West Systems for Beginners...

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loopy

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Okay - I'm looking at (hopefully) getting more and more into building HPR birds in the future (hopefully near future), and with things like fiberglassing tubes and things like that, I'm looking at what I would need to get started with West Systems. My question is, what do I need from them? I mean, I would need just the standard resin, but what hardeners do you guys use for building and 'glassing?
 

sandman

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I like the standard 205 hardener. It takes about an hour to harden but works great.

A gallon of resin and 205 hardener cost about $100 with the pumps. Make sure you get the proper pumps.

Then it's easy to mix...one pump of resin...to one pump of hadener...just that simple.

Be careful in very warm weather with large quantitys. Like 3 or more pumps. Very important!!

I use an old tin pie plate to mix larger quantitys of resin/hardener. The resin tends to "exotherm" and that can lead to a "cascade" reaction if you mix it in a small container such as a paper cup.

The first sign of trouble is you will see smoke/vapors coming from the epoxy mix...the only solution when that happens is to quickly run outside with it and heave it!

Actually kinda funny! NOT!

The pie tin keeps the mixture spread out and doesn't allow the internal heating to affect it.

Other than that precaution just wear rubber gloves.
 

shockwaveriderz

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nitrile gloves NOT latex as you might get a latex sensitivity issue later....
 

Stymye

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also epoxy canl penetrate latex gloves
 

SwingWing

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I have not used West Systems. I have used several gallons of RAKA epoxy, (I built a cedar strip canoe and other things) which I understand is very similar to West, but about 1/2 the price. West is available in many local Hobby shops and boat supply stores, RAKA is via phone/email order only from RAKA.com Raka hardeners can be mixed to tailor cure times (IE: 2 shots resin, 1 shot fast hardner and 1 shot slow) Raka mixes 2:1 resin/hardner, but the pumps are calibrated to give the proper ratio.
The only times I have had exotherm issues is when thickeners are added to the epoxy (wood flour, micro ballons or cab-o-sil) it seems to heat up in the thick form if you don't spread it out quickly.
 
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