What is Epoxy? And What Is It Used For?

Epoxy resins have been used in woodworking for years. They’ve become even more popular recently due to the expanding number of situations and applications they can be used in to enhance a particular project. Here is what you need to know about epoxy, how it is used in woodworking, and even how to remove it if it gets in the wrong place. 

What is Epoxy?

Epoxy is a resin or adhesive that forms when you mix its two elements together – the epoxy resin and hardener. You store the two materials separately, and they should only be mixed when you are ready to use them. In general, you keep a 1:1 mixing ratio of the materials, which is simple enough if you use a plastic double syringe to measure. 

Once the components are mixed, the clock starts ticking. You have a “pot life,” which is the period of time you get between mixing and when you can still move the material around before it becomes bonded. Depending on the epoxy resin you use, the pot life can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. 

Using Epoxy on Woodworking Projects

Epoxy resin can be used in woodworking to make your project more interesting. It is also used to extend the volume and strength of wood by making a project larger. 

Epoxy resin is useful in woodworking because it is incredibly strong and versatile. It can be used to fill gaps in your wood, reconstruct damage or imperfections, coat a wood surface, and bond pieces of wood together. 

One of the top benefits of epoxy is that it can be sanded, painted, and drilled. This makes it much more useful than standard glue. 

If you’re going to fill in gaps with epoxy, a low-viscosity resin is the best choice. If you plan to coat your wood surface with the material, a high-viscosity resin is a better option. 

How you apply epoxy will vary depending on your particular project. In most cases, you’ll want to start by cleaning and roughening the wood surface with sandpaper. Then, mix your epoxy and blend it well. Next, add the epoxy to your project and check your cure times. 

How to Remove Epoxy

Let’s assume that your epoxy project came out great, but some of that material made a bit of a mess. Fortunately, you don’t have to just live with it. 

If it’s on your skin, you can gently remove it with vinegar or nail polish remover. To get rid of uncured (soft) epoxy on a surface, apply isopropyl alcohol or acetone with a cloth. If the material has cured (hardened), paint thinner or an adhesive remover will soften it so that you can remove it. 

Need Quality Hardwood for Your Next Project?

Now that you know the applications for epoxy, your next step is to find the best hardwood for your project. Ashley River Lumber has been providing customers throughout the Lowcountry with locally-sourced lumber and wood products for over 30 years. 

We have more than 30 species of wood products and take pride in our staff’s knowledge and commitment to service. Contact us today to request a quote or come by our Ridgeville location to learn more about our products and services. 

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