A Decent Rod Building Epoxy from bcrods.

Lewis Chessman

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Hi. I purchased a 2 x 20ml batch of 'Rod Building Components' epoxy from bcrods on eBay last November for £13 incl. p&p. I found it rather like Sensei but perhaps with longer pot-life, easier to re-thin with heat and that it re-thinned more times.
I have been using pipettes to measure out 2 x 0.5 ml mixes and have had no mix/bubble/tackiness issues over four rods now. Also, it sets in about three hours.

I looked to reorder last week but they were all sold out. However, it's back in stock now if only in the 2 x 10 ml bottle option - but they're selling fast and only 4 left as I type.
I bought two x 2 x 10 mls bottles for £15 myself. If you're looking for a guide resin I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

dougieb

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I'm about to try threadmaster lite on my current build. So far I've only used two finishes

- Flex Coat (normal): really didn't get on with this. Found it too thick and difficult to apply. Pot life not great, too many bubbles. Was used on my first couple of builds so could of been user error as I got up to speed.

- Sensei: I used this thinned with IPA 2:1 and applied several thin coast (3-4). Much preferred it, the final finish was more level (no rugby balls), pot life good (probably because it was thinned). Almost zero bubbles (again probably due to the thinning). Took a while to dry and finish maybe not as glossy as the flex coat. Generally liked it.

Not sure why I haven't stuck with the Sensei, but after hearing good things about TM Lite decided I would give it a go.
 

beetlebum

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Hi. I purchased a 2 x 20ml batch of 'Rod Building Components' epoxy from bcrods on eBay last November for £13 incl. p&p. I found it rather like Sensei but perhaps with longer pot-life, easier to re-thin with heat and that it re-thinned more times.
I have been using pipettes to measure out 2 x 0.5 ml mixes and have had no mix/bubble/tackiness issues over four rods now. Also, it sets in about three hours.

I looked to reorder last week but they were all sold out. However, it's back in stock now if only in the 2 x 10 ml bottle option - but they're selling fast and only 4 left as I type.
I bought two x 2 x 10 mls bottles for £15 myself. If you're looking for a guide resin I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I bought some of this after your recommendation but am yet to use it. I did notice that the bottles are rigid so you can't really measure drops directly from the bottle. Is this why you went down the pipette route Lewis?
Thanks, Simon
 

Lewis Chessman

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Hi, Simon. No, I headed down the pipette route a while back when I was repeatedly having issues with FlexCoat Lite. I'm now satisfied the product was old and faulty - but I still have a few hundred pipettes!

Actually, there are very useful, not only for accurately measuring small amounts, reducing wastage, but also for adding IPA in a controlled way.
I did notice that the RBC epoxy bottles have a nozzle on them. Perhaps you could count the number of drops from each bottle to get a good, precise mix? I find warming the bottles in warm water helps thin it before I start.
Also, unlike some others I've used, the labels are waterproof and don't float away in the bath leaving you wondering which is which. ;)

Good luck when you get to it!
 

beetlebum

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Thanks Lewis, I ordered a batch of 50 3ml pipettes last night so that should see me right for a while, mainly for adding the IPA like you mentioned.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Thanks Lewis, I ordered a batch of 50 3ml pipettes last night so that should see me right for a while, mainly for adding the IPA like you mentioned.
Simon, I use a marker pen to highlight the 0.5 ml bars and make another mark near the top of just one pipette - this I'll use for the slightly coloured hardener. Then, if I am making a few batches at one sitting I know which pipette has already been in which pot.
I've cut down a whisky bottle's cardboard tube as a disposable 'pipette holder', just to keep things clean, neat and tidy. The IPA pipette has its own jam jar to keep it separate and uncontaminated.

By happenstance, I heat the room with a 2Kw convection heater similar to this. It's very useful for warming the pipettes once the majority has been expressed into your dish. This thins the resin/hardener allowing one to pretty much empty the pipette. I think it is worth doing as the hardener is more viscous and consequently more gets left in the pipette after the first squeezing out. Certainly, doing this helps keep the ratio very close to 1:1 and so far had given faultless results in terms of the blend hardening properly. Before I started doing this I'd return to the pipettes (standing upright in the tube) only to see different amounts of residue collected in the neck of each - and therefore my blend would have been a little bit out. I got away with it, luckily, but why take the risk of an ever-tacky result?

In respect of this, try not to suck up loads into the pipette and then express any excess to your chosen mark - it's surprising how much will remain unseen, a thin layer where it once was which will flow downward, adding to your intended amount.

