Problems, how to use. Also see: "EPOXY", in the left-hand column of the Home page.

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Post by paulrc »

I'm thinking about building the Squirt, my first attempt at boatbuilding, in my garage. I can maintain a temperature of 70 for a couple hours using a space heater but much longer than that would be too costly. Is 2 hours enough for the fiberglass epoxy in the Glen-L epoxy kit to dry or how long will that temp need to be maintained? Also, are there sutable glue epoxys that can be used at a lower temp?

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Re: epoxy

Post by Roberta »

Welcome to the forum. The colder the temperature, the slower the curing time. At low temps, it could take days for epoxy to cure. When you spread out epoxy in the coating process, it takes much longer to cure. Conversely, epoxy in a small cup will fire up very quickly. Faster curing hardeners will work better in lower temps. Most fast hardeners have a minimum working temperature of 35 deg. F.

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Re: epoxy

Post by galamb »

I have used epoxy in Eastern Canada well into late October.

If you use a fast hardener (or super fast if available) I have found as long as you have a couple hours above 60F it will start setting up fine. When the temp drops it does slow, but not halt, the curing process. When the nights drop into the low 40's I have found I still get a cure within 48 hours (not tacky etc).

A full cure might take a whole week even under ideal conditions. I would double that time, minimally, before painting etc, if your build will live in cold conditions most of the time.

(WEST System has a fast hardener and EAST system has a fast hardener - I have used both in cold conditions, nights dipped below 40 a few times, with good results - I assume since most concoctions are pretty close that any of the other major brands would work fine with fast hardeners. The only downside is your "working time" is cut back severely so you need to work quicker and with smaller amounts)

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Dave Grason
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Re: epoxy

Post by Dave Grason »

You can always check for full cure by sanding an out of the way spot. If the epoxy wants to ball up on the sandpaper, it hasn't fully cured. If the surface stands up to the sandpaper and sands easily, (this is relative as epoxy is really tuff stuff) then you're good to go.
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Re: epoxy

Post by hoodman »

I don't know about the glen-l epoxy but when I am gluing in cold weather I just set the electric heater so it will keep the shop above freezing overnight. I can usually get a pretty good cure in about 24 hours if the daytime temps get up to around 50 or so. As others said if you are going to be working in cold weather a lot you might want to look into the fast hardeners. You might want to keep your epoxy in the house so it is warmer and easier to mix up and the reaction will start faster.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: epoxy

Post by Bill Edmundson »

I keep the epoxy in a heated and cooled part of the house. It's the same temp most of the year. That makes it more predictable. When I'm doing the hull, I often put a small space heater under the hull the night before I work.

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