View xwingace's profile


228 posts in 2733 days

#4 posted 07-20-2016 05:17 PM

The milkiness is probably from moisture, gotta make sure everything is nice and dry.
And when you’re sure you’ve mixed it enough, mix it some more. When you’re sure that’s enough, mix it some more again!

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1598 days

#5 posted 07-20-2016 05:22 PM

How do you get to Carnagie Hall?

Practice, practice, practice!

The underlying error was using a paying job to bust your epoxy cherry. You should have practiced in the shop to get you technique down first.

Always plan a practice piece before making a $$$ piece.


-- Madmark -

View bhacksaw's profile


163 posts in 1969 days

#6 posted 07-20-2016 05:28 PM

MadMark, oh god no, i wouldn’t do that to a paying customer, just to family. ;) The “clients” are my sis-in-law and husband. They’re paying for materials and I get to cut my teeth.

Is it feasible to use the acetone (thanks, Charles!) to remove a small crater just at the gooey area and fill it up with properly mixed epoxy? I imagine it;ll leave some kind of visible border, but hopefully nothing too glaring.

xwinagace, I like your mixing method, shall definitely adopt.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2436 posts in 4015 days

#7 posted 07-20-2016 05:39 PM

you could probably do that, but i fear the rest of this table is going to give issues for some time to come, I suggest you bite the bullet and wash it down and start over.

Let me put it another way, either redo it now while your on speaking terms with your family, or you may not be (: . I would not even consider leaving this, this way .

Xwingace has the mixing correct,

you dont have to remove everything, if the acetone isnt removing it, its probably cured and will be ok, after the acetone has dried, as long as it feels dry, your probably ok. A true test is if you can sand it and it powders up and isnt gooey. The acetone is also going to open it up and hopefully some of it will cure on down .Wash it, let it dry over night and see what you have. If its still gooey, your gonna need some strong Stripper.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29876 posts in 2483 days

#8 posted 07-20-2016 05:59 PM

Epoxy has a very harsh learning curve. It has no mercy and makes you feel really stupid. All finishes take time to perfect.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MrUnix's profile


6931 posts in 2344 days

#9 posted 07-20-2016 05:59 PM

Try hitting it with some heat. If that doesn’t get it to kick, then you are most likely looking at a re-pour.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View ksSlim's profile


1286 posts in 3034 days

#10 posted 07-20-2016 07:58 PM

On 3West epoxy , I use a small postal scale and mix equal weights, then stir,stir, until you see equally displaced small bubbles in the mix. stir as you apply.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View johnstoneb's profile


3013 posts in 2317 days

#11 posted 07-20-2016 10:38 PM

Once all the soft unmixed areas are removed you will need to pour over everything to get it to level properly. Trying to just fill the low spots will be frustrating as you will not get everything level.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View runswithscissors's profile


2843 posts in 2170 days

#12 posted 07-20-2016 11:00 PM

As KsSlim suggested, accurate measure is vital for epoxy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking extra hardener will somehow fix things or hasten cure.

Each brand has its own formula for resin and hardener ratios—1:1, 2:1, 5:1 are common ratios. And when mixing, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your container frequently. Also, even though you should be using slow cure epoxy for such a large pour, keep in mind that a large mass of epoxy will generate a lot of heat through the chemical reaction (it’s exothermic). Don’t leave a half pot of it lying around, especially if you used paper containers. Could catch on fire.

Virtually any material is okay as a mixing tub, even styrene (unlike polyester resin, which will melt styrene). I use cottage cheese tubs, paper cups—whatever is handy.

Finally, avoid skin contact as much as possible. And wear crappy clothes that you can toss. If you do get some on your hands, vinegar will take it off (rub vigorously). I’d much rather was my hands in vinegar than acetone.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Unclejimbob's profile


9 posts in 983 days

#13 posted 07-20-2016 11:32 PM

As a chemist, I can tell you that there really isn’t anything to do but take off the part that didn’t cure… Been there myself… and I know better! Sigh. There are few educations better than a trip to The School of OS. (Oh… Shoot!) Tuition bills will vary!

One thing to really keep in mind for anyone working with 2-part products is that they generate heat as they cure. And they can generate a LOT of heat, more than you would expect. Read the directions, and don’t mix up more than the manufacturer’s instructions call for.

NEVER combine several kits to make one big mix… What will happen is that it will get hot quickly and that heat will cause the reaction to go even faster, generating even more heat… soon you have a fire! I know of one bar that burned because of that mistake.

That heat generation also means that you really don’t want to mix up some epoxy and leave it in the can/pot for any length of time – start using it right away. I know a contractor who mixed up/tinted half a gallon of wood filler epoxy in a gallon can, put the lid on, and drove a mile to his jobsite. When he got there, the lid had blown off and he had a smoking can of hardened epoxy foam – about 1.25 gallons worth… He counts himself lucky not to have had a fire in the back of his truck!

Best to learn from the mistakes of others… They’ve already paid the tuition bill!

-- The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered long after the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten

View bhacksaw's profile


163 posts in 1969 days

#14 posted 07-21-2016 06:12 PM

Found this on System 3’s website

I made a large batch and found a few areas that are still sticky after most of the surface is cured hard. Can I fix it?

Yes. First, scrape off what you can. Then pour or wipe a suitable solvent on the surface. Wear a respirator or provide proper ventilation when working with solvents. Wipe or scrub the resin surface. This will remove residual uncured resin but won’t harm any cured resin. Sand the underlying cured resin and apply a fresh coat properly measured and thoroughly mixed. Note: Over bare wood the fresh coat of resin will need to be worked into the wood with a stiff-bristle brush to mix any residual uncured material into the fresh material. This will ensure that the fresh coat will adhere properly to the wood.

I’ll try this first. Does acetone suffice for a “suitable solvent” or should i use something else? If that doesn’t work, I’ll take it all down.

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2525 days

#15 posted 07-21-2016 07:08 PM

I ll try this first. Does acetone suffice for a “suitable solvent” or should i use something else? If that doesn t work, I ll take it all down.

- bhacksaw

On the same page :)

Uncured epoxy resins and hardeners can be cleaned up with ketones, alcohols, or lacquer thinner. White vinegar will clean up unmixed resin components.

And yes, acetone is a ketone.

-- Rick M,

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics