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Thread: A Confesion and a Plea....

  1. #1
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    Default A Confesion and a Plea....

    While glassing the outside of my Atkin Russell R, I made a bad batch of epoxy for wetting out the last bit of 12 oz. biaxial fiberglass cloth for the transom . I had just about 6 sq. ft. left to do and the batch I mixed was wrong. I have been using MarineEpoxy for the last 10 years on various builds, repairs, etc. and have consumed (externally) more than 50 gallons on various projects without a single mishap other than the odd batch kicking off sooner than I wanted. This time I got the batch wrong by reversing the ratio and had two hardener to one resin rather than the other way around. I now have a nasty sticky mess. That is my confession, my plea is for a way to clean it up so I can get back on track. I am considering white vinegar, acetone, and/or a heat gun. Any suggestions welcomed.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Is there a good way? What I've done is to scrape as much as possible, then acetone to clean up what's left. I haven't tried vinegar - but others recommend it & it's certainly nicer to deal with than acetone.

    Sounds like you have a fun Saturday afternoon ahead Grant - sorry!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Methylated spirits (alcohol) is probably cheaper than acetone and can be used with lots of rags to wash and wipe away sticky epoxy.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    I would be reluctant to use vinegar (acetic acid) because it's not very volatile and would therefore leave a lot of residue soaked right into the wood.

    Vinegar is great for cleaning your hands, and gloves when that's practical.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I would be reluctant to use vinegar (acetic acid) because it's not very volatile and would therefore leave a lot of residue soaked right into the wood.

    Vinegar is great for cleaning your hands, and gloves when that's practical.
    Ah, I see, I did not mention that the place where I put the bad mix was in two places. The first place was the transom which I immediately skim coated with plain resin, working it in with my plastic squeegee, in hopes of saving the day (it seemed to work) and the second place I put what remained was on the bow, to "fill the weave". I had already put three layers of biaxial tape over the seam in the bow. I did nothing with that part hoping it would kick off and not be a problem. I was wrong. I think I could use vinegar there with no worries.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Vinegar is great for cleaning your hands.
    The Gougeon Brothers Inc. chemists have a different opinion. As with all poxy solvents, thinning/dissolving makes it easier for the toxic poxy to be adsorbed thru the skin. Read what GBI thinks at http://epoxyworks.com/index.php/vine...it-for-salads/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Not to beat you up, but how did you get the ratio wrong?
    You weren't using pumps?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Scraper,Old dull discs, Green scotch pads with Simple Green,Magic words

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Not to beat you up, but how did you get the ratio wrong?
    You weren't using pumps?
    I'm glad you asked. Here is how it happened. I poured two ounces of hardener into the mixing cup from a gallon jug. Since the ratio is two to one, I needed to add four ounces of resin. I added the resin from a nearly empty gallon jug and from that jug I was able to add only two ounces. I needed two ounces more of resin and that is where I went wrong. In my haste I grabbed a jug of hardener.... that mistake led to a mix of two to one the wrong way. I did not realize it at first, finished wetting out the transom, used the left over mix to fill the weave on the bow, suddenly realized what I had done, went back to the transom, squeegeed on some plain resin, worked it into the cloth and hoped for the best on the bow. Nightmare followed. In the great scheme of things not the worst mistake I have ever made.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    I like pumps.
    Even then, I've made a similar mistake.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Would love it if you would follow up with whatever you decide and its merits. Do anything long enough and there is going to be a mishap. It would be nice to know what has been tried and how well it works.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    For what it's worth:

    I did the topside planking on the vintage hydroplane Hurricane IV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p-A8dlQ9-k
    I was there watching the glassing...a process of which I know very little. The crew was working fast and carefully. They were just about done and I noticed that they were mixing hardener with hardener from another bottle. Of course, it did not go off. They had a heck of a time getting rid of the stuff. Finally they applied fiberglass and got a decent looking job, but eventually that failed and they had to do it again.

