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Thread: Has anyone looked into alternative hardeners?

  1. Has anyone looked into alternative hardeners?

    So as the title suggests, Iam looking for alternatives to fiberglass.. reasons are... well the stuff is going to my head even with proper ventillation and respirator.....

    EpoxAcoat® RED Surface Coat Epoxy was suggested (by Smoon-On, but hey, looks promising, right?)
    http://www.smooth-on.com/Laminating-...366/index.html

    or even

    EpoxAmite® 100 Laminating Epoxy (102 in specific)
    http://www.smooth-on.com/Laminating-...336/index.html

    Although EpoxAmite might not be reasonable since it has such a long cure time (6-8 hours for the FAST stuff)


    Has anyone dabbled with these yet?

    I'll admit they are a tad on the expensive side for 'paper hardening' techniques, but Honestly if they can get a thin coat and add tremendous strength or at least east of process, I'am willin to give em a try... just money's a bit tight right now and I can't buy both to test out. Lol.


    Or any other type of hardening agent. Even for "inside use" instead of Outside use.

    "Plastic Resin Glue" was suggested, and 1lb of it (powder, mix w/water to activate) is like $7 which if it can get the results fiberglass does then it's definately a better deal then fiberglass itself (especially at $20+ a small can)
    Last edited by Kissker; 05-20-2011 at 12:15 AM.

  2. #2
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    I use epoxy and it works fine. You could probably save some money by not buying it from Smooth-On, they seem to be rather expensive. I'm sure there are other brands you can use. The cure time also depends on the two components, my supplier offers a variety of hardeners for work times anywhere between 4 and 60 minutes (and accordingly long cure times after that; my 15 minute work time combination cures in maybe 4 hours).
    Technique-wise, epoxy lets you do everything you can do with polyester resin as well (paint on, laminate, put in fillers, thoxotropic agents, colours, etc.). The two main differences are that you have to be very precise when mixing epoxy (no more eyeballing, you'll need scales) and that epoxy contains sensitising substances that mainly enter your body through the skin - and through most gloves, which means you have to be more careful there.
    Work safely! Here's how.
    "A dropped tool can be a workplace hazard. Be more careful next time!" -Seven of Nine; Star Trek: Voyager, Someone to watch over me

  3. What exactly do you use? Because I am scraping at options here.

    Unfortunately not many 'costume props' making, or 'sfx studios' here in Missouri (western side close to Kansas, so not even the cool St.Louis stuff) makes for hard pickings for a trip to Lowes/home depot etc.

    I am looking but don't have a ton of money to try 10 new things, you know? I'd really like another brushable hardening agent, I mean if we could find a material that hardens super strong with under 1mm thickness, it would be ideal for this stuff.

    I need to make a wearable suit by Sept, which is kinda pushing it, but modest time, and soon I will be starting and cranking 40+ hours a week into it to get it done, 1 part at a time (I learned from my past, 1 part, 1 harden, etc, less chance of theft/utter devastation)

  4. #4
    Another missourian...Realy.I live a hour away from kansas city ,You ever been to planet con?
    Fan of Star Wars The Old Republic?If so check out my Fanfilms Facebook page at.http://www.facebook.com/pages/SWTORT...30802450341834

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kissker View Post
    What exactly do you use?
    It's just a plain epoxy resin I'm buying from an online store here in Germany, looks like this in the smallest available containers. Based on the description, I'd say it's kind of an allround resin, suitable for just about any application (but that may also be marketing talk, it's a store after all ;-)). Not sure if they also manufacture it or if they just sell it, or if it's available in the US as well if they buy it from a larger manufacturer. But then again, you're not building an airplane, so most products will probably do I suppose. See if you can find one for laminating.

    I also didn't want to say that the Smooth-On stuff wouldn't work, I'm just saying that there probably are cheaper alternatives.
    Work safely! Here's how.
    "A dropped tool can be a workplace hazard. Be more careful next time!" -Seven of Nine; Star Trek: Voyager, Someone to watch over me

  6. I am all for cheaper alternatives, that was half the point on this, fiberglass resin is very costly when you consider it's clean up in the factor, especially if you HAVE to go "green" in your area. (can't do any hazardous chemical dumps around here, even if they are just mild like solvents, have to use green solutions which of course.. cost more to get the results done.)



    And nah I haven't been to any cons actually. Every time I had money to go/show something dreaded happened, so I figured.. make the suit.. the rest will follow.

  7. #7
    This is a tutorial for using wood glue instead of resin. It works pretty well, is cheap and pretty strong. The down side is that it does take a little bit longer than resin, but if you wait to do all of the armor pieces at the same time it will all go a lot quicker.

    http://www.405th.com/showthread.php/...epakura-Method

  8. Warping will be an issue, although I have considered thisDAP weldwood Plastic resin Glue in a similar fashion.

    http://www.castlewholesalers.com/DAP...lue-1-Lb-.html

    1lb of powder to mix to desired consistancy goes a long way too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kissker View Post
    I am all for cheaper alternatives, that was half the point on this, fiberglass resin is very costly when you consider it's clean up in the factor, especially if you HAVE to go "green" in your area. (can't do any hazardous chemical dumps around here, even if they are just mild like solvents, have to use green solutions which of course.. cost more to get the results done.)
    Polyester resin (what you call fibreglass resin) is pretty much the cheapest method you can use for hardening that still gives you decent results.

    I also don't see why you would have to dump any hazardous chemicals anywhere. Cured resin is inert, you can put that into a regular garbage can. Only the containers and respirator filters would require special disposal - but so will the cans of your paint and for using spray paint you'll need a respirator anyway, which means you must already have a solution for getting rid of these items, regardless of which way you go for hardening your pep.
    Work safely! Here's how.
    "A dropped tool can be a workplace hazard. Be more careful next time!" -Seven of Nine; Star Trek: Voyager, Someone to watch over me

  10. Quote Originally Posted by ventrue View Post
    Polyester resin (what you call fibreglass resin) is pretty much the cheapest method you can use for hardening that still gives you decent results.

    I also don't see why you would have to dump any hazardous chemicals anywhere. Cured resin is inert, you can put that into a regular garbage can. Only the containers and respirator filters would require special disposal - but so will the cans of your paint and for using spray paint you'll need a respirator anyway, which means you must already have a solution for getting rid of these items, regardless of which way you go for hardening your pep.
    Actually what fiberglass resin is, is Epoxy Resin, which differs greatly from Polyester resin .

    Poly Resin is the cheapest resin, but it's that way for a reason
    Vinylester Resin is middle grounds
    Epoxy resin is the most expensive

    Least thats the info I found, is anyone using something that is actually labeled "polyester resin" ?

    Although these may all be marketing gimmicks and what I commonly use may be listed as "polyester resin" in it's ingrediants, I'd have to check.

    So what I need to do is check into lightweight Epoxy Resins for this, or Laminating Epoxy Resin to be more specific... *sigh* so many marketing words.

    and now I gotta head to work, be back later.
    Last edited by Kissker; 05-20-2011 at 02:35 PM.

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