Differences in working with polyester instead of epoxy

I have stumbles accross some work that will require me to use polyester resin instead of epoxy. Is there any thing about working with polyester that way different than epoxy.

I’ve read that epoxy is harder to work with than polyester. If that is so. I don’t see how that could be.


epoxy tends to soak thru the cloth on its own, while polyester needs to be pushed thru the cloth to wet out properly. poly has shorter kick time (recommend UV cure). epoxy takes longer to wet out the laps…with poly you can just waterfall it poly is smelly…wear your respirator.

The bonding characteristics of epoxy far outshine poly. And poly is more brittle once cured.

Yeah, and it stinks. Wear your mask.

Also with Polyester, if there are bubbles under the fabric when the resin kicks, it’s very difficult, if not impossible to work them out. Epoxy is much more user friendly when it comes to bubbles and dry spots. Doug

" In order to understand a tax form, one has to be a philosopher. It’s much too difficult for a mathematician." Albert Einstein

I find epoxy easier to wet out and get a good lap. And, it doesn’t smell as bad as poly. Has anyone mentioned that? Mike

Howzit rooster, I’ve never noticed any difference when wetting out either but then again after so many laminations the process just seems the same to me. Maybe it’s the new and improved epoxy that makes it easier to use. Epoxy does have an odor to it and to me it’s more offensive than poly. Ah the days of going into a surf shop just for the smell, I think the poly smell is ingrained in my olfactory senses and it will always give me a rush.Aloha,kokua

I tell you the trueth. If I had it my way I’d never mess with polyester, but I’ve read many places, there no money in board building but there is plenty to be made in board repair.

So what? I should turn down the moeny? I don’t think so.

Oyeah thanks guys.

Hi Kokua,

I have not used the RR epoxy,yet. I’ve used the Fiberglass Hawaii epoxy on three boards. I like it and I don’t think it’s as expensive as Greg’s. Seemed to stick better when I did the laps and wet out easier than the UV poly. Laminating is still an adventure for me anyway. I did notice the rim of my nostrils were slightly burning on one of the occasions. Kind of spooky. I lam in an open carport and wasn’t using a respirator. I did after that, though. I kind of like the smell of polyester. The wife hates it. Epoxy is better for “stealth” laminating for us home guys with nervous wives. The guy at FH told me the hardener was as dangerous as catalyst if it gets in the eyes. I havn’t told my wife this. Mike

Yeah, I know all about the stealth lams. as I built a small 16’ boat in a garage of a condo complex. 4 gallons of epoxy was spread and the guy that lived above the garage only really complained when i sanded.

Polyester tends to kick abruptly. Hardener is measured out by temperature so there is no constant – too much and it will smoke and crack, too little and it will drain. Anthony’s website has some good articles – check them out in the resource section.

Howzit Rooster, When your nose started burning did your eyes also feel a burning sesation? When that happens it means the resin is starting to kick.Aloha,kokua