LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

question about the West System epoxy

1684 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  KiddFunkadelic
Hey all, I am planning on using the West System epoxy on some table tops I have made for a friend's restaurant. I'm going to do a few coats of the epoxy as a moisture barrier, and then finish with a few coats of poly. I would like to get all of the coats of epoxy on all of the table tops in one day, and I am wondering if I coat the undersides, then flip the tables over to coat the tops and sides, will the epoxy on the bottoms cure upside down? I don't mind if there are fingerprints on the undersides, or if the finish is imperfect, I'm just wondering if the epoxy will stay put and cure on a surface facing the ground, or if it will drip off.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
First, if you turn the table top over and let the epoxy cure upside down, it will drip and/or end up very uneven.

Second, why poly over top of the epoxy? While poly can be fairly durable, epoxy is more so. And the poly will struggle to adhere to the epoxy.
Coat the bottom place it on a dead smooth piece of poly plastic sheeting then finish the top. The epoxy won't stick to the poly, the poly will prevent the epoxy from running and if is dead smooth will provide an amazingly smooth glassy surface. You may want to experiment just to make sure the process works for you. I'd agree with the fellows above saying the epoxy is tougher than the poly.

I'd be surprised if the poly coating would stick to the epoxy also. You'd need to scuff the epoxy enough to give the poly coating something to 'bite' on. You would want to be aware that epoxy doesn't really like UV. Read some of shipwright's blogs here on applying epoxy. The West website also has some great downloads about using epoxy.
Epoxy will cure in any position. How fast it cures depends on, temperature, how much catalyst, what type of catalyst. If it were my project I'd plan on two days to get the epoxy done. You could expect a tacky surface in about 4 hours if you mix the batch hot enough and it is a warm day.
another option is to let the epoxy drip and grind/sand the drips down after they cure.

I too agree with the others that I wouldnt apply anything over the top of the epoxy finish.
Thanks for all the advice. I ended up rolling a thin film on the bottoms of 4 of the tables, and then flipped them over. The epoxy didn't seem to drip off. As far as adding a few layers of poly over the top, I'll wait to see what the finished coats of epoxy look and feel like. The poly may be more for aesthetic reasons. According to the web site, when used with the 207 hardener, varnishes should be compatible. I guess I'll find out!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.