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What Epoxy Do You Use

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by Flinders Adventures, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Flinders Adventures

    Flinders Adventures New Member

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    im making my first set of knives which will all be full tang. I'll be using micarta scales with brass pins for the first set. What is a good recommended epoxy for full tang pinned handles. I want something with maximum stregnth as these wi be hard use knives.

    Thanks for any suggestions
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hi Doug,

    There are lots of good epoxies out there. I have used Acraglas almost exclusively and never had a problem with it. I love Acraglas, but it's a pain to bring up from the US.
    I recently picked up some West System's G/flex as this is reported to be very good as well. It can be found at a lot of marine supply places and I bought the small kit locally for $27.

    Again, lots to choose from. It's more about where to get it than what works best. What works best is the subject of great debates.
    What I do know is surface preparation outweighs the epoxy itself when it comes to overall performance.

    Good luck!

    Dan
     
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  3. Flinders Adventures

    Flinders Adventures New Member

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    Thanks for the tips Dan, this is a great place to learn. Once I have my computer up and running I'll be starting a build thread. It helps to have photos
     
  4. Putterer

    Putterer New Member

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    Hi Doug.

    I'm a newbie too and just collecting supplies for my first knife. It's tough as a newbie to find posts to participate in due to my inexperience, but I think the can offer up my 2 cents worth here.

    I owned a sail boat for 8 years and can support Dan's comments on the West System's G/flex. I found all of West Systems products to be top quality, but they certainly aren't the cheapest. Nothing to do with boating is cheap!! :)

    Another one that was mentioned in a number of posts while I was researching epoxies is G2. It's available at Lee Valley Tools and is quite a bit more economical than the G/flex. $31.50 for a 12 oz. kit.

    To Dan's point, those are the 2 that I have narrowed my choice down to due to easy availability. I have a couple of marine supply stores within 15 minutes of the house and I have a Lee Valley Tools 15 minutes from my office. Many knife builders use these epoxies, so that's good enough for me to start out with until I can form my own opinion.

    Good luck with your first knife. Can't wait to see your build thread.

    Cheers
    Gary
     
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  5. Flinders Adventures

    Flinders Adventures New Member

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    Thanks Gary, you guys have made the decision easy
     
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  6. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    I use Acraglas as well it is a great product. I have not had much trouble getting it from the US. If you do order it from the US make sure to tell them to use USPS and not UPS. UPS will add a bunch of additional charges for crossing the border
     
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  7. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    I use G2 from Lee Valley. No problems so far.
     
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  8. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Hey Doug. I've been using Devcon 2 ton epoxy and I'm very happy with the results. I had to redo a cocobolo handle on a knife because of a pin hole in the solder and the wood was destroyed by the time the epoxy let go. Like Dan said. Surface prep is very important. One other thing I will add is don't rush it. Stay away from the 5 minute epoxies. I always have all of the pieces fit, clean and ready to go together but trying to get it all together within the 5minutes +/- is not wort the stress... to me anyways.
     
  9. Newfiebackflip

    Newfiebackflip New Member

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    Is lapage epoxy or gorilla epoxy no good for knife making?
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I used Gorilla brand 5 minute epoxy on my first two knives. They are still in service after three years. The 5 minutes can be on the quick side if you encounter difficulty during assembly.
     
  11. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    I use the lepage epoxy, and haven't had a problem with it so far....but mind you I haven't been making knifes that long either :D
    just find it more accessible...
     
  12. Newfiebackflip

    Newfiebackflip New Member

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    Ok cool,

    My plan is to start making knives at my normal job when I can. I have about 90% of the tools there, the only issue I have is not having a suitable belt grinder. I could do it with a hand file but I do also have a job to do so quicker would be better in that sense. I was thinking about getting the 1x30 belt sanders but from what I have read they are not the best tool for the job.

    We have a ton of lepage expoxy at work for various tasks that we do so its readily available if I run out.
     
  13. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    What I have been told is you have to be careful of the bond life. Most epoxies can have the bond fail after 5 years. Accra glass and west epoxy are supposed to last 50 years
     
  14. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I recently switched to the lepage epoxy that comes in two separate bottles. No issues so far. Before that I regularly used JB weld. The only issue i ever had with JB is that its a bit thick so can show glue lines if not clamped perfectly. I tested a couple epoxies a few years back and didn't find much difference. What i did was profile few handles, glue them up with no pins, and leave them in the door of my old truck. In fact they are still there. This has been at least three years, with no ill effects. These pieces have been there summer and winter, so have seen temps down to -50 all the way up to likely 60 or 70 degrees or more, when its above 30 outside and the windows are up with the truck parked in the sun. Not to mention the cycles of -40 with the truck sitting, up to +20 when its driven, and back down to -40 after its parked, all within a couple hours. All are still attached with no separation.
     
  15. Newfiebackflip

    Newfiebackflip New Member

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    That is pretty wicked. We have the normal Lepage and the Lepage Marine.
     
  16. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    It's key to remember that epoxy is only as good as your surface preparation.
    Even the best epoxy will suck if there's nothing good to stick to. :)

    Dan
     
  17. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    With the less expensive brands they are typically non structural and will have a lower bonding strength. Basically if the clear portion is clear and not white then you are good to go. The whiter the clear tube the more filler and the lower the bond strength.
    Now these are knives we are doing and not aircraft components so we can get away with a little lower strength. Never looked into it but the lower strength stuff may also be less rigid and be a better match between the scale and steel which have dramatically different expansion rates.
     
  18. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    A few years back, I followed a thread which was a very intriguing test of many brand name epoxies. Tests were performed by Tracey Mickley (USAKnifmaker.com) and posted on KnifeNetwork.
    http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27463

    Read this whole topic. The last time I checked it was 19 pages. It's more than shear strength that is published by the epoxy manufacturers.
    3600 lbs doesn't mean sh*t if it's not waterproof or it fails at 50°C.

    Do yourself a favour. Learn and make the best possible knife you can.
    Your customers will love you.

    Dan
     
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  19. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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  20. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    That is a handy chart. I'm going to have to find some of that golf shifting epoxy to test.
     

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