Howzit?!? Checking to see whatever problems anyone’s been experiencing with epoxy glassed blanks. Basically, hand laid-up lams on either p.u. or styro. Everyone has been so excited about all these revolutionary breakthroughs, but what about the bummers that inevitably come up? Lots of backyard guys have been waving the flag, but what about anyone that’s glassed a lot of boards with the material, other than the obvious experts that focus on promoting the product? Personally, I am into the material, but recently I’ve been experiencing some strange stuff. If this starts becoming more common, what’s it going to do to the epoxy resin revolution? There is a reason why surfboards have been made with the same materials for years, the stuff is well proven. Making a few personals is great, but if you’re trying to sell them to the public, you’ve got to know that the things are going to last. Need to know what’s up, especially from those guys from hotter climates like here in Hawaii, Texas, etc. Mahalo, and Aloha…RH
What kine strange stuff?
I was having blanks blowing lotsa bubbles through lams…hotcoats separating into voids & draining off rails…fisheyes…
Until I really started to use heat to my advantage.
Now, blanks go out in the sun for about 15 minutes before glassing. At the same time, the measured resin goes into a metal can on a little electric hotplate. The blank comes in, glass gets laid out, resin gets poured into its bucket & mixed with hardener & poured right out. I’m doing the Kokua on the rails - flipping them up & pouring a bead all along.
When its cooling down, the blank is inhaling. No more bubbles at all.
When its warm, the resin literally flows like water. Wets out glass, even 3 layers, like crazy & then sets up tacky in about an hour, compared to 2-3 like before. Fillcoat (hotcoat) goes on before the first flip, so I get chem bond within 24 hours. I can do it in as little as 4 hours. Then flip, surform laps & relief cuts, do the other side the same way. No trouble at all at all at all.
And no, I don’t sell the stuff. I’m just a backyarder who doesn’t want VOC’s around my house. I’d even use it, though, if it made slightly worse or heavier surfboards than poly resin - its all about my & my kids’ health, to me. Oh yeah, and not burning down the garage
I’ve only done a dozen boards with epoxy. But I have had a couple of meltdowns around the fin box. It was a hot day and I had a loose fit around my boxes. So now I get my boxes tighter , use slow cure epoxy and I do most of my work at night, so that takes care of those problems. I think the key is that if you are confining epoxy between foam or in a fin box is keep it “cool”.
Its just like concrete. When the weather’s cool, it slows down and there’s ways of speeding it up. When it’s hot, it goes off and there’s ways of slowing it down.
There are production shops using epoxy that could probably give you better info.
Thats all I know about it
I’ve been experiencing some strange stuff. If this starts becoming more common, what’s it going to do to the epoxy resin revolution? There is a reason why surfboards have been made with the same materials for years, the stuff is well proven.
There is also a reason why areospace would not use anything but epoxies. You just need to learn how to use it. I flagging this one operator error.
thanks Rick for asking that …I have also previously asked about the durability of stypoxy boards , and have not received any answers that satisfied .
I think we need both sides of the story .
I for one want to know that a polyurethane blank board I glass with epoxy really IS going to be stronger and last longer / be “better” [whatever that means?] than the ones I have had for years , which I have glassed with polyester .
Otherwise I see no point to “switching over” to epoxy , for my normal foam boards [I don’t make sty-poxy boards]
cheers mate ! ben
p.s. - super lightweight is not a big advantage or issue I look at in my boards , as , realistically, I am a lightweight [140lbs] . Also , at 44 years old I am not looking to be consistently and regularly boosting and landing 6 foot high airs and wanting to snap my boards because I’m sponsored . I want a board that will sit in the water well , flow through turns , don’t have to wiggle it to get it moving or keep it afloat , and so I have more fun on for a longer time without fear of it delaminating.
Rick, I don’t do lots of epoxies but, I do them myself to avoid what I feel is less than competent work by other laminators. I too had gassing on my first boards, can’t do them when the temps are falling, too buggy at night. I seal coat the blank with 3 oz. of epoxy resin, this keeps excessive resin from leaching into the pores between the beads and prevents out gassing. I have wound up with fish eyes in my hotcoats too, but found that I can fill them while doing other resin work (why be in a rush with boards that take time). The durability of the finished product is what I am going for, not pretty, but strong as can be and light. After all of the delam’d Clark blanks I see, I don’t believe epoxy resin and polyurethane is the answer. The glass does not come off the foam, but breaks up about a 1/4" or more down inside the blank. So how will epoxy make polyurethane that much better? Best to use stryo, the impact strength in better, just stay away from the Dow foam, it delams
Howzit Benny, I think you have the wrong idea about how I wet out my rails. I don’t flip them, I leave them hanging and run the resin bead above the rail and then run the squeegee from the nose to tail to wet out the rails. Never liked or did the rail flipping for laminating. aloha,Kokua
“… The durability of the finished product * is what I am going for…”
[thanks Jim for the advice on polyurethane blanks and epoxy resin …duly noted .]
- Now , to re-ask the question no-one has responded to yet …
… who of you out there has a styro-pox board that has lasted four years or more ? [and I don’t mean a vacuum bagged or wood veneered whatever one … just one of these beer cooler foam ones which has been hand laminated with epoxy , and survived four years of daily [or two-three times weekly] usage ?]
any photo[s] of the board[s] in question would be handy , if you have them ?
