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Glues - Epon

I was contacted by a representative from Shell that they are no longer supplying Epon.  She gave me Momentive as a new supplier.


My Epon order arrived the other day, and since it looks like I'll be gluing up this weekend, I have a few questions since I've never used the stuff before.  First, once I mix the glue, what is the pot life, generally?  Once I've spread the flue on the strips, roughly how much working time can I expect to have in roughly 90 degree temps, before the glue starts setting up?  Also, I remember that folks use vinegar and water to wipe down the surface of the bamboo after binding.  What kind of ratio, vinegar to water should I mix up?  And I notice that on the bottles, they mention the need to heat cure.  What regimen do you guys that use Epon follow for heat curing?  (Mark Wendt)

    The pot life is 2.5 hours at 25c which is about 77f, certainly an hour or more at 90f before it begins to even look like setting up.  Shell does recommend heat setting and doing this will make it less likely to fail in elevated temps later on when the rod is being used.

    Use vinegar straight from the bottle, you can also use methylated spirits which is called something like denatured?) alcohol?? Basically ethanol.  (Tony Young)

      There you  are!

      I use Epon 828 with a different Essence of Skunk hardener, and I find it prudent to mix the batches  for the three sections independently, as I have trouble with their setting up too fast otherwise.

      It's not a lot of trouble, I just save all the empty fruit yogurt containers, bring home tongue depressors from the surgery for mixing, and each gluing day I open a dedicated 10ml syringe for the resin and another for the skunk juice; but if I try to get more than one section out of a mix, that is when I start to say things that I am likely to regret,  and it is when I come close to getting glue lines.

      I spread the epoxy with a toothbrush ("The Toothbrush of the Ninth Happy Celestial Armpit", or something like that at any rate, bought for zip at the local bankruptcy traders) and if I attempt the second section I can just feel the the old Celestial start to load about half way through, and the glue ceases to spread.  (Peter McKean)

        There are several different hardeners you can use with the resin, all have different properties.  An example some on the list may know is the case of West System epoxy. The resin is the same but you can get at least three different hardeners, fast, medium and slow. About the only speed of resin you ever see here is the slow due to the ambient temp the glue will be used at.

        The stuff Bingham Archery sell is (unless they've changed it) Shell 826 with Versamid 140 hardener. I didn't look at all the specs on the link I included with my post but from memory the 826 has greater elongation potential compared with the 828 but I could be mistaken there without going to check again BUT the extra elongation isn't an issue for rods or probably even bows.

        I can't remember the details now but back in a previous life as a struggling boat builder trying to learn all I could about the wonders of laminating timber I sort of remember being told an excessively flexible glue would only cause laminate creep and that a glue like resorcinol which is not flexible at all actually creates the best bond you can get even though the laminates themselves are subjected to a lot of flexure. That's the reason masts and spars should be glued with Resorcinol and not epoxy though there are enough people doing it anyhow.

        Epoxy is a different sort of animal to "normal" glues but I do know the only time I ever had problems with any epoxy that was made up as per the manufacturer's directions and did harden correctly was when the batch I used was made more flexible than normal to be used as a paint base in marine use. The bond was very good but when the (nodeless) rods were used they failed at a rate of 100% at the scarfs. Very embarrassing and a real drag.

        I only mention this because I'm not suggesting anybody NEEDS to necessarily be using 826 to get the benefits of Epon formula but the hardener used will dictate the set up time.

        I must also add I'm certainly no expert on the use of the glue apart from having used it, like it a lot, have written and spoken to others on the list who use it and find it the best epoxy to use I've come across.  (Tony Young)

        A few people contacted me about the message from the people at Epon who are very helpful I may just add so I placed the question in the following post.  (Tony Young)

          I emailed Shell Chemical them and asked for some info straight from the horse's mouth as it were and this is what I got back from them:

          /********** Shell's reply to my questions **********/

          Tony,

          There is no magic to elevated temperature curing. It is a simple fact that a chemical reaction speeds up with heat. For every 10C increase, the reaction rate doubles.

          What determines a cure schedule (ramp rate , temperature , dwell time, cool down rate, etc)is the application limitations. For instance, one must be concerned with over drying the bamboo, so time at temperatures near 100C should be minimized or eliminated from the schedule. The ramp rate is usually governed by the viscosity of the resin WHILE it is being heated. If the resin becomes too runny, it can run away from the joint before it gels. Often these variables are worked out by trial and error.

          Usually, a system like EPON 828 and Versamid 140 in your application is allow to gel at Room Temperature, (overnight) and then it is Post Cured at elevated temperatures. I suggest 150-180F for 2 hours - 4 hours. Cool down is no biggie. It should be even so to avoid warping the rod.

          Hope this helps.

          Gary Hunter
          Technical Service Representative
          EPOXY RESINS TECHNICAL INQUIRY
          RESOLUTION PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS
          Toll Free in North America - 800-832-3766
          International - 281-544-6010
          Facsimile - 817-421-7515
          Email - tec.epon@resins.com

          /********* and so ends the lesson by Shell ) ********/

          Hope that helps out.  (Tony Young)

    You should have at least an hour of working time, you can extend the pot life by sitting the mixing container in a container of ice water.

    I wipe down the bound strips with straight vinegar, squeeze the rag out so it's not dripping, just wet.  You can also throw the binding cord in some vinegar to wash it out after you finish binding.

    • Do some preliminary straightening but don't go crazy with it.
    • Don't clean the binder with vinegar if the parts will rust. I wipe the binder and guides off with acetone.
    • Let the bundles set for about 8-10 hours and then you can straighten, do not heat.
    • Remove the string after about 12-14 hours and straighten some more without heat.
    • Any time after this last step, you can heat set for a couple of hours at 180-200 F.
    • Any subsequent straightening should be after sanding, using heat.  (Steve Weiss)

    I use the Epon from Bingham.   I don't use vinegar at all anymore. Had a bad experience with it soaking in the glue line when I spilled some on the bench. I was told no problem but I did have a delimitation. After  glue up and binding, the sticks are hung up overnight 18-20 hours recommended. The string comes right off and a swipe of the razor blade on each flat, makes quick work of the residual glue, it is still in a soft state.

    It takes all of 15  minuets or less to clean a rod. Check the blank over and if there are any seams that are open or look like glue lines, bind that area real tight. Reason for doing this is it will close the gap during heat setting.  Rebind the whole stick and heat set in a 180F oven for four hours. Remove, lay on a flat surface and let room cool. No hassle of sanding off string and hard glue. The sticks come out clean. The glue cleans up better with Denatured Alcohol than it does with white vinegar. The vinegar makes it turn white and messy. I use a couple of syringes I got from a veterinarian friend. Cleaned them real good with the Denatured Alcohol before using them. That is how I clean them when I am finished. It takes 10 cc of hardener to 20 cc of Epoxy for a 7'6" blank with two tips. No waste with a little left over. The glue is poured  in the appropriate syringes, turn the syringe tip end up so that the air can be pushed out when the plunger is installed. Push out all but the glue needed. 10 cc and 20 cc.  Squirt the Epoxy and the hardener in a glass container. I use an old Power Bait jar. Mix for several minutes. It will turn milky looking.  Apply with a tooth brush. I don't use mine, I use the wife's tooth brush. You have a good 45 minutes to work with. If it is about 90 degrees in the room, it will start to get a little thick. After you apply the glue pass a hair dryer over the strips.  This will thin the glue and make the strips seat better. Bind and hang.

    This works well for me.  (Tony Spezio)


I'm plan to glue up my first nodeless rod on Saturday and will be using Epon.  I've used URAC 185 for all my other rods, so using Epon is a new adventure.  Are there any tips or suggestions I should know prior to using Epon?  I'm aware that vinegar can be used in cleanup.  What about mixing proportions and quantity (again I know what I need to know for URAC but not for Epon)?  Also,  I  heat  treat   my URAC  glued up  blanks for  an hour  at 150-170 degrees.   Do I need to do anything with Epon glued blank?  How long after I glue can I straighten the bound blank?

Sorry for all the questions, but I hate to make a mistake after all the work I done up to this point.  (Bob Williams)

    Here is a link to the Epon/Epicure data sheet at the Versatics site, if you're interested click here.

    Although I used 1:1 for my first rod, and it seems OK, since reading the literature I have been using 2:1 828 to 3140 and then the last few rods doing a 200 degrees heat set for 2 hours after 14 - 16 hours at room temps, just because the properties show improvement in the spec sheet.  Others may have more experience with the "need" to do the heat set.  Looking at the left over epoxy after a few days, it sure looks like pretty tough stuff.

    For cleanup, I used to use white vinegar, but picked up a tip from someone on the list about using isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which I prefer mostly due not caring for the vinegar odor, and it seems to be a little more aggressive in cleaning up the uncured epoxy.

    I find the blank will stay workable for many  hours -  even up to 6 - 8 hours, so you can diddle to your heart's content with getting every little tiny bend, twist, and kink out, or if you are as adept as I am at such things, can put several back in for every one removed, providing for many hours of entertainment.   [;-)]

    I usually mix up somewhere around 15 grams for a section using 10 grams 828 and 5 grams 3140, resulting in probably a little more than you'd need, but I'd rather have some left than wish I had.

    Just what works for me - I imagine other folks have their preferences.  (Ralph MacKenzie)

      FWIW, off list someone suggested to me that denatured alcohol works even better than isopropyl, if you want to throw that in, too.  (Ralph MacKenzie)

    I use Epon, take the string off after about 8-10 hours and do serious straightening without heat. Then heat-set for a couple of hours at about 150. The sections are then well cured.  (Steve Weiss)

    I mix 2 Epon to 1 Hardener.

    Pass a hair dryer over the strips to get the glue to flow and thin out some. It is real thick when applied, bind the strips and roll and straighten as good as I can. Hang the sticks for 18 to 20 hours, Usually overnight.

    Remove the binding cord and scrape the residual glue off. It is still in a jell form. Comes off real easy.

    Rebind the sticks and heat set for 4 hours @ 180 degrees F.

    I do scrape the enamel off before I plane the finish taper. No hassle in sanding off cord and hard glue. Saves a lot of time.  (Tony Spezio)

    My humble apologies!

    I have always thought that those of you who say that they have to sand off the binding string with Epon if you don't get it off quickly enough were probably exaggerating. 

    I have been gluing with PU now for about 12 rods,  and am currently finishing two Payne 101 wannabe's, so thought it would be a good opportunity to compare glues; yesterday I glued one with Epon, and hung it up in the drying cabinet. I hung up the second tip at 1645, ambient temperature about 25 Celsius. I  have one 100 watt globe burning in the cabinet. Usually, with the Epon, I would pull off the string about 12 - 18 hours later, and not expect to have any trouble at all.  Last  night, for some reason that is not clear to me, I went down to check on the sections at about 2200, and they were firm and set, so I thought that I should probably take off the string a bit early. No way!  Today I sanded the stuff off; I still think it's great glue, though you can smell it for bloody days, even through nitrile gloves and face masks, but that sanding is no fun at all!

    I am going to glue up the other clone with PU tomorrow, to see if there is any subjective difference in the blanks. I mean, I know that there WON'T be, but I'm going to do it anyway....

    Anyone else have  any experience  like that  with Epon (mixed 3:1)?  (Peter McKean)

      With Epon wipe it down with a white vinegar on  a cloth and let the section dry up. The string will unzipped easily. And sanding is almost a joke, that is to say, easy.  (Adam Vigil)

      I have used Epon for 4 years now, on about 2 dozen rods, and I have  never had to sand the thread off. I mix it 1-1, bind em up and hang em for 24 hours, more or less. In the summer I just hang them in my unheated shop, in the winter they come in the house and hang in the varnishing cabinet with the light on, about 95f. Sometimes I get impatient and heat cure one at 200 for 2 hours. The sanding part is most always the same, unless I attempt to sand too soon, in which case it just makes a gooey mess out of the sandpaper. I use cotton covered polyester thread for everything and it comes off fairly easy no matter how I've cured the glue, sometimes it can be a bit more trouble getting it off the heat cured sections, but not much.. I also just did a small experiment. I just glued up a rod the other  day and thought I would try to find out just how much the Epon was adding to the dimension of the sections. I planed each strip to 1/2 the rod dimensions, measured very carefully all 3 directions at every station, then when I taped it together for glue up, I taped on either side of the station marks and remeasured the sections at each station. I wrote those numbers down and managed to avoid breaking my own arm patting myself on the back for doing such a fantastic planing job! After cleaning the sections yesterday, I remarked the 5" stations on them and remeasured and can report that, at 75 degrees F and 30% humidity in Durango ,CO, at an approximate altitude of 7,000 ft. above sea level, Epon seems to add a fairly consistent .004" at each station for the full length of the rod. FWIW  (John Channer)

      My experience with Epon is similar to John's. If you take the string off within 24 hours, the glue will be "soft" and the string will come right off. If you wait a few days, or heat set the glue you will have a problem with the string, and the glue will be much harder to get off the blank. If you are working with soft glue, a cabinet scraper will do a much cleaner and quicker job of removing excess from the blank than sandpaper. If the glue is hard, the scraper will leave chatter marks, and you have no choice except to use files and sandpaper. If you want to heat set, it's easier to take the string and excess glue off after 12-24 hours, rebind, and then heat set. 

      Since there seem to be several versions of Epon, it might be best to say that I am using Epon 828 with the V140 hardener.  (Tom Smithwick)

        Actually, I don't usually have any trouble taking the thread off no matter how hard the glue is. The trick is the cotton covered polyester thread, glace cotton is weak as a kitten, polyester is much stronger (and not affected by normal heat treating btw).  (John Channer)

    Resins may be stored at  120 degrees - 140 degrees F indefinitely, and are routinely shipped at 150 degrees - 180 degrees F, however, doing so will decrease the viscosity of the resin (not permanently), and will dramatically increase the cure rate.

    Post curing the resin only serves to accelerate the curing process, and in no way initiates any other chemical changes, such as cross linking, beyond what would normally take place. A common cure schedule is 24 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours. There are many permutations to be had within that time/temp range. Following a post cure regimen, say 16 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours, makes a dramatic difference in lap shear strength; not that there is not enough as it is for a bamboo rod.

    A complete cure schedule is 7 days @ 25 degrees C. For each ten degrees above 25 degrees C the cure rate doubles. The heat deflection temperature for 828/3140 is 115 degrees C (240 degrees F), for 828/3164 it is higher. Epicure 3164 imparts highly flexible properties, improved toughness compared to conventional polyamines (A type of curing agent. 3115, 3125, 3140, 3164 are all polyamines) Improved combinations of elongation, strength, modulus, abrasion resistance, and tear resistance in comparison with other "flexibilizing" curing agents.

    Epicure 3140 should be kept in a tightly closed container, in a cool, dry place. It is very hygroscopic, and readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide. This may affect viscosity, or create foaming when reacted with resins.

    Epicure 3164 is stable, though should be kept in a tightly closed container to prevent darkening. All epoxies are capable of producing adverse health effects ranging from minor skin irritation to serious systemic effects. Once systemically sensitized, always sensitized. Use appropriate precautions when dealing with any epoxy. Avoid any skin contamination, and the breathing of fumes.  (Martin-Darrell)

    This thread on glues and more specifically Epon brings up a question that has been on my mind for some time. I've always used Epon and like it's properties a lot. My rods however always seem to turn out a bit stiffer than other makers rods of the same taper that were glued with URAC, resorcinol, Titebond or something else.  Obviously the tapers could have been slightly different between rods, or heat treatment, but still I'm wondering if any of you have experimented with different glues on the same taper and if any difference was noticed. What impact on action does the glue have?  (Winston Binney)

      Polyurethane glue makes the same taper stiffer than Titebond II.  (Darryl Hayashida)


Last week while I was out of town, a package containing EPON arrived at my door. The UPS man left it by the back door in a protected place. However, while it sat there, the temperature plunged. I believe that it went as low as 7 or 8 degrees one night. Do you think the material is still good? I'll run a test, but I thought someone might have had a similar experience.  (Karl Hube)

    The stuff is just fine, Karl.  (Martin-Darrell)

    Yes, that is the way to store it for up to 6 months. (George Bourke)

    Epoxy is pretty tolerant of temperature extremes,  Epon especially.  If it was only left there for a short time, I wouldn't worry about to much.  You might have shortened the life of the epoxy by a day or two.  (Mark Wendt)


I have a fresh supply of Epon 826 resin and 140 hardener. After combing through the archives, I am confused as whether this combination must have a heat cure or not. Can anyone clarify this.

