No more polyester for me

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by dingpatch, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. dingpatch

    dingpatch Active Member

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    Apr 2, 2014
    USA Florida
    For my fins I find that I should not get near poly resin ever again. The styrene is a No No.

    So, epoxy from now on and, as such, who can point me to good info on finishing/polishing epoxy?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  2. Driftwood

    Driftwood Active Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    France
    I've had great luck with the Super Sap from Entropy - fast hardener version. It sands out nicer and polishes out better than most that I've used, dries relatively quickly. If it's laid nicely, you can take it up from 400 to a full polish. Kind of a pain on a full blown longboard, but great for fins and such :)

    You can thin it with a bit of alcohol (the type you'd burn in a camp stove, smells good) if you think you need to, about 5% max seems to do the trick.

    Good that you're able to stay in the game. It can be (at least in my experience!) so hard to stay away from poly, but well worth it so do make the effort.
     
    Latte likes this.
  3. Gallery

    Gallery Member

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    Jul 3, 2018
    New Jersey
    Greenroom Board Co old #7 epoxy is the best I've tried.

    Get the Greg Loehr video on how to glass with epoxy.

    Wear proper PPE (Organic vapor respirator & gloves) to avoid epoxy sensitivity. I make sure all my skin is covered when sanding a board.

    I made the switch to EPS/epoxy for all my shortboards about 8 or 9 years ago and never looked back. I prefer it over PU/PE now for any board under 8'. I've not tried it for fins, but it will definitely flex differently (more) than PE. S cloth might make the fins feel more rigid like PE.

    Good luck and post the results!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  4. Driftwood

    Driftwood Active Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    France
    I've heard very good things about the no.7 - haven't been able to try it out over here though!

    Great advice on staying covered, I got sensitized years ago when into compsand building and such and being a bit sloppy with protection... Led to rashes similar to hives and some respiratory issues. So easy to avoid.
     
  5. Gallery

    Gallery Member

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    Jul 3, 2018
    New Jersey
    When epoxy use was expanding in the surf industry there was a belief that because it's not toxic like PE you could glass without PPE. Some people talked about it like it was peanut butter. It's much better for you and the environment than PE, but should still be taken seriously with precautions. While epoxy itself is quite safe, the additives (sanding agents, etc at very low levels) used to make it surfboard builder friendly are not. I know a few people who have very bad epoxy allergies and can't go near the stuff. I get the itchies if I don't cover up when sanding, but that's more likely the cloth fibers getting in my open pores from sweating. Regardless I still feel safer than when I was using PE.
     
  6. dingpatch

    dingpatch Active Member

    750
    228
    Apr 2, 2014
    USA Florida
    As best as I can tell, the two brands of epoxy easily available to me is Resin Research and Greenroom.

    The respirator might not be needed so much due to the fact that my garage is "open air" and well ventilated with fans. And, I always wear heavy gauge nitrile gloves. As it is, I do do my best to cover up when sanding and do wear a suitable particulate mask. We shall see.

    Thanks to all for the advise
     
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  7. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    Remember also you cannot adjust catalyst to control gel times. Exact proportions must be mixed and gel time is based on air temp. Also epoxy needs to be more thoroughly mixed than PE and it does NOT like to stay in the mixing container (exotherms badly and quickly). Once you are used to that, it is a superior resin in many ways. I’ve never used it for laminating my thick stacks making all glass fins but for your process it could be ideal. Please keep us informed!
     
  8. Gallery

    Gallery Member

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    Jul 3, 2018
    New Jersey
    SeniorGrom makes good points that are covered in the Greg Loehr video (did I mention to get the video?).

    Do not mix by volume. Use a scale. Get a cheap Harbor Freight scale.

    Greenroom offers a Slow, Fast and Faster hardener. For fins you could easily use the Faster.

    Do not let it sit in the mixing cup. Epoxy will exotherm and get VERY hot and can even start a fire. Once it's mixed, get it all out of the cup. Work in small batches. With epoxy you can always mix more and keep glassing if you underestimate the volume.

    It takes longer to saturate the cloth than PE. Don't overwork it trying to push it into the cloth. Let it wet out, then pull out the extra. Working it too much will end up cloudy and frothy.

    I (and probably SeniorGrom) could go on with the tips, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Get the video. ;)
     
  9. Gill

    Gill Active Member

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    Mar 21, 2018
    Spring Lake Heights, NJ
    +1 on wearing PPE when using epoxy... specially the respiratory aspect.

    I have been using for the past year, started using it since i believed that myth that it’s relatively non toxic... boy was I wrong! Not as bad as poly of coarse- but the effects will slowly hit you then all the sudden you feeling it...both skin sensitive and respiratory. And I was only doing ding repair (indoors)!

    My skin is not really that sensitive to poly- but surprisingly much more to epoxy.

    Anyways- back to the discussion- I’m not sure which is best for polish- but you’ll have to work it Harder. I was using some stuff called Quick kick or something- it’s ok.. good for repairs. But I personally like poly better
     
  10. Gill

    Gill Active Member

    142
    68
    Mar 21, 2018
    Spring Lake Heights, NJ
    Also, I have found that everything has got to be perfectly clean or you could get fisheye or non-adhesion issues
     

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