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Reply by Lazyman

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Posted on Can You Use Epoxy Adhesive as a Finish?

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Lazyman

5857 posts in 2264 days


#1 posted 09-19-2016 08:23 PM

Following Up: As an experiment, I applied Devon 30 minute epoxy and Devcon 5 minute epoxy to 2 separate small scraps of hickory. I applied the finish with an acid brush. On half of the 30 minute piece, I wiped off the excess after a few minutes just to see how much soaked in and what sort of a finish that would yield. Note that I stood them on end to let them cure.

Initial results: After curing for 48 hours, both 5 and 30 minute epoxies yielded a high gloss, thick finish. The 5 minute definitely had a more pronounced orange peel affect than the 30 did, probably because the 30 had more time to flow and level. The only real flaw in the 30 minute finish was around a small worm hole because I didn’t bother to fill the hole before the test. The area of the 30 minute where I wiped the excess from the piece looked a little rough but was well covered. It looks less plastic, but not smooth like most finishes you would want. That might be improved by thinning with acetone or better surface prep. The end grain, which was horizontal during the curing time, was pretty flawless on both pieces.

After a few weeks of additional curing time, I decided to see whether you could sand and polish the finish, much like you do with CA finishes you apply on a lathe. I sanded a couple of sides of the 30 minute piece with 400 grit. It got pretty cloudy but when I tried to polish with CA polishing compound, it did not look too bad. With a little more work, I think this would yield a less plastic looking satin finish.

Next, I decide to see how tough the finish is by hitting with the round end of a ball-peen hammer. While it did dent the wood, the finish itself held up pretty well. In the picture below, you can see the dimples left by the hammer. The top piece is the 30 minute and the bottom piece is the 5.

So I would definitely consider using the 30 minute expoxy where I wanted a hard durable finish on a tool handle or other small piece. Sanding and polishing would probably yield a more pleasing effect, for my tastes anyway.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.


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