If heat curing is required, has anyone built a heat curing oven using light bulbs, heat lamps, etc?? My heat treating oven is a heat gun rig that is not controllable at the low heat set levels.  (Karl Hube)

    No you don't need to post cure.  Just realize that it could take up to a week at room temperature for the Epon to cure fully (note - 25 degrees C is 77 degrees F).  Here's what M-D posted a while back:

    Resins may be stored at  120 degrees - 140 degrees F indefinitely, and are routinely shipped at 150 degrees - 180 degrees F, however, doing so will decrease the viscosity of the resin (not permanently), and will dramatically increase the cure rate. Post curing the resin only serves to accelerate the curing process, and in no way initiates any other chemical changes, such as cross-linking, beyond what would normally take place. A common cure schedule is 24 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours. There are many permutations to be had within that time/temp range. Following a post cure regimen, say 16 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours, makes a dramatic difference in lap shear strength; not that there is not enough as it is for a bamboo rod.

    A complete cure schedule is 7 days @ 25 degrees C. For each ten degrees above 25 degrees C the cure rate doubles. The heat deflection temperature for 828/3140 is 115 degrees C (240 degrees F), for 828/3164 it is higher. Epicure 3164 imparts highly flexible properties, improved toughness compared to conventional polyamines (A type of curing agent. 3115, 3125, 3140, 3164 are all polyamines) Improved combinations of elongation, strength, modulus, abrasion resistance, and tear resistance in comparison with other "flexibilizing" curing agents.

    Epicure 3140 should be kept in a tightly closed container, in a cool, dry place. It is very hygroscopic, and readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide. This may affect viscosity, or create foaming when reacted with resins.

    Epicure 3164 is stable, though should be kept in a tightly closed container to prevent darkening. All epoxies are capable of producing adverse health effects ranging from minor skin irritation to serious systemic effects. Once systemically sensitized, always sensitized. Use appropriate precautions when dealing with any epoxy. Avoid any skin contamination, and the breathing of fumes. (Mark Wendt)


I just contacted Nelson Paint Co. and was told that their Chemist does not recommend using straight ammonium chloride as the catalyst. Doesn't the walnut flour supplied as the catalyst have ammonium chloride in it? If this is the case, can anyone recommend the proper ratio and any other tips to mix the two. I do have a very accurate gram scale for measuring. At looking at past post to the List it appears that using the walnut flour catalyst will leave glue lines. I have been using Epon with great success but now want to try the other glues to compare any rod action changes and ease of use.  (Bruce Herndon)

    I mix 1/8 teaspoon of ammonium chloride in 5 cc of water, after I let it set for 20 minutes I add it to 50 grams of URAC which is adequate for any two tip rod.  This is pretty much what I learned from George Maurer.  A search of the archives should reveal some other mixing ratios that have worked for others.  (Bob Williams)

    For my UF-109, I premix water with ammonium chloride crystals 20:1 by weight to make the catalyst. Then the glue is mixed 10:1 by weight with the catalyst. That gives me about 20 minutes working time. If you want to extend the working time, use less catalyst.  (Ron Grantham)

    Most problems with the walnut shell powder mix involves the use of the Custom Pak CR585 resin & powder (Sold by Golden Witch, etc.). The powder mix that comes with this is quite course (Think sawdust) and unusable i.m.o. URAC 185 resin (From Nelsons) and the walnut shell catalyst is much finer (A true wood flour) and quite usable. In fact 185 mixed 4-1 (With powdered catalyst) is actually thinner consistency than 585 mixed with Ammonium Chloride and water. Nelson won't give a recommendation on straight Ammonium Chloride due to warranty claim concerns.

    However the walnut shell powder for URAC (NOT 585!) contains 13 percent Ammonium Chloride by weight. If you mix up 100 grams of resin you only need 1.3 grams (That’s a minimum) of straight Ammonium Chloride I always add extra (1.5 grams to 100 ) as a safety margin.

    There is no need to add any water with this (Again URAC only) it is plenty thin enough. One other note URAC, whether mixed with walnut shell powder or straight Ammonium Chloride has a much longer working time than  CR585 (Though it takes a bit longer to cure than 585). Rodmakers seem to consider these 2 resins identical, which is true enough when cured, but they have different working properties. I find the 185 much more suitable for rodmaking( Longer shelf life, longer working time, thinner consistency, cheaper, better color).  (Dave Kenney)

      Then again the VERY best is a liquid hardener and resin which is what I use. The only drawback with the stuff I use is as it's intended for use in industry where large amounts are used to make plywood and various beams etc. the shelf life is of secondary significance to strength and ease of spreading both of which are great.

      I get about 3-4 months satisfactory shelf life for rods. Much longer for use on timber.  (Tony Young)

        I have used liquid catalysts (URAC, Resorcinol), and they work great. But "VERY best" is harder to quantify, and really depends on the situation. Remember the walnut shell powder gives gap filling abilities WITH Strength, unlike Urea's mixed with liquid or straight Ammonium Chloride or Titebond polyurethane glues which fill with little or no strength.

        This doesn't matter much for the average rod, but if you build larger rods (Salmon), and undercut your strips (Typical of a beveler, Morgan Hand Mill, etc.)  this is something to think about.

        For general rodmaking it is great stuff though, URAC 185 (With a shelf life of at least a year) mixed with straight Ammonium Chloride (Shelf life of eternity) is a very close second.  (Dave Kenney)

          The reason a liquid hardener is the very best is it mixes very well very easily, there can be no regions where the powder has  not been mixed correctly as there is no powder and the hardener is mixed completely with minimal mixing as it's the consistency and color of water. This particular resin is also quite thick, ALMOST the same consistency as a thin epoxy, at least 3 times thicker than resorcinol,  remember this is not indented as a handyman's glue, it's intended to be quickly and easily spread evenly which does require a certain thickness so it flows rather than runs.  This is also a draw back as because it is intended for industrial use the shelf life is short but so what? It's so good I just consider it to be a cost of using it even though I have to buy a lot more than I'd prefer. Overall it's a very small part of the overall rod and if I get a few made inside it's shelf life it amortizes the price to the point it's the same as buying a smaller amount of handyman UF that is not as good. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying and  flying out a tin of URAC for example.  I can't comment on how thick it is compared to URAC but it must be thicker judging on your comment re gap filling and the usefulness of the walnut shell. To thicken this UF I use any more would be detrimental.

          To test this stuff I use a couple of sticks of American White Oak about 1" x 1/2" x 12" glued end for end laminated at the last 2 inches. Unless I have some already planed it's normally just rough sawn, I do that because that ensures the worst possible lamination having gaps and a bad bonding surface. I figure if it sticks to that it's good.  I allow to cure then break the lamentation. If I see ANY glue line at all at the break I stop using that batch of glue. The reason I use AWO is it's not an especially good wood to laminate in some ways, it's OK but not the best but it is strong wood. The fact the wood will give way before the glue does is a good indication of the glue strength which I would rate as much stronger than the wood. The only other glue I'd put at that high esteem is resorcinol which is not gap filling and may not bond as well under the same test conditions due to bad surface preparation.  Epoxy is also strong of course but I prefer UF for the action of the rod it gives and I use a lot of glue for other purposes so having more than enough UF laying about all the time is not a bad thing. I don't have any PU glue here at all for eg. Actually I'd much prefer resorcinol for everything, it's great glue but it's not gap filling and the  lines cause some concern on rods sometimes so it's easier if I just use UF. Funny thing is around boats the resorcinol lines inspire confidence.

          One problem with epoxy is it doesn't like bonding to thick laminates. Epoxy looks fine but sooner or later if it's stressed it can come unstuck. Thinner laminates are no problem.  Sometimes I bond thick laminates. You can't have laminates too thick on a rod of course.

          As UF requires very little hardener to kick it you can alter the set up rate depending on the temp thought as with all resins the less hardener you can use without affecting it's strength the better. Don't try that with epoxy. Always mix it following the instructions.  This UF I use would fill the most gappy undercut made with a mill, beveler or pocket knife blank you could imagine.

          I've never done a "scientific" test on the glue to try this out but this UF seems to require the tiniest amount of hardener to set.  I generally use it with a 1:30 ratio which has a pot life of around 25 minutes at 20c, hard in about 60 minutes and full cure 24 hours but when the glue is no longer good for rods and I get a new 4 liter container (smallest qty I can buy) I have to get rid of the old glue.  I don't pour it down the drain so I add a very small amount of hardener, no more than 5 ml into maybe 1.5 liters of resin. In a couple of days the resin in the container is rock hard.

          I had a funny thing happen when I asked the techs about this glue after I found it stopped being so good after a few months when the previous batch went for about 9 months.  I got a tech who told me the EPA and Work Safe laws made them drop the amount of urea used in the glue, the replacement is as good as far as bonding goes but it reduces the shelf life.  We were cut off and I called back and got a different tech who told me the amount of formaldehyde has been reduced due to EPA and Work Safe laws the replacement is as good as far as bonding goes but it reduces the shelf life.  I asked why his mate just told me the same thing about the urea and he told me both have been reduced, both replacement ingredients work as well but reduce the shelf life.  He read me the before and after list of chemicals with the weights used. He was telling the truth so I asked just what is in it why the hell it's still called UF?  Interesting thing he told me is these new laws began in the US and if I ever tried any from there to make sure I fly it out because it'll be out of date before it got here otherwise.  That jibes with what I read in Wooden Boat some time back now that downgraded the danger of using UF from quite high in confined spaces to just slightly dangerous. The article was vague as to why this change and inferred it was due to better understanding of the effects but it seems it's more the formula *may* have altered for a lot of brands.  (Tony Young)

            Mixing with Urea's (Liquid or powder catalyst) is rarely a problem. Epoxies however can be very sensitive. Again the liquid catalyst is excellent, but not always the "best" under all applications. Glues mixed consistency and its gap filling properties are not one and the same. IE; polyurethane glues can be thin but will have good gap filling properties, hide glue is generally thinner than some yellow glues but is better at gap filling. None of these however have the gap filling abilities of URAC mixed with the powdered catalyst (It was designed for such applications) Again not always important but it is something to consider. Personally, I use URAC 185 with straight Ammonium Chloride for trout rods, and the powdered catalyst for larger rods, because all of my rods are done on bevelers, with a slight undercut (From 60.5 to 61.5 degrees)  (Dave Kenney)

            Note: Resorcinol, URAC 185,  CR585, Perkins L100, Cascamite, etc,  are not "Handyman glues." Least not in the USA. Most people have never heard of them.

              The point I was making was the UF I use is made and packaged specifically for industrial use.  Mixing the glue and gap filling is indeed not the same, the glue I use which is a liquid as is the hardener is already thick.   Almost as thick as a thin epoxy. It's got some melamine in it and is made thick as thick glue fills gaps and spreads easier than thin glue which runs. As the hardener is a liquid it does mix easily. It's actually designed to be injected into a nozzle of the glue spreader as it's applied to ply wood and cabinet laminates. Being a liquid it takes minimal mixing to ensure proper mix before application which is required as it's being injected and mixed milliseconds before application. It's difficult to imagine this glue I use being made thicker without it being too thick for an application where the glue line would be too wide and therefore weak or have so much squeeze to reduce the glue line without that squeeze out being excessive to the point of over 50% waste when used on rods. Some squeeze out is not just nice but necessary but excessive squeeze out is wasteful and not especially desirable.  If this glue was thickened any more than it already is it would be difficult to use for rods unless you want to fill hollow built rods for some reason.

              The glues packaged in small quantities are normally considered as handyman glues by the makers even if most people have never heard of them. They tend to have properties that allow for increased shelf life because they sit in a shop (somewhere) until it's bought and are not usually as good in use as industrial glues as this is made to be sold in drums and used quickly.  Some industrial glues are indeed packaged for handyman use but it would be interesting to find out if they really are the same as what industrial users buy. For eg is the resorcinol sold in small packages also the same as beam makers use?

              There is a brand called Selleys which is carried by 99% of all hardware stores here. They package handyman size resorcinol and UF glues so it is something you can just wonder into any hardware store and buy out here.   The UF is called Selleys 308. It's a powder resin/melamine added to make it bond better to slick surfaces as well as increasing it's bond in general, a liquid catalyst and you add water to the whole lot when you mix. That is done to reduce the package size. This is also a rather thick, creamy glue in application.  Once the package is opened however the addition of the melamine makes it's shelf life very short so it's best used up all at once. However it is industrial strength glue.

              The resorcinol is true resorcinol glue but has a small proportion of cheaper phenol bulking out the glue so they can use less resorcinol.  The phenol also increases the shelf life. It is also strong but not as strong as true industrial resorcinol.  The shelf life of these glues is quite long provided you don't open the packaging but the glues are different to industrial stuff. Having spoken to the techs about these things I'm pretty sure that is the case with most if not all glue makers.

              So what we have is a bit more complicated than just UF and resorcinol.

              There is:

              UF which is the cheapest to make but quite strong and water resistant.

              Melamine formaldehyde which is very strong and water resistant and is also called UF with melamine or just UF.

              Phenol Formaldehyde also called resorcinol which probably isn't seen very often as it requires reasonably high temps and perfect laminations. It's cheaper than true resorcinol so workshops set up for it use it.

              Resorcinol which itself comes in three types.  The best is resorcinol and formaldehyde, it's also the most expensive.  Next is resorcinol and formaldehyde with some phenol replacing some of the resorcinol and this is what most handyman packs have. The last is resorcinol and formaldehyde with quite a lot of phenol replacing resorcinol and is the cheapest handyman pack. It's not as strong as the other two and requires higher temps to work as well as extended clamping pressure and time.

              I buy all of my UF and Resorcinol from the manufacturers in bulk. Neither glues will last as long as the handyman packaged glue but both are much better in use.  The UF lasts about 3-4 months and the resorcinol goes for about 18 months.

              Now I sit and wonder why I'm writing this it's occurred to me the original question was what can be done about glues that aren't quite what is required. I suggest people do what I did and look for a glue maker who either sells direct or to a cabinet maker prepared to sell a small amount.  IMHO the stuff available in small quantities is sold too expensively for what it is.  (Tony Young)

    When I used URAC I mixed 4 parts liquid to 1 part powder. It works very well. Sam Carlson, one of history's finest rodmakers tried the ammonia Chloride solution one time, didn't like the results and went back to the walnut powder. Every rod he made was with the walnut powder.  (Marty DeSapio)

    Garrison recommended sifting the walnut powder. I mix four parts liquid to 1 part powder. I sift the walnut powder, just to be safe. Though I've never had a problem. I use an old tablespoon stolen from the kitchen drawer. I level off the powder to equal 1 level tablespoon. Then, I add 4 tablespoons of liquid (allowing enough time to for the excess to bleed away from the spoon I mix it quickly, spread it on the splines and get to the binder as soon as possible. Working time is about 20 minutes. NO glue lines and NO problems. It works for me.    (Joe Loverti)


After using URAC for 22 years, I was convinced by the number of posts on Epon that I should give it a try. Further, the URAC supplier had gone out of business and I couldn't get any more readily.

  • I ordered the glue - arrived when it was -35F. Called
    Miller-Stephenson - no problem they said - freezes fine.
  • Read over the archived posts.- must be 200 - figured that I got all the stuff figured.
  • Set up to glue and everything worked fine.
  • Waited 4 hours and straightened the sections - worked OK
  • Waited another 4 hours and attempted to remove binding cord. No go. Glue was really sticky. Gave it up.
  • Spent 12 hours getting glue and binding cord off sections.

Rod # 2 - day 3

  • got all the stuff ready to glue another
  • Made about a dozen turns with the binding handle and drive belt broke. Replaced OK
  • Binder getting real sticky.
  • Finished binding and left it for 6 hours this time to remove binding cord and scrap - Glue too sticky. Haven't sanded this one yet.

