Choosing epoxy

Hello all,

I'm at the stage of buying supplies to build a wood duck from plans. In searching for epoxy online, I find all sorts of 2 parts epoxies - most are identified for gloss coating and tabletops. Is this the right stuff? I find very little that are spec'd soley for fiberglass.

Thanks and cheers

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RE: Choosing epoxy

The easiest thing is to use the epoxy that CLC specifies and sells, MAS or WEST SYSTEM. A good alternative is System Three SilverTip. All three of these are high viscosity, high modulus, non-blush and low odor, specifically designed for marine applications.

Beware the "cheaper" alternatives. Typically they are missing one of the four characteristics above and can result in significant inconvenience and difficulty, especialy for the first time builder. In the worst case, you'll have to buy replacement wood, glass and epoxy to redo a failed part, totally blowing any savings on cheaper epoxy.

If you do want to experiment, I'd suggest building at least one boat according to what CLC recommends, then with that experience under your belt go forth and fool around with off-brands. That way you'll know whose fault any failures are.




RE: Choosing epoxy

I've worked for West Marine on and off for 13 years now, so have a lot of experience with West Systems.  I did get a little sensitized to it while building my first boat.  At another job, my MAS epoxy rep donated some of their product for my second boat build and I had absolutely no problems with it.

RE: Choosing epoxy

Cap’t I’m curious what kind of PPE you were using when you got sensitized using West System epoxy.

Years ago I got sensitized to developer chemicals processing color film by hand. Had to go on Predisone more than once to get things under control.

Your comment about MAS not affecting you in the same way as West System intrigues me at a point just prior to starting my Waterlust kit assembly using MAS.

I expect to wear nitrile gloves a lot when mixing and applying epoxy as well as carbon-filter cartridges in my respirator during mixing, applying and sanding operations.

And all my sanders are vacuum-equipped, the vacs have HEPA filters.

Think all this is adequate or should I be looking at more effective exposure controls?

RE: Choosing epoxy

Gloves, respirator and ventilation are sufficient for most people. For those that are really susceptible, goggles are a good idea to keep fumes away from the eyes. They also protect against spatters, so are a good idea in any case.



RE: Choosing epoxy

In all fairness to West Systems, I actually became sensitized to a completely different two-part coating for a Halloween costume.  But I still got a bit of reaction from WS after that.  Nothing serious though.  Regardless, MAS was easier on me.

I always glove up when mixing epoxy.  I wear a dust mask when sanding.  Basically bare minimum PPE.  Well ventilated shop.

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