Marine epoxy...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Andy Daventry, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. here in Turkey, we might have marine epoxy and we might not...

    I want to add a superhard fnish to a fretless rosewood fingerboard, and have heard, of course, about this stuff. What I need to know is this: is this epoxy used for sticking boats together, or is it some kind of varnish? The answer to this question will help me locate the material locally.

    And can anyone help me with some tips for application? Do you apply it proud and sand down, or do you have to get it right first time?

    Many thanks.
  2. HannibalSpector


    Mar 27, 2002

    I'm not a luthier, however I am a boatbuilder ,who also hacks out a few basses.
    I think the epoxy 2 pack finnish you may be after is called a laminating resin or finnishing resin.
    Epoxy is two part chemical, dries relatively clear and if mixed to spec will be quite hard.
    More than one coat will probably have to be applied, sanding between coats.
    The finnish will have to be sanded back with many grades of wet & dry sandpapper a polished with a cutting compound and buffing paste in order to eventually get a gloss.

    There are a number of companies who manufacture these products, two of the most universal are: West System and SP systems.(do a web search)

    The difference between laminating and finnishing resins is that the finnishing resin is generally a slower cure and is thinner.

    Alternatively look at other options such as polyurethane clears, these are probably a better alternative as they are more wear resistant. and give a better overall finish , epoxies can crack and chip too, even though they are very hard.
    Urethanes and Nitro cellulites are the common finnishes as used by Fender etc.
    I'd do more research on fingerboard finishes
  3. Thank you, Hannibal...this kind of info is what I need.
  4. I coated my fretless neck with a few coats of polycrylic. I've got a nice smooth durable finish on the neck. I guess this is similar to what Jaco did, but I could be wrong. Either way, it sounds just fine.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    A couple of comments on epoxy and fingerboard finishes.

    First, nitro is not hard enough a finish to take the beating strings give a fretless fingerboard. Two part epoxies generally are hard enough.

    I would recommend trying to get a reasonable buildup in a single application. If you apply multiple times and sand back, you'll see weird topographical lines at the junctures between the multiple layers. Make sure you mix thoroughly, and try to remove any bubbles from the epoxy once you've applied it. Get a good non-loading sandpaper, probably 220 to at least 1000 grit, and be ready to spend some time sanding and polishing the board.
  6. Thank you both for the input...
  7. Heiko

    Heiko BassLab

    Apr 24, 2001
    Kassel, Germany
    Hi, Andy!

    I think you should only use epoxy clear coating resins!
    Polyester is not long-time stable against UV-radiation.
    Be sure, to find an epoxy, that is especially for top layers. While polyester would crack, epoxy can get a yellow color, when exposed to sunlight for a longer time.
    The clear topcoats are also very hard, but easy to sand.

    Good luck!

  8. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    could we get some brand names and maybe a place to find them? does a pro need to do it or is it a weekend job?
  9. Heiko

    Heiko BassLab

    Apr 24, 2001
    Kassel, Germany
    It´s not so easy, because they have different brand names in each country and I´m only familiar with the german companies!
    Another problem are those technical terms...........
    Some american companies where you could ask

    "fibre glast" (
    - "DuPont"
    - "Midwest Composites Inc"
    - "Aerospace Composite Products" (
    - "Raka Marine"

    The resin you will need should be called something like:
    - (high gloss) clear gel coat

    Hope this helps!

    IMO, the first company to look for is fibre glast. They also have manuals on how to use their products - something like stewmac.

    It depends on a lot of things, if you are able to do the job. It´s not a difficult job, but maybe timeconsuming to do the sanding?


  10. My local luthier says a rosewood board won't take polyester in any case...

    Anyway, I am reviving this project, and bumping the thread just in case anyone has anything else to add before I start....
  11. faceless_13


    Apr 6, 2005
    Thanks Hannible,
    I have been figuring this out forever. My bass is ready and waiting for an epoxy finish. I would just like to know minor specifics on getting this baby ready. Frets are removed. nice and smooth finsh. How do you recomed getting into the epoxy stage. There are so many variables involved I would hate to make a mistake. Any info you have for me would be great. Thank you for your time.

    Rik :bassist:
  12. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I have been contemplating doing the Jaco/Epoxy thing too.

    I was very intregued by the thread at
    In which Tb member and luthier, Hambone, explains his method of doing this with crazy/super glue becuase its easier to work with than epoxy.