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Can You Use Epoxy Adhesive as a Finish?

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Forum topic by Lazyman posted 08-18-2016 01:12 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lazyman

688 posts in 849 days


08-18-2016 01:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: epoxy

I’m thinking of trying to use a 30 minute epoxy as a finish on a tool handle. Anyone ever tried this? Any tips or warnings? I’ve seen the epoxy table top finishes but I only need to finish a very small piece and don’t want to buy a large container.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.


11 replies so far

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johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1634 days


#1 posted 08-18-2016 01:36 PM

I don’t think the 30 minute epoxy would flow and level like you need for a finish. Google fishing rod thread finish. Threadmaster and flexcoat are two brands that I use. You can get them down to 1oz containers. You mis equal parts and brush on. they self level. On a handle you will need to turn the handle every few minutes for a couple hours or it will sag on you any eposy will do that.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Lazyman

688 posts in 849 days


#2 posted 08-18-2016 01:52 PM



I don t think the 30 minute epoxy would flow and level like you need for a finish. Google fishing rod thread finish. Threadmaster and flexcoat are two brands that I use. You can get them down to 1oz containers. You mis equal parts and brush on. they self level. On a handle you will need to turn the handle every few minutes for a couple hours or it will sag on you any eposy will do that.

- johnstoneb

Do you think that these can take being hit with a mallet or hammer? I whacked some epoxy adhesive drips on a piece of scrap wood pretty hard with a hammer as a test and it didn’t show any signs of being hit or coming off the scrap which is what made me consider this in the first place.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Alster

99 posts in 2676 days


#3 posted 08-18-2016 02:14 PM

Look for an epoxy bar finish. Tough as nails; self-leveling.

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Cooler

270 posts in 305 days


#4 posted 08-18-2016 04:24 PM



Look for an epoxy bar finish. Tough as nails; self-leveling.

- Alster

My thought too. But it is very viscous (thick) and I don’t know if you can pour a thin coat. Perhaps it can be thinned out. But I agree, it is super-tough, and surprisingly clear. Most epoxy glues seem a bit yellow—though I never examined any after curing.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

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Lazyman

688 posts in 849 days


#5 posted 08-18-2016 08:31 PM

Thanks for the responses. The main reason I don’t want to use a bar finish is that I only need enough to cover the handle of a very small tool I am making and the bar finish is rather pricey when you don’t think you will use it again any time soon.

I decided to give it a try on some scraps. I am experimenting with both the 5 minute and 30 minute Devcon epoxy I already have. The 30 minute definitely went on smoother and seemed easier to apply with an acid brush but the 5 minute actually went on fairly easily too. Initial look may be a little too thick so I may experiment with applying with a brush and then immediately wiping it off with a rag before it starts to set so that the wood grain shows through better. I will post back in a day or two once I get final results.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Cooler

270 posts in 305 days


#6 posted 08-18-2016 08:50 PM

My experience is that you get better adhesion on wood and MDF with slow curing epoxy. The slow cure stuff will soak into the pores and get a better grip on the surface. The fast cure stuff cures before it can flow into the surface. This is especially notable in MDF and paritcle board.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

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TravisH

452 posts in 1397 days


#7 posted 08-18-2016 11:21 PM

Devcon 30 minute will work lots of guys use it for fishing lures and easy to get. Bob smith 30 minute or flexcoat as mentioned above also work if you want to order something. It will level but you will need to flip the piece end over end or it will sag. Brush it on and you can use a hair dryer or have a light bulb near by to heat and pop any air bubbles you may form or brush in when applying.

The five minute working time is too quick but you can thin it with several solvents (methanol, IPA, Acetone….) and get more working time out of it. The 5 minute yellows badly though in the sun and over time.

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Kelly

1113 posts in 2406 days


#8 posted 08-19-2016 01:25 AM

Keep in mind the thread coating doesn’t get the wear a handle would. I used to buy my 50-50 pouring epoxy in five gallon buckets and found it to be perfect for display, but less so for working surfaces.

That said, I used epoxy to coat things frequently. Generally, it’s just small surfaces and I try to limit use to relatively horizontal surfaces, but I have done a few vertical sufaces.

The stuff I’m currently using is a two to one mix and flows nice. Flexcoat and similar are fifty-fifty mixes.


I don t think the 30 minute epoxy would flow and level like you need for a finish. Google fishing rod thread finish. Threadmaster and flexcoat are two brands that I use. You can get them down to 1oz containers. You mis equal parts and brush on. they self level. On a handle you will need to turn the handle every few minutes for a couple hours or it will sag on you any eposy will do that.

- johnstoneb


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Lazyman

688 posts in 849 days


#9 posted 09-19-2016 08:23 PM

Following Up: As an experiment, I applied Devon 30 minute epoxy and Devcon 5 minute epoxy to 2 separate small scraps of hickory. I applied the finish with an acid brush. On half of the 30 minute piece, I wiped off the excess after a few minutes just to see how much soaked in and what sort of a finish that would yield. Note that I stood them on end to let them cure.

Initial results: After curing for 48 hours, both 5 and 30 minute epoxies yielded a high gloss, thick finish. The 5 minute definitely had a more pronounced orange peel affect than the 30 did, probably because the 30 had more time to flow and level. The only real flaw in the 30 minute finish was around a small worm hole because I didn’t bother to fill the hole before the test. The area of the 30 minute where I wiped the excess from the piece looked a little rough but was well covered. It looks less plastic, but not smooth like most finishes you would want. That might be improved by thinning with acetone or better surface prep. The end grain, which was horizontal during the curing time, was pretty flawless on both pieces.

After a few weeks of additional curing time, I decided to see whether you could sand and polish the finish, much like you do with CA finishes you apply on a lathe. I sanded a couple of sides of the 30 minute piece with 400 grit. It got pretty cloudy but when I tried to polish with CA polishing compound, it did not look too bad. With a little more work, I think this would yield a less plastic looking satin finish.

Next, I decide to see how tough the finish is by hitting with the round end of a ball-peen hammer. While it did dent the wood, the finish itself held up pretty well. In the picture below, you can see the dimples left by the hammer. The top piece is the 30 minute and the bottom piece is the 5.

So I would definitely consider using the 30 minute expoxy where I wanted a hard durable finish on a tool handle or other small piece. Sanding and polishing would probably yield a more pleasing effect, for my tastes anyway.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Cooler

270 posts in 305 days


#10 posted 09-19-2016 08:36 PM

For small parts sanding and polishing can be easily done in a vibratory burnishing machine. The small ones are quite cheap (made for bullet reloaders), but the larger ones are kind of expensive. But the machine does all the work and some sandbox sand will replace a hundred dollars worth of sandpaper.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1113 posts in 2406 days


#11 posted 09-22-2016 05:02 PM

I have various turnings, such as mallets, ornaments and so on, that I’ve filled cracks on, then turned and polished. Interestingly, they polish beautifully and people don’t even notice the filled cracks, since they follow the wood grain.

On others, I’ve mixed crushed oyster shells and turquoise powder, which resulted in finished product that looked like it had turquoise inlay. When the powder-oyster shell-epoxy combo was buffed, the shells gained back their iridescence.

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