    I don't know what they used to get it clean finally clean, but it was a hassle. You might try calling the Hydroplane Museum in Kent, WA

    (By the way, I am NOT criticizing the crew...things happen.)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    I've done that...got the mix wrong, tore off down to the boat store, bought either resin or catalyst, hustle on home and brush a mixture rich in the "other".....whatever I shortchanged.... on the non-kicked-off stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
    CLC Skerry = "Vingilothiel"

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by jtdums View Post
    Would love it if you would follow up with whatever you decide and its merits. Do anything long enough and there is going to be a mishap. It would be nice to know what has been tried and how well it works.
    Will do, I am going to try vinegar today, I tried Bruce's suggestion of Magic Words all through the weekend but did not see much change. Tried scrapers too. The stuff is so darn gummy so I am hoping the vinegar will soften it a bit. The remedy I used on the transom part of the mishap seems to have worked.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    I tried the vinegar. In a fresh mix the results are immediate. The epoxy changes to something that can be washed out of a paint brush with soap and water. That is not the case with semi-cured epoxy.
    I put some vinegar into a plastic lid and added some of the scrapings—no effect at all, even after 15 minutes or so.
    P1010004.jpg
    Usually I attack a problem without much thought, in this case I did not want to contaminate the hull with vinegar if I did not need to. Turns out a good idea to wait and see.
    Here is the area, the stem, that I coated with the bad mix.
    P1010001.jpg
    After seeing that the vinegar had no effect I decided to stop and simply scrape it off as best I can. Nasty gummy stuff. Sticks to the scraper, sticks to the boat, sticks to my fingers....
    P1010005.jpgP1010006.jpg
    I will continue to scrape until nothing more comes off and assume that the next fairing mix I put on will catalyze any uncured resin in that area. Wish me luck.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    I will continue to scrape until nothing more comes off and assume that the next fairing mix I put on will catalyze any uncured resin in that area. Wish me luck.
    It won't.

    epoxy does not work that way.

    remove all of the bad batch.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by trent hink View Post
    It won't.

    epoxy does not work that way.

    remove all of the bad batch.
    You sound like an authority on the subject. I want to fix it right. Do you have a solution?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    In my experience there is no one solution.
    I've had moderate success with hot scrapers (rotate through three or four, with the on-deck ones in a pot of boiling water) to slowly peel the bulk away, followed by scotch-brite pads soaking in solvent, but that's just me.
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Thanks Figment, which solvent would be best?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    "Magic words" are best used WHILE scraping that skanky uncured goo ,not before.
    They are the ones we grown men cannot use here!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    "It won't.

    epoxy does not work that way.

    remove all of the bad batch."x2

    Epoxy isn't cured by catalyst - the molecules are mixed together & cure only if the mixing puts the molecules in physical contact with one another. So in the area that you recoated & it seemed to work you have a sub optimally mixed epoxy coating that may or may not hold up. The other area has to be completely cleaned with acetone after scraping what you can off. Not a big deal...a big deal would be if you didn't have a cured epoxy base under the gunk - it that case the wood would have soaked up the bad mix & that's much harder to clean up. Moe

  22. #22
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    You should try out Alcohol. I couldn't believe it when in the Gourgeon Brothers book the only thing mentioned was Alcohol, not Acetone or anything else. Got myself several bottles of "Alcohol Azul", which is the Portuguese version of industrial Alcohol. It works absolutely great. Be it to clean your tools, fingers, mishaps whatever from Epoxy, hardener or the complete mixture and works even for cleaning up paint or Sikaflex. And since I tried it, I am fairly convinced it works a lot better than Acetone or anything else I've used so far. Wish you luck!!!
    fair winds, Dody

    "They did not know it was impossible so they did it" - Mark Twain

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    Thanks Figment, which solvent would be best?
    Alcohol worked, but I don't recall that I ever gave vinegar a legitimate chance.
    With proper ventilation and gloves and goggles, etc, of course.
    A boatless inlander, searching for the meaning of life-aground.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Tomorrow, alcohol. I believe I have scraped away the majority of the gummy. Time to get back to the build. Many thanks to all.

  25. #25

    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    From Gougeon Bros WEST SYSTEM User Manual & Product Guide:





    From Sys3 Epoxy Book:



  26. #26
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Great post, Mo Poxy. Right from the Sys 3 and West System horses mouth. I will use alcohol.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: A Confesion and a Plea....

    Turns out I used lacquer thinner after all. Not sure what the thinner did, used green pad, showed very little residue, I must have got most of it with the scraper. Washed it down with water and a day later coated the whole area with neat epoxy. Hardened very nicely so I think I am OK. Moving on with the build at last.

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