Author Topic: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?  (Read 26005 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kevin Johnson

  • Posts: 86
Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« on: May 12, 2008, 09:02 PM »
Hi all,

I recently did a bar top that I poured epoxy over.  It was my first time using epoxy, so when I poured it there were a couple of sticky spots because of improper mixing.  To fix that, I re-poured some of the top but where the new meets the old, there is some roughness.  I thought that I may be able to flatten those spots with the rotex and bring it back up to a nice shine.  However, I am not sure what to use.

Before I re-poured it, I successfully flattened it and took it to a matte finish using a succession of papers up to 1000 grit platin, but I was not able to get to a high gloss finish.  I have some of the automotive sponges from Lake Country.  Should I try an automotive polish with the sponges? Which one?

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline bjackson3

  • Posts: 36
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 09:20 PM »
Its very difficult to get a gloss finish as epoxy really doesn't get all that hard it stays more flexible.  Ive built a few wooden surfboards and have never had any great success polishing to a perfect shine,  but i have found that a coat or 2 of automotive clear coat on top of the epoxy can really help. The you can buff out the clear coat to really get it to shine. Either that or lay on another coat of epoxy, but do it thin and work it really slowly with a good brush or foam pad, in long SLOW strokes so it doesn't bubble. Good Luck. Oh and if you add another coat make very sure that the surface is free of wax and contaminates and mix your epoxy well, i.e.  when you think its done do it another 2 mins and really get the stuff on the sides of the cup mixed in.

Offline graphex

  • Posts: 136
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 09:55 PM »
I've done several epoxy pour-on projects, but I think bjackson3 is right, your best bet is probably another coat.

When I do the mix, I start with two graduated containers, and pour one part into each of them, making sure they are exactly even. Then I pour both parts into a separate container and mix for at least 90 seconds, then I pour that into a final container and mix for another 60 seconds. Only then do I pour the mixed epoxy onto the surface. The first two containers let you get the mix absolutely perfect, the third container helps ensure that an equal amount of resin and hardner get into the mix (you'll always have some of each left in the measuring containers). The fourth container is optional, but depending upon the size of your pour, it helps ensure that you don't have pockets of unmixed hardner/resin around the edges or corners.

After I pour the epoxy, I prefer to use a plastic notched scraper like this one to spread the epoxy out. It has several sizes of notches so you can control your thickness pretty easily. In cases where I've wanted to just do another finish coat because something happened to the previous coat, (like a stupid fly landed on it!) I've had success using the smallest notches on that scraper to get a 1/16" to 1/8" coat, which saves on epoxy.

A proper mix tends to put tons of bubbles into the epoxy, but I usually use a torch to release any bubbles which haven't already escaped. Have to be careful and just caress the epoxy surface with the torch or it will show up as a scar on the final surface.

My favorite finish so far has been enviro-tex lite, but I might try the west system 2:1 mirror coat some day. The surfaces I end up with are so glassy smooth, durable and bring out the wood grain so well, I want to use it for everything, but it is pretty much impossible to use these finishes on a curved surface.

If you do end up finding a way to polish out an imperfect area, let me know how you did it. Oh, and between coats, the enviro-tex recommends a wipedown with acetone to remove any wax or residue. Just keep it away from your torch! :)


Sean McKibben
Westminster, Colorado

we need more tools in north america

Offline bruegf

  • Posts: 794
  • Michigan
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 08:46 AM »
Have you considered using a gloss spar varnish over the epoxy?   

Fred
Fred

Offline merklebob

  • Posts: 45
  • seattle, wa
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 01:55 PM »
eopxy is real critical on mix ratios.   if it calls for 3:1 ratio if you reduce the hardner by 2-4% you will get a brittle coating.  this may creat a surface that is more to finishing to a gloss.   if you over harden the epoxy it becomes flexable and that would to hard to polish.

i do agree with the statment of using the spar varnishes.  if you can find the flecto professional,   its a hunity curied epoxy base and will polish very well.   but its getting hard to find.  [ ps drys in 3 hrs].
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 01:57 PM by merklebob »

Offline Per Swenson

  • Posts: 871
  • So far deep in rural nj, there are no Neighbors
    • Swenson&Swenson
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 08:52 PM »
Yes we do.

as others of said if you want to polish it you are going to have to varnish over it.

sand it flat
7649-0

apply varnish, 4 to 6 coats  we use behlens rock hard
7651-1

Then wait about a month for the whole shebang to cure and gas out.
Then polish that.

You get this
7653-2

For the complete polishing regimen you can go see our little story
on festools tips section http://www.festoolusa.com/woodworking.aspx
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

internet forums.

www.swensonz.com

Online Dan Rush

  • Posts: 569
  • Trim carpenter
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 09:05 PM »
Another reason to apply a finish varnish is that epoxy isn't UV tolerant.  Without protection it can check, yellow, and otherwise look yucky.  (granted, more of a problem on a boat than inside on a bartop, but still a bit of a concern).

Dan

Offline merklebob

  • Posts: 45
  • seattle, wa
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 04:17 PM »
that's true for all expoies except boran based epoxies,  but they have to be around 600 a qt today.