Rod # 3 - day 4

  • Decided to clean binder and remove all  Epon
  • Replaced drive belt cord completely with new cord
  • Lubricated tensioning wheels for binding cord
  • Everything went nearly perfectly except the binding cord kept jumping out of the tensioners so I held tension on by hand
  • Waited 4 hours and removed both binding cord and glue just fine & rebound
  • Blanks straight.

What I found out:

  • Binding cord must be removed within 4>5 hours if left in warm place - drying cabinet
  • Straightening the blanks were easy after they had been glued for an hour
  • Tensioning wheels don't need lubed. The bottom wheel started to rotate puking the binding cord out each revolution. Problem didn't occur earlier although binder has done about 120 rods. Had left binder crusty. Cleaning is not always a good thing. The solution to this arrived @ 4:00 am. Went to bed pondering the problem and @ 4:00 the light went on.  (Don Anderson)
  • Use Coats & Clark cotton covered polyester Button Carpet and Crafts thread and you can just wipe the sections down well with white vinegar, straighten, then hang them up until the glue is cured and heat set, if you do that, and the thread will just pull right off, I have never had to sand the string off along with the glue in 35 rods or more that I've used Epon on. Just like anything else, there's a learning curve involved.  (John Channer)

    Nelson Paint now has a  Canadian plant located in Sault Ste Marie.  You can buy quarts or gallons of  URAC 185.  (Ted Knott)

    From my experience the binding cord is being removed too soon. After binding, the sticks are wiped down with denatured alcohol and hung for 18 to 20 hours.

    I have left them for over 24 hours when I could not get to them, no problem.

    By then the Epon turns to a thick gel and is not  messy to deal with. The string comes right off and the gel is scraped off with a couple passes if a single edge razor blade, it is still soft.  The sticks are then rebound and heat set @ 180F for  four hours. The only mess is when first applying the Epon.  I have done over 50 rods this way and am totally satisfied with the results.

    I have to admit, I don't like the smell.  (Tony Spezio)

    Started out and have used nothing but Epon on the advice of Bill Fink.  He suggested letting the glued blank cure about a week.  I was in a bit of a hurry on the last rod for Christmas and took it out of bindings after three days and all went well.  Sounds like Tony's drying cabinet would speed things up as well.  I'm still hand binding and things get pretty gooey but I just keep a shop cloth soaked in vinegar water and wipe excess fairly frequently.  Also wipe the blank down after binding and haven't had any problems with binding string coming off.  Just a slight film and some string fuzz that comes right off with removal of enamel.  (Darrol Groth)

    Rather than hanging in the heated drying cabinet you might try keeping the freshly glued sections in the warmth of your house for 8-20 hours.  Then remove string, rebind, and heat set.  (Harry Boyd)

    I use Epon too, and I leave the binding cord on for up to 24 hours, even in a drying cabinet.  Even after 24 hours in my drying cabinet, it's easy to get the string off, and the Epon is almost rubbery when I scrape it off.  How warm is your drying cabinet?  (Mark Wendt)

    I just tried some Melurac 450 (URAC like,  but a  melamine glue), and I am very impressed with the results. I know you have a nice oven, so you will have no problem with the heat cure. I have two gallons of Epon resin and curing agent in the shop, but I just do not like the stuff. It is messy and the blanks feel slightly softer to me. Now that the Melurac gives me an infinite open time and water clean up, I see no reason not to use it instead of Epon or the usual CR-591.  Shelf life is a lot longer to. You should check it out. I think it is a good URAC alternative.  (Bob Maulucci)

      Where did you get it and how much is it. The glue that is.  (Don Anderson)

        I got some from list member Michel Lajoie. It was about $7 a pound. Mix 6:1 with water and cure for 20+ minutes at 250 degrees. John Z recommended going 25-30 minutes. I have bound 5 rods with it and it seems very nice. Stiff blanks and water clean up. The string peels off and there is almost no sanding afterwards.  (Bob Maulucci)

          What does it do to the rod dimensions? I found URAC to make the sections around .010 fatter, Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue the same and Epon only increases my dimensions by around .004.  (John Channer)

            I have not cut the sections to length, but so far it seems that the glue is minimal. I know that flat to flat is darn good, but I have not cut to length and checked the actual stations yet.

            The thing I like most regarding this glue, is that the minimal residue means that I am not wailing away at the blank with a sanding block. I think that in the past many great rods were made just rather good by over sanding after glue up. I think that is one of the biggest factors in good tolerances. I have been using Kevlar thread so it just pops right off.

            I will check tomorrow and post the findings. I should reiterate that I have glued up 5 rods with this glue (on two occasions). After sanding, the sections flex and feel nice. They look good with a rubbed in coat of varnish, no glue lines that are extreme. I have not fished or cast a section glued up with them nor do I know what the rods will be like in one year. I could be the next Gillum (regarding glue failure not talent, he was a genius!). Also, I bound the wet strips into MD's fixtures for curing and they are really straight as an arrow, no lies. You are welcome to check them out.   (Bob Maulucci)

              Michel also sent me a sample of the Melurac and I have glued up one rod and must say, I am quite impressed.  Since I build mostly blonde rods it is great because it dries a nice straw color.  (Robert Cristant)

    My experience with Epon is the same as yours. I leave mine overnight in my drying cabinet at 80 degrees and after 12 hours it is well set. The only negative side is the stuff is messy to work with. I have never been able to leave a rod for more then 12 hours and have the stuff easy to scrape off. I rub the blank down with vinegar after binding and that helps with the cord removal. I do spend some time sanding off the glue that remains. My problems seem more binder related then glue related. The sales department at Epon told me they guarantee the stuff for one year and it has a shelf life of at least three years. Last year when I talked to them they told me six months with only a one year shelf life. I've had mine for almost two years and it's still good. She told me that the way to tell if its gone bad is when the Epon changes color.  (Mark Dyba)

      What color does it change to?  Does the amber get darker, and the clear turn amber?  I've got a batch that's about 1 1/2 years old and still working well.  Epon also seems to store much better than most epoxies in different temperature ranges.  (Mark Wendt)

        You're right on the colors. The amber turns darker and the hardener loses it's transparent look.

        About a three year life if kept in a cool place.  (Mark Dyba)

      I've been using my Epon since 1997, with no apparent problems, and at that time I was told that it had a very long shelf life if kept in a cool dry place. Maybe next week I'll call Miller-Stephenson and  ask them about shelf life and how one can tell if the product is too old to use. I always test it by gluing pieces of bamboo together and then trying to tear them apart after they dry.

      You know one spends a hell of a lot of time getting a rod ready to find out that the glue is no good after binding would be quite a  disappointment. Does anyone else use Epon that is more than a couple of years old?  (Jack Follweiler)

        I've been using the same Epon for over 5 years and have not had any problems. Bill Fink (the Epon guru) has some that I think is much older than that.  (David Rinker)

    This is all very interesting.  I've used Epon on all of the rods I've made and it is hard after sitting all night.  Temperature is 75 degrees F nominal.  I wipe off excess with either acetone or vinegar after binding, final straightening and hang.  Next morning the binding can be pulled off unbroken.  At this point, the Epon is hard.  I rebind and heat treat.  (Onis Cogburn)

      The Epon has partially cured in my case.  It's not gooey, but a tad rubbery, and the residue scrapes off rather easily.  I do the same.  Pull off the old binding cord, scrape, rebind, then heat cure in my oven at 100 degrees C for two hours.  (Mark Wendt)

    I suspect that the rapid setting of the Epon 828 + 3140 curing agent has to do with the temperature of the drying cabinet.

    I use a 1/2 of 3140 to 1 of 828 by weight as per technical bulletin. Measured on a balance beam scale.

    The stuff is readily cleaned up with vinegar as suggested. I learned that it takes a lot more attention to clean than URAC.

    The last rod glued went fine. String removed readily, glue cleaned easy, rebound no problem. Just have to learn the ins and outs of the stuff. 

    Figuring out the tensioner took a while. Have to machine another this afternoon.  The drive belt was my fault. Been using the same belt for about 5 years. Took a licking and finally gave up. 

    Ted, thanks for the heads up on Nelson Paint.  If I return to URAC, I'll give them a shout. The handler on the west coast disappeared a year ago. Got some URAC resin from a furniture manufacturer. It went hard over the summer. Hence the voyage into Epon.  (Don Anderson)


I started using Epon in the sixties, acting upon the advice of my friends in the chemical lab at RCA for space work, where I worked as an EE. Have never seen a reason to change. In those days it was called 828 and V40.(now 3140) I don't believe the Shell formulation has changed over time. My early rods are nearing 40 years and still performing well.

Shelf Life: I've made three purchases , the first in the sixties, a second in the eighties and  my new batch, about three years old. I still have the curing agent from all three buys, and there is no detectable color change. I still have resin samples from the last two buys and the older batch is cloudy and more viscous. But the older resin comes clear and less viscous (easily pourable) after an hour or so on an electric warming tray. I still use it but not on rod laminations, though I would if I were pushed.

Buildup: In my working specs for rods I allow .004 buildup in the butt, .003 in the mids and .002 for tips, based on experience with my own processing. Others might get different results.

Cleanup: Uncured Epon cleans up just fine with ordinary soap and water for hands and tools. I've never seen the need for vinegar or alcohol wipe downs. When gluing up a rod, I make a small puddle of Epon and keep it near the curing rod. When the puddle is hard, the rod is ready to go on.  I bind with waxed nylon cord which is a snap to unwind. I remove  the residual Epon with a cabinet scraper, again a very simple operation. Can't imagine why anyone would need to remove the binding cord before the cure is complete. I cure at room temperature, and I've never seen the need to run the second heat cycle. And no one has ever commented that my rods are slow performers, to my knowledge.  (Bill Fink)

    What I want to do is to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to share your many years of rodmaking experience with all rodmakers. I knew that you were the first to use Epon but I didn't know it was forty years ago when I was still in high school. I started using Epon about 7 years ago and I'm still working on my first buy. I've also had identical results as to buildup with about .002 in the tips and about .004 in  the butts. Thanks again for making rodmaking much more enjoyable for a lot of us rodmakers who are using Epon.  (Jim Bureau)

    Thanks a bunch for your Epon comments.

    I have heard the "Epon yields a slower rod" talk for sometime and I guess I just don't get it.

    In order for a rod to be less stiff, it seems like there would have to be some shear in the glue and if this happens, wouldn't we see stress cracks in the varnish -- much like the cracks that sometimes occur in the ferrule wraps??  (David Van Burgel)

      Or maybe the dried out glue it heavier... (Geert Poorteman)

      I think it has more to do with the weight of epoxy, the way epoxy bonds with the fibers, and the elasticity formulated into epoxy.  (Dave Kenney)

    In my earlier days I experimented with ratios, particularly since the Shell Tech Literature mentioned, If I recall rightly, some stiffness benefits for leaner (Less 3140 curing agent) but I noticed no difference so have used only 1:1 ratio by volume. I fix  a piece of tape lengthwise up a pill bottle (have plenty of them)  and mark off the target levels, so as to make a graduate. But I must say that in all the many ways I've  used it, some with ratio not well controlled,  Epon mix has never failed to cure. I have a saucer in which I frequently mix small quantities of Epon by eyeball. No problems so far.

    Nomenclature: I believe that Epon Resin and Epon Curing Agents are generic terms encompassing many formulations. The only ones I can speak of are the combination of 828 resin and 3140 curing agent.

    And, yes, I do roll my glued-up sections on newspaper which does remove a lot of excess Epon mix. Maybe this helps to minimize glue on the cane. Also, cabinet scrapers work well for removing excesses, perhaps better than sandpaper which may round corners.  (Bill Fink)

      I called Miller-Stephenson this morning to talk to a technical rep about the shelf life of Epon. The tech said there was no set shelf life and that some people have been using the Epon 828 Resin and the 3140 Curing agent for years with huge success. The tech said that the life of 3140 was indefinite however the 828 starts to go it will start to smell like ammonia, but if tested, by gluing pieces of scrap bamboo with success, it will still be OK to use. Looks like the Epon can be used for many years just like you and I have found. Also I use 2 parts of resin to 1 part of curing agent with great success. Do whatever works the best or "to each his own." (Jack Follweiler)


I've used URAC for over 20 years. Decided to try Epon. The strips, after gluing are sure easier to straighten. Not sure if that means stiffer or not in the finished rod.  (Don Anderson)


Last weekend I glued up my third rod with Epon.  On the previous 2, I straightened and hung the sections in my drying  closet which stays roughly 90 degrees.  In both cases, the Epon dried within 24 to 36 hours.  On this last rod, I straighten the sections and then attached them to screen door springs ALA Jeff Fultz (Thanks for the pictures Jeff) to keep them straight.  The only difference is that the room temperature was about 60.  After 3 days of 60 degree temps and one night in the drying closet, the Epon is still a little tacky.  Can I assume it is just a matter of time before the Epon hardens or should I try something else (e.g. higher temps) to harden the Epon.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  (Mark Lenarz)

    Heat set it in your oven. 180 degrees F for four hours.  Scrap the blank and rebind before you do and it will come out clean.  (Tony Spezio)


I am having a lot of problems with my Epon. I  have one hollowed hex butt that I just split completely in two pieces and a hollow quad that I took completely apart.  I mixed it 2 to 1 like the instructions say. Heated the mixture with a hair dryer to warm it up so it would be thinner. I heated the strips after I applied the glue and brushed them again. I bound and wiped down with vinegar. I let it sit for 18-20 hours scraped and heat set with a hair dryer at 180 degrees for 4 hours.  A hollow mid seems to be holding well and the tips seem fine. On the hex both sides that split seem to be holding. On the quad that came completely apart it did hold in places but with a little pressure from the knife it gave way. At times I just pulled apart when it separated. This is my first time to use Epon and I have never had trouble like this before. Any suggestions before I glue up another blank and reglue these blanks?  (David Ray)

    I've been using Shell Epon 828 resin and 3140 cure for the last 7 years and have had no problem. The information I got to do the glue up of my rods either came from Bill Fink, the rodmaker who to my knowledge was the first rodmaker to ever use Epon for bamboo rods, or the chemist at Miller-Stephenson, the manufacture of Epon. The mixing ratio for Epon is one to one and not two to one. Epon requires no heat setting in an oven and will be fully cured in about 7-8 days at 70 degrees F. If you followed these simple guidelines it would be highly unlikely that you'd ever have a problem with Epon. I did get additional information from the chemist about using Epon. Epon can be heat set in an oven and will fully cure in either one or two hours (can't remember) at about 175 degrees F. Never exceed 212 degrees F. temperature when heat setting or using Epon. Epon can be easily thinned when it seems to be getting thicker in it's bottle, and can be done so by putting the bottle in warm water until it seems to flow like it did originally. My own Epon seemed to thicken up after about 4-5 years.

    For myself, I glue up my rod and let it sit for a day before I take off the binding string. I then do final straightening. What I don't do is over flex the rod and create so much stress in it that  I could create trouble due to the fact that the Epon hasn't fully cured for the 7 days.

    If you're looking for suggestions, I'd follow these  guidelines and keep it simple.  (Jim Bureau)

      If you guys would just use Nyatex, this thread would never have occurred. Let me sing praises of Nyatex:

      It won't really set for days, but will set in two hours at 235 F. You can take your time binding, let it sit for 24 hours, then nick off the string. Then heat treat. I don't even rebind for the heat treatment, and have never had a failure, ever. I figure that any epoxy that can take that temperature will never fail inside a car on a hot day, and you don't have to worry about applying heat when straightening. It has a long shelf life- mine is now about 4 years old, and still looks good (although I am about to order a new can for the next rod marathon). The cleanup is a bit more difficult because quite a bit sticks to the cane after string removal, but you can at least get rid of the string...

      About the only thing to remember is to not flex the rod for 24 hours after finishing the heat treatment. I had one nodeless splice fail that way, but after cooling all the others were rock solid.

