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Old 04-01-2005, 09:11 AM   #1
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"Smoothing out" epoxy

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I am putting some epoxy on my open cockpit areas to seal them. I read somewhere that using a heat gun on low settings is good (but for what I can't remember).

Is using a heat gun good for:

1) speeding up the setting time


2) smoothing out the epoxy into a nice flat surface.

I'll be putting my styrene pilot into place at the same time as I put the epoxy sealant down.

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Old 04-01-2005, 09:20 AM   #2
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Its good for both. When heated the epoxy will almost get to the consistency of water and will flow out really well.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:23 AM   #3
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so much so that it'll make a mess? Should I use less than I would normally because of this "watery" consistency?
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:23 AM   #4
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When you use a heat gun it will thin the epoxy and let it flow and penetrate the wood. I believe after it will help after to speed up the hardening time also. I usually mix in a little alcohol with it to help the penetration. If you are looking for a smooth surface it would help but what I do for small areas is apply the epoxy as smooth and even as possible then put saran wrap over and then roll it down with no wrinkles. Let it harden before removing and then finish to what you want. Works great also on the centre sections of a wing when glassing.
Hope this helps.
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Good idea on the saran wrap Vulcan! I usually mix epoxy about 50/50 with rubbing alcohol (the 98% pure stuff from the drug store) to thin it and aid penetration. Mix in a little alcohol at a time until you get the consistency you wasnt.

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Old 04-04-2005, 10:26 PM   #6
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I have done this process several times and it always works great. When its finished it will look like glass. The only thing that I would suggest that hasn't been mentioned yet is to use at least a 30 minute epoxy. Five minute stuff will set up so fast especially with the heat that you'll hardly have time to smooth it out. Thirty minute will give you more time to work with it and will also penetrate much better as well. Warm up the epoxy before starting to lay it on and then use the heat gun and brush it on at the same time. Another quick go over after its layed on and it will be awsome!
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:13 PM   #7
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I would suggest NOT doing this:

mixed up some 15 min I had with a bit o' alcohol (no where near 50-50. Put it on, smoothed it out and put the heat gun(low) to it.

Well, it must have been still too hot cuz all I really got was the epoxy to bubble up. A first rate crappy job imho.

First time learning. Good thing I have two cockpits to practise on
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