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Thread: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

  1. #1
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    Default are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    For a group of folk who claim to be concerned with our environment some of us are continually suprised by the amount of toxic chemicals that are selected by ourselves for use in our Boat Building!

    have any Petrochemicaly conscious forumites put there money where their mouths are and decided not to build a lapped ply boat due to the amount of Carbon producing materials that go into it's production?

    what about less toxic alternatives to Epoxy? has anyone tried coating their new ply creation with an alternative less noxious goop?

    then there is always the option of building with old fashion wood...
    Last edited by Daniel Noyes; 02-28-2017 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    TIII works for me in most applications, but epoxy has it's place.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Daniel,

    What alternative glue are you suggesting?
    Or is this a magical, not yet invented material?

    Just how much toxic chemicals are we using?
    Enough to match what goes into housing construction or actually a little tiny amount.
    How toxic is cured Epoxy to the environment?

    Should we consider epoxy in boat building as bad as the little plastic beads in shampoo and lots of other products?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    I read this morning in the NY Times that SpaceX has announced plans to send two paying tourists to orbit the moon in 2018. Just consider the environmental impact of such a venture. The little glued lap boat I'm working on kind of pales by comparison. Not that we all shouldn't be aware and do our part, so I'll earn my carbon credits by rowing.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    That base is already covered.

    http://www.ecopoxy.com/
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    You don't need to use epoxy (or anything similar) to build a ply lapstrake boat. Thousands have been built with no 'goo'.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Daniel-
    Epoxy can be Plant-based. I use Ecopoxy for my boats; although it has more to do with being able to have it shipped by mail to my house, than it's environmental advantages...
    Works just like the system three I used to use.

    Rick
    oysterbayboats.ca

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Doesn't rowing emit carbon - CO2?

    Just kidding.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    How about PL Premium by Locktite, a construction adhesive.
    Polyurethane I believe.

    Is that better?

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    That base is already covered.

    http://www.ecopoxy.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick in Pender Harbour View Post
    Daniel-
    Epoxy can be Plant-based. I use Ecopoxy for my boats; although it has more to do with being able to have it shipped by mail to my house, than it's environmental advantages...
    Works just like the system three I used to use.

    Rick
    excellent link!

    Rick you compare the Eco Pox to system three, have you tried West System? does the Eco harden a little soft like S3 or quite hard/almost brittle like West?

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    TIII works for me in most applications, but epoxy has it's place.
    Gib this is really the impetus for my question... has anyone tried using TIII like an epoxy with a fiber reinforcement... ?

    I got out in the shop this morn and wetted out a piece of Fiberglass tape on a scrap of ply, it wet out very nicely, guess I'll see how it dries by 2morrow morning...

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Something to keep in mind is that when epoxies that are "100% solids" are properly mixed and cured, they are mostly inert. Certainly they are far more 'eco friendly' than white and red lead.

    People are making epoxy resins using plant-based oils rather than petroleum oils as the Ecopoxy folks and their competitors are doing. That said, they're not 100% "green", but are headed that way.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    This is an interesting topic that has been discussed before. The irony is that most all of the materials formerly used in traditional boatbuilding imposed a relatively minimal "carbon footprint" and, where toxic, really weren't all that dangerous. They were, however, in many instances "outlawed" because they were deemed "not good for the environment" or "toxic." The world is full of toxic materials. Most people survive by learning not to eat, drink, or inject them into their bloodstreams. The problem we now face is that the "ecologically correct" replacement for simple traditional materials often have far greater "carbon footprints" and far greater toxicity. Modern "low VOC" coatings may be theoretically better "for the environment" at the "point of use," but one has to consider what impact their manufacture has on the environment at the "point of production." The classic example is the government subsidized production of ethanol which is added to gasoline to reduce petrochemical use and exhaust particulates. Okay... but the petrochemical consumption of the farm equipment to grow the corn from which the alcohol is distilled and the heat to run the distilleries, and so on, far exceeds the "emission savings" and particulate reduction "at the point of use." Anybody who worries about the environment or their own health is better off using traditional materials when boatbuilding whenever possible. That said, epoxy has its uses, but in my book, slathering gallons of it over fabric and plywood (which has its own huge "carbon footprint" compared to milled grown wood) as an excuse to avoid learning traditional woodworking techniques isn't one of them.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    I've always had a difficult time getting thick Titebond to cure.
    When it appears to be finished, it never has good strength.

    Looking forward to your test.
    Kudos for doing it.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    In the last year, I've used about four gallons of epoxy and a couple of thousand gallons of vehicle and home heating fuel.
    Where are the best savings opportunities?

    An old friend described my worrying about the least significant problems as 'mouse milking'.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Here I was minding my own business and feeling good about myself for having made the decision to use West System on my frozen snot 35 foot sailboat rebuild. One of the factors being that I thought epoxy was much more eco and bio (me) friendly than polyester.