      I can not figure out why it isn't the most popular adhesive!  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    I bought my Epon from Bingham Projects and it did come in different size bottles 2 to 1. And the instructions from them were to mix 2 to 1 and heat cure for 4 hours at 180 degrees. In the Archives Tony Spezio said that he had a bad experience with vinegar and no longer uses it. Believe me I will not use vinegar next time and I will not heat set and will mix 1 to 1. This is the third butt I have made for this rod.   (David Ray)

      I have been using the Bingham Archery stuff for quite a while.  Please go cautiously.  I always mix 2:1 and I always heat treat.  I have seen the glue still tacky after several days of mixing.  I suppose it will cure at room temp, but why waste a month or so when a couple of hours will do it.  I follow directions of Bingham and have no troubles.  (Ralph Moon)

      I use Epon 1:1 by volume based on a lister's response from a few years ago.  This was before I inherited a fairly accurate 3-beam balance.   But I still use it 1:1 by volume. 

      I do not heat set.   I still wipe with vinegar, but I'm not as liberal with the vinegar on the cloth as I used to be.  I just kinda wave the cloth over the jug of vinegar.   I've never had a problem with the Epon failing.    (Eric Koehler)

      My bad experience with the vinegar was when I spilled about a half quart of it on some strips that I had spread the glue on. I was concerned about using them. What I finally did was wipe the strips clean with Denatured Alcohol. I found that the alcohol removed the glue a lot better than the vinegar did and left the strips clean. I quit using alcohol and started cleaning the Epon with the alcohol.

      I do heat set 4 hours @ 180 F. I have mentioned this a number of times, before I heat set, the glued up strips are hung for 18 to 24 hours. The Epon is still soft and can be removed real easy.

      All it takes is a couple of passes with a single edge razor blade after the binding string is removed. The binding string will just peel right off.

      I also do any tweaking over a heat gun if any has to be done. The sticks are re bound a bit tighter than I do for glue up. They are placed in the oven to heat set. When they come out of heat set, there will be a little spot of hard glue here and there along the glued up seams. They are removed by scraping or sanding.  No fuss with sanding off hard glue. The only disadvantage that I can see is the time that the glued sticks are hanging. I usually glue up in the afternoon and the strips are ready to heat set the next day.

      Did you make a mistake in saying you will not heat set. If not, why will you not do it. Have I missed a post.  (Tony Spezio)

        Just a little point of clarification about Epon.  You can heat-set if you like (I always do), but you will not bring about a better cure than if you allowed the glue to cure slowly on its own.  The heat only speeds up the process, but it is not necessary.  The bond strength will be the same either way.  (Bill Harms)

      IT may have become obvious by now, but the Epon formula from Bingham is not the same as the one Jim Bureau, I, and many others use. I believe the Bingham is Epon 826 and a Versamid catalyst, not the 828 and Epicure 3140. Follow the instructions you got with the glue, disregard heresy. If I were you, I would be talking to Bingham about it, as they distribute the glue and should know it's quirks.  (John Channer)

    I just looked up the definitive data on the Resolution Performance Products web site (this is the actual manufacturer not the distributor).  When using Epon 828 and Epicure 3140 you can mix anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1 by weight and get acceptable results.  The downside is that if you use a formulation rich in hardener (1:1)

    Your mechanical properties suffer:

                                        2:1 (Epon:Epicure)         1:1
    Heat deflection temp                  97C                  72C
    Ultimate tensile strength             8500                7300
    Ultimate Flexural strength           14000              12000

    Your choice!  (Al Baldauski)

    I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. I have been thinking about this a lot and with the comments let me say that I may have found the problem but I want your opinion.  The mids which were hollow and closed on each end and tips which were not hollowed and they did fine, no problem that I can see.  The only problem was with the butt sections that were hollow but the end was open, to be plugged later. I used a hair dryer blowing across the blanks at the proper 180 degree temp, as suggested by Bingham.  The hair dryer was blowing into the inside of the butts, the hole was facing the hair dryer. Could the force of the hair dryer blowing into the cane cause the glue to fail by getting it too hot?  That is the only difference I can see in the other blanks that did not have a hole in he cane. Could this be the problem?  (David Ray)

      The clue may be in my last post.  If you mixed at 1:1 then the heat deflection temperature, that temp at which the epoxy significantly softens and looses most of it strength, would be 72 C (161 F). When you heated your sections to 180 F (82 C)  you exceeded the softening point of the glue.  If you weren't bound tightly or not at all, then the residual stresses from node straightening and binding may have caused your strips to partially separate, especially at the butt end where you'll have the thickest cross-sections and the most residual stress. (Al Baldauski)

    I re-planed the quad strips. Very easy on a MHM one pass and ready to glue. Just sanded the two halves of the hex that split into. Used Epon again and put it out in the sun. First two days of sun we have had in months. This morning it seems to be rock hard.  If I lived in Louisiana close to Harry no way it would have gotten too hot again. I do believe the problem was opened end hollow rod with too much heat although my thermometer said it was around 175. I want to thank everyone again for their help. I learned that to ask about Epon is to invoke strong opinions, often conflicting. It almost seems to be fighting words. People use different formulas of Epon, both seem to work very well. But the main thing I learned was that Epon is very heat sensitive not like Titebond but also not like Nyatex.  I called Nyatex it seems now for about the same price you get half as much, Quarts to pints for $40. They said that Nyatex is good to 500 degrees or more, i.e. your rod will be toast before the glue fails. They also said that the heat setting is not necessary, it only speeds the process. They also said that higher temps in heat setting does not give you a better joint, heat setting at 150 degrees is just as good as 350 degrees. The problem I had with Nyatex was it bubbling when I heat set.  I thought the higher the heat the better, as I found out not so. If I heat set at a lower temp I will not have the bubbling problem.  As in most things bamboo, what glue you use is apples and oranges, it is what you like best. I knew Epon was an excellent glue I just wanted to find out why mine failed. I knew it had to be me. I must admit I do like the higher temps of Nyatex but to be honest great rods have been made from Elmer’s white glue on up. (David Ray)


Can somebody help me with a source for Epon and which formulation you guys are using?  (Bill Walters)

    Last time I ordered Epon, I got it from here.  They supply materials and adhesives to the bow makers.  Don't remember off the top of my head which resin/hardener combo they sent me, I can find out tonight when I get home, but it's a 2:1 mix ratio.  (Mark Wendt)

      I get mine at Bingham also. It's Versamid 140 and Epon 826. No complaints at all with this stuff!  (Mike Givney)

    Please see below the toll free # for Miller-Stephenson, the original source for Epon and the various curing agents.  I have always used Epon 828/Epicure 3140 on a 1:1 ratio on the advice of Bill Fink, who started this whole thing. I just use about 3/4 disposable teaspoon of each per rod - no complicated measuring 'system'.  I've never had any troubles straightening at any time and just clean up with plain water as Bill has explained a few times.

    A couple years ago one could get 4 oz. samples from them free for the price of postage.  Quarts of each were ~$25 but last year some one mentioned that they were now selling it  in pints.  One caveat - since M-S is an industrial wholesaler, you have to provide them with a "Company" name such as Fubar Rod Co. or the   like   -   then   -   no   problems.    Their   toll  free   #  is: 1-800-992-2424.  Ask for Lynne, if she's still there, very nice lady and may even help you think up a name.  I've had my bottles going on 3 years now with no sign of self deterioration.  I join George in, once again, thanking Bill for his discovery.  As usual, no financial interest - my uncle's company is doing quite well without my help. :^)  (Darrol Groth)

      You're right in regard to Lynne.  Pretty much my conversation with her went:

      Lynne:     Your company's name?
      Me:          I don't have a company, it's for personal use.
      Lynne:     We don't sell to individuals and your company's name?
      Me:          The Occasional Rod.
      Lynne:     You make fly rods?
      Me:         Occasionally.
      Lynne:     Shipping address?

      I think I have more then I'll need in a lifetime from them, but I understand Epon has a fairly long shelf life.  I keep it under the bathroom sink instead of out in the shop where the weather varies so much.  (Tim Wilhelm)


For those who use Epon/Epicure, I was wondering what the shelf life was and how you store it when not in use for long periods of time.   (Bill Bixler)

    Although I have yet to finish my first rod (but I do have my culms from Golden Witch and have been practicing on Garden Center cane)  I have had a bit of experience with epoxy (not Epon). The West system stuff I have used in boat repair has lasted over  2 1/2  years  for  me with  no problem.  Same for  the Flexcoat rod wrap finish (good for 4 years just needed an extra day or two to cure) and glue that I have used on rods made from the stuff that is unmentionable in present company. I keep the stuff in the refrigerator where the butter dish used to go. This also reduces your cholesterol as a side benefit. Could be that keeping it in the freezer may be better but I don't know about that.  (Joe Hudock)

    I've had my quarts from Miller-Stephenson for 3 years now with no change in consistency or performance.  I just keep them on the shelf with most of the air squeezed out.  I put some in smaller containers with more air for a while but they thickened in several months and I threw them out.  Though it may reduce cholesterol, I'm afraid Epon is not the lubricant Bill F. once touted it to be.  (Darrol Groth)

    It doesn't need to  be kept "cold". There is a difference in Epicure 3140 and 3164. One of them, I'll say 3140, but don't quote me, is hygroscopic. It needs to be kept tightly sealed. Both of them will darken if exposed to light for a long period of time. Epon 826 and 828 will both crystallize to some extent when cold. They can be reconstituted by warming.

    Bill Fink posted back in Feb of 2004. He stated that he still has some of all three of the batches he has purchased over the last 40 years. A search of the archives should turn that  post up.

    M-D did a whole series on Epon back in 2000, I suspect a search would turn up that thread as well.  (Larry Blan)

    Shelf life is seemingly forever, I store mine on the floor under my wrapping/tying desk in the spare bedroom. Hot in summer, cold in winter. When the stuff is too thick to pour out of the bottle, heat it up a bit and it will come back to life good as new.  (John Channer)

      My jug of Epon 826 resin lives out in the shop.  It's probably been frozen a few times, but not too many, and is hard as a rock.  Each time I need to use it, I have to heat it back to liquid.  I usually heat it back to liquid a few days before I plan to glue a rod with it.  I talked with the Tech folks at Shell and they said that is no problem.

      One thing I have noticed lately -- it seems like the working time on this glue is growing shorter and shorter.  I can't prove it, but it sure seems like it.  I find now I have only about 45 minutes to an hour before the Epon 826 and combination 3126 and 3140 hardeners begins to get as thick as bubble gum.  I think I'll order a new batch of resin and see if that helps.  (Harry Boyd)

        I keep some in ketchup bottles in the shop to work out of and it gets pretty hard, too, I just hold it over the heat gun until  it flows, same with the mixed up batch. I use 828 and 3140 and they seem to still be workable, this batch is probably 4 years old now. Thanks for the heads up though, I'll watch for mine to go the way of yours.  (John Channer)

      Do you find that if heated, it kicks over a bit faster? I've had that happen if I heat the mix to get it to spread/flow more easily, so won't heating the components have the same effect?  (Art Port)

        I still wind up with plenty of time to get the sections bound. I do usually wind up reheating the batch for each section, or thinning with lacquer thinner to keep it workable, otherwise it just gets thick in the cold shop again. In the summer I just pour it in a Dixie cup, whip it up and off to the races.  (John Channer)


For several years now I have heat set the Epon I use at 185 degrees F for 3-4 hours.  That works great --- when you have 3 to 4 hours.  What if you're in a hurry?  I seem to remember that you can also heat set the Epon at higher temperatures and shorter times.  I want to say 325 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Have any of you played around with  quick-setting Epon in this way?  If so, I'd love to hear your experiences.  (Harry Boyd)

    I use 200 degrees for 2 hours, have never tried hotter and shorter. I do have an old email from  the Shell techie, it's out in the shop, I'll take a look tomorrow and let you know if they recommend any higher temps and shorter times.  (John Channer)

    Resolution Performance Products, the current manufacturer of EPON, in a data sheet for EPICURE 3140, shows a heat cure of 16 hours at 70 degrees F and 2 hours at 212 degrees F.

    With other hardeners they show heat cures as high as 350 degrees F but you cannot assume that all resin/hardener combinations will tolerate the same peak temperatures. The high heat cure hardeners result in much higher heat deflection temperature (340 degrees F), an indication that the chemistry tolerates higher temps without substantial degradation in mechanical strength.  Epon 828/Epicure 3140 has a heat deflection temperature of 207 degrees F, substantially lower.  I don't know how far you can exceed the heat deflection temperature without permanently breaking down the epoxy.  Better safe than sorry.  (Al Baldauski)

      If Al is correct about the previous post on heat setting and Epon will heat set in 16 hours at 70 degrees. It just sunk in my thick skull that heat setting for four hours is time spent bending over a hot oven that could be put to better use. Am I missing something?  (Dave Norling)

        Something ain't quite right with your time/temp.  It takes 7 days at 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) for Epon to fully cure.  Since Epon will cure at twice the rate as that for every 10 degrees C above 25 degrees C, it would take cooking the sections at 60 degrees C (140 degrees F) to do it in about 16 hours.  (Mark Wendt)

          If my info on heat setting Epon was unclear, let me restate some of it.  The heat setting of Epon, as a minimum, requires 16 hours at room temp AND then 2 hours at 212 degrees F.

          If your are NOT heat setting but just room temp curing, then yes, it takes all of seven days.

          I'm not sure that you can apply the standard "10 degrees C to double the reaction rate" to the heat curing of epoxy of two competing phenomena.  As the epoxy cures the molecular linking tends to slow the reaction yet the exotherm of the reaction tends to hasten it.  I don't know how they balance out.  But, Mark, if you extrapolate your 60 degrees C example to 100 degrees C then the cure time is 0.9 hours.  The manufacturer recommends 2 hours to be on the safe side.  (Al Baldauski)

            As a practical example, I glued a rod Friday night and kept it at about 70 degrees F for eight hours, then heat set that rod Saturday morning for 70 minutes @ 235 degrees.  It worked quite well.  I didn't do any scientific testing, but while removing the excess glue it seemed to be set as hard as the typical regimen I use of 16+ hours at room temp, and 3 hours at 180 degrees F.  (Harry Boyd)

          I suspect you won't find any difference in mechanical performance based on your latest recipe.  The shorter initial cure would leave the epoxy less firm and could be a problem if you unbind and scrape before heat curing. The lower strength in this stage could lead to delamination if rough handled while unbinding, scraping, and rebinding.

          If you went right to heat curing without unbinding, then there is less of a potential for overstressing the glue joints before full cure.  (Al Baldauski)

          At what temp does the glue break down?  (Dave Norling)


I just tried Epon for the first time yesterday afternoon on my current project. Up until this time I had been using Titebond II extend and have not had any problems with this glue other than the working time. Epon working time was as advertised, and in that respect, was a vast improvement for me. I ran the butt section through my Garrison style binder in both directions without any problems, did some initial straightening and hung it up (60 degree room temp+/-). Got the first tip section ready to spread the Epon on (seemed a little thicker but not much) and could not get the drive cord to keep from sticking and fouling up the entire operation. I  literally bound  the 2  tip sections  by hand.  At about 6 -7 hours elapsed time it seemed to set to a slight stickiness and this morning (5 am) the sections could  be handled.

Questions:

1. How do you keep your drive cords operable? Multiple cords? Clean up after each section?

2. I will remove string and scrape excess tonight. Is this OK? Or have I waited too long?

3. Is 60 degrees room temp too cool?

4. Can I straighten with or without heat at this point?

5. Can it be thinned? With what? how much?

I'm sure I'll think of more but up until now, the biggest issue for me was the cord situation and general clean up. Other than that I liked the relaxed pace it gave me as opposed to the quickness of TB.  (Bill Bixler)

    1. How do you keep your drive cords operable? Multiple cords? Clean up after each section?

    1.) You can remove your binder cord between each binding and squish out the excess epoxy it in a dish of denatured alcohol.  You might also try putting a little less epoxy on the strips before you bind.  Also, soak a sponge in denatured alcohol, and run the binding cord through it every once in a while, while you are binding a section.  You can also clean off some of the epoxy from your binder wheels and pulleys that way.