I'm always budget-minded so instead of buying mixing trays I use a plastic milk bottle cap with a square of folded Al foil wrapped over it. I start close to one edge of the foil and by the time it's all tucked in and smoothed at the base there's usually enough spare foil to screw up and make a wee handle with.
When the epoxy begins to thicken in the pot, a quick waft and gentle stir over the hot air thins it back down quickly - I'm sure that the conductive properties of the foil are a big help in evenly speeding up the reheating/re-thinning.
I appreciate there are many other ways to keep the epoxy warm and thinned during application but this is working for me at present.
Cheers,
James.
 

beetlebum

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Hi James, apologies for assuming your name was Lewis 🙄. I hadn't tried the new epoxy but I'm actually in the middle of a build using some sensei epoxy with varied results. I'd done what looked like a really nice final coat yesterday morning but when I checked it at lunch time it's cloudy and a little tacky, very disappointing. I mustn't have gotten the mix correct or maybe the garage was too cold (don't have a drying room unfortunately and have pet cats so the garage is the only available place). I don't know whether to try and strip the last coating off or to let it dry and epoxy over the top. This is on transparent wraps. I'll add that I like the sensei stuff, the first and second coats were no issue from a curing point of view, just uneven hence the third coat.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Hi, Simon,
No worries, I answer to both LC & James here. ;)

How rotten for you - and over clear wraps, too!
Codyarrow gave me some Sensei last year and it worked well for me, I have to say. When I need more I couldn't see it on Mick B's site so looked elsewhere and that's when I plumped for the RBC - it's cheaper too, I think?

Can you put the cats in the garage next time?
;)
I jest. My 'building room' is an unheated space unless I use electric. Bloody cold first thing but heats up to about 21/22 degrees with two heaters in about 20 minutes. Being tight-fisted I don't leave the heat on when I've finished working so it'll drop to about 8 degrees or so overnight. I've found that epoxy for the grips etc. and wood varnish will take a couple of days to cure but both the Sensei and RBC have given no issues whatsoever. In fact, the RBC seems to cure in about 3 hours even in the cooling room.

Others will know more but I wonder if the cloudiness has come from air bubbles introduced in the mix or application? Did you flash the wraps with heat after applying to remove trapped air? It can help.
Another precaution is to clean all the wraps with IPA just before each application to ensure they're dust-free.
I also clean my mixing tubs/foil with an IPA-soaked cotton bud before the off to make sure they're dirt/finger-grease free and check the brushes, too. It pays to be meticulous, I think.

If yours were just tacky you could, I've read, try a thin coat of diluted Hardener in the hope that finishes the curing process. I've only read that, not tried. But you say it's bumpy, too.

When I've had bumpy wraps in the past I've painstakingly sanded them flat using strips of 800 Wet & Dry and an ice lolly stick. Easy to hold and gives reasonably precise pressure where you'll need it. But be careful you don't scratch the naked blank! I know our epoxies are supposed to be self-levelling but there is, it seems, a limit, and I've yet to see a once-bumpy whipping improved satisfactorily by further applications.
When you sand the old wraps they'll get scuffed and go cloudy (well, cloudier!) but, almost miraculously, they go crystal-clear again with the next coat.

I'm sorry to say it, but I think that if you want an A1 job here you'll either have to get the razor out and start again or set about sanding.

Just going back to the cats ..... Some folk set up a tent indoors to dry sections in. It has the advantage of being dust free and you'll keep the cats off the blank. It needn't be a real tent, some plastic sheeting over a broomstick, pinned down along the edges and closable at each end should keep the curious out, if you have the space, of course.

Good luck with it. If you add a couple of photos of the worst offenders to the thread others maybe able to advise better.
J.
 

beetlebum

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Hi, Simon,
No worries, I answer to both LC & James here. ;)

How rotten for you - and over clear wraps, too!
Codyarrow gave me some Sensei last year and it worked well for me, I have to say. When I need more I couldn't see it on Mick B's site so looked elsewhere and that's when I plumped for the RBC - it's cheaper too, I think?

Can you put the cats in the garage next time?
;)
I jest. My 'building room' is an unheated space unless I use electric. Bloody cold first thing but heats up to about 21/22 degrees with two heaters in about 20 minutes. Being tight-fisted I don't leave the heat on when I've finished working so it'll drop to about 8 degrees or so overnight. I've found that epoxy for the grips etc. and wood varnish will take a couple of days to cure but both the Sensei and RBC have given no issues whatsoever. In fact, the RBC seems to cure in about 3 hours even in the cooling room.

Others will know more but I wonder if the cloudiness has come from air bubbles introduced in the mix or application? Did you flash the wraps with heat after applying to remove trapped air? It can help.
Another precaution is to clean all the wraps with IPA just before each application to ensure they're dust-free.
I also clean my mixing tubs/foil with an IPA-soaked cotton bud before the off to make sure they're dirt/finger-grease free and check the brushes, too. It pays to be meticulous, I think.

