5 minute epoxy

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Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2009
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I'm moving up to larger rockets and need help in buying and using epoxy. What brand to use? Tips on using it. Thanks
I don't use epoxy in large-scale applications, like wetting a layer of fiberglass cloth, but I can tell you that you don't want 5-minute epoxy. That stuff barely works for small jobs. By the time you get halfway through a big job your 5-minute stuff will be setting up in the cup.

You probably want more like 30 minutes of working time (maybe more), and thin is usually better than thick (it spreads more easily and wicks into fabric better). A lot of the folks that hang out here on TRF seem to like West Systems epoxy products. I'm sure there are other brands that work well too.

You will also want to get some throw-away gloves to keep the epoxy off your skin as much as possible. Some people are allergic to epoxy right from the start, others develop an allergic reaction over time, and some never seem to ever get an allergy reaction. Best not to gamble. Find some latex or nitrile gloves (medical supply sources) and use them.

Get a couple cheap bottles of rubbing alcohol from Wmart and keep them handy, along with some paper towels. You will need them for cleanup. And stay away from Mom's good table.

You could try a search here on TRF using the keywork "epoxy" and get tons of results and advice. Don't forget to check the archive of TRF1 posts.
I use different types depending on how much money I want to spend. I use the hobby shop branded (made by Bob Smith Industries) 5 min epoxy. It is good enough for most of my rocket building. West Systems 5 min epoxy is better but is a lot more expensive. If you want some versatility but not 5 min; I use West Systems 105/205 and use the various fillers depending on the application.

In general, the 5 min you buy at the hobby store is more than adequate for most of your rocket building needs.

My tips for epoxy is to not to add too much hardener and to plan your assembly steps in advance.
I mostly use US composites 150 Thick Epoxy Resin System 3 to 1 medium cure.
takes about (2 to 3) hours to cure, tough stuff at a great price.


half price of West systems, $20.00 get you enough for a years worth, well for most, I use more like a gallon a year!

( just a small note, it seems to have a shelf life of about 2 years)