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Thread: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

  1. #1
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    Default West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I've tried a balance scale, and it's not happening for me.

    Does anybody have a favorable report on the West System scale: http://tinyurl.com/785wp3u ?

    Other strategies?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    You could probably find a small digital jeweler's scale for a lot less $$. Harbor Freight??

  3. #3
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I use a small digital kitchen scale that includes the tare feature. Has worked great for many years, and only cost me about $20. The West Stystem one I've used a few times and it seemed fine. They don't tend to sell junk, so I don't imagine you'd be unhappy if you went that route.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I don't know about the scale. I used to put little glue-up jobs aside until I had enough to justify mixing a one-pump batch. Then I found Gougeon's G-flex, which comes pre-thickened in matching tubes. You squeeze out equal size blobs and you can mix tiny batches, so that's what I do now.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I use a small digital kitchen scale that includes the tare feature. Has worked great for many years, and only cost me about $20. The West Stystem one I've used a few times and it seemed fine. They don't tend to sell junk, so I don't imagine you'd be unhappy if you went that route.
    What I'm hoping to hear is that, with West's, one is not tied into any sort of proprietary containers/dispensers?

    i.e. Does the scale just have a zero-adjustment where you put an empty container on it, zero it out, and then dispense into the container any way you can?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Most drug stores give away medicine dispensers that look like hypodermic needles without the needles. They are nicely graduated and it is very easy to suck up a small amount with one for epoxy and one for the hardener in whatever ration necessary. They measure about 1/2 inch diameter by 4 inches long and are marked in graduations (metric). I mark the epoxy syringe in red and the cap on the small bottle of epoxy in red too. I have poured a few ounces of each into small containers with screw caps. The syringes easily reach to the bottom and they are easy to refill. Works just great for a small repair. Almost no waste and very accurate. I store the syringes in separate containers to avoid contamination and they are already for use. No need to clean them after use. Here is similar to what I am talking about http://www.medical-and-lab-supplies....-syringes.html The pharmacies in our area give the needleless ones away free. I use empty yogurt containers to mix.

    Oldad likes small batches and no waste

  7. #7
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteCress View Post
    What I'm hoping to hear is that, with West's, one is not tied into any sort of proprietary containers/dispensers?

    i.e. Does the scale just have a zero-adjustment where you put an empty container on it, zero it out, and then dispense into the container any way you can?
    That is the 'tare' feature I mentioned. The West scale includes it as I recall. Not tied to anything beyond the scale. The thing I like about the kitchen scale is that it'll not only measure in ounces and grams, but it'll allow a much bigger batch, if you should be so inclined. The West scale limits you to something like 4 or 6 oz. IIRC.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I'm a G-flex convert too. 50/50 mix. For a bigger job, use the mixing nozzle. For small jobs, just pump out what you need without the nozzle and mix it up with a stick. I've had 100% success with it. One tube for $22 or so goes a long way. It is thick stuff, however, not the thing if you need a penetrating mix.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    how small is small? from an avoiding wastage point of view, though apparently expensive initially, why not use an easily available commercial product like Araldite..Ive made up little more than pinhead sized repairs using the cap's wastage and a toothpicck , remember Mr. Coleman of English Mustard fame once said 'I got rich from what people leave on the side of their plate...'

  10. #10
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I think any epoxy that mixes up 1-to-1 will work that way. It's easy to match droplet sizes by eye. The G-Flex just happens to be what caught my eye at the store. And being pre-thickened you don't need to add minute doses of white powder to it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I mostly use a zeroing kitchen scale, but have also used the droplet method. For 5:1, for example, just use 5 + 1 separate droplets, all the same size.
    -- John

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I have a small kitchen scale. Alas, its resolution is 4 grams, IIRC, so it's not sufficiently precise for batches less than one squirt (about 20 grams). It's quite useful for larger batches where pumping gets tedious.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I use the West G5 for small batches. It is 1 to 1 ratio and sets up fast. I was concerned about wasting epoxy and did the math and 1 pump of 105 with hardener costs about one dollar. After that calculation I don't worry about throwing some away. Also, after many helpful conversations with the folks at West they told me that the ratio is not exactly 5 to 1. It is less than 5 and I forgot the exact figure but 5 to 1 is within their error tolerance.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteCress View Post
    I've tried a balance scale, and it's not happening for me.

