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Thread: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

  1. #1
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    Default Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Im wondering if anyone has input on how well purpleheart works with epoxy lamination. Is this an oily species that would be problematic with adhesion?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    A colleague used purpleheart in various locations on his epoxy-cold-molded live-aboard cruising catamaran with good success by wiping down the faying surfaces to be bonded with acetone immediately prior to laminating. This removed the surface oils of the wood and permitted the epoxy to penetrate the wood fibres adjacent to the bond line, creating a strong bond between wood strata. When I was visiting and occasionally sailing with him, the boat had been in constant use in the tropics (southern Caribbean Basin) for a dozen years and the only repairs required was to a smashed section due to a collision from another boat in a crowded anchorage. I must point out, however, that he used purpleheart only in areas that needed strong, dense wood as protection, such as rubrails, keel shoe, etc., and not in multiple laminations of purpleheart-on-purpleheart for, say, a built-up stem. I don't see where this would cause problems (if laminations were prepared carefully), but I do not personally know of such applications. It is awfully expensive and hard-to-work material, so most builders are rather parsimonious with its use.
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    There have been a few spidsgatter rebuilds in Port Townsend recently that used purpleheart for keels. "Tally Ho" in Sequim too, just down the road from PT. It may be that Edensaw just happens to have a good stock on hand but I've seen it around lately. I don't know what was used as adhesives.
    Steve

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    In my experience it doesn't work. Even after wiping down with acetone and getting what seems to be a good bond, a year or two or three down the road the joint gives up. This is trying to bond pieces of 1/2" -3/4" thick.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    It should work if you use the acetone (or MEK) wipe, plus an "oily woods" / teak epoxy from Smith & Co or whomever.

    http://www.star-distributing.com/smith/products.html
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Didn't West develop G-Flex with the idea in mind of bonding to difficult surfaces, like purpleheart, teak and white oak? Might be worth checking out. I think it depends in part on the type of lamination you;re doing. You see a lot of strip-planked canoes and kayaks with purpleheart strips glued in as visual features.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Don't like MEK, too many hazards with it. Use lots of protection for skin and breathing that stuff.

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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    There have been a few spidsgatter rebuilds in Port Townsend recently that used purpleheart for keels. "Tally Ho" in Sequim too, just down the road from PT. It may be that Edensaw just happens to have a good stock on hand but I've seen it around lately. I don't know what was used as adhesives.

    Its worth noting that Leo's purple heart is two huge solid pieces put together with a 6' long hook scarf, which is bedded in tar and felt, and then bolted together.
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    MEK is about as nasty and toxic as it gets. Stay away from it unless you serious industrial safety equipment.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Thanks all. There is a local distributor which has rough sawn at $5/bf.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Yes, West System states on their product information site that G/Flex is formulated to glue many difficult and oily woods. I seem to remember that they include Purpleheart on their list.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Its worth noting that Leo's purple heart is two huge solid pieces put together with a 6' long hook scarf, which is bedded in tar and felt, and then bolted together.
    You are quite right. That purpleheart looked quite lovely once they had it finished, I understand it is very hard on tool edges. Lots of sharpening going on.
    Steve

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    You are quite right. That purpleheart looked quite lovely once they had it finished, I understand it is very hard on tool edges. Lots of sharpening going on.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    Thanks all. There is a local distributor which has rough sawn at $5/bf.

    Purple heart is beautiful. I'd certainly be looking for ways to use it, John. Probably not in a lamination, though.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    As always, I would simply contact WEST and ask them. They would certainly know by now.
    Gerard>
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    I should point out that I mean to laminate 1 thickness boards for a 5x 12 keel (at its widest) as opposed to a bent lamination for a stem. Checking with West is a great idea, Ill be using their products.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Not to derail this thread, but have you read the hazard sheet on both MEK and acetone? The dangers are very similar, as is the protection you should be wearing. Steve Smith of Smith & Co (inventor of CPES) recommended MEK to me for pre-cleaning faying surfaces, as the extreme VOC gets all the solvents out of the way more rapidly than with acetone. But I can't get MEK here in California anymore, so use acetone like everyone else, but give it time evaporate off the wood.

    http://www.holmberg.se/upload/produc...8-19---733.pdf

    http://www.labchem.com/tools/msds/msds/LC10420.pdf
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    The G-Flex instructions generally recommend cleaning oily woods with acetone, lacquer thinner, or isopropyl alcohol. They say no solvent treatment is needed for purpleheart:

    IMG-3468.jpg

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    Excellent, thanks. I bought a 80 grit belt for my panel sander and the dope that sold it to me gave me a 40 grit instead. Being a dope also, I didn’t realize until I was halfway through sanding a stack of white oak for a curved lamination. It worked great, plenty of tooth imparted. I’ll give it a shot with the purpleheart.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    System three's G2 epoxy is meant specifically for oily hardwoods. I've used it for gluing a purpleheart handle riser to a purple heart bow. Used one to one it's very good for flexble applications like bows, skis etc.
    I haven't done purpleheart to ebony though
    I have used it for ebony and rosewood

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Laminating purpleheart with epoxy

    I never saw a West Indian boat with a Purple Heart keel. They use green heart. I think worms prefer the grape flavoring.

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