From a One Time Builder

Posted by Mac on Sep 3, 2004


I guess the first build is the time when you learn the most about this strange art and all the little tricks that go with it. I went to kindergarten last winter.

Please indulge an old man for a few minutes.

As well as having a good supply of gloves, keep little piles of them in differnt spots if you're working in two areas like a basement and garage or car port. You're less likely to forget to don them when dispensing, mixing and then applying 20 feet away (where they may tear etc.) It's generally in these "panic" situations where we feel we haven't got time to run back for another glove, and plow ahead with exposed skin. (You'll learn that you do usually have plenty of time by the way).

I burned the inside of my wrists a few times when removing in-tact gloves improperly. I went for the rolled cuff with the thumb and forefinger of the other gloved hand which, of course, was covered in epoxy - leaving schmoo on my skin. This is a good place to use a bit of paper towel.

Very often, after doing a small job, one or both gloves remain clean - carefully remove and save.

Try both vinyl and latex gloves to see which you like best. I have very large hands and find that even the XXX latex are difficult to put on quickly. These I leave at my mixing station. I keep XXX vinyl at the build site in case of blow outs. I haven't tried the blue nitryl (?) gloves yet - but I hear they're great. Next build.

There are a million valid reasons for eye protection, but just use your imagination for a second - you're dispensing the hardener and the pump burps or some similar mishap fires a drop into your eye. What are you going to do - flush with isopropyl alchohol? vinegar? Ow! I wear glasses (an older pair for this type of work) and have had to clean little drops of epoxy from them with vinegar - thanking my lucky stars for my poor vision.

The epoxy we use for these builds is a marvel compared to the first poly(?) types which had deadly vapours as well as being corrosive. We had to wear breathing systems to work with it, and protective clothing went hand-in-hand with the masks. Now that vapours are no longer a major issue, we tend to be less aware and thus less careful.

Over a period of 4 months last winter, I accumulated a wardrobe of builder's clothes. Unfortunately these didn't come from Home Depot but from my closet. (Yes I know we're leaving for dinner out in 15 minutes, but I just have this little bit of fiberglass to apply - oops.)

Since building my first kayak, I have become the glue guy for the whole family and half the neighbourhood. It's wonderful stuff - so we respect it.

OK, I'll let you go now. Take care.

In Response to: Re: Safe handling epoxy/g by Michelle Moran on Sep 3, 2004