View Full Version : Removing epoxy from polyethylene tubs
06-20-2009, 01:41 PM
Is there a secret here?
No matter how much or little epoxy is cured in the bottom of my tubs, the material does not remove easily.
06-20-2009, 01:51 PM
This may be an indication that the bottom of the tub was not scraped sufficiently during the mixing process. If the bottom isn't scraped, the epoxy and/or hardener remaining there doesn't get properly mixed and doesn't cure completely. I learned the hard way and now when I flex my tubs the full cured epoxy pops out easily.
/// Frank ///
06-20-2009, 07:49 PM
I use 1 qt. plastic polyethylene (or maybe polupropylene) pots from a restaurant supply. They cost about $.15 per, with cover if you buy 250.
If there's 1/8" or more, getting the disc out is usually easy. I set the pot upside down on the bench and bump the bottom with my fist. If I've dug hard for the last dab of putty in the bottom of the pot, the remaining scrids are pretty thin and the odds of getting then out of the pot are not good. Bits stuck to the side usually can be removed with a knife, but I'm not gonna spend much time to save a fifteen cent pot.
If you find anything gooey in the bottom of the pot, you didn't mix enough.
06-23-2009, 07:51 PM
My epoxy cures uniformly and hard.
I do notice that getting a disc out of the mixing pot is much easier when I leave excess epoxy to harden in an upright pot. Then, as you say, the cured disc pops out easily.
I use West system and their pots and just flex and bend the pots and they pop/peel out good if pots are new, if they are old and scratched up they dont pop as well if thin amounts are left in i may have to scrape the sides with the side of an old chisel .
06-23-2009, 09:15 PM
What's wrong with using cans you're going to recycle anyway? Just put the cans in spare spaces in the dishwasher to clean them really thoroughly before mixing the glop. Not to mention there's absolutely no reason you can't use the same can two days later to mix another batch in and two days after that . . .
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
06-24-2009, 09:44 AM
I'm quite fond of using plastic soda bottles. (Usually the 1 liter size) After drinking the Dr Pepper out, I cut them right down the middle on a bandsaw (makes a great noise) and get two little 'boats' complete with pouring spouts at one end.
The length lets the epoxy spread out a bit, and about half the time
you can get the cured goop out and use it again.
06-24-2009, 10:04 AM
Given how much yoghurt I eat, saving both the large and small containers gives me just the right stuff. As with all plastic tubs, cured epoxy pops right out. I usually have a smear up the edges and I find if I flex that loose first, then the thicker bottom can be pulled out after it's been loosened by flexing the bottom.
06-24-2009, 01:35 PM
My experience has been easiest clean-up ever. When the epoxy is cured I just flex the container and all the epoxy pops out in one hard piece.
06-24-2009, 02:01 PM
I just line whatever container I have with aluminum foil and throw out the foil and all when the job is done. No need to even wait for it to cure. This is particularly helpful when I'm doing a large job and have to mix a fair amount. By using a shallow pan (sometimes set in a bed of ice), I can mix a lot, slow the in-the-pot cure rate way down, and avoid the risk of an exothermic reaction.
06-24-2009, 02:02 PM
I'm a big fan of the disposable food containers you can buy in the supermarkets. The reason: the right brand (I forget which) has rounded bottoms with a radius that seems to match a standard tongue depressor, so it's possible to get much better mixing when you first mix the resin and hardener.,,, no uncured resin in the bottom corners. Presuming it's well mixed, it's a simple matter to pop it out after it cures. I've got containers like this that I've used perhaps 100 times... and if you should accidentally crack one, they only cost you a few dimes each.
06-25-2009, 04:17 AM
A good blast of compressed air gets it out good, but after two or three times you will have to throw them out.
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