    2. I will remove string and scrape excess tonight. Is this OK? Or have I waited too long?

    2.) Should still be okay to do that.  The epoxy should still be somewhat rubbery.  I usually just scrape off the rubbery epoxy with a dull razor blade, then re-bind, and heat cure.

    3. Is 60 degrees room temp too cool?

    3.)  It will just take longer to cure at that temp.  Epoxy cures by both chemical reaction and exothermic heat - heat generated by the chemical reaction of the epoxy resin and hardener being mixed.  Lower temps will just slow the cure rate.

    4. Can I straighten with or without heat at this point?

    4.) Depends on how far along the cure is.  If the epoxy on the outside is still rubbery, you can do some  minimal straightening, but be careful you don't bend too far that the epoxy bond breaks.  I usually wait to take out any small kinks until after I've heat cured the glue.

    5. Can it be thinned? With what? how much?

    5.)  You can thin it with denatured alcohol, but if you are having problems with it being thick while trying to spread it on your strips, just run your heat gun over the strips to warm them up a bit and also warm the glue.  Thinning the epoxy will affect the cure rate.  (Mark Wendt)

    I thin it with lacquer thinner, it won't affect the set time, I've found that acetone will slow it down for days. I also clean up with white vinegar, try rinsing your drive cord out in vinegar before you bind  next time. I try to warm up my glue and the shop before I start binding. This usually isn't a problem, shop has a west facing window and by the time I get home from work solar gain has it pretty warm in there this time of year. If the glue is still too thick to spread easy,  thin it rather than heating it, I've found that heating it just makes it get thick faster when it cools off, usually about the time I get the glue spread and over to the binder.  (John Channer)

    I just thought I would put my 2 cents in since I use Epon. To keep my drive belt soft I drop it in a can of  isopropyl  alcohol (91%) while I'm working on the previously glued blank. Swirl it around, pull it out, wipe it off, and its ready for the next section. When I'm done that's how I clean up also. Wash everything down with isopropyl. Have used the same drive belt for 5 rods.  (Floyd Burkett)

    Epon just needs no explaining -

    No lumpy stuff, no purple staining,

    No crap, no ruddy glue lines gaping

    No problems with the final shaping!

    Epon's only dreary task,

    In fact, is finding things to ask!  (Peter McKean)


Anything I've read about using Epon says you should rebind before heat-treating.  What is the purpose of this, as in what happens if you don't?  (Henry Mitchell)

    I use Epon and 3190 hardener, and what i have done for years is to remove my string after about 15 - 18 hours, and just put the bits back in my drying cupboard with 175 watts in bulbs for a heat source.  After another day, I take them out to the oven and give them another 4 - 5 hours at 100 degrees (centigrade).

    The makers and distributors of Epon do say, though, that if you omit the heat treatment, the stuff will still cross link,  only slower.  A week later, it's all the same!

    I then scrape the glue off the blanks using the side of an old Hock plane iron.  (Peter McKean)

    If you leave the original binding on, removing it after heat setting involves quite a little sanding or filing of the string.  It becomes quite easy to round over the corners.

    If you remove the original binding before heat setting, but do not rebind, there's a real chance the rod will either delaminate or develop gaping glue lines.  (Harry Boyd)

      Thanks, that may explain some glue lines.  Do you mean delaminating during the heat-treatment or during use?  Thankfully neither has happened.  (Henry Mitchell)

        To avoid confusion, i should point out that when i pull the string off my rods  the next morning, the glue is set up and hard, and the glue that comes off with the string is dry and brittle.  There is no way that the blanks I put into the drier would delaminate, nor open a glue line.

        I guess  that all this is a function of the different hardener that I  use, and while I have had the combination criticized for being too brittle,  I can't say that I have ever had any reason to question it.  Certainly, the rods do not fall to bits.  (Peter McKean)

    I do it so that I can rebind the blank a little snugger than the first time around and squeeze the joints a little tighter.  (Mark Wendt)

    Here is a reply I just sent this morning off list to George Hills about heat setting. He asked about heat setting and curing at room temps. I will post it here, it might help some others with the same question. See the reply below my message.

    If you are in a hurry to get the sticks heat set, you can do what I have done a few times . In the winter I can't get my shop over 60 degrees F. It takes a lot longer for the Epon to set up enough at that temperature to remove the wraps. I put the wrapped glued sticks in the oven set @ 125 degrees F.  After an hour or so, the glue is checked on the sticks. Usually it is set enough  to remove the wraps and scrape off the excess glue, it is still soft and a bit sticky. If you wait  too long, the glue will start to get hard and you have hard glue and wrapping to remove.(no fun) See below on re wrapping. I heat set 180 degrees F for four hours.

    George,

    Since using Epon,(about 80 rods) I have cured all of them in the oven. The first few rods I made I used Elmer's. I have not cured any Epon rods at room temps. To make things easier on cleaning up with Epon, I hang the blanks for 18 to 24 hours after glue up. I really don't worry about the excess glue on the outside of the blanks.

    After 18 to 24 hours, I remove the string, it comes off easy, pass a single edge razor over each flat to remove the excess glue, it is still soft. The flats are then nice and clean. Then the blank is re wrapped and goes in the oven for heat setting. There is no scraping or sanding of hard glue and the blanks come out of the oven nice and clean.

    Another advantage is if you can spot a glue line, you can bind that area real tight with some string before re binding the blank. By binding that spot separately real tight, when the glue softens by the heat, in most cases, it will pull it together eliminating the glue line.

    Nyatex is the same way.  (Tony Spezio)

    I know others are "nuts" about heat setting, but I find the beauty of rebinding is to be able to remove the string before the epoxy is finally cured. Heat set or not, after, but when the glue is finally cured, there will be no problem with string removal.

    Speeding Epon cure time can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage if you want to "cold straighten".   (David Van Burgel)

      I'm now taking the string off 16-24 hours after binding and leaving in the tensioner to keep it straight, then removing the string and scraping the still soft glue off. Then I rebind (or not) and  heat treat. I don't reheat to speed the process of curing but I'm told the bond becomes stronger and more heat resistant if you do reheat. Maybe I'm further out in left field than I thought, with fears of becoming a perpetual novice.  (Henry Mitchell)

        Most, if not all the Epoxy manufacturers recommend  heat (thermal) setting. Talk to them about it...

        If you can't sand the string off after the glue is set then you are  using the wrong tool, or you're not a real man..Hehe (just a turn of phrase KJ)  (Jerry Foster)

        The "bond becomes stronger and more heat resistant if you do reheat" is a rod makers myth.  Some place, must be on my home computer, I have a "treatise" penned by one of our old list members - M-D - where he explained exactly what happens during the heat cure process.  In great detail...  In layman's terms, the heat cure does just what it says it does.  It cures the adhesive by using heat.  You will get the same strength in the matrix by letting it cure at room temperature (if I remember right the company defines 65 as their standard for room temperature) as you get when you heat cure.  The neat thing about Epon is you can put heat to it multiple times, it will go plastic-y, and harden back up when it cools.  (Mark Wendt)

    I think the purpose is to scrape the glue residue off while it is still soft, then rebind to heat set the glue so the heat doesn't make the joints fail. I personally don't bother, I get the sections as clean as I can with vinegar after they're glued up, let them sit overnight, then heat set the glue and sand off whatever is left. I find it sands better the harder it is and I use button and craft thread that is strong enough to pull off even after the glue is heat set.'  (John Channer)


I've been working on a couple rods now for about 2 years and am about to get serious. Having lost my real job, I expect to have a bunch of free time this winter. Can anyone give me a source for Epon 828 and the 3140 curing agent? All help greatly appreciated. I'll try to keep you posted of my slow but not too steady progress.  (Tom Kurtis)

    You can see the Miller-Stephenson web site here.  They don't sell it online though.   (Paul Franklyn)


I used Epon glue for the first time last week, great stuff.  White vinegar makes cleanup easy. To preserve the life of my binder drive belt I soaked in white vinegar over night and rinsed it with warm water the next morning, now its as good as new. I don't know what others are doing but it sure works for me.   (Mark Dyba)

    Vinegar is good as is mentholated spirits.  I think what we call mentholated spirits is what you call denatured alcohol or something similar. Basically it's methanol.  (Tony Young)

    I used Epon on my first rod and like how it works.  I'll need to pick up some more but I'm having trouble finding a source locally at this time.  Those that are using Epon,  where are you finding it?  (Tim Wilhelm)

      I had a hard time finding it.  The primary source is from the manufacturer, Miller-Stephenson.  The problem is that the smallest size they sell is in quart sizes, which costs almost $50 after shipping.  You can call them and they will send you a free 4 ounce sample, but other than that they have a two  quart minimum.  You can find information on how to contact them from the Rodmakers web page under the suppliers listing.

      Another option is to buy it from a company called Bingham Projects (not Bingham Products), which is a bow hunter's supply company out of Utah.  They have a web site and online ordering, and offer two 8 ounce containers of Epon for around $20. Do a web search and you will find their site.  (Kyle Druey)

        Be careful with what you order from Bingham.  I don't remember the details, but either the resin or hardener they carry is just a tad different from the Epon formulation rodmakers typically use.  It still works, but is a little thicker.  (Harry Boyd)

          It helps to warm the two components before mixing them.  Really thins it out with very little heat. If anyone knows if this is detrimental, to the gluing qualities, I would like to know. So far, no problems.  (Tony Spezio)

            It is not necessary to heat cure the Epon 828 nor the 826, though it is recommended as the lap shear strength is greatly enhanced, and the resulting bond is less susceptible to creep (if that's even a problem).

            Miller-Stephenson is the sole distributor for small quantities of the Epon products. You may find the products at Bingham, but they bought a large quantity from M-S and sell it from that.

            It is only recommended to heat the resin, never the hardening agent. Heating the resin to 100 F, even higher, has no detrimental effect on the resin,  nor the cured product. It does, however, shorten the working time. The Epon products have a virtually unlimited shelf life. Buy the quarts, you cheap bastards. It'll still be good ten years from now. ;o)

            The hardening agent from Bingham is a Versamid product, I believe.  (Martin-Darrell)

              I have a quart of each that I have yet to use but as it turns out, when stored at lower than 70 F it   tends to turn dark. I was told by their tech rep that I merely had to heat it up to approximately 130 F to get rid of the crystallization. I took that to mean both resin and hardener, since both are quite a bit darker than when I received them.  (Bill Walters)

              Yeah, kinda' like honey crystallizes. It won't hurt the hardener to heat it, per se, it's just that it shouldn't be heated prior to mixing. One reason the hardener in particular turns darker is due to reaction with the atmosphere.

              This is probably due to your storage conditions. It would be best to store it at 100, but that isn't usually very practical. They routinely ship the product at 185,  without any problems. In this case heat is a good thing.  (Martin-Darrell)

            Yes it is a Versamid product , Thanks for the info.  I am sure that I don't get it near 100 degrees F, will not warm the hardener over room temperature.  (Tony Spezio)

            Maybe it's supposed to last forever, but I just had some go "funny" on me.  The clear part got thicker and  a little lumpy.  I decided not to use it in that condition.

            I have quart bottles from Miller-Stephenson that  are 2-3 years old.  I keep them closed up in a dark cabinet in my basement that is pretty consistently about 60 degrees.

            I can live with shelf life of a couple of years, though.  (Jerry Madigan)

              I called the manufacturer of Epon and asked them about the shelf life of Epon,  they said, one year only.  (Mark Dyba)

                Whomever you spoke with is incorrect, or is trying to avoid some potential liability. Go to the Versatics web site and get the info, or have them send you all the   product   literature   with   specs,    etc.  (Martin-Darrell)

                They must be saying that to keep way on this side of the actual time it's good for. I've never heard of an epoxy that wont last at least 5 years and I'd go as far as saying 10 wouldn't be asking too much and I don't think there is any need to refrigerate it.  UF and resorcinol on the other hand will deteriorate within a year or so, a little longer if refrigerated and if you get old stuff much sooner than that because it ages on the shelf even before you buy it.  Before using this unless you're using it all the time and know it's still good you should always do a test to destruction on a pr of wood sticks.  Get two pieces of wood about 1" wide and 6" long and glue about 1-2" of each end together. Leave till cured then put one end in the vise and wham one end with a hammer. If it breaks with lots of wood left on each stick that belongs to the other the glue's fine. If it breaks along the glue line deep 6 the glue, it's had it.

                I use Borden of UK liquid glue and hardener which I like very much. I use Epon too but mainly for scarfing as I'm a bit sensitized to epoxies so don't use them when I don't need to. I read somewhere (possibly Wooden Boat) UFs have been down graded as a serious threat to life and are now just considered dangerous if ingested.  Can't remember the details but basically (I believe) UF isn't thought to be as bad as we all thought.  (Tony Young)

                I made my first Epon rods in the late 60's. Have made a few each year since  then. Have used nothing else. All these rods are still fishing as vigorously as I can manage. I exhausted my first 2 quarts of Epon/hardener in the early 80's. Than bought 2 new quarts which are now winding down. I use no special storage provisions. I do gently warm the Epon jugs before using. These comments strictly apply ONLY to Epon 828 and Hardener 140 or V40  bought from the authorized distributor Miller-Stephenson. There are lots of epoxy formulations out there. This one works well. A related bit of info which I've told before: well over  10  years  ago  I  repaired  a grease-soaked  wooden steak knife handle using Epon. This knife has been through the dish washer cycle a couple of times a week since then. Still intact. When that knife comes apart I'll  look for another adhesive.  (Bill Fink)

              We know that we can extend the shelf-life of URAC by a few months if it is stashed in the 'fridge.  Does anyone know if Epon can benefit from the same treatment?   Some of you have said that  Epon lasts many years anyhow, but others have said "it ain't so."  (Bill Harms)

              I have kept my Epon in  the fridge  for more than three years. I cannot detect any change from when it was brand new. I take it out a couple of hours before use and let it go to room temperature before measuring and mixing. What proportions are people using? I have been mixing 1-1 rein hardener. Is anyone using the 2-1 ratio?  (Steve Weiss)

              It lasts longer at moderately high temperatures... above room temp.  (Bill Hoy)

        Most rodmakers use Epon resin 828. The Bingham Projects kit contains 826 resin. This is fine, many have used it. But it does require heat setting after glue-up. A problem if you build nodeless without a long oven. Just another step if you have an oven already.  (Bill Hoy)

          From what I understand the primary difference between the 828 and 826 is that the 826 is less viscous.  I did have to heat cure the 826 for 4 hours at 175 F - 200 F, but was pleased with the end result. 

          Another point found in the archives, worth repeating, is that the Epon can be wiped off before heat treating, making clean up off the blanks very easy.  You let the Epon setup overnight after binding, take the binding off the rod, then wipe down the blanks with white vinegar.  This will leave a very thin film on the freshly glued blanks.  Bind the blanks again, then heat treat to cure the Epon.  After the blanks cool all that is required is some light sanding to remove the remaining Epon.  (Kyle Druey)

    A couple of points were brought up recently about Epon that I would like to comment on. Epon is a Shell Chemical product, I believe. The name Versamid and their number V40 seems to have disappeared a long time ago. Even though Epon has a very long shelf life I would beware of any products labeled Versamid.  And as to aging of the clear resin 828, the cloudy appearance with time is  harmless and can be removed by gentle warming. After a really long time, like 15 years the resin's viscosity gets to the point where pouring is difficult. That's when I reorder from Miller-Stephenson.  They are nice people to deal with. (NO commercial interest).   (Bill Fink)

      However Bill, the 826 has the property of curing in an hour or two with heat.  How about gluing up before lunch and cleaning up the rod after lunch?  (Ralph Moon)

    After sitting on the shelf for a couple of years and it started to look thick and cloudy I put both bottles in the microwave for 5 seconds. Works like brand new, but be careful, don't try cooking it.  (Jerry Young)


I'm wondering if some of you might help me out with a glue-up issue.  Recently, I switched from URAC to Epon, but because I keep my shop at something just less than 70 degrees, the viscosity of the Epon is rather like molasses.  This is OK for  ordinary glueups, as I just slather the glue on with a toothbrush, and let the binding process squeegee out  the excess.

