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Scraping the excess...

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by dancom, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    I learned this in a video from Ray Rogers and tried it last week. How to take the excess epoxy off the blade, especially around the fronts of the scales, ricasso etc. A piece of 3/16" brass round, shaped into a chisel. The fancy handle is optional.

    [​IMG]

    I can say it works brilliantly!

    If you need to soften the epoxy a little first, apply an artist's paintbrush dipped and some acetone. Just don't let the acetone seep under scales too much.

    Dan
     
  2. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Good idea. Epoxy does not stick to metal surface very well, so it's easy to scrape off with the tool hard enough for that but not hard enough to scratch the blade.

    I never knew that acetone can soften epoxy once it's hardened. Acetone is great for removing liquid epoxy, I do it all the time, but for the hardened epoxy it doesn't work.

    What I do to keep blade clean of epoxy is using masking tape and cleaning all the drips when epoxy is still fresh. Vaseline on the blade before gluing helps too, but I rarely use it...
     
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  3. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    To add to the epoxy topic. I just read in a Russian group on Facebook that you can thin the epoxy with acetone to make it more "penetrable". Basically you need to mix a slow cure epoxy with hardener and then mix that with acetone using hard brush until all "whites" are gone. Then apply it to the wood or antler and acetone will make epoxy to penetrate very deep. I think this should also work well for fixing small cracks and similar defects. I have never done this myself, just read about it yesterday. So, don't ask me what "whites" are...

    Recommended epoxy/acetone ratio is 1/2, but I think this needs to be checked. They guy who recommended this says that he has 30+ years experience of working with epoxy resins...

    I always have a lot of epoxy left over after gluing handles, so I will experiment a bit and report here.
     
  4. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Ok. I did experiment on diluting G2 epoxy with acetone. It works. Acetone turns white but then after some stirring it clears and you can get homogeneous mixture. I mixed roughly 1 part of epoxy with 2 parts of acetone. Resulting mixture was very liquid and it did penetrate to wood pores really well. Like acetone. This is good.

    What is bad - after 24 hours epoxy cured, but it remains soft. It's not sticky, it's just soft, slightly softer than eraser. The second batch, where I added a little of acetone (may be 1 part of acetone per 3-4 parts of epoxy) cured much better and it's almost hard, but I still can leave marks on it with my fingernail. Those marks disappear over time.

    So, I'm not going to use this for my projects.
     
  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Thanks for this Roman. I was going to use acetone to thin some epoxy for making mosaic pins. I may try thinning some polyester resin.
     
  6. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Dan, warm epoxy flows better, but cures faster too. With some experience this can be used, but you have to be carefulll
     
  7. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Methyl alcohol is the solvent for epoxy not acetone.
    I have used it for years and buy it in a gallon or 4 liter container and clean up blades or handles to get off the excess epoxy, before it hardens.
    IT also works on JB weld which is an epoxy based material. Wipe the large excess off with a paper towel with alcohol and the tight areas with a Q tip with alcohol.
     
  8. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Thanks Cal. Great info.
     
  9. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Methyl alcohol and methylene chloride are good epoxy solvents. But you have to remember that methanol is highly toxic. A few ml of methanol will blind you and 30 ml is a lethal dose. And is smells just like ethanol - there is no way to tell what is what if it's not labelled. As to methylene chloride - this stuff is carcinogenic and I don't recommend to work with it at home.
    There is a whole bunch of commercial solvents designed for dissolving cured and uncured epoxy resins, but acetone is relatively safe for home use and inexpensive solvent which dissolves uncured epoxy really well.

    Coming back to my experiments with thinning epoxy with acetone: after 4 days strongly thinned epoxy in a beaker became a little harder. Now is is less soft than eraser. The part of it which I applied to wood is completely hardened and now it's no different form "normal" epoxy that I applied to same piece of wood.
    The second batch, slightly thinned, is now hard and no different from the "normal" epoxy. I can't leave marks on it with my fingernail anymore.

    So, I thinks thinned epoxy cures, but residual acetone might slow down this process if it can not easily escape the mixture. On the piece of wood capillaries might be helping to remove excess of acetone and this is why it cured on wood and still didn't harden in the beaker.
     
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Probably a good idea to observe WHMIS guidelines at home. I have a cabinet full of nasty things solvents, acids, adhesives, resins, lubricants which are all really bad if they were mistakenly ingested. Container labelling is a key part of WHMIS and I try to keep an up-to-date MSDS binder on the side of the cabinet. I keep the bad stuff locked and away from children and pets. The only chemical I drink is from my beer fridge. :)

    As for your experiment, does it looks like a light thinning with acetone will recover to typical hardness? I am thinking inside a brass tube in the case of a mosaic pins, so maybe not.

    Dan
     
  11. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Well....... I never said to drink the stuff.;):beer:;););););)
    The fumes from acetone and lacquer thinner I am sure are much more dangerous.
     
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  12. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    overly
    Dan, I used slightly thinned epoxy in a form of thin layer on the wood surface. It did harden like a normal epoxy after 4 days.
    Not sure how it will work in a brass tube, but I think it is worth a try...

    :)
    After being responsible for safety in the university lab full of students I might be overly cautious. But if I can substitute dangerous chemical with less dangerous - I always do that. Better safe than sorry.

    Well, all these chemicals must be used ONLY in a well ventilated area. I assume this comes without discussion as you don't want to inhale any of them...
     

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