Epoxy question

Melinapex

Mark
User
So I have been playing with a piece of walnut, and wanted to try filling the split with epoxy. Is my first time using epoxy, and fitting butterflies...
I want the epoxy to be glossy once this is finished and I have sanded it (just the epoxy part) to 2,000 grit.... it is still hazy so on the far right section I took some heavy cut marine compound and got it a bit glossier. But I am concerned about getting the compound in the wood and messing up the finish.
So hopefully someone out there has done this and can give advise.
From what I have read, I may be able to leave it at 2,000 and when done with the finish (waterlox) put some gloss poly over it and it should be fine.
I think my other option is - keep sanding up to higher grits, until I get the gloss I want.
IMG_0962.JPG



Thanks!
 

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AllanD

Allan
Senior User
My son has been doing a lot of epoxy rivers in the shop lately. If you have already gone as far as 2000 grit and still not happy with the sheen I think you are right about a gloss top coat. If not that then I guess keep buffing with finer and finer but seems like a lot of work. We run it through the planer, sand with random orbit and call it a day.
What epoxy did you use? Some are very clear to use as bar tops, etc. but some like the old West system are not that clear.
 

Rjgooden

Big Ron
User
I seem to get the cloudy spots in my epoxy when the ambient temp of the room is to low, or if I put a little to much harder in the mix trying to speed up the drying time
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Try a practice piece with scrap first, but I haven't had a problem with gloss when just sanding to 320 and then coating. The gloss will be whatever the coating is.
 

cyclopentadiene

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User
it may be water trapped in the epoxy. Did you apply the epoxy on a humid rainy day? it is best to use epoxy in warmer and dry temperatures. During the winter, I do all epoxy glue ups in our living room. My wife complains but this is the only way to get a good cure in the later fall and winter.


 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
I do the exact same thing @cyclopentadiene said. With epoxy I do it in the house unless I am just gluing with it.. Otherwise, I have dust or uneven finishes on the surfaces
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I have done some similar work and sanded through 3000 grit. The gloss is high enough for me, but not the super high gloss you seem to want. I also wanted to avoid the potential for polishing compound to get into the wood pores because I wanted an oil finish on the walnut. I used Ollie's oil for my finish and ended up with a luster below high gloss poly but well above satin. I expect to go back in another week or two and apply a topcoat of wax buffed to a slightly higher sheen, but am happy with the finished product as is. If you are going to top with poly, I think you will have to actually roughen the surface back to about 320 because you have no chemical bonding between the poly and the epoxy, and the mechanical bond will not be strong enough to last without some scratch marks in the epoxy. By the way, your work looks great. Good luck!
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
My son has been doing a lot of epoxy rivers in the shop lately. If you have already gone as far as 2000 grit and still not happy with the sheen I think you are right about a gloss top coat. If not that then I guess keep buffing with finer and finer but seems like a lot of work. We run it through the planer, sand with random orbit and call it a day.
What epoxy did you use? Some are very clear to use as bar tops, etc. but some like the old West system are not that clear.
Thanks, I got the epoxy at Klingspor-I forget the name but is not west system.
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
I have done some similar work and sanded through 3000 grit. The gloss is high enough for me, but not the super high gloss you seem to want. I also wanted to avoid the potential for polishing compound to get into the wood pores because I wanted an oil finish on the walnut. I used Ollie's oil for my finish and ended up with a luster below high gloss poly but well above satin. I expect to go back in another week or two and apply a topcoat of wax buffed to a slightly higher sheen, but am happy with the finished product as is. If you are going to top with poly, I think you will have to actually roughen the surface back to about 320 because you have no chemical bonding between the poly and the epoxy, and the mechanical bond will not be strong enough to last without some scratch marks in the epoxy. By the way, your work looks great. Good luck!
Thanks for that info, so the oil won't stick to the epoxy, did you put anything else on it? Or is it "naked"!
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
Actually the Ollies Oil product did stick because it is combined with waxes. This product is somewhat like Danish oil in that it catalyzes in the presence of air, but it is much thicker and is applied more like a wax. It increased the sheen much like a wax as well. The film thickness though is not much. My point was more directed to poly or a finish that actually hardens to a skin (even shellac). There has to be a mechanical bond because a chemical bond with cured epoxy is not going to happen. The scratch marks of the 320 grit will be filled up by the poly and not be visible in the final surface, which would be the poly, so would not be a problem to achieve the gloss level you are looking for. I specifically did not want the look of poly on my wood surface as I wanted it to be softer and deeper looking than a poly usually allows. I will try to provide some pictures later today, but I'm not sure if these kind of differences will show in my photos. I'll try. I should add that sanding the wood to 3000 grit serves to polish the wood as well so the grain contrast normally obtained with oil finishes is not quite as great as a normal sanding process to 320 would make it. This was the compromise that worked best for me.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
Here are some comparisons. Photo with red stripe is gloss poly. Blue stripe is satin poly. Large photo is Ollie's Oil. The gloss is between the two polys, but closer to gloss than satin. Hope this helps.
IMG_9622.JPG
IMG_9623.JPGIMG_9627.JPG
 

Melinapex

Mark
User
Thanks Mark, very helpful. I would not be sanding the wood past 220 grit, just the epoxy, but since the poly should give me the level of gloss, I will probably sand out the spot I polished and see how it goes. Appreciate the info.
 

cyclopentadiene

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I typically use the System 3 Epoxy from Klingspor. I prefer the 30 minute structural epoxy as it allows more time for alignment and clamping. If I am just filling a crack, I just use the cheap stuff from Lowes that is a 5 min epoxy.
 

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