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Old 08-18-2008, 08:08 AM
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Default Bubbles in Epoxy

Hi All,

I posted this question in my "superglue vs head cement" thread but haven't received any input yet so thought I'd start a new one.

I'm using Devcon 2-part 5 minute epoxy on polar fiber minnows and other large saltwater flies and always end up with bubbles in the mix! In some instances there are so many bubbles it's almost cloudy - making it such that the sparkle in the sticky eyes isn't so sparkly anymore. Is that common or am I doing something wrong?
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Bubbles in Epoxy

Are you mixing it slowly? You can try it under a bright lamp to add a bit of heat, which helps with bubbles. I mix on aluminum foil to increase the set time when working on a fly rod, but you may not want that in this case. I think it helps with the bubbles though. I also make sure to not lift whatever I'm mixing with, keep it on the bottom of the container. Some folks let the mix sit for a minute or so to let the air bubbles rise and then slow mix a bit again- slowly. There are some pros here who I'm sure will chime in soon.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Bubbles in Epoxy

Jay-

Not a pro by any means, but as Jose suggests, warming it up under a lamp will help a lot.

I like using the separate tubes of 5 min. epoxy rather than the dual tube injector type. I save and use jar lids to mix it in, and squirt a dollop of each on separate sides each about the size of a dime or nickel to make sure i have the same proportions of each, and them mix with a toothpick. Try to mix without folding to keep air out, hold up to a lamp to get any bubbles out, and then apply using a VERY thin first coat. Once it dries, I'll mark it up with a perm marker for red gills, etc, and put on a second coat. The thin coats allow bubbles to escape better than one thick one, is less likely to sag, and seems to cure better.

If you get the proportions of the A and B stuff off, you may end up with heads that are either cloudy or tacky. Doesn't have to be exact, but should be close. Sometimes it seems that the injector type is more apt to get the wrong proportions, and maybe more quick to yellow since it's in a transparent tube and is more likely to trap air. But, in the grand scheme of things probably doesn't make a difference.

If you use the injector type, store it with the plunger down and the tip up. That way the epoxy will settle at the bottom, and the air will move to the top. When you go to use it, as you push the plunger down you'll push the air out, sort of like a nurse testing a needle before she jabs you. Otherwise you'll be pushing air into the epoxy and are more likely to get bubbles.

Hope this helps.

peregrines
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Bubbles in Epoxy

I like to mix some glitter in for the first coat it give a great look and i dont notice the bubbles as much
JimW
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Bubbles in Epoxy

Someone said this already... Thin coats = no bubbles. Thick coats = bubbles.

Don't slop the stuff on. "Spin" it on with a toothpick or something similar.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Bubbles in Epoxy

The main trick I know of to eliminate bubbles is to mix the epoxy on a flat surface and keep the mixing tool in contact with the flat surface the whole time. To do small batches, a notepad and a box of toothpicks would be a good set up. Use a new piece of paper and new tooth-pick each time.
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