    Have I been misled? Are the Gougens evil? How do I dispose of the 10 gallons of toxic waste that is sitting in the shop?

    Gratuitous wood content: I was also planning to laminate new toerails and vacuum bag a veneer transom using the epoxy.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    This is an interesting topic that has been discussed before. The irony is that most all of the materials formerly used in traditional boatbuilding imposed a relatively minimal "carbon footprint" and, where toxic, really weren't all that dangerous. They were, however, in many instances "outlawed" because they were deemed "not good for the environment" or "toxic." The world is full of toxic materials. Most people survive by learning not to eat, drink, or inject them into their bloodstreams. The problem we now face is that the "ecologically correct" replacement for simple traditional materials often have far greater "carbon footprints" and far greater toxicity. Modern "low VOC" coatings may be theoretically better "for the environment" at the "point of use," but one has to consider what impact their manufacture has on the environment at the "point of production." The classic example is the government subsidized production of ethanol which is added to gasoline to reduce petrochemical use and exhaust particulates. Okay... but the petrochemical consumption of the farm equipment to grow the corn from which the alcohol is distilled and the heat to run the distilleries, and so on, far exceeds the "emission savings" and particulate reduction "at the point of use." Anybody who worries about the environment or their own health is better off using traditional materials when boatbuilding whenever possible. That said, epoxy has its uses, but in my book, slathering gallons of it over fabric and plywood (which has its own huge "carbon footprint" compared to milled grown wood) as an excuse to avoid learning traditional woodworking techniques isn't one of them.
    Bob beat me to it....

    what about lap-straking with lumber, copper rivets, and making it water-tight via fine woodworking? ahemmmmmm it's been done before.....

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Butler View Post
    Here I was minding my own business and feeling good about myself for having made the decision to use West System on my frozen snot 35 foot sailboat rebuild. One of the factors being that I thought epoxy was much more eco and bio (me) friendly than polyester.

    Have I been misled? Are the Gougens evil? How do I dispose of the 10 gallons of toxic waste that is sitting in the shop?

    Gratuitous wood content: I was also planning to laminate new toerails and vacuum bag a veneer transom using the epoxy.
    You can send it my way if it will assuage your guilt.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Tricky beast to measure, environmental impact! But I want to be sure I understand the original poster's primary concern - are we talking the carbon footprint that goes into making the adhesives, paints, plywood, grown wood, cordage, and fasteners that go into our boats? Are we referring to our personal health with regard to toxic adhesives, paints, wood, and working metals? Or yet again the environmental impact of our finished boats, for instance in terms of bottom paints and substances leaching from the boat into the environment? All valid questions but I'd guess the first.

    Hearkening back to undergraduate chemistry studies, I can well remember the volume of reagents "wasted" to generate a relatively small amount of pure product. Additional processes can be used to recover solvents and reagents but at the cost of additional wasted materials, energy, and time. I can well imagine the same is true of the industries manufacturing adhesives and paints on a large scale - even the relatively small amount we use in boatbuilding carries a high degree of industrial waste on the front end. Factor in the transportation costs (EcoPoxy appears to be based in Canada, for instance) for these manufactured products as well as grown wood and plywood and I can see a lot of carbon build-up just to get the raw materials needed to build our boats.

    I for one lack the skills and time to build a boat from strictly locally available supplies using only hand tools. I'll therefore be using power tools when necessary/efficient (hand tools for pleasure/efficiency where appropriate) and some degree of adhesives and paints, just like many of us I suppose. But I suppose we can all try to source our materials closest to home. Sure wish I had boatbuilding woods on my lot!

    Edited to add - what others said and beat me to it while I left a semi-composed message to simmer too long.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Are the fans of "classic construction" also counting the cost of the extra fuel that is often required to transport heavy classic-construction boats around? My car uses significantly more fuel pulling a heavier load. If towing a heavier boat increased my fuel use by 10%, I could use an extra 30kg of fuel per year quite easily. Some of my lightweight boats are now 40-50 years old. How much fuel has been saved over the decades by their lightweight construction?

    i'm pretty eco-conscious; we have so many solar panels we pump lots of juice back into the grid, we ride bikes to work and to the market to buy locally-grown produce, we don't eat meat partly because of its eco costs, yada yada yada. Compared to what can be saved every day, the use of epoxy appears to be miniscule and, given the long life of boats, very worthwhile.

    One other point - I like doing fine joinery on visible boat parts but it takes me a lot more time. If I did hidden work to the same standard (so I wouldn't need epoxy) it would take many hours more, during which time the heater may well be on in the shed.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    You can send it my way if it will assuage your guilt.
    I'll get back to you on that? In the meanwhile, could I interest you in some used house paint?