    Does anybody have a favorable report on the West System scale: http://tinyurl.com/785wp3u ?

    Other strategies?
    I use hospital syringes at 5:1 - no problem mixing amounts down to a couple of millilitres - with 3ml syringes you can easily determine 1/2 ml quanitity (i.e. a 2.5ml/0.5ml mix), with 1ml syringes you can easily use less, but not many jobs are less than 2-3ml - for larger mixes I use 10ml or 20ml syringes and I don't (so far) usually mix more than about 120ml at one dispense - if I do I'll just do multiple dips, or I'll use 60ml syringes - They are very exacting, so much so I can't imagine using anything else.

    Use a different syringe for the hardener and the base, and put them in a plastic zip bag (or even open to air) after dispensing and they really do last for a great many mixes.

    The ratio may vary depending on the hardener - 206 is 5:1 , 205 is 5.01 : 1 (but the bottle still says 5:1)

    sayla
    Last edited by Sayla; 06-10-2012 at 08:38 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I have the WEST small batch scale and love it. Turn on wait a breath for *zero*, place mix cup (poly salvaged from kitchen stuff like yogurt cups etc) on scale. It will signal cup weight, press *tare* and it goes to *zero*, add hardener then multiply weight by whatever number corresponds to the hardener used (1:5 or 1:3.5) and add resin. Done, press *off* to save the itty bitty battery. Oh yeah, close lid to keep weigh pad clean.

    Still some guessing. You have to estimate the size of the small batch needed, then WAG (Wild A-- Guess) the amount of hardener needed for small batch to make the end result batch. Took me a few mixes and I can nail it close enough.

    I seem to recall the scale goes to 150 grams, bigger than a squirt from the pumps, but small batch friendly.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayla View Post
    I use hospital syringes...

    sayla
    First thing I thought of.
    Nosce te ipsum

  17. #17
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    West System G5 and G-flex epoxies – don't stay home without them. I wish all epoxies were a 1 to 1 mix.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    for large batches i measure bywieght...on small batches i find it a lot easyer to measure by volume

  19. #19
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I use a small digital kitchen scale that includes the tare feature. Has worked great for many years, and only cost me about $20. The West Stystem one I've used a few times and it seemed fine. They don't tend to sell junk, so I don't imagine you'd be unhappy if you went that route.
    That's exactly what I bought and it works beautifully. The Tare Function lets you put on a container, press Tare which removes the container weight. Then pour in the resin and hardener in the required ratios. I've been using 2:1 but 5:1 would be equally simple.

    My scale is metric of course and measures in grams and tenths of a gram. I'm sure ounces are easy too.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't what to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  20. #20
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I have a set of stainless measuring spoons in the shop for small mixes. I think i payed about 2 bucks for them and never have had any problems with using them.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Electronic kitchen scales,accurate to the gram with tare function and gram/oz scale. No more need for graduated cups and easy mixing for any batches up to 5kg......and i never mix that much at a time!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    Any scale with a resolution of 1g or better will do.
    Mixing ratios here.
    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/typical...al-properties/

    I use another (eg cheaper) brand that is 2:1 by volume, base and hardener of different densities of course
    I made a quick cheat sheet in Excel for various batches from 5ml to 1L by weight. Quick and easy
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I've used a $10 5kg digital kitchen scale that displays down to 1g successfully for batches as small as 12g but I'd much rather one that reads to .1g with a lower maximum limit because I've never had to mix anything over 100g or so. The 1g precision doesn't really inspire confidence when you're slowly adding hardener and it suddenly jumps by 2 grams although I've never had any problems. This is all with WEST slow or fast hardener, so the 5:1 ratio holds for weight or volume (or close enough at least).

  24. #24
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    The place to get syringes is at a Feed Store. Wide selection of sizes and cheap. They didn't look at me strange also.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: West System Epoxy: Very Small Batches?

    I have had a West System scale for several years. You can make batches down to about 2 grams total weight with it. It is a reasonably nice little scale, not as good as the Sartorius I used when I was working (+/- 0.001 g), but good enough for relatively small batches.

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