Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

That's it, I'm epoxying...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tplyons, Aug 18, 2005.


  1. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Tomorrow, I'm going to place an order for system three mirrorcoat, but have a few questions... should I just brush it on and hope it levels itself or what? It says it's self levelling (does that mean liquidy or what? ) I'd like to do this Jaco thing the right way and System 3 mirrorcoat appears to be the way to go. Any insight?

    Hambone?
     
  2. Nateo did an epoxy coating using a high quality epoxy (I forget the name) and I've used West System. They were both very thin liquids and did self level very well. Nateo applied it with foam brushes and it worked very well. I'm sure he'll chime in. There's also a defretting tutorial that he did... you can easily serach it.
     
  3. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yeah, I found that thread a while back, that's what made me want to do it all of a sudden. Something I've been planning a while, just never got around to doing.

    Long story short, I think I'm going to use the System Three Mirror Coat which was highly recommended by many, and for $30 and change I can get plenty of it to last me a good long time. The question is being very thin, and self levelling, will I need to simply apply thin coats? Will I need to sand in between coats>
     
  4. I use a thin epoxy also, but it's not System Three. I'm sure many people have their own application methods. With a rosewood fingerboard, I start with not to thick a coat (not a thin coat) and always sand between coats.
     
  5. I'd use thin coats. It'll be easier to keep it level and it will require less sanding I would imagine.
     
  6. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Put it down thick enough to coat the entire surface, but you don't need to go too thick. Super thick coats are more likely to have bubbles trapped in them. The only real concern with thin coats is "cratering" where certian spots on the piece don't "wet" properly. Just look along the wet epoxy with the light glancing off it and you'll see these spots immediately. I go back over them with the brush (but no new epoxy) just to smooth them out. If they're stubborn, grind the brush in there a bit to get some adhesion, then make a light pass to level it out a bit.

    The epoxy will deal with almost all of the levelling problems on it's own, but you will need to sand between coats to get rid of things that land in it while it's curing and any bubbles at the surface. I wet sand with 400 grit to do my levelling between coats, and I make sure to let it sit for a day or two before recoating. I don't really know how necessary this is, but I think it minimizes bubbles from the curing of the previous coat.

    Give 'er a whirl on a scrap piece to get a feel for your curing times and whatnot. It shouldn't take more than a coat or two before you're comfortable enough to have a go at the fingerboard.

    Good luck, and make sure to take lots of pictures.

    -Nate
     
  7. If you don't wait the full cure time, but just wait until it's not tacky anymore, you can recoat without sanding in between. The bond will be chemical and it's recommended by the manufacturers.

    I've done many epoxied up fingerboards. I've used west system, system three and hardware store types. I do not recommend the latter, but west systems and system three did a fine job. I prefer system three because it is more forgiving of mixing ratios, meaning a small mistake won't make any difference, which is not the case for west systems.

    even though they are self leveling, they do crater quite a big when cured. bubbles are not a problem if you use a foam brush and watch for them, by brushing over them they will be removed. But you need to apply quite a build up (3-5 coats at least) in order to sand level the craters that will form when it is curing. This is not a hard job, and if you're using a radius, the same radiusing block you used for shaping the board will work fine.
     
  8. Sorry Tim, I haven't done an epoxy job yet. :confused:

    I would just sit there and tip the board back and forth until it hardened up. :D
     
  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  10. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
  11. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I sanded the board down to 600 taped off the edges and then painted the epoxy on with a brush. Do it in a "dust free enviornment" :rolleyes: good luck. Don't touch it for 2 days. I was shocked at how long it takes to set up. Don't lay it on to thick or it will "self level" out your radius. :rollno: .....t
     
  12. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim

    Jul 8, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Great looking job Tom, nice spalt! :D Tim
     
  13. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks ....t :D
     
  14. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Does anyone here shim the nut as Thor does in his application?
    I'm also a bit confused as to which hardener to use.
    Finally, does anyone have a direct link to a kit? jamestowndistributors sells it it two parts, approx $27 and $17. Thats a bit more than what I can afford on this project, but... the results I've seen here are great.
     
  15. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass

    I didn't need to...t
     
  16. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    My Bad. Found the Kit at Jamestown Dist...