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  #21  
Old 07-28-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbowser View Post
I feel like I've got a good understanding of the different epoxies out there and for the type of repairs most boaters are doing, the additional cost of West isn't warranted. I'd probably use it if I were building a freestanding carbon fiber spar or airplane wing (or something that is engineered to cutting edge tolerances and demands the best), but not for rebuilding decks or gelcoat repairs.
I've found some other brands to actually be BETTER than West. In my experience even the slowest West hardeners are pretty fast and the cured resin is relatively hard/brittle. System Three and a no-name bulk epoxy I'm currently using cure to a slightly "nylon" type of texture - more flexible and tough than the West resins I've used.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

huh?
most folks complain that West cures too slow.
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady;901859 In any case, you can get your epoxy at a pretty big discount from [URL="http://www.epoxyproducts.com/marine.html"
Progressive Epoxy[/URL]. Their website also has a ton of info.
Don't even get me started on Mr. "My epoxy is better and cheaper than everybody else and my 20th century unnavigable website will prove it because i say so"
The gougeon brothers build boats. they have an R&D department. They have a toll-free helpline and almost instant reply by email. Epoxy products is a mailorder repackager. he's cheap. that's it.
On a small project you might save $15. On a big project the waste will eat up any savings.

But it's your money and time. I won't waste either with something i can't trust just on the hope that i might save enough to buy dinner at Red Lobster.


Folks, remember that the OP is in Canada- some internet suppliers won't ship here, and if they do, the cost is crazy stupid.
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  #24  
Old 07-30-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

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Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Don't even get me started on Mr. "My epoxy is better and cheaper than everybody else and my 20th century unnavigable website will prove it because i say so"
The gougeon brothers build boats. they have an R&D department. They have a toll-free helpline and almost instant reply by email. Epoxy products is a mailorder repackager. he's cheap. that's it.
On a small project you might save $15. On a big project the waste will eat up any savings.

But it's your money and time. I won't waste either with something i can't trust just on the hope that i might save enough to buy dinner at Red Lobster.


Folks, remember that the OP is in Canada- some internet suppliers won't ship here, and if they do, the cost is crazy stupid.
I've use Progressive Epoxy products on several projects. They work fine and are quite a bit cheaper than any other product lines I've come across. Their website is a bit "scatter brained", but there is quite a bit of info there.
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Old 07-31-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Two words: metered pumps.
i have used upwards of 75 gallons of West epoxy and never had a bad batch. One squirt of this,one squirt of that,stir, done.
It is virtually idiot-proof.
Are you talking about metered pumps or mini pumps? If you want to invest several hundred dollars in a metered pump then yes, it does become virtually idiot proof, but my experience with the mini pumps (the ones that screw into the can) has been less than stellar. They often get bubbles in the tube and cause 'burps' that get you off ratio and they gum up with repeated use. I've been told by several people who do this for a living that you shouldn't trust the mini pumps; measure by volume (or weight) or invest in a metered pump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
yeah, in smaller quantities it is about 20-30% more expensive, than the other suspects but, at least in my part of Canada, there are five chandleries, two hardware stores and one aircraft supply house that stock West products. Nobody stocks Raka, Mas, System three, etc. They can get it, but it's gonna take 5 days to a week. I could deal directly with the source, but the price isn't significantly cheaper and i have to pay for shipping. meanwhile, whatever i am working on has to gather dust. If i run out of West 205 during a project, i can get more before the current coat kicks.
Once you start buying the stuff in gallon-plus quantities, the cost difference between West and most competitors virtually disappears, especially when you start adding in shipping...
West is widely available no doubt; sorry you can't source other product easily in your neck of the woods. Here in New England I can run out and buy West, Raka, Sys3, or Progressive before the current coat kicks and if I choose Raka or Progressive, I will save more than 40% buying either 1 or 5 gallon batches. I don't deal with shipping since I pick it up myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
...and i kinda like dealing with the guys who do the R&D and have built the boats. kinda nice to know i am dealing with a company that has some skin in the game, rather than just some guy with a crappy website whose whole marketing strategy is simply being cheap.
No question, West is great stuff and they have invested a lot into R&D and marketing so it makes sense that your going to pay more and if I decide that I need to apply some of that R&D to one of my projects then I'll go with West. However, rebuilding decks and patching hulls is not rocket science and I don't need to pay more for a product because they told me to use a 12:1 bevel for a proper mechanical bond.

Is West better than Raka or Progressive? Probably, but I'd be willing to bet that even the cheapest no-name brand of marine grade epoxy is stronger than the original polyester or vinylester resins that most production boats are made of. I have demonstrable evidence that these cheaper products retain their strength for at least 8 years and chances are they will last many more than that. Like I said in my previous post; if I were building a freestanding spar or airplane wing to critical tolerances I'd go with West, but until then I'll take a chance and save a fair amount of money (by my standards at least).

Just my $0.02.
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Old 07-31-2012
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Without compromise, West is best. One pump resin, one pump hardener, regardless of which one your using. good for low temps, 37F up. Low thinner components so it works on most foams. Strong, waterproof, and easy to find. Downside, price per covererage is probably the highest, hard to work once cured, but done once, done right.
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Old 07-31-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbowser View Post
Are you talking about metered pumps or mini pumps? If you want to invest several hundred dollars in a metered pump then yes, it does become virtually idiot proof, but my experience with the mini pumps (the ones that screw into the can) has been less than stellar. They often get bubbles in the tube and cause 'burps' that get you off ratio and they gum up with repeated use. I've been told by several people who do this for a living that you shouldn't trust the mini pumps; measure by volume (or weight) or invest in a metered pump.


Mini pumps ARE metered pumps.
WEST SYSTEM | Pumps and Metering Equipment
The only way you get bubbles is if you are sucking air, which means the can has just about kicked. It pays to unscrew the pump from time to time, and when you get down to the last 1/2 inch or so, start a fresh can, then once the level in the fresh can has dropped enough, decant the old can into the new. As far as gumming up, absolutely, if you don't clean them like you clean any other tool you want to reuse.
Like I said, and this is info coming to you first hand- i have pumped better than 75 gallons of West epoxy through pumps and never had a bad batch.
I don't "do this for a living" but i get paid for doing it.

It appears epoxy opinions are damn near as contentious as anchor wars.
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2012
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

Yes, epoxy opinions are rampant, but that's ok. I'd much rather have a discussion on the pros and cons of epoxy than on politics

I didn't realize the mini pumps were considered metered, and maybe they have been redesigned with a stronger return spring in the past 5 years or so (I haven't used them since then) so I'll take your word for it that they do work well consistently now. Since then I've either mixed in volumetric containers (on site) or used a friends benchtop metered pump when doing parts at his shop.

My big issue with them was working in colder temps (<50F). As the viscosity of the epoxy decreases with the temperature, the resistance of the return spring wasn't enough to overcome the viscosity of the epoxy and air would get sucked into into the pump chamber causing a 'burp'. It doesn't take much googling to find others with this opinion.

Of course this would happen with any epoxy and your right that they probably work better if they are cleaned up from time to time.
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Old 08-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones:903781

It appears epoxy opinions are damn near as contentious as anchor wars.
A testiment not only to the versatility of West System, but to its reliability even in the hands of the inexperienced. It's become abundantly clear that there's even reliable products designed for the pedantic. It's almost as if this post was mixed with 209. My personal choice is Six-Ten for it's versatility.
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Re: First Fiberglass repair

I'm a fan of 207- I like my posts to be clear and blush free
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