Coating on all sides, an illustration

Methods for Coating on All Sides

Need to coat something on all sides? Long ago, retired Tech Advisor Captain James R. Watson creating these handy instructions (and charming sketches) of his favorite tricks for epoxy coating on all sides of an item.

Coating on All Sides

“Methods for coating all/both surfaces” the sketch it titled, with the clarification of purpose “To speed the project” added as a subheading. And then the important note: “Yet prevents inadvertent adhesion” —which is always a concern when working with a super-strong epoxy like WEST SYSTEM.

The sketch on the upper left depicts a flat panel hanging by a bit of twine attached to a hook that has been screwed into the narrow end. The image next to that shows a similar flat panel, this one supported by finish nails on the bottom side. Nearby are some pyramids of indeterminate origin and material, presumably for use in support flat panels where finish nails just won’t do the trick.

At the top right, a frame hangs from an S hook. Beneath it is the clarification “Non-stick surfaces: polyethylene not wax paper.”

“Coating or filling the edges” is the caption for an image of another flat panel, this one raised up and supported by a pair of alligator clamps as a human figure with a very interesting arm (possibly a severely arthritic elbow?) uses a paintbrush to apply epoxy along the narrow edge of the panel.

Just to the right of the human figure, an open, epoxied box leans against a wall which, along with the floor, has “strips from a Zip-Loc® bag or other polyethylene material” preventing the epoxied box from adhering to the floor and wall.

Below the epoxied box, a dowel is depicted. Finish nails are hammered into each end and these are resting on small chocks to keep the dowel suspended for seamless epoxy application and curing without inadvertently sticking to anything.

The final sketch, which is in the lower-left corner, shows another flat panel. This one is held securely upright by a bench vise. Presumably, there is some mold release agent such as automotive wax applied to the vise to prevent the epoxied panel from adhering to it.

The Coating on All Sides sketch is signed an dated at the bottom: 2/98, J.R. Watson.

Good old Captain Watson. We miss him!—Ed