Offline Bill Wyko

  • Posts: 821
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 03:01 AM »
I've tried everything under the sun to bring back the luster on epoxy and had no luck at all. I've always had to re-pour. I use envyrotex lite epoxy by the gallons for speaker boxes with wood veneer and for years have never been successful at bringing back the shine if I screwed up.
The bitterness of poor quality, lingers long after the cheap price is forgotten.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3533
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 11:08 AM »
I've tried everything under the sun to bring back the luster on epoxy and had no luck at all. I've always had to re-pour. I use envyrotex lite epoxy by the gallons for speaker boxes with wood veneer and for years have never been successful at bringing back the shine if I screwed up.

But pouring new epoxy on top of the old works?
If so, why not change to top coat to something easier to maintain,
as in the varnish suggestions above?

Not trying to be a wise guy, I don't know much about epoxy except as an adhesive.

Offline graphex

  • Posts: 136
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 02:58 PM »
But pouring new epoxy on top of the old works?
If so, why not change to top coat to something easier to maintain,
as in the varnish suggestions above?

I've never tried varnish on top of epoxy, but in my experience, once the epoxy cures, it is very durable. It will certainly take a lot of abuse before showing permanent damage.
Sean McKibben
Westminster, Colorado

we need more tools in north america

Offline Kevin Johnson

  • Posts: 86
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 10:12 AM »
Thanks All...

 Per,

I was looking at the Menzerna polishes last night so that I could order and am not sure what to order.  Which products did you all use?

BTW, I hope you don't mind, but your bar was the inspiration for mine. :)
7876-0
7878-1
7880-2
7882-3

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4617
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2008, 10:14 AM »
Nice work Kevin, which Festools did you use to make it?

nickao
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Kevin Johnson

  • Posts: 86
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2008, 11:12 AM »
Thanks Nickao,

I applied the copper veneer to the substrate and used the MFT, OF 1400 and the long rails to square the copper off as well route out the substrate because the copper was thinner that the white oak veneer.  The wood veneer was cut with the TS 55. All sanding was done with ETS 150/3.  Oh, and the front plywood panels and all the melamine cabinets were cut with TS 55.

Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4617
    • Rose Farm Floor Medallions and Inlays
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 11:21 AM »
Nice Kevin, if you have more project pictures please post them in the projects area. I like this and who knows, one month it could win a contest. I like the projects that most people may have a use for and are within the realm of the average woodworker or even newbie.

How much experience do you have? Do you think a newbie can pull this off? If so show us how in a project thread!

Again, nice work!

Nickao
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 12:19 PM by nickao »
The one who says it can't be done should avoid interrupting the person doing it.

Offline Kevin Johnson

  • Posts: 86
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 04:00 PM »
Hi Nickao,

I am not exactly a newbie.  I used to be a professional trim carpenter and a few years ago I got into the computer biz that I now hate.  I am trying to figure out a way that I can go back to doing this, but profitably. 

The project was not terribly difficult and most people could do it.  I think that cutting the veneer with the TS 55 went extremely well.  When  I first started cutting it I was using a straightedge and my Multimaster.  But when I came upon the idea of trying the TS 55, I was so pleasantly suprised with the results.  It was fast too.  The veneer I used was backed and I don't know how well it would work with unbacked veneer, but may get a chance to try it with unbacked another time.

Thanks for the compliment and I will post it the projects section later.

Offline bluedge

  • Posts: 1
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2014, 12:24 PM »
I am fairly new to epoxying. I build custom industrial style furniture, but have recently done some restaurant tables with steel inlay that I epoxy over. On a few, I did not have time to re-pour, so I sanded it out and polished it. It worked well, except for a few minor scratches from the first sanding. I did a youtube search to see how and followed those instructions. I sanded it 36 (ish) hours after the first pour with 150 grit (will probably start with 220 next time), then 220, then 320, then 400, then 600, then 1500, then 2000 grit until there was a smooth dull sheen. the last two sandings with 1500 and 2000 were hand wet sanded. Dry sanding with those grit clogged the paper too much and left tiny scratches. I used a small amount of purified water for wet sanding and it worked well. I then used an electric buffer and used 3M rubbing compound (2 times), then polishing compound (with a new pad) 2 times. As I mentioned, it brought back the high gloss shine no prob, except for a few tiny scratches from the 150 sanding. I will likely redo the process starting with 220 to get out the scratches.

I'm now looking for a high speed buffer if anyone has any ideas. I may also try the varnish idea. I didn't know you could varnish over epoxy. Any more info on that would be great.

Darin
Bluedge Designs

Offline RedRocket

  • Posts: 1
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2018, 10:50 AM »
Novus Plastic Polishes makes 3 products that are designed for this kind of polish finishing.  See their web site at https://www.novuspolish.com

In fact, this is what Aero Marine epoxy resins company recommends for polishing dulled or blemished epoxy surfaces.

Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 50
Re: Does anyone have experience polishing epoxy?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2018, 12:02 PM »
FYI The post you responded to is from 2014 and the ones before that are from 2008.