Quantcast

Epoxy problems

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

TJohn

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Newbie here... first post. I've accidentally spilled some epoxy into the metal tube that holds the altimeter board/sled for the Public Missiles Eclipse rocket. 1) How can I best remove the excess on the metal 2) How can I best fit the CoPilot V3 sled into the metal tube once it's cleared of excess epoxy... the fit is extremely tight. Thank you guys.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,133
Location
Butte, Montana
Once epoxy has cured the only two ways to remove it are heat or mechanical means, such as with a knife, scraper, or chisel. When I say heat I mean a heat gun or torch.
Some very strong paint removers like Zip Strip might work.
 

TJohn

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Once epoxy has cured the only two ways to remove it are heat or mechanical means, such as with a knife, scraper, or chisel. When I say heat I mean a heat gun or torch.
Some very strong paint removers like Zip Strip might work.
Once epoxy has cured the only two ways to remove it are heat or mechanical means, such as with a knife, scraper, or chisel. When I say heat I mean a heat gun or torch.
Some very strong paint removers like Zip Strip might work.
Thank you very much, Steve. I'll try the scraper/knife method first probably, because the aluminum altimeter bay is already epoxied into balsa wood and resides inside of a fiber glass tube. Another question,.. would a file work, or not?
 

astrowolf67

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
1,508
Reaction score
6
I'm not familiar with the Eclipse, or it's construction, or how deep you need to reach. But, when I've needed to do internal work inside of tubes, I've found a flex shaft on a Dremel to come in very handy.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,133
Location
Butte, Montana
Thank you very much, Steve. I'll try the scraper/knife method first probably, because the aluminum altimeter bay is already epoxied into balsa wood and resides inside of a fiber glass tube. Another question,.. would a file work, or not?
Yes, but the teeth load up quickly. A coarse one, or even a rasp or riffler would work better.
 

Arsenal78

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
523
Reaction score
107
I once tried drilling out epoxy from something, just normal BSI 30 minute... shattered a Ryobi Titanium drill bit doing it lol.
 

David Schwantz

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
1,711
Reaction score
666
Location
MN
If the tube is smooth and shiny, go in with a long screwdriver and it should just "pop off". Try to get the tip under an edge and twist. Otherwise, like Steve said, heat will soften it.
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,908
Reaction score
879
Location
TX
Unless the aluminum was prepped the epoxy should come off pretty easily. A sharp pointed exacto blade slid between the two should work. I’ve also drilled out lots of epoxy from mounting holes without issues. I have also used a round file to clean up epoxy on fin fillets. Just rub the file across a piece of chalk first so the epoxy is easier to remove.

Good luck,

Tony
 

TJohn

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Thank you so much, guys. I'll let you know what I try and how it turns out.
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
14,274
Reaction score
197
Don't use a file; you'll gall the aluminum. I'd use a small jeweler's screwdriver - if you slip, it's not going to do as much damage to you as the point of an X-Acto knife will. And you should be able to pop it free with that. Put the screwdriver point down into the joint between the epoxy and the tube and use a small stick of some sort (or a bigger screwdriver) to tap the butt end of the screwdriver. You should be able to pop most of it free that way.

-Kevin
 

TJohn

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hi Guys! Thanks for all the suggestions. This forum is great thanks to all of you. I've started to remove the epoxy with Ex-Acto blades, using a combination of scrapping and getting the blade under the layer of epoxy and peeling it out. The altimeter tube on this rocket is fairly small,... about 1 3/8ths inches in diameter. The aluminum is very thick and sturdy. The scrapping of the thin layer of epoxy over-run doesn't seem to be scoring the aluminum and the epoxy is coming off slowly but surely. I was really concerned about this problem, but with everyone's ideas and encouragement, I think I'll be able to clear this epoxy out and slide the altimeter sled into the tube... I may be able to fly the rocket with my club on Memorial Day weekend thanks to all of your support!! Thank you all, you're great.:)
 

Kosmo

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
18
Reaction score
2
You can also use acetone (nail polish remover) to remove it--particularly any residue left behind after chipping it off. It shouldn't harm the metal unless there is some kind of coating on it.
Note, use it judiciously, it will also remove paint from your rocket.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,133
Location
Butte, Montana
You can also use acetone (nail polish remover) to remove it--particularly any residue left behind after chipping it off. It shouldn't harm the metal unless there is some kind of coating on it.
Note, use it judiciously, it will also remove paint from your rocket.
Acetone will not dissolve cured epoxy.
 

MikeT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
138
Reaction score
68
Heat works but you really have to be careful.

Mike
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,908
Reaction score
879
Location
TX
Heat works but you really have to be careful.

Mike
I have used an industrial heat gun to remove a lot of epoxy, including on aluminum aeropak retainers and similar kinds of gear. I've also used it to remove paint and epoxy from G10 fins. It's great when the item is loose and not surrounded by anything else that can be damaged by the heat. It has saved me a lot of time over the years.

Tony
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,133
Location
Butte, Montana
I have used an industrial heat gun to remove a lot of epoxy, including on aluminum aeropak retainers and similar kinds of gear. I've also used it to remove paint and epoxy from G10 fins. It's great when the item is loose and not surrounded by anything else that can be damaged by the heat. It has saved me a lot of time over the years.

Tony
That’s exactly my experience as well.
 

Rail Dawg

Always learning!!!
TRF Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
874
Reaction score
708
Location
Houston TX and Lovelock NV
I’ve never used heat to remove epoxy before. Not a bad idea.

What if you had to remove say a wood centering ring or part? Can the epoxy be heated up enough to remove?

Chuck C.
 

Steve Shannon

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
6,467
Reaction score
3,133
Location
Butte, Montana
I’ve never used heat to remove epoxy before. Not a bad idea.

What if you had to remove say a wood centering ring or part? Can the epoxy be heated up enough to remove?

Chuck C.
I doubt it would be possible to concentrate the heat on the epoxy without overheating the wood. It takes a lot of heat. The epoxy is destroyed. In fact, I heat retainers until the epoxy gives off a little puff of smoke. That’s how I know it’s ready to remove.
 

manixFan

Not a rocket scientist
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,908
Reaction score
879
Location
TX
I’ve never used heat to remove epoxy before. Not a bad idea.

What if you had to remove say a wood centering ring or part? Can the epoxy be heated up enough to remove?

Chuck C.
I have used it for exactly that, but only a couple of times. Once was to remove a damaged fin, the other to salvage centering rings. The rings were easy since they were salvage, the fin was harder since I wanted to make sure I did not damage the surrounding areas. It was a MD rocket so the fin was surface mount. I was able to soften the epoxy enough to get the fin off. (I had already sanded off most of the paint.) If it had been TTW it would have been a lot harder. As Steve mentions, the heat will ruin the epoxy bond so it's important to be careful of surrounding areas if you want them to stay intact.

You can also wave a heat gun over the surface of new epoxy to pop air bubbles. But you have to be careful as warmed epoxy is a lot runnier and cures faster.

Tony
 
Top