Epoxy or resin for glassing



I am building my first Western Red Cedar kayak http://cedar-evo.blogspot.com/ and I am about ready to start glassing the exterior.

It is a bit worrying to notice that no mention is made of resin being used for glassing on this forum (only epoxy) since it was my intention to use resin.

Is the use of resin, which is less expensive, not such a good idea?



8 replies:

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RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

The only benefit of using a resin vs. an epoxy on your kayak is cost.  You will be much better off searching for an inexpensive epoxy.  You won't be happy using the resin (e.g., more hazardous), your kayak won't be as strong and it won't last as long as if you'd used epoxy.  Your kayak, your choice.

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

Thanks ootdb. I will follow your advice. After all the time (120 hours +) i spent so far (and the cost) it would not make sense applying an inferior finish now. I read somewhere that the Cedar needs to be cleaned of resin with caustic soda before applying epoxy. Will do some more research.

Thanks, again

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

When you say resin, I assume you mean polyester resin. Epoxy is also a resin. The big difference, other than cost and volatility, is that polyester tends to be stiffer and more likely to crack or delaminate when stressed. In my experience the cost of epoxy is about fifteen percent of the cost of all materials and supplies. Even if you cut this in half by using polyester, your overall savings is probably not worth the disadvantages and diminished long-term value. -Wes

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

Sorry, yes I meant polyester resin. What you say regarding the long term makes sense. I will probably use epoxy supplied by AMT as there are not as many choices in South Africa and they are close to my house.

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

I don't recall anything about using caustic soda to clean WRC.  You might search the Guillemot web site (Nick Schade's).  I think that after sanding and vacuuming your kayak, you would only need to wipe it down with denatured alcohol or a solvent recommended by your epoxy manufacturer.  This last wipe down gets rid of any remaining dust and your fingerprints (or any other contaminant).  Good luck.

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

I'll be brief and hope someone who can explain it better, will.  Epoxy adhears to wood much better than polyester.  From expierence of buying a boat where the wood decks and cabin, etc.. were fiberglassed with polyester, the glass will not stick after a bit.  Water gets betweeen the glass and wood and the wood rots.  The boat was 15 years old and the boat had been repaired numerous times using the same polyester method.  I redid it with epoxy, and new wood, and it's been fine for 24 years.  It's called peal strenght.  I recommend there is really no choice, use epoxy.  

RE: Epoxy or resin for glassing

Thanks for the valuable advice, guys!!

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