Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

OK, so I was merrily coating all the rudder parts and daggerboard with epoxy.  Thinking I was doing a good thing I laid out wax paper under everything.  I epoxied one side and about a week later turned the parts over to do the other side (temperatures ranging from about 75 to 85, so the epoxy is thoroughly cured).

I did the second side, and when I turned the parts back over any epoxy areas that touched the wax paper were deformed!  There were what looked and felt like drops of cured epoxy on the wax paper.  In some cases there were flattened out areas on the rudder parts or daggerboard and in other cases holes or other deformations in the epoxy.

I sanded and recoated the parts again sans wax paper, but how could this possibly happen?  As I said in the subject line perhaps I am losing my mind.

Would anyone like to try and corroborate this?  Just take a scap piece of okume and coat it with unthickened epoxy.  Let it cure for a good long time until you are sure it is thoroughly cured, then lay it on a piece of wax paper for 24 hours (if you are using a very small scrap you might want to add a small amoung of weight on top).  Turn it over and see if anything has happened to the epoxy.  Also look for droplets of cured epoxy on the wax paper.

If the results of this experiment are positive, then I am flabergasted!  I though cured epoxy was impervious to anything except heat--the temperature in my garage lately has been around 65 - 70 degrees.

7 replies:

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RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

Are you sure the epoxy had cured? Could the epoxy from the second side have leaked around the edges and gotten underneath? Have your friends and family been looking at you strangely lately? Just asking - Wes

RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

Family and friends have been looking at me strangely, but that has been going on for a long, long time.  I'm absolutely sure the epoxy was cured, that is, if a week at 70-80 degree temperatures is long enough.  I made sure none of the epoxy had flowed around from the newly-coated side.   On the rudder, for example, which is widest in the middle, none of the drops of hardened epoxy were near the edges--they and the deformed areas were near the center, where the piece was touching the wax paper.

This sounds absolutely crazy to me too.  The only thing I can think of that there is some chemical in Cut-Rite waxed paper that reacts with the epoxy.  I wrote MAS to see if they know anything about it.  If not, then I'll go ahead and commit myself to the funny farm.

RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

In the last post I should have said the rudder is thickest in the middle, not widest.  I think that would have been clearer.

RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

One more thought:  I suppose it is possible that fresh epoxy flowed around the edge and migrated all the way to the lowest point, where the parts were touching the wax paper, without leaving any other traces.  That could explain the droplets.  I don't think it explains the flattened areas though, unless epoxy migrates differently when it is in contact with wax paper.  And what about the voids?

This doesn't sound that feasible to me.  Besides, I just recoated one side of each of the parts last night (sans wax paper) and there is no flow of expoxy down to where they are touching the table.  If that had happened they would be stuck to the table--they are not.  The "strange phenomenon" happened to all three pieces when they were on the wax paper, but there was nothing of the sort when they were sitting on bare wood.

Anyway, unless somebody has an answer I'm going to pretend none of this happened and move on!

RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

That really is strange. I have been using MAS epoxy and Cut-Rite waxed paper together for years and never had a problem. I once failed to thoroughly mix a batch of epoxy, though, and it cured very slowly in places. Let us know if you figure out what happened. -Wes

RE: Am I crazy or what? Wax paper "melting" cured epoxy??

Still no reply from MAS.  The only possibility I can think of is that some epoxy leaked around the edges as you suggest, flowed to the lowest point without leaving any tracks or traces, and in some cases filled in gaps very smoothly--in other cases with a "rippled" look.  Sometimes there were little craters, but I have seen this happen once in a while in other areas.

The above does not sound feasible at all, but a LOT more feasible than what it looked like had happened--there's just no way, and I'm starting to be sorry I brought it up. :-) 

Anyway, let's call it solved and let this be the end of it unless someone else replicates.

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