But  now I'm  working on  a  set  of  quads  that  have  been hollow-fluted and I am worried about how to avoid having this heavy glue clog up the fluted areas.  My question is, will warming the Epon help to get its consistency more like motor oil and less like molasses,  or is there some other procedure you might recommend?  (Bill Harms)

    You can warm the Epon before you mix it and keep it warm while you're gluing up, or you can thin it just a little with lacquer thinner. Don't believe the can of acetone, you don't want to use it with Epon, it will take forever to set up and you will most likely have to heat set it to get it to go off. I don't know about you, but I don't think acetone and heat sources are a very good mix. You can also run your heat gun over your strips after you get the glue slathered on them, but be sure to bang any crud out of the heat gun first, mine picks up dust off the bench and blows it out again when I tip the nozzle down. The downside to heating Epon is that it doesn't stay warm very long and you are beginning the heat setting process as soon as you warm it.   (John Channer)


I have the 3140 curing agent for Epon 828.   I noticed 3190 (I think) mentioned. How much difference is there? Are there more curing agent # 's out there I should consider?

I'm a carpenter not a chemist, so help me through this.  (Tom Kurtis)

    I use Versamid 140 hardener, 1 part Hardener, 2 parts Epoxy. Wonder if that is the same as the 3140 you are using.  (Tony Spezio)

    The data sheet that I have for Epon 828 (dated 2005) doesn't list 3190 as a curing agent.  Doesn't necessarily mean it won't work, but that might be something you want to check with the company on.  The data sheet is RP:3075 and you can get it here.  (Mark Wendt)

      Please remember that the 828 and the hardener are as supplied to me from Sydney, Australia, by a firm called Adhesive Engineering;  it is entirely possible that the hardener may be supplied and given its nomenclature locally.   (Peter McKean)


Has anyone recently purchased Epon from Bingham?  Is it 828, or something different?  (Louis DeVos)

    I have been using it for 9 years, getting ready to order some more.  It is 828 the hardener is Versamid use 2 parts 828 to 1 part hardener. Glue up, bind and hang for 18 to 20 hours. Remove the binding string, scrape off the soft glue. Rebind and heat set for four hours at 180 F. This leaves you a nice clean stick without having to remove hardened glue.  (Tony Spezio)

      It was brought to my attention by a list member that the Epon is 826 and not 828. I went down and checked, it is 826. Sorry about the mistake, heck it is only 2 off. LOL The Versamid Hardener is 140.  (Tony Spezio)

      I've been using the 826 for years.  A call to the technicians suggested the 826 rather than the 828, because the 826 is a little thinner.  Over 100 rods glued with 826, and no problems yet.  (Harry Boyd)


I'm just about ready to epoxy my first strips using Epon #826 & 3140.  I'm wondering what the ratio should be? (I have seen 1:1 and 2:1 in some of the discussions here) Which part is which ratio?  Also what is the opinion on time and temp in the oven after it has set up over night and been rewrapped? I was thinking about 6 hrs @ around 175-200 degrees?  (Ethan Feinsod)

    I am looking at my bottle and it says; "mix one part hardener with two parts resin by volume."  (Don Green)

    Manufacturer also recommends 180 degrees for 4 hours.  (Don Green)

      You can also do 200 F for two hours.  (Mark Wendt)

    According to the package I have, it's one part hardener to 2 parts resin.  That's the mixture I've used with no problems whatsoever.  After initial binding, I let the strips hang for 18-24 hours, then remove the string & scrape off the excess glue.  Then it's time to rebind, being double sure that the strips are straight, and then cook in the oven for 4 hours at 180-200 degrees.  I'm using Epon 826 Resin & Versamid 140 Hardener.  (Paul Julius)

    The division of Shell that made EPON and EPICURE has been sold several times and now is owned by HEXION.  The data sheets have not changed with owners, though.

    Here is what Hexion recommends (BY WEIGHT):

    828 mixed with 3140  --2.00 parts resin to 1 part hardener

    826 mixed with 3140  --1.92 parts resin to 1 part hardener

    828 mixed with Versamid 140 --1.94 parts resin to 1 part hardener 

    826 mixed with Versamid 140 --1.88 parts resin to 1 part hardener 

    These ratios give maximum strength when cured at room temp for 16 to 24 hours then heat cured at 200F for 2 hours.  The EPICURE data sheet shows 828/3140 mixed at 1:1 giving lower strength (by about 15%) and somewhat increased flexibility.  Interestingly, the data sheet for 828 recommends a “middle of the road” ratio of 1.5 :1 (resin to hardener) apparently to achieve greatest latitude in mixing with some compromise in strength.

    If you must mix by volume then you have to divide the resin number by 1.2  For instance, using 828/3140, the amount of resin by volume is  1.67 parts per 1 part hardener.

    It is much more difficult to measure small volumes of viscous liquids so you should use the “middle of the road” ratio of 1.5:1.  (Al Baldauski)

    Rodmaker’s precision scale for easy epoxy weighting, you may measure 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 2:3  etc by weight:  (Tapani Salmi)

      That could not possibly work.  There are no motors.  No wires.  No flashing lights.  No LED read out.  There is nothing with razor sharp edges.  No heat, fire, or flames are required.  No noxious chemicals are involved.   That doesn't even require any exotic plants from China.  The components are cheap and found in nearly every household.  No way it could work.  Things like this are supposed to be expensive.

      Nope.  No way anything that simple could possibly work.

      :-)

      :-)

      Thanks!  (Harry Boyd)


I am having a problem with my Epon. Today I went to glue up a rod, and the resin was congealed, to the point of not being able to get it out of the bottle. Would anyone know the shelf life, and wither or not it can be heated.  (Larry Downey)

    We don't get Epon here but I think its an epoxy. Epoxies are always setting, like glass is always crystallizing. The other ingredient, which is usually colored, is merely a catalyst to speed things up.

    Try a small amount of alcohol and some very gentle heat, whilst stirring, keep your eyebrows well clear. If it works then use it up quickly because it will go into its setting mode again in earnest.  (Robin Haywood)

    I've had my Shell Epon form Miller-Stephenson for five years with no problems, don't know about the stuff from the Bow makers - and yes mild heating is OK.  In fact, I think it is much preferable than thinning.  I put mine on top of the water heater for a while until it's runny or in SWMBO's "liberated," small, potpourri crock pot.   (Darrol Groth)

      Or you can just stuff it in the microwave for 15 seconds.  With the top loosened, natch, to let the pressure escape.  (Mark Wendt)

    The shelf life is very long;  I often find that mine is set when the weather is cold, and when that happens I just immerse the two parts in tap-hot water in an Esky (insulated food carrier) and allow it to warm up.  Which it does always, and the warming makes it a damn sight easier to mix znd to spread as well.  (Peter McKean)

    Just warm it up. Do not thin it. If you go poke around on Todd's site, the tech info for both 826 and 828 is posted. Resolution suggests warming it to 120-140. The shelf life is almost forever, and will not be affected by it crystallizing.  (Larry Blan)

    A common problem when the temp drops much below 70, if you have it in plastic bottle just nuke it for a minute or so on high and it will be fine. Mine is so old I about have to warm it up every time I use it. If you feel like thining it, use laquer thinner, if you use acetone you'll have to heat set it to make it set up at all.  (John Channer)

    Thanks for all the replies on my Epon post. After reading all the replies, last night I heated the Epon and glued up the rod, this morning everything looks normal. The list always seems to come to the rescue.  (Larry Downey)

    I have had some trouble with crystalizing epon this past winter.  I heated it and had no problems, but have been worried.  It glued up fine, but I haven't had a chance to finish it and fish it to see if all is OK, let alone long term.  That being said, I am relieved others have had no problem.

    One other thing I wondered: Is the working time for the epon shortened by heating?  I glued up fairly quickly and straightened with no problem.  But some 8 hours later when I removed the string, scraped and restraightened, I thought the glue a bit less gooey/sticky than other times.  So many variables, including my "shop" temp.

    Any one have experience with this?  (Dan Zimmerlin)

      Epon is a heat setting epoxy.  Someone probably has the tables, but you can set it right quick in your oven, and in fact most everybody did 10 years ago until someone figgered out you could let it cure at room temp, remove the string and clean it up a bit, then finish curing.  Filing the epoxy coated strings off was a big PITA!  (Brian Creek)

        Exactly.  I wait 8-10 hours at room temp for it to start to firm up, then remove the string, scrape, and restraighten, as I mentioned.  What I did not mention is my next step is to pop the sections into the heat gun oven to "kick" the setting process.  I usually don't want to wait for the Epon to cure at room temp, especially since I usually don't heat my "shop" (that is, the back deck) during the winter, nor summer for that matter since I live on the SF bay and the fog keeps my room temp a nice 50's - 60's degrees in summer.  (Dan Zimmerlin)

      I have used Epon for my last few rods. My experience has been that you better not wait for 24 hours to remove the string. The first time I used it, I did so, and had a heck of a time removing and scraping, filing, sanding. My next few rods I cut that time by over half and all has worked as advertised. My regimen has been to just cure at room temps. I do heat the Epon by setting it near a small heater since I do most of my rod making in the winter. My stuff is about 3 years old and I have no shelf life issues nor rod problems so far. Prior to Epon, I used TB II extend and I often wonder why I switched. The best answer is the working time with Epon is the real benefit for me.  (Bill Bixler)

      Yes, heating it will shorten the working time, specially if you heat it again after it's mixed. My shop is basically not heated, though I do have a couple of space heaters out there for when I need to glue a rod in the winter time. I also wave the heat gun over the strips before I put the glue on when it's cold, spreading even warm Epon on cold bamboo is very difficult.  (John Channer)

        I wave the heat gun over the Epon after I have initially brushed it on the strips.  Thins it out real quickly and allows it to be spread evenly. 

        Then I wait 12-to 18 hours before unbinding and scraping the excess off and then rebind and heat set at 175 for 2 hours.  (Ralph Tuttle)

      Heating the Epon to dissolve the crystals, in itself, won't cause it to cure more quickly if you allow it to cool back to room temp.  Once you've mixed A & B, if you heat it it will cure faster.  For every 18 degrees F you raise and MAINTAIN the temperature it will cure in 1/2 the time.  So, at 220 F, the maximum recommended temperature, it will fully cure in two hours.  (Al Baldauski)


About a month a go there were some messages about Epon Crystallizing and heating it to liquefy it again and it would be good to use. I had some do that and heated it in hot water to get it back to liquid. That was about three months ago. I was flexing the splines the other day and had a failure. I thought I might of applied too much heat to straighten. These are splines for a rod I am making for myself and had  used a left over strips so no big loss. I have glued another set of tips that now will go in the trash pile. The reason for this post is the info I got from Bingham Products today. Before I glue up anything else, I wanted to know about the glue.

Here is what I was told. If the crystallization happens within six to eight months, heating it back to Liquid is no problem. After eight months and it crystallizes, the glue properties change and a lot of strengt is lost. In a year, just chuck it. The Epon I have is almost a year old, I will chuck it. I ordered new glue today.  (Tony Spezio)

    You might want to check with Bingham again.  I think I remember something about the product they ship no longer being Epon, though the labeling sure has not changed, neither on their website nor the product itself.  (Harry Boyd)

    What is the working time with  this glue before it starts to set up?  (Will Price)

      For a amount of 100 gramm  at 23 ca. 2 hours - 100 gramm at 30 ca. 75 minutes. It depends on room temperature and also the mixture.  (Christian Meinke)

      I wouldn't chuck the Epon because mine is at least 5 years old and still going strong. Epon has a long shelf life and I know if Bill Fink is listening in he will tell you about the long shelf life of Epon also.  (Jack Follweiler)

        I have Epon that's four years old and has been through at least that many freeze/thaw cycles in my unheated shop. I can't appreciate a change in its efficacy or beahvior. (Henry Mitchell)

          I have already ordered new Epon, planned on calling Bingham again today to ask if the formula changed. Maybe I just applied too much heat on that section. It is not worth it to me to take a chance. I really am not hurt on it, It was just a bunch of odd strips I was going to use on an experimental rod. No big loss.  (Tony Spezio)

        Yes, I think Jack is right as usual. I've been making rods from Epon since the sixties and have only reordered twice. I believe that the original Shell formulation marketed by Miller-Stephenson over the years has virtually no limit on shelf life. But it does thicken with time and must be gently warmed to flow properly. The rod I made last year with maybe fifteen year old stuff performed well under adverse conditions. And I'm now making a second tip with the same Epon bottles. I'll be needing some soon and am concerned. Perhaps this new supplier has changed the formulation. Is MS still supplying Epon?  (Bill Fink)


I need a source for Epon and the best combination of resin and hardener.  (Roland Cote)

    Try Bingham Products.  For Epon 826 resin and Versamid 140 hardener the ratio is one part hardener to 2 parts resin by volume.  (Don Green)

    Best bet is Miller-Stephenson in Danbury CT.  You want Epon 828 and 3140 hardener.  Toll free call 1-800-992-2424 and ask for Lynne, nice gal, tell her I said Hi.  Since they are a wholesaler be prepared to give her a "business name".  You have to buy at least a quart of each but I believe they will put it in pints or smaller containers for you.  Would you please let us know if the price has gone up from ~$50 for the two quarts?   Hope this helps.  (Darrol Groth)

      Last time I ordered, price was $80 total.  It wasn't long ago, less than a year.  (Don Green)

    If you can get Versamid 150 or Epikure 3140 Hardener you might want to try either one.  They have the advantage of a lower mixed viscosity than using Versamid 140.  I’ve been using a boatbuilding epoxy with good success which is lower yet in viscosity.  When I tried Epon 826 with Epikure 3140, I found it was much more difficult to spread.  Some use solvents to thin the mix but that protracts the curing processes a lot so it takes a lot longer to get to a stage where it’s safe to handle a section.

    My opinion.  (Al Baldauski)

      While Epon is stiff, especially here in Minnesota in the winter, it is easy to spread.  Take your heat gun on low and run it just ahead of your toothbrush/spreader.  Thins right out and spreads evenly.  Learned this from Dave Norling when he was installing ferrules with another epoxy and wanted to get the air bubble out.  (Ralph Tuttle)

        Thanks for the idea, Ralph.  Heating the epoxy accelerates the cure so I’d be afraid of losing working time, even though it’s pretty generous with most epoxies.  (Al Baldauski)

          You don't have to worry about that with Epon.  Heating it like that might take the working time down to about an hour and 15 minutes...  (Mark Wendt)

        Father Norling also points out—correctly—that repairing a fractured tip can be facilitated the same way:   load up the fracture with epoxy, use the heat gun judiciously, and the epoxy thinneth to the consistency of water, darn near, and runneth hither and yon, yea, even unto the furthest reachest of the traumatized power fibers, whereupon it sitteth, awaiting a cure!

        And while Dave advises a white silk overwrap just to keep things copesthetic, he does not varnish over it, but removes it before revarnishing.  On the few I’ve had to do (for other people, pls note), it works slicker ‘n’  . . . . well, it works! And with the varnish in place, you’d need significant magnification to detect the location of the former break.

        Another $.02.  BTW, Dave doesn’t claim to be the originator; he’s just the first one I heard that from.   But he might be!  (Steve Yasgur)

    I use Epon 828 and Epicure 3140 mixed 50/50, I get it  from Miller-Stephenson and have no idea what the current price is, I'm still working on a quart each that I bought 3 or 4 years ago. They'll want a company name for shipping purposes, just make something up if you don't have a name, and they'll charge for hazmat shipping, but it's not a bank breaker.  (John Channer)


How do you measure out correct amounts of resin and hardener when using Epon?  (Kurt Wolko)

    I use the Epon from Bingham Projects. I got a half pint resin and 1/4 pint hardener. The directions say 2:1 so I would assume its by volume. I use one tablespoon of hardener and two tablespoons of resin. That's enough glue for one two-tip rod (either two or three piece) with enough leftover to do another rod section. I just did an 8 1/2 foot 8/9 weight two piece two tip rod and an extra section. This was my first attempt at a hollow build and the extra section was to experiment with. Had enough to glue all four sections with just a very little left over.  (Joe Hudock)

    No big deal.  I use Shell from Miller-Stephenson and measure with plastic fast food spoons I steal from the stores. :^)  Actually Epon instructs say any ratio from 1:1 to 1:2 will do with 1 part resin 2 parts hardener being the strongest.  I usually use about ~1/2 a teaspoon of resin and ~3/4 tsp. hardener per section.  No need for precision.  I don't trust cutting it with solvent, but rather place the stirred mixture on the hot water heater while I pause for a minuet, or nap, or both.  (Darrol Groth)

      I’ve read a lot of data sheets on epoxy, especially Epon.  If you are talking 828 with 3140 hardener, the ratio for greatest strength is 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener BY WEIGHT.