If yours were just tacky you could, I've read, try a thin coat of diluted Hardener in the hope that finishes the curing process. I've only read that, not tried. But you say it's bumpy, too.

When I've had bumpy wraps in the past I've painstakingly sanded them flat using strips of 800 Wet & Dry and an ice lolly stick. Easy to hold and gives reasonably precise pressure where you'll need it. But be careful you don't scratch the naked blank! I know our epoxies are supposed to be self-levelling but there is, it seems, a limit, and I've yet to see a once-bumpy whipping improved satisfactorily by further applications.
When you sand the old wraps they'll get scuffed and go cloudy (well, cloudier!) but, almost miraculously, they go crystal-clear again with the next coat.

I'm sorry to say it, but I think that if you want an A1 job here you'll either have to get the razor out and start again or set about sanding.

Just going back to the cats ..... Some folk set up a tent indoors to dry sections in. It has the advantage of being dust free and you'll keep the cats off the blank. It needn't be a real tent, some plastic sheeting over a broomstick, pinned down along the edges and closable at each end should keep the curious out, if you have the space, of course.

Good luck with it. If you add a couple of photos of the worst offenders to the thread others maybe able to advise better.
J.
Thanks for all of the info James, it's a great help. I don't think that the cloudiness was bubbles as the sensei stuff is actually pretty good for not having bubbles (in my limited experience I must add). I looked at the sections again and I think it was from a bad mix, I've wiped the excess away with IPA and have applied a thin layer of the new epoxy to see if the results are any better. When I say the wraps are bumpy, they are not terrible just not perfect, it is my first build after all (well second technically). I'll see what the new coat turns out like and go from there. I like the tent idea, that's a great shout, I have actually been thinking about constructing some kind of cover out of boxes but my 1 man tent could be a much easier bet...it would keep the cats out anyway😂. I'll add a few pics of the job so far.
 

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beetlebum

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Just out of curiosity, what would be the best way to strip the existing epoxy off? I have some nitro mors but I'm wary of using it as I don't know how it will react with fiberglass.
 

arkle

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NEVER use ANY chemical strippers for this application, only a Stanley type blade. The minutest drop will wreck a blank, no matter how well you mask it.
 

beetlebum

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NEVER use ANY chemical strippers for this application, only a Stanley type blade. The minutest drop will wreck a blank, no matter how well you mask it.
Thanks, I wasn't going to go anywhere near it unless someone could vouch for having used it...Stanley blade it is then.
 

beetlebum

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You are not alone. Recently at 5.30 am I heard an almighty clatter only to find the drying rod on the ground. Don't even start me with cats and fly tying. :giggle:
That sounds like something that would happen here...I only tie in the garage too now...it's the only place I am safe😂
 

Lewis Chessman

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Simon, I buy the double sided Wilkinson Sword-type razor blades and break them in half whilst still in their wrappers. They're .... um .... razor-sharp!
I use them for cutting threads too, as I like their fineness. You've got to be a bit careful when you pick the half up of course, but I've yet to cut myself once.

When I cut off old whippings I start near the inner end of the foot, cutting towards the rising ring so as not to slip and hit the blank (again!). If you can, try to lift the cut you've made. If you're lucky you'll pick up the end of the cut thread and can then simply pull it. The rest will then come away taking most of the epoxy with it.

With yours still being fresh I would expect it still to be a little soft and should come away cleanly in the main. A rub with IPA and scrape with a fingernail or lolly stick should complete the job nicely.
 

beetlebum

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Simon, I buy the double sided Wilkinson Sword-type razor blades and break them in half whilst still in their wrappers. They're .... um .... razor-sharp!
I use them for cutting threads too, as I like their fineness. You've got to be a bit careful when you pick the half up of course, but I've yet to cut myself once.

When I cut off old whippings I start near the inner end of the foot, cutting towards the rising ring so as not to slip and hit the blank (again!). If you can, try to lift the cut you've made. If you're lucky you'll pick up the end of the cut thread and can then simply pull it. The rest will then come away taking most of the epoxy with it.

With yours still being fresh I would expect it still to be a little soft and should come away cleanly in the main. A rub with IPA and scrape with a fingernail or lolly stick should complete the job nicely.
Thanks again for the tips James. I removed the worst offender (the stripping guide wrap in the first pic) and to be honest I struggled. I had bought some brand new blades so that wasn't an issue, it's just that the epoxy was very hard to remove even when warmed by a hairdryer. Saying that, I got it off eventually but the fact I struggled made me try the other option of sanding them level. I masked off either side of the wrap and made a makeshift rubbing board with some wet and dry and a flat piece of wood and it seems to have worked pretty well. It'll be weekend before I can apply some more epoxy as I really want to take my time setting everything up and hopefully construct a dust free drying area. I'll keep you informed of my progress...or more likely be back asking for help again😂
 
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