ConServ Epoxy LLC

CONSERV EPOXY LLC

203.484.4123 Northford CT 06472

Offering various FLEXIBLE and STRUCTURAL epoxies for your restoration needs

ConServ Epoxy Tips & Tricks

Click on a section below or scroll down to read the entire page. These “Tips and Tricks" are intended to help you work safely and efficiently with ConServ Epoxy restoration products, and to provide a basic overview of information. For a more detailed discussion on various topics, please consult our BLOG.

  1. Borates: What are they?
  2. Keep it clean: Housekeeping with Epoxies
  3. Keep it cool: Extending Epoxy Potlife
  4. Working in cold temperatures
  5. Mixing Tips
  6. Using Rebar
  7. Structural Casting
  1. Borates: What are they?

    Borates are a low toxic treatment for wood decay fungi. Whether choosing the Bora-Care, or Board Defense, these products are best applied after removal of most of the decay, and prior to applying the epoxy. Judge the need for this fungicide by analyzing the extent of damage and the vulnerability of the fabric to water exposure.

    - back to top -

  2. Keep it clean: Housekeeping with Epoxies

    Always observe "Good Housekeeping" to lessen the chance of messy work and mistakes. If you haven’t done epoxy repair work before it will take a bit of concentration. That is more easily done when the jobsite is clean, orderly and safe. Leave yourself ample space to spread out your components and tools so they are within reach when you need them. Epoxy should not get on your skin, clothes, or in your eyes. Protect surrounding areas using polyethlene dropcloths, which could be topped with newspaper, and have wipes or cloths nearby for cleanup. Don’t count on solvents to remove epoxy from surfaces unless absolutely necessary because they are more hazardous than the epoxies. Use disposable gloves, preferably nitrile, and plastic, metal or wood spreaders and putty knives. Wipe these tools clean with paper towels or rags and dispose. Set aside containers and tools in a cure bag or box. When fully cured, reuse.

    - back to top -

  3. Keep it cool: Extending Epoxy Potlife

    Potlife of epoxy is temperature dependant. You can increase potlife (the working time of the materials) by reducing the heat buildup in the mix. Epoxy is "exothermic"; it produces its own heat as a result of the reaction between resins and hardeners. This heat is your worst enemy because the greater the heat, the faster the curing time, which results in shorter working time. The easiest way to extend potlife is to place the ‘A’ can of resin on ice prior to mixing, as shown in Video #3, “Epoxy in Action”.

    Unlike paints and solvent based finishes that dry quicker when spread thin, epoxies will cure more slowly when spread out. Therefore, the can of mixed epoxy should be kept on ice. To extend potlife when using a large batch, the best method includes putting it on ice and getting some of the mixed epoxy out of the can as quickly as possible. Spread it out into rough portions where you need it in order to allow the mix to "breath" or vent off its own heat.

    We recommend the use of a Mini Hawk 900-MH which can be comfortably held in one hand as an artist uses a palette. You should place some of the mixed Epoxy 200 Patch from the can onto the Mini Hawk, and/or onto the various affected work areas. Roughly divide the mass of epoxy into a number of smaller dollops or portions, thereby separating the epoxy and allowing it to vent off heat. Once dispensed you can go from area to area and apply the required amounts of epoxy in each repair. Apply the 200 Patch by packing it into the voids and striking flush to the face. You can then either slightly overfill or plan on a second application, either flush or slightly overfilled, if needed. Remember this patch is easily toolable once cured.

    Since heat buildup is detrimental to your working time you should refrain from working or placing the material in direct sunlight in warm weather, or in hot enclosed areas. Portions of mixed epoxy can be slowed by "icing down" or placing the can in a cooler while waiting to be dispensed. A technique for icing down is shown in Video #3, “Epoxy in Action”.

    - back to top -

  4. Working in cold temperatures

    Avoid storing epoxies in freezing temperatures which could promote crystallization of the A resin. You might open a can of Epoxy 100, 200 or 600 and discover a white waxy/crystalline substance in the A resin. This is a normal occurrence and usually indicates that the A resin has been subjected to cold temperatures and/or cold storage for a prolonged period of time. This byproduct of cold storage is only a crystallization of one of the components and is easily reconstituted by heating the resin. This is done using a hairdryer, heat gun, or by placing the A can in warm sunlight on a dark surface, or in a pan of water and applying gentle heat on the stove. Once warm, gently stir for a few minutes until the A resin is crystal clear. Do not overheat as this could force a cure of the A resin. Allow the resin to attain room temperature before mixing in order to prolong potlife.