      There is a big leeway in ratio from 2:1 to 1:1 and the density differences so small you don’t  have to  worry about weight vs volume, but it is important to get the resin/hardener ratios in the right order.  So shoot for 1 resin to 1 part hardener if you are measuring by teaspoons or tablespoons.  (Al Baldauski)

        Thanks for the correction, Al.  I had that messed up.  Too few parts O2 to the brain.  Apologies to all for the misperception. as measured by McD spoons.  (Darrol Groth)

    I use 3 cc syringes from Flex-Coat -- ones that I haven't used for anything else.  (Mike McGuire)

    The Bingham Projects bottles require a mix of two parts Epon 826 resin to one part Versamid 140 hardener by volume.

    I've been using a 2 ounce shot glass.  Measure two ounces of resin, pour/scrape it out;  measure an ounce of hardener, pour/scrape it out & then mix for a minute or two.   (Paul Julius)

    I use 10 - 20 ml disposable syringes.  Takes 2 per rod and then I throw them away.  They are cheap, accurate, and easy to get.  (Peter McKean)

    Go to your local hobby shop and buy a sleeve of those little "metrologist" calibrated measuring cups.  (Mark Wendt)


I'm running out of Epon (828) and would like to find a source which will supply small quantities pints or quarts. Anyone have ideas?  (Bob Norwood)

    Miller-Stephenson 1-800-992-2424.  Ask for Lynne, nice lady.  Since they are wholesalers be prepared to give some kind of bogus "Co." name such as SNAFU Rod Co.  I believe quarts are the min. order (~$50 for resin and hardener) but I believe they may bottle it in smaller containers for you.  Please give my regards to Lynne.  (Darrol Groth)

      Quarts are the minimum. Price is 80.00 for both as of last october.   (Don Peet)


I have been using Epon 826 from Bingham Projects, but I just checked and they now sell D.E.A. 383. Has anybody used the 383? I just bought some fresh bottles of the 826 a few months ago so I'm OK for now, but I sent Bingham an email inquiry as to the change to 383.  (Floyd Burkett)

    Received the following response from Bingham Project upon asking the question:

    I have been purchasing epon 826 & Versamid 140 for use in making rods. Your listing now says D.E.R. 383. Is this a different Epon than you were previously selling?  (Floyd Burkett)

    Hi Floyd,

    Thanks for your e-mail.  No, it is the same epoxy.  Many years ago the Epon was replaced by the D.E.R. but it is the same product.

    Sincerely,

    Elmont

      D.E.R is an acronym and trade name  for Dow Epoxy Resin (Dow Chemical) so how can it be the same as Epon, a trade name, now made by Hexion, formerly Reynolds Performance, formerly by Shell??

      Similar maybe.  But if it works don’t knock it.  (Al Baldauski)

        It is possible the product was licensed out, but not the name. Or more likely any chemical patents have long since expired and now anybody with the know-how can peddle it.  (Scott Bearden)

          You're right, Dow could have picked it up one way or the other.  They've been making D.E.R epoxies since the beginning of time so I'm inclined to believe Bingham picked up Dow's version of Epon and are calling it the same thing.  (Al Baldauski)

        Thanks for the info and walking me through the maze. I ended up getting the Epon 383 and Versamid 140 from Bingham, can't beat the price.

        It should last me for a few years.  (Bob Norwood)

        Received the Epon 826 and Versamid 140 hardener today from Bingham, Ogden UT. The 1/2 pint 140 has yellow label which has both the D E R 383 resin and Versamid 140, the 140 is check marked. The one pint Epon has yellow label with two names; Epon 826 Resin and Versamid 140 hardener, the 826 is checked.

        The mixture is two parts 826 Resin to one part 140 hardener.

        Service was great, just two days and can't beat the $30.25 price either.  (Bob Norwood)


Before trying a few things with a scrap section glued with Epon.... Anyone know at what temp Epon will fail? I tried the archives and there's lot of stuff on heat setting but not much, if anything, on where it fails. I'm wondering how far we can push it when straightening a badly skewed butt section. Put it your oven at 225, 250, 300 ? for 20-30 minutes and straighten or delaminate? Any thoughts?  (Dennis Higham)

    You may want to contact Miller-Stephenson Technical Service Department   to   answer   your   questions.   In   the   US,  call 1.800.992.2424   (8-4 E.T.).   In  Canada,  call  1.800.323.4621 (8-4 E.T.).  If  outside  the U.S. and Canada, call 203.743.4447 (8-4 E.T.) or e-mail: support@miller-stephenson.com  (Don Schneider)

    OK, I should have been a little  more specific.  Epon resin 828/Epi-Cure 3140 room temp cure for 16 hours then heat set 200 for 2 1/2 hours.  Epon tech sheet says 828/3140 heat set has a deflection temp of  240 degrees.

    I know Miller-Stephenson techy guys probably have reams of stuff on this but I wanted to try a real world test and see what happens, so, I preheated my oven to 225 and threw a butt section in for 30 minutes. I twisted and bent and bent it over my knee, no problem, tough as nails. So, I preheated the oven to 275. Threw the now cooled butt back in and waited another 30 minutes. Pulled it out, twisted it and it delaminated into one two strip and one four strip section. I twisted and bent the delaminated sections but they wouldn't let go.  I've got a couple more scrap sections to try, next stop 250 for 30 minutes.  (Dennis Higham)


I was just surfing eBay when I saw a listing for Max Bond epoxy.  Any body know anything about it?

Also my epoxy which was in storage is shot, don't remember where I bought it.  Bottles are just labeled Epon 826 resin and Versamid 140 hardener.  Can someone point me in the right direction.  (John Freedy)

    When I was using Epon I always got it from Bingham Archery.  (Will Price)

    What makes you think the bottles of Epon are kaput?  If they have crystallized, just warm them in hot water before using.  The crystallizing is normal.   (Harry Boyd)

      When I moved to Chicago back in 2007 the bottles were in a box that ended up in storage, exposed to the extreme temperatures of the Wisconsin seasons.  The hardener bottle has a split in it, which resealed.  Both the resin and hardener are the normal  viscosity with no crystallization.  I just thought after 4 years in storage that both would be bad by now.  I suppose I could mix some up and test it out.  (John Freedy)

      What, Harry said. Epon has a pretty much unlimited shelf life. My Epon is over 10 years old, crystallized and still going strong. I nuc the bottles in the microwave ..30 sec pulses until they are barely warm to the touch (too impatient to do the warm water bath). If it's not crystallization what's wrong with the Epon?

      Sorry, no experience with Maxi-Cure but it looks interesting.  (Dennis Higham)

        I   noticed  that  this  particular  Max-Bond  is  the  thicker, non-sagging type.  I think that would be fine for seats, grips, ferrules, etc.,  but don't we want our blank glues to flow some?  At least a medium viscosity? (Bob Brockett)

      I am right with Harry et al here.  My Epon seems to last at least 10 years; I also note occasional crystallization, and I just warm it to rejuvenate the stuff.

      I would certainly not condemn the product on your shelf without first trying it out.  You may get a pleasant surprise.  (Peter McKean)

    I  know  nothing  of  Max  Bond.    I   get   my   Epon   from Miller-Stephenson Chemical Co. or 847 966 2022.  (Larry Tucker)


In my never ending search for truth, justice and the best glue I've purchased my first bottles of Epon.  It came with mixing, application, cleanup, and curing instructions, but now storage or shelf life information.  No doubt there is at least one builder out there who might have an opinion.  (Tom Key)

    Not an expert by any means but I would suggest a cool, dry, dark place. Mine has been under the kitchen sink for close to six years now. Still works fine  but bottles are almost empty.  (Larry Tucker)

    First..Epon has no shelf life..it's good almost forever. I've had mine for over 12 years and it's still going strong. I store mine at room temp in a semi-dark place (the basement is dark with the light off). If after some time the resin gets thick 'n grainy and the hardener gets thick just heat it up (I use the microwave but as hot water bath works well too). As soon as it gets warmed up is becomes smooth and thin and is ready to use. I used ratios between  1/1 and 2/1  and all  worked well.  Currently I'm using 1.5/1, just make sure everything is well mixed and also if you heat the stuff it will kick a little faster. I use DNA for clean up but vinegar works OK too. Curing..you can heat treat to cure it or as many do , just let it sit for 4-6 days and its cured. I pull the string after about 16-24 hours, scrape/sand off the excess glue, rebind and heat set.....but you can just wait for a few days and it's cured at room temp.  (Dennis Higham)


Besides gloves and good ventilation what precautions should I take when using Epon.  I'm sure it's a lot more toxic than TB2 or TB3.  (Tom Key)

    One trick I sometimes employ is put on more than one glove on each hand.  When one pair gets too sticky, just peel it off and voila, fresh gloves.  You might want to wear a dust mask, or if you're spooky a respirator, when sanding away the excess glue.  When I used Epon, I sometimes wore the dust mask.  Also, keep some denatured alcohol or white vinegar handy for clean up. (Harry Boyd)

      I know you used to be a big Epon fan but now get the impression you have switched. So what are your recommendations for using URAC?  (Larry Puckett)

        Yes Larry,  I have switched to URAC.  My reasons are three fold.  First and foremost, URAC makes for a stiffer rod than Epon, with less likelihood of bending and remaining bent (taking a set).  See David Bolin's blog for a convincing experiment he has conducted.  Second, cured URAC sands off of the exterior of the blank more readily than Epon.  Epon seems to stick tighter and gum up sand paper worse than URAC.  Third, URAC is faster to use than Epon, and I'm busy enough that saving those few hours becomes important.  With URAC the glued sections require less curing and/or heat setting time.  But don't get me wrong -- I still think Epon is a fine glue for making rods.  It's my second choice, and perhaps my first choice for hollow built rods.

        Buy URAC from Nelson Paint Company.  I have bought both pints and quarts.  There is a shelf life, but I keep the resin in the refrigerator and have used it for 18 months plus from the time of purchase.  It's about 1/10th the cost of Epon.  A quart of URAC, delivered, is less than $20.  That much Epon would cost nearly $100, delivered with the haz mat charges.

        When using URAC, be sure to use the reagent grade Ammonium Chloride for the catalyst rather than the supplied walnut shell flour/Ammonium Chloride mixture.  Get the Ammonium  Chloride off eBay, or bum some from another rod maker.  I'm running low or would offer to give you some.  With the walnut shell flour I find URAC to be too thick, and glue seams more apparent to the naked eye.   I mix by weight, one part Ammonium Chloride to ten parts distilled water.  One part of that Ammonium Chloride/H20 solution is then added to ten parts of URAC resin.  Nelson Paint says not to add the water, but it's worked for thousands of rod for dozens of rodmakers.

        Lately I have been using URAC more like Epon than I did at first.  I glue in the evenings, then unwrap the string the next morning.  I rebind with fresh string, and heat set for 90 minutes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  So far it seems to be working quite well.  Makes it possible to unwind the string even after heat setting.

        When using URAC, you have plenty of pot life on the glue.  I mix  70-80 grams of glue and find that's plenty for six-eight rod sections.  After 6-8 sections, I'll mix a new batch of glue.  Last time I glued a few weeks ago, I did 20 sections at once (five 3/2 rods) but mixed 3-4 batches of glue.

        Moisture is required for the cure on URAC.  Here in Louisiana the atmospheric moisture is plenty.  Right now, humidity is about 100% since we're in a thunderstorm.  Most days humidity in my shop is over 60%.  Drier climates might want to moisten a paint brush and run it over the strips a few minutes before spreading the glue.

        Once you spread the glue on the strips, things begin to get tacky very quickly.  Have your binder, flat surface for rolling, knife to cut string, etc. all lined up and ready to go before beginning to spread glue.  Work in a relaxed hurry, as Jack Howell says.  Glue, bind, and straighten one section at a time.  Be careful not to bend the section when lifting it after straightening.  I use a long slab of scrap granite (thanks again Bret!) as a flat surface, and just nudge the straightened section off the back of that an onto the bench.

        I can't think of much else right now.  Maybe others will add their suggestions.  Heck, I just typed out a 30 minute session of my rod making classes.... :)  (Harry Boyd)

          Good treatise on glue. The Latin for Jack Howell's statement would be festina lente (make haste slowly).

          I've used UF-109 which was the Canadian equivalent of URAC, but is now discontinued in my area so now I use Casco-Resin 5H, a two-part glue which sets up hard and is very similar to URAC and UF-109. In the past I've used ammonium chloride crystals mixed with water as a catalyst for a thin, clear glue, but I had some delaminations -- one was a rod that someone stepped on -- and I thought I might have had glue starvation. I always apply one coat of glue, then wait a moment or so and reapply it to make sure there are no starved areas. I wonder if the walnut flour prevents the glue from being squeezed out entirely as could happen without the filler.

          Just some of my sticky thoughts.  (Ron Grantham)

            Yes, Harry, that can help a lot of folks who are using URAC. I just glued up a replacement tip using my new mix for URAC:

            100 grams of Resin, 3 to 5 grams of Walnut Powder, and 1 gram of Ammonium Chloride. This is the same percentage mixture by weight that Nelson Paint recommends.  I mix the AMCL into the small amount of walnut powder and then into the Resin. I get a very nice thin but slightly off color mixture that seems to bond and cleanup very well. I have used this mixture on one rod I recently did, and the rod performed very well on the Davidson River for a day; the rod  seemed to hold up well and is as stiff as when I was using all Walnut Powder. I do like the thiner URAC with a little color to the final mixture compared to a clear mixture as Harry describes. Just my limited experience and opinion..  (Frank Paul)

      My little suggestion is that you use blue or purple (the purple are as rare as rocking horse poop, but worth it if you can find any) NITRILE gloves for this job.  Not only are they much tougher and puncture resistant, but they are pretty well impervious to the volatile chemicals in the Epon curing agent, so you don't get the lingering aroma as you do when using latex gloves.  Also, people who are allergic to latex  are not do likely to react to the nitrile material.  (Peter McKean)

        In the US, Harbor Freight carries nitrile flexible plastic gloves. I have seen purple nitrile gloves here, but only in hospitals.  (Dave Burley)


Just a quick clarification on Epon mixing.  I received a sample from the ever-generous Darrol Groth, and I just want to confirm I'm mixing this correctly before I slather it on my many hours of work sitting ready on the bench.

The 828 is clear and the 3140 is brown, correct?

And these are mixed at a ration of 2:1, 828 (clear):3140 (brown)?  (Tyler Beard)

    You've got it right.  (Al Baldauski)

    How long have folks been mixing 2:1? I have always mixed 1:1 and I have never heat set. Should I change my mixing ratio to 2:1 and heat set from now on?  (Wayne Caron)

      Heat setting is not required, it only speeds up the cure. It doesn't cross-link and doesn't add strength, it only hastens the cure. Which Epon ingredients are you using? To get the most strength from the bond, you should go with the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the adhesive. If the adhesive calls for 1:1, then mix it 1:1. If it calls for 2:1, you should mix it 2:1 to get the most strength out of the bond.  (Mark Wendt)

        I have been using MS 828 and 3140 and I can't find the mixing ratio anywhere on the containers, in the data sheets that came with the epon or on the internet from  MS. I did read through the Tips Page but found it to be even more confusing. So if I do add more resin, it will just take longer to cure? Is there any benefits to my using more resin?   (Wayne Caron)

          If you take a peek at this pdf file on page 6 - it's the Epikure product overview - look at the line for the 3140 under the PHR column. That column is the "Parts by weight of curing agent per 100 parts of epoxy." It reads 50 parts. That's your 2:1 ratio.

