Epoxy production timing, how fast can one go?

Hi all!

I’m thinking down the line, and if I want to turn a real profit on my boards eventually I’ll have to get much faster than what I am now, my main worry is how much faster will I be able to go with Epoxy.

Right now my stages for a good glass are these: 

spackling and sealing the blank, lamination, hotcoat, plugs/fins, sanding, gloss, sanding and polish.

That takes about 4 to 5 days, even though I operate in a room at controlled temp it still takes about three hours before the resin can be sanded and the board flipped for each pass.

I know UV cure polyester with a UV-box could do wonders, but I like greender products and I’m happy with recycled EPS+wood+ResinResearch, but I need to figure out how to do this much quicker. 

I know RR epoxy has fast hardeners and there’s also Kwick Kick resin, but then again laminating cloth on fast resin is dangeours and likely impossible on a longboard, and the hot/gloss coats needs time to level properly so I’m not even sure fast hardeners are the solution.

Any idea? should I just aim at glassing three boards at a time to speed up?


I posted the boards here once already, but here they are again in case anybody is curious: 




Doing multiple boards at a time will keep you busy.

I’ve glassed 4 at a time. By the time I finish step 1 on the 4th board, it’s time to start step 2 on the first board.

I’m just a backyard hack and I’m sure a pro could/would do it faster and better.

Also, how hot are you keeping the room?

With RR, I like it at 85*F

Even if you can sand in three hours, I find o get better results if I wait 8. Less tearing, and paper gumming

yah, what Everysurfer said.

I wait to sand too

If you are building the whole board start to finish by yourself with 250 boards ordered you should start finishing 1 board per day after day 7. If your profit is $300 per board that would be $75K per year for your boards. If you are just glassing you should do about 30 per week with a hired sander which is 6 per day in a two man epoxy only shop( one glasser, one sander). 

Thanks for the replyes. 

I keep my room temp around 80F, and with additive F I can sand after three hours without problems, I should probably start using kwick kwick to reduce hardening time. 

I make my boards start to finish.

bb30, thanks for sharing some numbers, I’m curious to see where I can get once I start glassing more than a board at once, I’m still very slow/carefull at shaping (one board a day from an EPS block with hotwired rocker).


Check the archives for laminating epoxy in only one stage…saves time, rasping and headaches. And increases production time saved…

I’ve done longboards 2 at a time.  Just lam one side of the stringer at a time.  That is I believe unique to epoxy.

Sounds like your business logic is slightly flawed ? …the extra expense of epoxy(compared to polyester) is a static , and can be factored into the pricing structure. If you put a cost on standing around waiting for epoxy to cure , this is where the flaw is . Lead times for epoxy boards are different than poly boards…if you have enough work on , get busy while the epoxy cures. Cutting corners to achieve poly “flip times” is race to the bottom …in the long run quality wins over short lead times.

You wanna bust out production then you are using the wrong resin like Kayu said

You have to let epoxy cure longer than PU and you sometimes even need an oven

With UV you have no limit on work time but curing and sanding can be in minutes

I’m pretty sure most large scale production shops prefer UV to get the most bag for the buck

There’s some restrictions on what you can do with UV and color and UV doens’t work with EPS/XPS

But shaping EPS also takes longer than PU and the premade blanks available in PU outnumber the blanks you can get in EPS

material cost/labor are the two variables you need to control if you are in it large scale.

The large scale Epoxy.EPS shops are doing it with foreign labor costs and get the advantage of buying materials in significant bulk to get the appropriate discounts from the chemical manufacturers. If you are buying supplies from a retailer/distributer you are already getting stuff more expensive than from the factory direct. 



Great points Kayu

I remember When I first worked with you on boards Bernie, the slow epoxy hardeners I used made things slow. Keeping boards under vacuum for 8 hours plus. Then I accicently got 5 gallons of fast hardener from FGH in a container labeled SLOW.  The best mistake that ever happened to me. I agree with you. IF you are an army of one doing all the production from start to finish, you could have ten glassing racks and the fastest flipping epoxy on the market. Glassing cure times won’t put much of a dent in all the other things that take up time in building a surfboard. 

Check around for other epoxy resins. I used an epoxy from this company and I really liked it, but the local distributor here left Hawaii. The numbers on labels on the containers didn’t match any of the current products, so I couldn’t get any detailed info about the resin I had and the newer versions. You may be able to contact them and see if they can help you get a good surfboard epoxy where you are.

I really liked the way the resin sanded out. It seemed very much like Poly resin. Drying times were good, and you could lam 2 sides in a day. A friend of mine here also used the resin and he said it was the best epoxy he’s used. I don’t make enough boards to buy in bulk, but it seems like you might. Check with your local boat building companies and see what they use, and why. You might find something better and cheaper than the status quo surfboard resin.

Another thing you can try is to get certified with XTR glassing and be their local glasser. The guy I got my resin from was the XTR glasser here and he was getting superior products, both the foam and the resins were really good. I happened to luck out and help him get rid of his materials so he could move to Bali. Otherwise I would never have been able to use the resin and foam.