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Let's not forget the cost of getting that Teak or Mahogany out of the woods and from somewhere halfway around the world.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Butler View Post
    I'll get back to you on that? In the meanwhile, could I interest you in some used house paint?
    Vinyl.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  24. #24
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    I guess I would need to know what those alternatives to epoxy are specifically. I would also suggest that modern epoxies have a relatively small carbon foot print when looked at over their extended life time. Modern epoxy is 100% bio degradable all any one needs to do is look at the effect of UV on unprotected epoxy. Are we to believe modern fiberglass boats are more dangerous than wooden boats to the environment, is there any data to back that claim up. Maybe we have to look at the over all big picture of wooden boats to determine the carbon foot print over the last 500 years. For example is the extinction or lack of certain types of mahogany left on the planet. Is that largely due to centuries of boat building? I wonder how much forest depletion occurred prior to 1955 because of boat building, in comparison to the amount of forest depletion after that date. Of course assuming we all subscribe to the scientific theory that forests are indeed carbon sinks. My point being how is the measured carbon foot print over the last 500 years of wooden boat building going to compare to the next 500 years of fiberglass boat building. I would respectfully suggest using epoxy in boat building today is not going to add a measurable amount of damage to the global environment compared to deforestation that can be attributed to boat building over the last 500 years. Of course this is pure speculation.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    That base is already covered.

    http://www.ecopoxy.com/

    Actually, we have to refer to the MSDS to cover this material, because as far as I can tell, the manufacturer doesn't list all of the ingredients and their proportions. I've heard some call it "green washing." But, if it floats your boat, what the hell, go for it.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Kx_WCF_GRw28Ig

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    Actually, we have to refer to the MSDS to cover this material, because as far as I can tell, the manufacturer doesn't list all of the ingredients and their proportions. I've heard some call it "green washing." But, if it floats your boat, what the hell, go for it.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Kx_WCF_GRw28Ig
    MSDS documents don't list a lot of items and can be considered "trade secrets". Not a surprise there.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Use titanium alloy sheets or aluminum? No 'toxic' goo involved, but I bet the cost, and overall environmental impact is greater...
    no easy answers on this subject... short of building a real traditional wooden boat from reclaimed lumber, using copper roves etc etc, and sailing / mooring (not a weekend trailer sailor)

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Actually the Dutch were world traveling sailors, partially due to the abundance of big, tall trees suitable for ship building.
    They eventually cut all the trees and their empire fell apart.

    I can't remember the species of tree, but this was from a Dutchman I met on a business trip.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    MSDS documents don't list a lot of items and can be considered "trade secrets". Not a surprise there.

    My point was simple: it's always interesting when a manufacturer tells us how safe a product is, and then the MSDS tells us otherwise.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Gib this is really the impetus for my question... has anyone tried using TIII like an epoxy with a fiber reinforcement... ?

    I got out in the shop this morn and wetted out a piece of Fiberglass tape on a scrap of ply, it wet out very nicely, guess I'll see how it dries by 2morrow morning...
    Good to see you trying that Daniel, but since TIII is not even a little bit good for gap filling I'm not too optimistic.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Gib this is really the impetus for my question... has anyone tried using TIII like an epoxy with a fiber reinforcement... ?

    I got out in the shop this morn and wetted out a piece of Fiberglass tape on a scrap of ply, it wet out very nicely, guess I'll see how it dries by 2morrow morning...
    Of course then there is the fibreglass.
    Back in the 50s a car body was built from Hemp resin. The demonstration showed them hitting it with a sledge hammer without effect.
    My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.

    John Welsford

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Doesn't rowing emit carbon - CO2?

    Just kidding.
    And Mexican food Methane......
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Come back on with your pine dory in 35 years and ask that question again.

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    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Come back on with your pine dory in 35 years and ask that question again.
    The one he said he is putting a fiberglass and epoxy bottom on and sealing knots with epoxy?
    Tom

  35. #35

    Default Re: are we crazy not to try Epoxy alternatives?!

    I am all for trying new approaches, although my venture into the use of Loctite PL demonstrated its flaws to me.http://boatbw.blogspot.com/2016/08/pl-failure.html?m=1

    Let me re-state that, I'm all for other people trying new approaches. I've experienced the difference between the "leading edge" and the "bleeding egde."

    I'm an old fuddy-dud stuck in a rut because of my 10 builds and 2+ decades of success with epoxy. That does not mean there may be alternatives out there. It probably only means that I am myopic.

    Let us not forget that epoxy was a brand new concept at one time.

    Let us also not forget the episode of Myth Busters where they built a boat out of frozen newspaper. It worked great, until it sunk.
    Last edited by Mo 'Poxy; 02-28-2017 at 09:48 PM.

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