Sanding Your Project & Storing Epoxy
Once your epoxy project has cured, it’s time to level and sand it. In this section, we’ll offer some tips for quick but reliable techniques, and give some suggestions for storing and disposing of any leftover epoxy.
How do I level or sand a poured project after the epoxy has cured?
If the cured epoxy and wood are uneven, you’ll need to bring them level. If there’s more misalignment than can be practically removed by sanding, a router flattening jig works well. Some use a thickness or hand-held power planer; this is effective, but will quick dull the blades.
Sanding epoxy requires a durable abrasive, especially in the coarse grits. If you have a random-orbit sander, Mirka Abranet or Galaxy discs are good choices. Start with a very coarse grit, around 80x. For serious material removal, a portable belt sander works well when equipped with a Hiolit or Abranet Max belt. Because of the limited grit selection with belts, you’ll need to switch to a random-orbit sander after medium grit. Work through the progression of grits, being careful to remove any scratches left by the previous grit. After 400x or 600x, focus solely on sanding the epoxy. For a semi-gloss surface, a good tactic is switching to an Abralon pad at 2000x, followed by a lamb’s wool buff and polishing compound.
How do I sand a turned project?
The principles are the same as for a poured project – start with a coarse grit, don’t skip grits, and make sure each removes the scratches left by the one before. On a small project such as a pen, MicroMesh pads are an excellent choice. For something larger, Abranet sheets work well in the coarse to fine grits.
Sanding an epoxy project on the lathe – coarse/ medium, then a final polishing step.
What’s the shelf life of the resin and the best way to store it?
In an unopened container, epoxy will keep for a year under proper conditions. Once opened, it’s best used as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about its ability to cure, mix up a small test batch.
Store epoxy in a warm, dry place, out of direct sunlight. When exposed to cold temperatures, epoxy can thicken or crystallize. You can restore it by placing the container in a hot water bath, but epoxy shouldn’t be regularly subjected to this.
How do I safely dispose of epoxy?
Because it’s a moderately hazardous chemical, liquid epoxy should be taken to your local transfer station for safe disposal. Cured epoxy is inert and can be disposed of with household waste.
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