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Thread: Bar top with epoxy finish (got bubbles)

  1. #1
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    Default Bar top with epoxy finish (got bubbles)

    Ok all you finishing experts out there, I am finishing two solid cedar slabs with West Systems epoxy using the super slow hardener to slow the curing process. When I lay on a coat of the mixture, I'm getting air bubbles.

    Can any one suggest the tools/applicators and techniques they have used to apply a clear epoxy coat and not get a bunch of bubbles mucking up the finish?

    Thanks!!
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  2. #2
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    Don...
    A few things to try based on a good number of these done in FL:

    If no bubbles are in your mix bucket then bubbles are being released from wood. If they are in the mix, then heat mix and stir slower.

    Use a thinnned down version to get the pourous (even open pore) woods like Cedar sealed. I prefer the faster drying versions, especially for this step. Use Xylol or other recommended thinner for your brand. Mix A/B thoroughly before and let sit for 10 min, then add thinner

    Use a heat gun, hair dryer or small torch to bring up and eliminate the bubbles. Heat thins out the epoxy, lets the bubble rise and break.

    Most that I have done were hi build with multiple coats, once sealed I used 80-120 to sand/level. If bubbles are in 1st coat, sand them out when cured.

    Dont push the "full cure time" before sanding/routing
    Gary Campbell
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  3. #3
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    mcgrew woodwork, columbia south carolina
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    As Gary said A "Whoosh" with a torch or a Hair dryer,, do not let the torch point as epoxy will burn, nt as in massive fire but as in Ugly spot !!

  4. #4
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    make sure you stir and don,t shake the mix. stir slow.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I have sanding to do on the first coat and will use the advice given on the second coat.

    The other problem I noted was the inherent problem with all confer woods, when you sand, you get shallow divots in the soft wood between the growth rings. I'm hoping with enough coats, and sanding level between coats, this will disappear.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  6. #6
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    What is the proper technique and tools needed to put down a nice smooth, no bubble, layer of epoxy?

    I've sanded back down to bare wood to start over again as the bubbles were just to bad.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  7. #7
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    Which epoxy are you using?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybarn View Post
    Which epoxy are you using?
    "West Systems epoxy using the super slow hardener to slow the curing process."
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  9. #9
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    What time of day did you epoxy? Or more specifically, was the wood heating up? If you epoxy coat when the temperature of the wood is rising (at a faster rate than the air around the wood) the air inside the wood expands and air can move outwards.

    Assuming the wood only gets its heat conducted from the surrounding air it'll heat up slower than the air in the workshop in the morning and cool down slower in the evening, so late afternoon is sometimes said to be a good time to epoxy - the air inside the wood is contracting.

    Having said that, you'll probably be okay now you've epoxied once, unless you've really taken all the epoxy off.

    John

    Edit. I've used an awful lot of epoxy of the last twenty years but I've never used super slow. It may be that the very long curing time is just allowing more time for bubbles to form.

  10. #10
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    Not to push any specific product but for clear finishes we have the best luck using System Three.

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