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Which epoxy to buy?

Posted by ccarlson 
Which epoxy to buy?
October 03, 2018 05:56PM
Hello.
I have used West Systems in the past and read that many members here use RAKA. Has anyone used US Composites epoxy? The prices are much better. Thought that I might purchase a small quantity for laminating some stock for oars. Any input?
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
October 03, 2018 06:31PM
I have not used US Composites epoxy. Would love to hear a report from someone who has used it.

I've used RAKA and West System. Both have given me good results but the RAKA I have used is more subject to cold weather crystallization than West. However i do see RAKA now (also) sells what they refer to as a "cold weather epoxy." I have not tried it.

Many have reported good results with System III

FWIW: for resins and hardeners that have crystallized I bought the largest used microwave I could find, at a pawn shop. I heat the crystallized stuff up to pretty hot. 250 degrees F or so. I have a candy-making thermometer I also got at the pawn shop.

It sometimes takes heating the resin up 2 or 3 times to get all the crystals to go away. Manufacturers heat their brand new resin up to that hot to make it thin, so robotic machines can more quickly squirt it into assembly-line bottles. It does not hurt the resin.
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
December 29, 2018 10:51PM
My wife and I purchased a 49 foot 1980 Defever yacht. It was in need of a lot of repairs to decks and outside cabin overhang. I discovered an epoxy from a company called Aeromarine epoxy. We went through maybe 40 gallons of their epoxy.
Wonderful stuff and well priced. Here's a link. https://www.aeromarineproducts.com/
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
January 03, 2019 12:05AM
I'm currently using up some US Composites 635 epoxy with 3:1 medium hardener. I don't love it, but don't hate it. It's decent for the low price. It does really blush, so you HAVE to give your piece a scrub with hot water and soap before bonding more parts later or before paint/varnish.

I have also used Raka for 3 kayaks, and really liked it. Less blushing and it seemed to wet out glass better than the US Composites.

Next project, I plan to try Resin Research epoxy.
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
April 05, 2019 07:43PM
Raka fan here.
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
April 06, 2019 02:01PM
The one problem I've had with RAKA (I've mentioned this several times) is that it does tend
to crystalize (more than West System) in cold weather.

I have a 2" thick foundation foam-lined shelf with a heat tape inside where I keep my resin.
I'm not disciplined and I often leave a bottle of resin outside the heater for a week or two if
it's below zero outside--and I stop using the shop. I am retired. I can do wtf I want.

And then my Raka resin is all crystalized. I fix that with a microwave.
I bought the biggest microwave I could find at the pawn shop.
You can set resin on fire with a microwave so you have to watch it and be careful.
Heating up to 250 degrees or so fahrenheit usually does the trick.
You might need an intermediate stir or two in between microwave sessions.

Heating does not damage resin.
Re: Which epoxy to buy?
July 20, 2019 02:39AM
I've used allot of Raka Maring Epoxy and their other supplies and had great results while restoring a 28' Sailboat.
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