Epoxy: Liquid Vs Paste Vs Putty

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Different types of epoxies work great for some tasks and not so great for others. New builders have to experiment to settle into their own "standard" of how to do things. And choosing the right epoxy type can be confusing. Here's a brief run-down of my experience, not so much recommending brands but instead types of epoxy based on their consistency when mixed and ready for use.

Liquid - Use slow cure (often advertised as 30 minute) epoxies like Devcon Two Ton (aka D2T) or Envirotex Lite (aka ETEX) for topcoating lures. They level out well and are slow to yellow from UV exposure. Flexcoat and Nu-Lustre also sell UV protected epoxy of this kind, albeit at a higher price. It can also be used to epoxy in hook hangers and lure lips. For most, pot life is around 5 minutes, hardening to touch in around 5 hrs, and "ready to fish" in about 24 hrs. "Bar top" or "decoupage" epoxies like ETEX contain solvent that lengthens their pot life and retards initial curing times, though they should also be hard in 24 hrs.

5 minute epoxies begin to harden quickly and have a pot life of only a minute or two. They yellow or turn brown in a few weeks or months. The fast cure time makes them ideal for joining the halves of lures when you are thru-wiring balsa baits. They can be used to install hardware if you work fast enough and understand that any "squeeze-out" will yellow and turn brown quickly, so should be wiped off anywhere that will show when the lure is completed.

Paste - This is the consistency of tooth paste when mixed and is usually sold for bonding reel seats to reel blanks. The "standard" brand is Rod Bond Paste Epoxy. It comes in a slow or fast cure version. They are excellent for gluing in hardware and lips if you are working on a batch of crankbaits and want time to fiddle with them. The slow cure Rod Bond doesn't begin to harden for at least 2 hours, the fast cure is good for about 10 minutes. The paste consistency makes it especially good for gluing lips into lip slots because it will not drip out.

Putty - This is the consistency of Play Dough when mixed and most brands cure in about 5 minutes. It comes in a log and is sold at most home centers. Cut off a piece, knead it until the color is uniform, and it's ready to use. The density and workability of putty is close to pine wood when cured. It can be smoothed out with a finger dipped in denatured alcohol before it hardens. It's hard to sand afterwards, so don't leave squeeze-out or rough edges. You can use it to install ballast into an oversize hole or quickly install a lip into a bait with an excessively oversize slot (such as one left when you cut out a broken lip to repair a bait). Fill the hole or slot with putty and push in the hardware, wiping off the squeeze-out. Also use it to make an old slot disappear if you want to re-cut the slot to a different angle.

Choose the right epoxy for the job, depending on what you want to bond, how much space the epoxy needs to fill, and how quickly or slowly you need the epoxy to harden. It will make life a lot easier.

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Great Information Bob !

Thank you for taking the time to make us all smarter. Never heard of the paste before but I will be looking for it now.

Thank you!


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Thanks on the info Bob. I've used the putty with great success. When installing the ballast weight I'll use the 1Ton first to set the weight in and the hook hanger, then fill the hole to the top with the putty, no worries about the epoxy spilling out. Just let the putty set up till sanding time and continue to the next bait.


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