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?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

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  • ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

    Building a cedar bench for our pond area and decided to try filling a void with beach rocks and clear epoxy. Have only ever used the LV 5 minute 2 part epoxy. Got Easy Cast 2 part epoxy and of course misunderstood mixing instructions. Your supposed to pour off equal amounts of the resin & hardener into separate containers then stir the resin for 2 minutes, then combine, sigh. However it did harden overnight but the dams failed and the epoxy ran over the sides. Using a card scraper to try and level this it started to cloud over. Then tried 0000 steel wool and then 1500 to 12000 Micro Mesh pads. They sort of worked but the clear epoxy became dull. You can still see the rocks but was wondering how or if it is possible to make the epoxy clearer. It you wet it shows up much clearer. 1. What would be the proper way to level this epoxy after it hardens yet still keep it clear? 2. Would a clear finish like varathane over the epoxy work. Thanks
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  • #2

    Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

    If it looks clear when wet I think a coating of varnish, preferably high gloss spar varnish should do the trick.
    beachburl likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

      Frank, buffing through the grits with a lambswool pad then using a foam disk with finishing powder will do the trick, but unless you already have the machine, pads and materials it would be an expensive proposition especially given your location (unless one of your neighbours has all that stuff). I have it because in the early days of waterbased finishes it was sometimes the only way to get a glass smooth finish, but you are a little bit too far away for me to drop it off lol
      So Doug's suggestion is probably the easiest, and much less work, although there was always something inherently satisfying in getting a "silk purse" out of a "sow's ear".

      Good luck
      Paul

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      • #4

        Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

        Thanks Doug & Paul. Have never done any type of buffing with a lambswool pad. But do have high gloss varnish/varathane on hand, so it will be the option of choice for this project. Does it have to be an oil based product? Paul, as a matter of interest, will the buffing/grits reduce the unevenness between the wood and epoxy? Thanks again, Frank

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        • #5

          Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

          Not sure if oil or water based matters but if 's an outside bench I'd use a varnish or Varathane with UV protection.

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          • #6

            Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

            Looks good with the river rocks!

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            • #7

              Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

              Take it to an auto body shop and see if they would buff it out for you, they have all the toys and compounds and it would take them little time

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              • #8

                Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                Keep in mind, if this bench will be outside the epoxy needs UV protection.

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                • #9

                  Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                  If when buffing the surface or doing anything else with the surface it gets hot the epoxy will go dull, epoxy softens with heat so whatever you do don't get the epoxy hot.

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                  • #10

                    Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                    Thanks all for the comments and helpful suggestions. The epoxy looks less dull today. Found some information that pouring this type of epoxy should be in small amounts rather than the one pour that was done. Guess the smart thing would have been to try a small sample using beach stones to see what problems occurred, oh well, live and learn!!
                    Thanks again [jeez, return key to advance a line and all these extra letters]

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                    • #11

                      Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                      [QUOTE=Frank English;n1291283]Paul, as a matter of interest, will the buffing/grits reduce the unevenness between the wood and epoxy? [QUOTE]

                      I don't think it would do a very good job on that part of it Frank.
                      IMO the powder is too fine for that sort of levelling, and you run the risk of heating up the epoxy by keeping the buffer in one place for too long.

                      Paul

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                      • #12

                        Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                        Okay, thanks Paul. Quite intrigued with the results and will try pouring smaller amounts to see how that works. Make better dams next time as well. Thanks again.
                        Frank

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                        • #13

                          Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                          I have done a few epoxy projects lately. I use a card scraper sometimes, but it you have a ROS, sand it even with 120 and work to 400. Remove the dust lots at higher grits (even if you have a Festool, wipe it away). It will still look cloudy, but put some mineral spirits on it to see how it will look post finish. If you use a good marine spar varnish, they have UV filters in them.

                          As people started to do thicker and thicker pours, they ran into problems with the epoxy heating up too fast and flash curing/cracking. Most companies now have different products labeled for different thicknesses of pours. Yours may have needed a different formula.
                          hope this helps!

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                          • #14

                            Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                            Chris44, have previously used card scrapers on the 5 minute epoxy from LV but that is usually just filling cracks or tinted to fill broken knot holes. The card scraper on this clear casting epoxy started to turn whitish at the edge of the sunken area. Got real nervous at that point as thought would wreck the visuals of the rocks. Have an ROS so once the bench is finished will try the epoxy with rocks again on a smaller sample and do small amounts of mixed epoxy to see how it looks. Like the effect it adds to wood.

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                            • #15

                              Re: ?'s re Clear Casting Epoxy

                              If you go to the website of the Easy Cast manufacturer you will find useful technical data there, including a whole article on pouring river tables. It is most instructive, https://www.eti-usa.com/sites/eti-us...structions.pdf. You will also discover that they make a product called Envirotex lite that they specify as a topcoat....and it seems to me that this may solve all your problems and produce the desired clear high gloss finish with out arduous buffing. They also have a support line which may be of use, since doubtless they are very conversant with their products. As a caveat...I see this nice looking bench is intended for outside use....be careful....ALL epoxies chalk rapidly when exposed to UV light (otherwise known as "the sun"....that's the large bright shiny orb high in the sky, so seldom seen on the wet west coast, in case you had forgotten) so you would be advised to put a high performance compatible UV absorbing barrier coat on top...make sure it is a UV absorber, not just itself being "UV resistant" otherwise the UV rays may pass right though it and attack the epoxy underneath which will then form a cloudy layer between it and the top barrier coat, which, shortly thereafter will disbond because it is now adhering to a layer of powder, so sorry (there was a famous million dollar coating failure in Houston airport years ago in which exactly that happened on ahuge and prestigous HQ building when the UV went right through the blue topcoat and ravaged the sensitive coating underneath...turned out the blue did not absorb UV...ooopsie!) .....and when you do select and apply the clever topcoat make sure you have not passed the recoat window on the epoxy or you will not get good adhesion and it will delaminate (sorry about that also...but this is a technical matter not just wishful thinking)....epoxies cure to a very molecularly smooth surface do not accept topcoats well after a period of time.....the manufacturer can advise on this and what to do about and how to get a good bond (typically scuff sand lightly and alcohol wipe....but don't take my word for it or just guess..get the actual technical data from the horse's mouth.) Meanwhile....very nice looking project, the stones are great. Good luck with getting it clear and keeping it that way. I apologize for all the weird "A" symbols that seem to appear in this post..I am simply typing not using Tapatalk or some weird program, evidently this program has a new formatting bug that will not accept spaces or returns and it needs to get fixed by the IT programmers and restored to its former glory.
                              Last edited by Julian; 07-26-2020, 06:14 AM. Reason: Edited because it needed editing.

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