Glueing with epoxy

For those of you who laminate paddle blanks with epoxy resin, do you thicken it or use it neat? Fron my Gorilla Glue thread I got the impression that some do not thicken, and for some reason I was under the assumption that this was a no-no.

One bit of info: I do not have a surface planer, so I will be using stock from the lumberyard which I have sanded.

Yep, I like Tite Bond III, but am considering moving up to teh West System.


Depends on the epoxy
I’ve done a laminated with T-88 - as is - but it’s structural epoxy and pretty thick. Using other epoxies I’d proably add some filler.

Depends on the wood. For porous
woods I would be likely to thicken.

I thicken
for anything structural and any kind of joint.

The only time I use straight epoxy is for coating a surface.

I don’t thicken epoxy
unless I need it to fill some gaps. I feel that I will get deeper penetration and a better bond if I don’t thicken it.

Thickening Is Needed…
…when there are gaps to be filled. If the surfaces to be glued can be mated flush to each other, it isn’t really required.

Silica powder or wood flour can be used to mix whatever thickness is required. One little hint - if you use silica, clean up any squeezeout while it’s soft, or cut it at the ‘cheezy’ stage - when that stuff dries, it’s tough!

like concrete
I saw a CapeCharles s&g kayak sitting in the rafters of a boat school abandoned because the builder tried to use cabosil as a fairing compound.

use MAS epoxy and first mix some of their FLAG resin with medium hardener, paint both surfaces so it soaks in. Then mix some cabosil into the remaining epoxy mix and paint again. Put together and clamp.

Best Wishes


Ain’t broke
don’t fix it?

Have you had problems with TB III that make you want to switch to epoxy? And I am wondering what advantages you hope to gain by using epoxy?

Thicken it
If you don’t have a planer, then you will have gaps in the joint.

Thickening will help prevent having voids.

Do not clamp excessively tight, or you can wind up squeezing the epoxy out of the joint, resulting in no bond at all.

I don’t see what you will gain by using epoxy anyway. Titebond will make a joint that is stronger than the wood.

Hey Jim
Yer gots ta git yer’self a good jointer…


Lumbage & Mintjulep:
I have never completed a laminated paddle (my only blank failed with Gorilla Glue, but that is another thread). Titebond’s website described TB-III as being “water resistant” but not for continuous immersion. I realize that paddles are never “continuously” immersed, but I am looking to end up with the strongest glue joints I can.

You are both right - don’t fix what ain’t broke. Tite Bond III seems to have a reasonably good rep with paddle builders though. And is so much simpler to use than epoxy. In the end, I will probably take the easy way out and use TB-III.


West System 403 Microfibers
I’ve always added this to epoxy when doing any laminating… wood, Velcro, etc… never had a failure…

The finished paddle will be varnished, or epoxied and varnished, right?

So the glue joints are (theoretically) never exposed to water.

Don’t matter
Don’t worry about TB III and water. The type 1 standard is incredibly rigid. As I noted on the Gorilla thread, the ANSI/HPVA Type I is the same standard Gorillla Glue uses to justify their “waterproof” claims.

From the TB site:

“Type I testing involves cutting the 6” by 6" assemblies into 1" by 3"

specimens, boiling them for 4 hours, then baking the specimens in a 145F

oven for 20 hours. They are boiled for an additional 4 hours, then

immediately cooled using running water. The specimens are sheared while

wet, and the bonds must pass certain strength and wood failure

requirements to pass the Type I specification"

Yeah, I read that.
I remember stirring a pot of chili on a Canadian trip back in '68…

I am leaning toward tung oil/spar varnish + turpentine finish (what some of us call “Arkay Mix”) on my paddles. I have a BB Sun Shadow that I have heavily reshaped, and have been using that finish on it - easy to modify repeated times. So far so good, but I do not know what type of glue BB uses. I assume it is not epoxy.


Probably a PVA n/m

I use epoxy and wood flour for wood
to wood as recommended by Raka. I made a mistake once and the wood failed when I pryed it apart.

Sticky subject
as there are many variables involved. Epoxy is a good choice when structural strength is required from joints that don’t mate precisely. A common problem when glueing wood with epoxy is joint starvation caused by excessive clamping pressure or glue being absorbed by porous wood structure or both. In a way, both G2D and Greyak are correct. Some of the ‘marine’ epoxies are of thin consistency (low viscosity) and are more easily absorbed. In his “The Glue Book”, author W. T. Young recommends pre-wetting the parts with the straight, thin mix and, when it starts to gel, adding a layer of thickened mix before assembly. It all sounds kind of messy to me, but I applaud your industrious nature and wish you good luck!

I 2nd that
That’s the proper way to do any wood / wood joint. I also make sure my surfaces are sanded with 100 grit. You don’t need MAS epoxy - any of the woodworking types that are average viscosity will work fine. That method is shown in a WEST video done when epoxy in woodworking was first becoming popular.