I SWITCHED... and I'm glad I did

Last batch of resin from a 5-gallon can of catalyzed stuff went off too quick. Shoot, I measured it, measured the catalyst, used by ratio chart, it should not have done that! Especially with a strongly tinted job! Looks really third rate. Now for a pigmented hot coat (which when sanded willl look like shit) and a pigmented finish coat (which will be tough to adequately cure, wet sand and polish) making a heavy board for a light customer. Still learning, obviously.

BUT, I got a can of UV cure and used it over the weekend. It’s wierd getting ready to lam… I pour from the 5-gallon into a jar I’ve marked for measuring resin… then… well shoot, why not just dump directly onto the glass? There’s no catalyzing… It feels STRANGE not to have that measure-catalyst-add-quick stir-and make-it-quick-with-the-squeegee!

Anyway, I learned that leaving the garage door open, even in late afternoon, will allow the resin to stiffen at the end of the board nearest the door. Fortunately this lam is clear so I can repair quickly during the week.

All in all, UV cure is great stuff, worth a few dollars a gallon more for the ease of work. Squeegee cleaning is much easier when you’re wiping off liquid UV rather than curdled catalyzed resin. The stuff really does cure in minutes in direct sunlight. Doing some work with tints and pigments too, it seems to be okay, but I may leave these in full sun all day to be sure that a full-depth cure is achieved.

The near-total removal of the time constraint during laminating, which has to be the single most troublesome element of all, is an amazing benefit. I have to strongly recommend UV laminating to anyone laminating a board. Do I hear any dissent?

It’s great stuff. Dark tints and fin boxes require some MEKP.

Chasing bubbles out of deep dings can be near impossible though.

Howzit Honolulu, Yeah UV resin is good stuff but make sure you close those doors next time. A couple of things to know when using it is it works with ink jet printed lams but when using regular printed lams  make a small batch with catalyst since the resin under the lam won't kick. Also do your hot coats with catalyst just like always, they can be a problem with UV resin sometimes. Aloha,Kokua

Kokua, the four UV resin hot coats I’ve done have been okay, it was a (mostly) nice sunny weekend. What problems should I look for/watch out for, besides overpigmenting which might block the UV?

Howzit Honolulu, When I first started using UV I had a couple of hot coats go off without the wax rising to the surface and had to hand sand and rehot coat, plus they say you have to double the SA for it to work right. I fnd the best is to shoot the hot coat with catalyst like normal let it kick for about 20 mins, then put it in the sun to make it hard enough to sand. I didn't like the consistency of the resin after doubling the SA also and nobody likes a gummy hot coat.  

Read your post about the UV bulbs, sorry FH is out of stock but the ones they sell work really good and you can use them in fixtures Wal-Mart sells for about $9.00. I considered making an area with the a clear fiberglass roof to use in rainy weather. One thing about the UV bulbs is you need to turn them on about 10 minutes before using them so they can warm up, work faster when you do. Aloha,Kokua

Thanks, Kokua, I’ve had the gummy hot coat problem twice before and thought it was caused by too much wax, you post makes me believe this is so. Gummy HC is a nightmare, I had to hand sand the entire board with 80 grit wet paper.

This weekend, I wanted the HC to flow out nicely so I kept the garage closed for maybe 10 minutes, then dragged the rack and board into full sun and all was well. This must have allowed the wax to rise, though I didn’t notice it at the time. I have had issues with brush stroke marks in finish coats, so I think I’ll make sure not to take either the HC or the finish outside too soon.

Dragging a rack with a wet or dripping board is something else. I now have a souvenir tshirt with a line of resin across one shoulder. Methinks a pair of padded sawhorses next to the garage are called for.

I suspect the time for wax to rise is the functional reason behind the advisory to use more surfacing agent. Well, I’m never in that much rush.

FH mentioned a rapid start ballast when I called, but that’s for nearly instantaneous ignition of the bulb I think. If/when I get a bulb, I’ll simply stick it in an old fixture and see how she goes. If I need a new ballast after that, so be it.

Howzit Honolulu, Forget dragging the racks, just shoot the HC with catalyst. I got some info off my UV bulbs that might help. The company who makes them is ultraviolet resources international, Phone 800-247-3251. Give them a call and see if you can order direct from them. There is a model # on the bulb FR40T12, you might be able to bypass FH. Aloha,Kokua