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Thread: how to remove bad epoxy

  1. #1
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    Default how to remove bad epoxy

    I messed up the ratio on a batch of epoxy I put on my boat. I've removed most of it with a scraper. Now, however, it is still a bit tacky. I was going to scrub it a bit with a scotch bright pad and soap and water to finish removing it before I redo it.

    I assume I need to get it off of there thoroughly before puting more on. Please advise.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    I've had good luck using xylene to wipe off uncured epoxy from a relatively small area (rudder blade). Wear gloves and have plenty of fresh air ventilation. don't get it on paint or varnish.

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Merthylene chloride will remove all of it, just be careful it is a harsh chemical.

    HWS

  4. #4
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    I'm no expert on this -- what does the manufacturer's data sheet say?

    You may want to try MEK first, as I think it is rated a bit safer than the above chemical compound. For any of these solvents, be sure to allow enough time (and correct temps) to let all of it get out of the porous wood surface before recoating with epoxy.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Denatured alcohol may work and be less caustic. It doesn't hurt to have it on hand for cleaning tools and such anyway. It also has other uses such as a great stain remover from fabrics and carpeting.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    I doubt very much that a Scotch Pad and soapy water will do much more than make it more troublesome than it already sounds mate.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Well, I tried acetone and laquer thinner with scotch bright. I think the chemicals are helping to soften it a bit more, but I'm still just having to scrape it off. One step forward, two steps back. That's my building method.

    By the way, what happened is: the other night I was sheathing my hull with fiberglass and epoxy. As I was mixing up my second batch of epoxy, I realized I had mixed the first batch roughly 1:1 instead of the required 2:1. I decided to let it sit and see if it went off the next day. The next day, the epoxy left over in my mixing cup was hard, so I put a second coat on. Then, yesterday, I was cutting out some air bubbles under the glass with a pocket knife. As I turned the blade of the knife the glass was coming right up in some places, even though it appeared fine. So, I went ahead and took all the glass up and now I'm trying to get it back to the wood so I can start over.

    It's frustrating, but the lesson is learned. The epoxy cured, at least what was left in the cup, but it had no where near the bonding capacity as a properly mixed batch.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Where does one find merthylene chloride?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Quote Originally Posted by SScoville View Post
    Where does one find merthylene chloride?
    Main ingrediant in good, old fashioned paint remover.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Try white vinegar. Will remove uncured epoxy very easily and is not bad for you at all. Great for cleaning up tools/hands etc after using epoxy.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Dave the chemist here. Methylene chloride (aka dichloromethane) is far and away the best suggestion so far. Wear an organic vapor mask and wipe it on, wait a few seconds, and attack it with the scraper. Keep moving. You are going to need a gallon of the stuff. As someone said earlier, paint strippers are mostly methylene chloride. When you are done, give it a thorough, aggressive scrubbing with hot soapy water using a 3M pad (green or gray), and rinse with clear water. Attack stubborn spots with more methylene chloride and repeat the cleaning regime.

    This is a wonderful way to reinforce the idea that if you ar not sure the ratio is correct, strip all of it off before it hardens. I've tossed half a dozen batches in mid-mix because I lost track of how much I had put in, or someone was yammering in my ear and I was not SURE it was right. Epoxy is cheap; poor cures are dangerous.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Try white vinegar. Will remove uncured epoxy very easily and is not bad for you at all. Great for cleaning up tools/hands etc after using epoxy.
    I had cured epoxy on my hull paint and put a "polstice" of vinigar on it and left it over night; next day the lump of epoxy was gone.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    Several years ago I realized I'd used the wrong ratio of hardener/resin on the bottom of my Whisp. Right away I went back out and added the missing portion I'd omitted to the mixture which was on the boat, mixed it up thoroughly right there with the rest of the already applied 'goop', then realized I had entirely too much product on the boat and scraped off the excess. The next day all was fine. Luckily I used a slow hardener and the weather was right. Boy, what a scare, and what luck!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: how to remove bad epoxy

    I finally got it all off. Here's what I found most effective. I used the dual action sander to push up the goo, primarily so I could see where it was. Then I rubbed laquer thinner on (I would have preferred vinegar, but LT is what I had on hand). Then I would scrape it off. It took several rounds. The laquer thinner just make it easier to scrape. A lot of work for a little screw up, and this is just on a 12 ft skiff.

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