View Full Version : What is the best brand resin/hardener for cedar-strip canoes?
04-21-2012, 08:51 PM
What is the best brand resin/hardener for cedar-strip canoes?
04-21-2012, 08:54 PM
I like Gougeon Bros. It's the pumps I like.
04-21-2012, 10:14 PM
The most expensive, of course. West Systems has a new very clear product just for cedar strip building. I think it's called 208.
04-22-2012, 08:41 AM
I have only built once using cedar strips but have been built all sorts of projects using epoxy mostly with WEST Brand because of its ready availability but over 30 years have used several brands.
On my cedar strip project I was influened /intimidated by various building forums that cautioned the working pot life of WEST was slightly shorter than vs. alternatives.
One reoccurring brand that kept getting recomended for ease of use was MAS. It is very clear and importantly to me kept getting described as having a bit longer working time. This allows more time to spread the epoxy and insure that it penetrates the glass fully. This product mixes 2:1 and has its own pumps available (caution WEST pumps at different ratio).
When I was glassing my 17 foot hull I was applying a full boat length layer of glass....I would start at the MIDDLE of the hull , wet it out with a squeegee then mix another pot and apply it forward then the next pot would be applied behind the original wet out.
IOW I was working alternately front then back away from the middle. This application pattern worked very well for me and I was able to wet out the glass without problem issues (like bubbles or wrinkles) and had no problems keeping pace always pulling the "new" resin into a still uncured had not kicked "wet" edge of the prior application. On one layer I foolishing deviated this pattern and started at the bow and worked one direction towards the middle (had all sorts of puckers that I had to cut darts to overcome).
I was working alone doing my own mixing so I appreciated any extra time that I gained using slow harder with MAS product.
Now I have both products [WEST and MAS brands] in the shop...even though my fiberglass work on the cedar strip is completed, I re-ordered more MAS to have on hand because I was very pleased with its ease of use, amazed how water clear it is and have started using it for a variety of glueing tasks.
MAS is just mentioned as an alternative to consider...I have had complete sucess with WEST as well for many years on all sorts of applications
04-22-2012, 10:03 AM
I've used west, SP systems and a no-name from a chandler - little to choose between them in function.
But I absolutely detest the West pumps - "once bitten" as they say. - A set of cheap electronic kitchen scales in a clear plastic bag does the job far more reliably.
04-22-2012, 10:22 AM
For epoxy boatbuilding, I've used MAS, SP and West. There all excellent products but personally MAS is my preference for me as its smell free in use (better for my asthma). Much, much more pleasant to use than the other two. Can't say which is most durable or goes cloudy least long term. There was an individual who did a comparative study after 12months....
04-22-2012, 10:25 AM
WEST - been using WEST since the early `80s. It is reliable and a phone call will get you the answer to any tech question for usage. WEST has online tutorials on use, and their big book manual is a great read. Pumps? Yep, I have broken a few = busted the stem off when accidentally whacked it with a strip of wood that got away, and blown out a seal while trying to pump resin that was near freezing cold. But the pumps work just fine if you keep them clean, which I do periodically. Denatured alcohol required to clean the 105 resin pump, all hardener pumps can be cleaned with warm water. I don't do bar tops, I do boats, and WEST clarity is just fine.
Following various forums of late I occassionaly see "My epoxy won't harden!" threads or the like. WEST products are rarely involved as the culprit with various no-name cheaper epoxys leading the whine list. I will stick (pun!) with a known successful product. Hasn't failed me in near 30 years.
04-22-2012, 11:18 AM
I've used successfully WEST, System Three Silvertip, Marinepoxy from www.bateau.com (http://www.bateau.com) and Aeromarine from www.jgreer.com (http://www.jgreer.com) and have yet to have any issue with any of them, including the cheap ones. My current strip canoe I'm building with marinepoxy. I've nothing against WEST really and I truely respect the work they have put into making the goop what it is today, although I prefer working with 2:1 ratios instead of 5:1 and I like a non-blusing epoxy which has lead me towards other brands. I haven't tried out the new WEST stuff so I cannot compare it, nor would I try and compare any product I have not used with one that I have used.
Yes, I've seen the threads on "my epoxy won't harden" and while many people won't admit it I firmly believe that 99 times out of a hundred the issue is one of operator error and not product malfunction. That's my opinion anyway, if one day I have an issue then I'll have to man up and decide if the mistake was mine or the product, but so far I've used a lot of epoxy without any issues at all.
oh yeah, the pumps are handy for getting the goop out of the jug, but I measure with graduated mixing containers that I use when mixing automotive paint. I've never trusted the pumps and over time I quit using them altogether since I wasn't trusting them for measurement purposes.
04-22-2012, 12:46 PM
WEST is best... And in 25+ years never had problems with the pumps, just the pump operators...
04-22-2012, 04:40 PM
MAS has a chart on their web site that estimates pot life and cure time for each of their hardliners at different temps. Thus using them for my build outside in varying temps. Having said that, I did use West for my ceder strip yak, and was very pleased, just had to work fast, and I had my wife do the mixing while I applied.
04-22-2012, 06:43 PM
I use mostly West System epoxy.
In 22 years and 100+ gallons, I had ONE pump malfunction. The pumps have been redesigned since.
The clear coating hardener is #207. I have not felt I needed in preference to the #205 and #206 hardeners.
If the weather is hot enough that #206 is too quick in a small layup, it's Miller time anyway.
MAS is reported to be less viscous than West #105, so it might make heavy glass layups easier.
There are some really slow hardeners for SP Ampreg 22 which was useful for some large layups of a 44' spar.
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