Two-Part Epoxy Problems

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the July/August 1998 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"Every so often my two-part finish refuses to harden properly. Even though I finish only when the humidity is low and use a heated drying box, there are times when the stuff just won't set up. Usually I wind up having to strip the guides off and rewrap and refinish. Any ideas? P.B. . . Springfield, VA.

RodMaker Magazine

It has been my experience that whenever a two-part finish fails to set up properly the problem can nearly always be traced to an inexact mix ratio. It is vitally important to get a near perfect one-to-one mix ratio and the only way to do so consistently is to use syringes instead of graduated cups or spoons to mix your finish.

Another thing that may help is to mix up a much larger batch of finish than what you actually need in order to finish a particular job. Let's say you're off on your mix by 1/2 cc in a total 2 cc mix. That puts you off your one-to-one ratio by a full 25%. But if you mixed up a larger 10 cc batch, and were still off by that same 1/2 cc, you'd only be off your one-to-one ratio by 5%. By mixing a very small batch in an effort to save finish, you reduce your margin for mixing error dramatically. I suggest mixing a larger batch and not worrying about how much finish you have left over or going to waste. What's a tiny bit of wasted finish worth against having to redo everything?

One last trick worth mentioning if your finish fails to set up is to try a second, properly mixed batch of finish, over the first coat. Often a second coat will set up properly and solve the problem with the first coat. But remember to apply it thinly so you're not adding unnecessary weight to the rod. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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