Tag Archives: Mike Barnard

Will It Stick?

By Mike Barnard

Many times each day we get questions about sticking to various substrates.  Most questions are on something that we have already tested, so we check our large database and advise on how best adhere to the surface.  Other times the request is unique and we are unsure if WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy will stick to it or not.  In the event we do not have any experience bonding to a material, we recommend testing adhesion.  Many times this means gluing a wood block to the surface, then pulling the Continue reading

Six10 Thickened Epoxy Adhesive

How Six10 was Formulated

By Mike Barnard

Putting epoxy resin and hardener into a single cartridge was an idea we had years ago, but the technology was never around to do it. Once the technology became available (in the form of a u-TAH chambered cartridge with a mixing wand), we needed to develop a two-part epoxy to go in it.

We chose the characteristics we wanted for this new epoxy: long open time, fast through-cure, full cure overnight, and ability to cure at low temperatures. With these Continue reading

Epoxy Compression Test in Progress

Determining Epoxy’s Physical Properties

BY MIKE BARNARD

In this article I’ll describe our standards for testing epoxy and how we test epoxy to determine its handling characteristics and cured physical properties.

Testing Standards
These are the standards we follow no matter which epoxy we are characterizing.

Two-week room temperature cure
After proper metering and thorough mixing epoxy will continue to cure after it has solidified, until all amines have paired up. Over years of testing we have found that two weeks of curing at room temperature, which we define as 72°F (22°C), is a good indication of its full strength. Continue reading

The Coupe de Ville of Epoxy Caddies

By Mike Barnard

My father has grown very fond of WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy and his box of epoxy-related items has been growing at a steady rate. The overflow of his box in an already “treasure” packed garage emphasized his need for an organization and storage system for these materials. We have had several requests for this same type of solution lately, so I did some digging and found a great Boatbuilder article from 1986 written by J.R. Watson. Inspired by this article, my father and I built our own interpretation of the Epoxy Caddy.

Transporting epoxy with the 300 Mini-Pumps in the containers is typically awkward with a risk of overturning. The pumps could become damaged, and the alternative, to remove them, is messy and unnecessary. We always store the epoxy with the pumps in place. Inadvertently, a drip will cause a mess. A pot placed under the mini pumps will catch those rascals, but if the containers or the pot are not positioned correctly all’s for naught. The glue caddy solves both transportation and storage problems.

A caddy can be simple or as elaborate as you want. One could design it to become an epoxy work station complete with storage for brushes, stir sticks, hand cleaner, gloves, paper towels and so on. Or it could be designed simply with cutouts for containers and drip pots. One can simplify or expand upon the concept, tailoring to meet your needs.

Set whatever size containers you are going to use together, trace around their bases onto the plywood, and cut it out with a sabre saw. Position the drip pot cutout so it will be under the spouts of the mini pumps. With pots in position, you’re ready to go to work.

1. Lay out the items you want in your caddy on a sheet of plywood. Trace the outline of each item. Be sure to include a drip cup below the resin and hardener mini pump spouts.

2. Cut out the shapes of each item slightly oversized as necessary.

3. Add sides, a bottom and a handle to complete the caddy.

Bubble-Free Coating

By Mike Barnard & Don Gutzmer

WEST SYSTEM® epoxy has long been a popular choice for clear coating table tops. It works great as a buildup coat and a moisture barrier. It also showcases the beauty of wood grain and fiber weaves. Formulated with boat building in mind, WEST SYSTEM epoxy is not intended as a final finish coating. You may find it a bit more difficult to achieve a perfect surface with epoxy than with a coating formulated specifically for final finishing, such as varnish.

However, WEST SYSTEM offers some distinct advantages. It builds up quickly: a single coat of 105 Epoxy Resin® with 207 Special Clear Hardener® offers about four times the thickness of a typical coat of polyurethane varnish. WEST SYSTEM epoxy is also an excellent moisture barrier, stabilizing the surface so your final finish coat will look beautiful longer. Continue reading