    If a can of epoxy has been subjected to sub-freezing conditions, or stored for more than 12 months, you should test a small portion to see if it cures. When applying mixed epoxy in freezing conditions, all epoxy formulations will have a lengthened cure time. It is recommended that the W100 and W200 formulas be used in winter, to help hasten the cure.

    - back to top -

  5. Mixing Tips

    Use a firm, flat stick to mix the ingredients properly for 100, 200 and 600 Epoxies or use a small paddle mix attachment in a drill. Our 100 and 200 systems are designed to be easily mixed in the can of A resin as shipped. To use an entire batch you should open the plastic bottle and pour all of the B into the entire contents of A in the can. Mix thoroughly for about three minutes, trying not to introduce many air bubbles into the mix. At this point the 100 Consolidant is ready to use.

    If using the 200 Patch, begin to add the C powdered filler into the can and stir until fully wetted and mostly lump free. The addition of this reddish powder will fill up the mix but not effectively alter its viscosity or "pour ability." In order to stiffen the mix and produce a product sufficiently thick enough to stay put, you should introduce as much or as little of the D white thickener as required. You can compare it to adding flour to gravy; the more you add, the thicker it gets! Continue to mix the batch until all seems completely wetted and uniform in color and consistency. Begin applying the 200 Patch. Keep all portions of mixed epoxy cool while the application proceeds, by "icing down" or placing the can in a cooler while waiting to be dispensed. This is shown in Video #3, “Epoxy in Action”.

    - back to top -

  6. Using Rebar

    Fiberglass rebar can be incorporated into a joint, tenon or splice very easily using simple techniques. Align the mating members and orient drilled holes at the desired locations for rebar. Drill corresponding holes to a diameter 1/4" to 3/8" larger than the rebar and 1/2" deeper than the rebar lengths. These holes can be drilled short and shallow for smaller pins or dowels using standard length twist or spade bits. Deeper holes can be attained using available twist or auger bits. Once oriented the rebar should be removed and the holes vacuumed or blown out with air to evacuate any debris. The epoxy should be injected to a depth of about 3/4 of the hole using the caulkable Epoxy 552 with static mixers, or we sell empty caulk tubes and caulk tube extenders for on-site filling with our 200 Patch or 600 Paste Epoxy. Rebar insertion will displace some epoxy while twisting the rebar. Now the adjoining pieces can be butted together using epoxy and mated as planned using clamps or temporary fasteners to hold in place for 24 hours minimum. If appropriate, rebar can be "let into" any side of a beam, plank or board using a dado or routed grooves encapsulating the rebar.

    - back to top -

  7. Structural Casting

    Structural epoxy casting requires several steps to properly mix the components in the required proportions and correctly apply them. ConServ Structural Epoxy 600 is thin enough to be used as a consolidant right out of the cans. Mix equal parts of A & B in a 1 to 1 ratio by volume in a pail or other type of container. Using a stick for small quantities, or a power mixer bit for larger quantities, smoothly blend the two components for about 3 minutes until fully combined. As a consolidant this material is ready to be poured, brushed, squirted or sprayed on as is.

    However, if you intend to pour it into a desired shape or mold, and must use a lot of material requiring several inches of depth you should follow these important steps. In this case apply 600 in lifts, or small pours, spaced a few hours apart, to minimize heat build up. In the case of excess heat, stop pouring or further space out the lifts.

    Mixed 600 can also be combined with washed dry mason sand and/or washed dry pea gravel aggregate at a ratio of 1 part epoxy to 3 parts maximum of sand and/or aggregate. This mixture with aggregate produces what could be called an epoxy concrete. This both reduces heat generation by providing sufficient thermal mass to dissipate some of the excess heat, and reduces cost by stretching the epoxy. Care should be taken in forming or applying this 600 material as its density and final cure hardness make it difficult to trim in place once cured. At the maximum ratio of 1:3 it will have to be packed into place rather than poured.

    - back to top -

Blog April 18, 2012
Volume Discounts added

Most of our epoxy products and groups of products have newly structured volume discounts in place. Find this information within each product's descrip...

May 20, 2009
Controlling the amount of epoxy used with rebar

Q: I have an issue with overflowing epoxy or not enough epoxy inside a particular hole. I'm trying to get the right amount coming out when I insert wo...

Featured Item W300

View Item
Videos

Paul Marlowe, owner of ConServ Epoxy LLC, is proud to present a series of training videos for use of ConServ Epoxy products. By furnishing this technical support, we intend to assist the wood conservation professionals in performing efficient, quality installations.

View Videos
Gallery

View Gallery