From talking with GregL I’m under the impression that he has made 1000’s of boards that are extremely long lived. As he said - 1 lb is very fun but doesn’t last 1.5 lbs is high performance is fairly durable and 2 lb is bulletproof. Benny knows a lot of shapers that have had really good luck with the higher density eps foam. The eps/epoxy boards seem to only recently been gaining in popularity so I would think that there would only be a limited number of swaylockians who have had long term experience with these boards so the responces you receive will be limited. Ask this question 4 years from now and you’ll probably have many more responces…
The durability of the finished product is what I am going for, not pretty, but strong as can be and light. After all of the delam’d Clark blanks I see, I don’t believe epoxy resin and polyurethane is the answer. The glass does not come off the foam, but breaks up about a 1/4" or more down inside the blank. So how will epoxy make polyurethane that much better?
Mahalo Jim, that’s the exact answer I was looking for. First of all, I’m hooked on the R.R. and don’t want to use the ‘other stuff’ anymore. I also feel that the plusses of the material far outnumber any potential bummers. What’s up is…I experienced three boards, all Clark Superlites, 4oz. with a 4oz. i-beam strip down the middle, that developed a strange “cottage cheese” kind of effect. Two of these were opaques and one was clear. The problem was only down the sides, not under the i-beam or overlaps. The glass didn’t bubble or de-lam, and it still felt firm, not spongey. It was like the foam had shrunk, taking the flexy epoxy/glass with it. That might explain the problem, although I haven’t dissected it yet. I know that the worst of the three had gotten a little over-toasted when my brother took it to mainland Mex., but the others were in reflecto bags when not in use. I think that maybe double 4oz. might be a better choice, still with lightness due to the lighter weight resin. I wrote to G.L. about this, but no word yet. What is the most unusual is that this is not like how a p.e. lam will waffle from heat. How fun would it be to explain the situation to your customer? How many people carry their boards around in cars or trucks? How about when they want their $ back? So… heat problem, be careful! Aloha…RH
Howzit?!? Thanks Dan. Like Jim said, it’s the polyurethane foam with the epoxy that seems to be the problem. Although epoxy works great on p.u., it still seems that eps is the foam of choice for epoxy glassing. Although Greg has done his thousands of styros over the last 25 years, the situation here was with Clark foam. Also, you know, ‘hot climate’. Aloha…RH
Yeah, I did a clark blank with epoxy and after 6 months it was incredibly dented. I thought maybe I didn’t put enough cloth on. Whereas with the 1 lb eps boards I can’t see any dents.
Thanks for the info Jim
…did losing 100lbs in the time between the two boards have anything to do with that big Daz , or was it just ‘coincidence’ ??
Sorry Kokua. I think about you & all your glassing tips every time I glass now, so everything that works, in my mind, I now attribute to you.
What I like about flipping up the laps: less drips on the floor, better color evenness on tints.
What I don’t like about flipping up the laps: Digging out all the little stray strings & puffs of cloth left behind after I’ve flipped them back down & tucked them under. Good thing I work with epoxy & have time to get them, with poly I’d be stuck sanding them off.
Chip, we’re trying to have a serious discussion here. why do you always have to bring up my weight ? you know its a sensitive issue for me. besides , I’m not obese, i’m just retaining a lot of salt water.
Losing the 100 lbs is part of a new theory I’m working on. Instead of using 1 lb eps I can now make my boards out of concrete.
As if you know anything about concrete.
I’m learning. I’ve joined “Concretelock’s”. Its a forum for hollow concrete surfboard making.
1# EPS wrapped in fiberglass drywall joint tape or big-mesh screen & finished with this in one step?
Ben, I have a 5 year old Loehr expoxy fish that I still ride. Been all over the western hemishere with it. No workmanship issues at all. Slightly yellowed, but no delams. 2 lb foam, double 6 single 6. Ofishls twins. I have copied that board so many times (with permission) I call it the “mother board”.
Aloha all! I’m serious about this. This problem is an internal foam-destruct situation that I attribute to an internal pressure regulating problem. I think that the stronger bond of the epoxy to p.u. foam prevents the inside pressure from breathing into the glass, and back. Naturally, we don’t want a porous lamination, but I think that the solid seal prevents that from happening, thereby making the heat and pressure trapped inside lead to foam failure. I am almost convinced that the nature of the bond of p.e. to both the glass fibers, and the urethane foam allows the internal pressure to self-regulate itself throughout the structure. I’m thinking that the only way around this is to use heavier weight foam, and more cloth. Once again, climate plays a big part, and any of you in cooler places wouldn’t be seeing too much of this problem. Down here though, is another story. Also, I work with ‘Topper’ Driggs, and he (we) are the RR distributors for Kaua`i. Since Top is a relative newcomer, and I’ve been here in the local industry for almost 20 years, It’s kind of up to me to check all this out. With the next batch of 92 gal. on it’s way, you can see the cause of my concern. On another note, I’m all fired-up on styro blanks now. Since I started seeing the ‘wierdness’ problem, I’ve been sending all my p.u. blanks to the p.e. man, so I’d better get busy on my styro projects! Let’s hear from you guys about anything relevant to this situation. Aloha…RH