Epoxy resins are used and applied following one of four basic techniques. These are coating, fiberglassing, gluing, and filleting/fairing. Furthermore, the techniques are pretty much the same whether they involve new wooden boat construction, the repair of fiberglass boats, furniture building, bar top coating or dry rot repair.
What might seem to be other techniques are usually just variations or combinations of the above. Many of our epoxy users discover new variations. We will discuss a number of these variations and the "tricks" that will make the epoxy work go easier and faster. We don't know everything and are constantly learning something new. We invite you to learn along with us. If you come up with a variation that we don't mention, model it first to see if it will work. Do this prior to using your whole project as a test. For example, we are often asked if System Three epoxy will stick to stained wood. Most of the time, it will regardless of the stain used. However, the only way to be really sure is to conduct your own little test.
Suppose that you are staining a piece of fir that will later be coated with epoxy and have another piece laminated to it. First, stain a scrap piece of the same wood; allow it to dry well (several days). Laminate on two pieces of 3 or 4-inch wide fiberglass tape about five inches long. Leave a "tail" that can be grasped later with a pair of pliers by running the tape a couple of inches up on a plastic squeegee. Let the epoxy cure a day or two. Remove the squeegee and grab the tail with the pliers. Try to peel the tape off the substrate. If the tape tears where the tail starts, leaving the balance of the tape bonded to the surface, then the bond is good. If the whole thing pops off intact then the bond is bad and the stain is interfering with the bond strength. Better find a new stain and repeat the test.
This same procedure can be modified to test the ability of the epoxy to bond exotic woods. If the failure occurs in the wood when two pieces are glued rather than in the glue line then it is safe to assume that the epoxy works on that kind of wood.
In order to simplify the following discussion of the four main areas of use for our epoxy systems we are going to confine the discussion to using our SilverTip Series products with wood. Where appropriate we will mention the use of our other epoxy systems. We feel that if you can understand and use the following techniques then you will be able to do most kinds of epoxy work regardless of the nature of your project.
For a printable version of The Epoxy Book Section VII in its entirety, click the PDF icon below.