Heat for applying epoxy

I live in chicago and it is below 50 degrees and getting colder.  I have a two car un insulated garage with 10 foot ceilings.  I have a couple of questions.  First I was thinking about creating a small area(room) with thick plastic around the kayak which I saw in an article.  Has anyone had luck doing something like this and what type of heater did you use?  A friend said one of the larger propane heaters would heat my garage up for the day, but then lose all the heat at night.  How much time does the epoxy need to dry properly, I believe it was 24 hrs?  What about heats lamps clamped to the side of the kayak and lower the "ceiling" on the plastic to just a couple of feet over the lamps after I am done working.  Don't want to start a fire. :)  I appreciate your feedback.

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RE: Heat for applying epoxy

Stay away from gas heaters.  They exhasut (I believe) water vapor that will screw up your epoxy.  I am sure you will get some other comments that may explain this further.  Making a smaller area is a good idea and then use electric heat (space heaters or lamps)  The fire hazard is a serious concern, especially at night when you are not checking on it.

Paul G

RE: Heat for applying epoxy

If you go through the Tips for Boatbuilders you'll find good information on heating your work space.  I have also been working on a build in a seperate unheated garage.  I've made a tent using 3 mil plastic drop cloth around bamboo framing, a panel of 1" insulation on a table, and huge recycled blocks of styrofoam covering the ends.  This is kind of my cure box..  I've got four 75 watt work lamps hanging in there, as well as two electric radiant heaters.  I use the heaters to pre-heat the boat before working with epoxy, and it easily gets the space warmer than 70 degrees, the area stays this warm throughout wetout, and then I leave them on a timer of an hour after I'm done the epoxy work.  The area slowly drops to roughly 58 over a couple hours, and then I cycle the heater back on.  Its been working very well for me, altho I plan on making a truely insulated room for my next build. 

Pre-warming the resin and hardener before working with it goes a long way as well.  I store mine in the house (~70 all the time), and then sit them on a little heating pad while I prep the boat and cloth.  Works well enough~

RE: Heat for applying epoxy


I was concerned about temps getting down into the low 50's and called MAS.  Using the slow hardener they said I was good down to 41 degrees.  Of course, I think Chicago will get colder than that but I was surprised at how low that stuff would go (thermally speaking) and still cure.

I've had no issues glassing and epoxying my hull and deck at around 46-48 degrees (south eastern Virginia).


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