          Here's the link to the pdf.  (Mark Wendt)

        Epon 828 and Epicure 3140 have a rather forgiving mix ratio (2:1 to 1:1) BUT the ratio you choose AND whether you heatcure DOES make a difference in strength.

        This is based on information from the manufacturers datasheets.

        For maximum strength and best performance withstanding temperature in you car on a hot day you should mix 828/3140 in a 2:1 ratio and heat cure it for 2 hours at 200F.

        This provides up to 20% more strength and an improvement in heat tolerance of about 60 degrees F.  Moisture absorption is also reduced.  This regimen does, however make it difficult to heat straighten afterward so you better get your sections straight before curing.

        Not surprisingly, the manufacturers mix recommendation is right in the middle : 1.5:1.  (Al Baldauski)

          Speaking of more difficult to straiten after heat treating...

          After posting my initial Epon question and getting Al's response, I slathered it on, bound, straightened, and hung overnight.  The next day I went to heating.  Going into the oven my strips were nice and straight.  Coming out, one of them had quite a hook to it.

          Anyone else have this happen to them?

          To give some details:

          I was using a heat gun oven in an upright position.

          • The temperature differential from top to bottom was about ten degrees F.  (The top was about 205 degrees F and the bottom about 195.)
          • I hung the tips skinny-side down.  It was one of the tips that went crooked.
          • I never flipped the strips.
          • There was nothing about the section that curved that I am aware of that was different from the other tip section.
          • I cooked for 2 hrs.

          Next time I will definitely hang from the skinny end since the heavier end down should keep things at least a little straighter.  Heck, maybe I'll just lay the oven over next time.  I do have a rack in it for horizontal cooking.

          Maybe when I rebound after scraping I just put one of the sections in a bind?

          Any thoughts?  (Tyler Beard)

          P.S.  I was able to get the section straight again with some heat and TLC.

            I've found that when you rebind before heat curing that the binding string may not be uniform in tension along the length and when heated  can induce a bend in the section.

            I've tried binding the section to the inside corner of an aluminum angle to keep  it straight and this seems to help.  (Al Baldauski)

          Check out the pdf link I just posted. The manufacturer actually says 100 parts to 50 parts, or 2:1.  (Mark Wendt)

            The Resolution Products datasheets are on Todd's page. They list an increase in both HDT and ultimate tensile strength when the listed curing regimen is used as opposed to a room temperature cure - see Note 1. Hopefully the format below doesn't get scrambled...

            Performance Properties

            Table 1 / Properties of EPON Resin 828 cured with EPIKURE Curing Agent 3140

            Composition (Parts by Weight)

            A

            B

            C

            D

             

             

             

             

             

             

            EPON™ Resin 828

            100

            100

            100

            100

            EPIKURE Curing Agent 3140

            45

            90

            45

            90

             

             

             

             

             

             

            Blend properties at 25 C

            Viscosity, Original, cp

            11,300

            9,900

            11,300

            9,900

            Gel Time, 100 gram mass, hours

            2.5

            2

            2.5

            2

            Peak Exotherm

             

            100 gram mass, F

            92

            97

            92

            97

             

            100 gram mass, C

            33

            36

            33

            36

             

             

             

             

             

             

            Cured State Properties

            Heat Deflection Temperature, C

            97

            72

            66

            64

            Tensile Strength, Ultimate, psi

            8,500

            7,300

            7,400

            7,500

            Tensile Elongation, %

            4.5

            11.8

            3.0

            7.2

            Tensile Modulus, Initial, ksi

            420

            320

            340

            290

            Flexural Strength, Ultimate, psi

            14,000

            12,000

            12,500

            11,000

            Flexural Deflection, in.

            0.44

            >0.60

            >0.60

            >0.60

            Flexural Modulus, Initial, ksi

            310

            340

            400

            340

            Compression Strength, Ultimate, psi

            33,000

            34,000

            12,600

            17,200

            Compression Strength, Yield, psi

            -

            9,100

            11,500

            9,600

            Izod Impact, notch, ft-lb/inch

            0.51

            0.88

            0.63

            1.18

            Hardness, Shore D

            84

            82

            84

            82

            Water Absorption

            0.18

            0.33

            0.16

            0.25

            Weight Loss

            0.02

            0.05

            0.02

            0

            Electrical Properties

             

            Dielectric Constant

            3.61

            3.41

            3.85

            3.5205

             

            Dissipation Factor

            0.021

            0.018

            0.011

            0.015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

            (Al Baldauski)

          Do you have links to the product sheets or web pages where it shows that heat curing does make a difference in final strength?  I was going by the word of M-D who said he'd researched the products many moons ago and according to him, the products did not gain strength by heat curing, and that heat curing only hastened the cure.  Here's what he posted to the list back in 2002:

          "I posted this to the List over two years ago. I suppose it's in the archives, but if not . . .

          Resins may be stored at 120 degrees -140 degrees F indefinitely, and are  routinely  shipped  at  150 degrees - 180 degrees F, however, doing so will decrease the viscosity of the resin (not permanently), and will dramatically increase the cure rate.

          Post curing the resin only serves to accelerate the curing process, and in no way initiates any

          other chemical changes, such as cross-linking, beyond what would normally take place. A common cure schedule is 24 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours. There are many permutations to be had within that time/temp range. Following a post cure regimen, say 16 hours @ 25 degrees C, then 100 degrees C for two hours, makes a dramatic difference in lap shear strength; not that there is not enough as it is for a bamboo rod.

          A complete cure schedule is 7 days @ 25 degrees C. For each ten degrees above 25 degrees C the cure rate doubles. The heat deflection temperature for 828/3140 is 115 degrees C (240 degrees F), for 828/3164 it is higher.

          Epicure 3164 imparts highly flexible properties, improved toughness compared to conventional polyamines (A type of curing agent. 3115, 3125, 3140, 3164 are all polyamines) Improved combinations of elongation, strength, modulus, abrasion resistance, and tear resistance in comparison with other "flexibilizing" curing agents.

          Epicure 3140 should be kept in a tightly closed container, in a cool, dry place. It is very

          hygroscopic, and readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide. This may affect viscosity, or create foaming when reacted with resins.

          Epicure 3164 is stable, though should be kept in a tightly closed container to prevent darkening.

          All epoxies are capable of producing adverse health effects ranging from minor skin irritation to serious systemic effects. Once systemically sensitized, always sensitized. Use appropriate

          precautions when dealing with any epoxy. Avoid any skin contamination,  and the breathing of fumes."  (Mark Wendt)

            Here is the link to Hexion's 3140 info Compare columns A and C - same mix, different HDT and tensile strength based on the differences in cure time/temp.  (Larry Blan)

              The one thing both this sheet and the other sheet you posted said is this:

              "Determined at 25 C on 1/8-inch thick test specimens. Systems A and B were cured for 16 hours at 25 C followed by 2 hours at 100 C. Systems C and D were cured for 2 weeks at room temperature. "

              Systems A and B are cured for a specific time at a specific temperature, then another specific time at a specific elevated temperature.  Systems C and D were cured for a nonspecific time  - 2 weeks?  What, 14 days, 13 days 23 hours and 20 minutes?  And a nonspecific temperature - room temperature? Heated room? Unheated room?  Is the room in Loozianna or is it in Siberia? Not quite sure why they did it this way.  Are they entirely sure the "room temperature" mix was fully cured?  the 828 and 3140 mix is generally a very slow curing adhesive mix and has a cure curve that's pretty exact in the time/temp variable.  That's  a  pretty un-exact cure schedule to be testing against - two weeks at room temp.

              I'd really like to see more a more exact testing regimen than this, or at least have them post the real numbers they used to come up with this.  (Mark Wendt)

                I believe it was cured in a hotel room in Milwaukee.

                I don't know why they chose to present it that way. It has been listed the same way all the way back to Shell. I would like to think that the manufacturer would be concerned with knowing the second sample was fully cured, but the question is certainly valid.  (Larry Blan)

            As I read this, there is some language missing and it is easily misinterpreted. The confusion is what is meant by "cross-linking" vs "reacting".  Most non-polymer people would say that the various components cross linked when they mean reacted, since this is a 1:1 reaction at the end of the chain  Cross-linking often implies a three dimensional reaction leading to great stiffness.

            This current reference makes that distinction implicitly when it says there is no extra cross-linking (between formed chains, which would change the properties vs a completely straight chain -DRB) caused by the heating. 

            Heating typically forces the reaction to greater % completion, since as the reaction proceeds (say at RT) the viscosity climbs dramatically and slows the reaction between the two components.  Heating reduces the viscosity and allows greater completion. This greater % completion often brings about a change in both physical  (stiffer) and chemical (fewer side reactions with unreacted sites). 

            Without any data to support this, I could easily believe a heat treated rod would have adhesive which would not change as much on exposure.  These are amides as part of this reaction and  less sensitive to UV and oxidation, compared to amine based hardeners. But heat treating to cure the adhesive is a good idea in these two part systems, not just for fast curing, but also completeness and predictability of the cured adhesive.  (Dave Burley)

              Well, M-D was/is a chemist by edjimication and he'd done the research many moons ago.  I just go by what he said, and the bit of reading I did on the subject (I'm not a chemist, didn't play one on TV, and didn't stay in a Holiday Inn last night) so I go by what the folks that know say about it, and what I've been able to figger out by reading the manufacturers white papers.  (Mark Wendt)

                What he said was correct, just open to misinterpretation by non-polymer chemists. and others. His point is heating does not cause additional cross linking (and property changes from a fully reacted polymer).  (Dave Burley)

    My technical studies have shown that whether I use 2:1 or slightly just shy of 1:1, by weight or volume, cured or uncured, I have had success with this adhesive.  Anyone who's fished with me has seen me lay into a rod pretty hard.  I don't baby them at all.  I've never had a failure.  This stuff ( 828 and 3140) is nearly fool proof.  And I'm just the fool to prove it.  (Rick Crenshaw)

      Excellent! With that put to rest, we can move on to 826 and 3164! :)  (Larry Blan)

        I'm glad you brought that up. After reading in Mark's post that it had higher heat deflection, better flexing qualities, and generally tougher all around It sure made me wonder why everyone is using the 3140 instead of the 3164. On paper it looks as though it would be a better glue.  (Will Price)

          I believe that we use 3140 because it is what we first began using (tradition!). I suspect that could be traced back to Bill Fink and/or John Zimny.  MD liked the 3164 mix, and I have no reason  to doubt him or the data sheets. There is certainly no reason to fear it. If anyone is using or has used the 3164 mix,  perhaps they will chime in.  (Larry Blan)

          Or, if you're working with the product from  Bingham, the D.E.R. 383 and the Versamid 140...  ;-)  (Mark Wendt)

    In all these discussions on the best mix of Epon, are we to mix by "volume" or by "weight?" Does the 2:1 mean two parts to one part or two grams to one gram? Or does it make a difference?  (Bruce Morton)

      Likely by weight, but since they have similar densities, practically it makes no difference.  (Dave Burley)

        Data Sheet says:

        "Parts by weight of curing agent per 100 parts of epoxy (EEW 525), based on solids"  (Charley McNeill)


Where can you buy small (Quart/Pint) quantities of Epon and Versamid? I used to buy at Bingham Archery but it seems they have changed products.  (Jeff Ragan)

    Miller-Stephenson has several contact numbers depending upon your geographical location.

    It will be Epon/Epikure, not Epon/Versamid. They require a business name, if you are not using one, go ahead and invent one.  (Larry Blan)

    Bingham still has it. Go to search and enter Epon in the "search for" box, and that will turn it up.  (Mike McGuire)

    I emailed Bingham when I noticed the change in the name before ordering, and was told it was the same stuff under a different name. When the order arrived it was bottled as 826 and 140 as usual. Both are bisphenol A based products according to the PDF files I have on them with the exception that the 383 has a secondary ingredient. Shoot Bingham an email and see what they say about the change.  (Floyd Burkett)


I have found the current exchange of information concerning Urac very informative as well as useful in terms of having to decide on a glue to utilize on my first rod.  It seems that URAC, Epon, and Titebond are all rather popular with builders, but personally leaning towards Epon.  I found a potential source from Bingham Products online.  Is this product the version of Epon that people are referring too?  Thanks.  (Ron Delesky)

    Yes, that's it.  (Mike McGuire)

    I have used Titebond III and West System 105/206 epoxy. I am pleased with both. I prefer using Titebond III because it is safer and perhaps healthier and cleans up easier. I slash like the fact that I can get them locally. If I knew. I could find Deponent locally I would probably switch to that, especially if it is cheaper than West System.  (Phil Crangi)


Here's my Epon testimonial and the reason I believe I will go on using it. I have now made 5 rods with this glue.

I decided to remake the tip section of my first rod and after gluing up the strips with Epon and wrapping the guides I was putting on my first coat of varnish to the wraps when calamity struck.

I had the tip in a motorize turning rig with a couple of supports along the way. In the groove of the support...where the rod sits when turning...I had decided to cushion that area many years ago with felt. Well, the felt got fuzzy...real fuzzy.

Anywho, I put the varnish on and turned on the motor and left the room. The fuzzy felt got caught on itself and the tip section bound up solid to the support. But the motor was like the little engine that could.

When I came back to the room there was my tip section twisted up like a corkscrew down the entire length and the motor grunting away. I turned off the motor. Inspected the rod section and there was absolutely no delamination. I untwisted the tip...put a bit of heat to it to straighten it and it seems fine. I’ve not fished the rod yet but there are no visible signs of damage.

If that's not a "stress test", I don't know what is..... (Bruce Morton)

    Been there once.  I learned my lesson the hard way.  After the pretty green felt became impregnated with epoxy it didn't take but once to slap myself upside the head to learn.  Got rid of all the felt and took a gallon jug of Milk and cut strips from it and glued it where the  felt was ... nothing  sticks to it.  (Ron Hossack)

      Thanks for tip, but if nothing sticks to it, how did you glue it?  (Dave Burley)

    Yes, it sure is great stuff, felt!

    Looks like we've all been there, doesn't it?  I now use some closed-cell polyurethane foam that I stole from the fly tying kit to line those turning surfaces  I was not so lucky with my tip section, I'm afraid! 

    I have said on a few occasions that I am a pretty convinced Epon user, despite the smell and the alcohol cleanup and all the rest.  The smell and chemical aftertaste becomes MUCH better with blue nitrile gloves, or better still, with the purple ones they make for use with chemotherapeutic procedures.  However, on occasion I do use other glues,  and they all seem to have their good points, and their drawbacks.

    I think that we all get too thingy about absolute waterproof quality.  No rod I own I use is ever required to be totally waterproof, just good and water resistant, so while it is undoubtedly a wonderful glue, I don't use Resorcinol because I just don't need to. Use of resorcinol requires a slightly different skill set from the epoxies and the others, and I have not ever developed that side of my skills.

    On the other, I am inclined to be seduced by Titebond III, and I hesitate only because some of my rods here in Australia go to areas where it gets bloody hot in the summer, and I wonder about its ability to survive  being left in a sealed aluminum tube on the rear parcel shelf in midsummer in, say, Cairns, North Queensland.  One day I will overcome my habitual torpor and glue up some strips and send them up to a friend of mine up there and get him to do just that.

    But I did glue up a butt section a couple of nights ago with TB III, as the section was a replacement and the tips are glued with it already, so I figured "What the hey?" and there is no doubt that it is a dream to use - no smell, one part, water clean up, no gloves needed.  Not a raw beginners' glue perhaps, with its relatively short work time, but other than that it is really nice stuff from an operator's point of view.

    So, even while I am an Epon believer, I have to say that in real terms, pretty well any modern glue will perform adequately for our purposes, and none is really perfect.  So if you are trying to decide which one is right for you, take all the factors into consideration in your situation, and don't over stress about the waterproof thing. (Peter McKean)

    It is EPON and Titebond for me as well, Peter, with the overall nod going to EPON, because I  just have to have that extra working time which allows me to deal with the many problems I may encounter while binding.  (Bill Bixler)


 

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