My Boat building Mistake

Had a rather nasty experience while glueing up a Pygmy Kayak…While mixing up the System Three Epoxy, I really messed up. The instructions clearly stated a mixture of 2:1 mix ratio. So I very carefully measured the Epoxy out and applied it to my kayak.

Well you can probably guess what I did wrong…Yes, I mixed a 1:2 ratio of epoxy and hardener and now I have this very very sticky glue on my kayak that will not harden.

It is just terrible, the glue is worse than taffy and it sticks to everything, I been using a putty knife to scrape it off the kayak but it sticks to the putty knife, it sticks to my gloves, to the table, to my clothes, to my cat ect. The really bad part is that days later you pick something up that came in contact with the malformed glue, and it just sticky.

So to everyone out there who wants to build their own kayak…be sure to follow the instructions exactly and save yourself the trouble of dealing with a big mess.

Richard in Boise

P.S. does anybody have an easy way of removing taffy-like glue from everything?

is the only thing I know to use,before you start rub dishwashing soap into your hands and skin,makes cleaning up later much easier and the acetone won’t soak into you should you get it on yourself. wear gloves also,dip your tool in it between scrapings,and try not to breathe the stuff either,when you get down to the last bit ,acetone on a rag…wipe until its perfectly clean …good luck

Dang, sorry to hear that…
Beware super saturating thin plywood w/ acetone… still the best way to go IMO though. Peel off glass and forgo wiping all resin w/ rag until most of the heavy stuff is scraped off with a razor blade (s) drawn towards you… do a small area at a time… you might find a little pre wipe with the acetone then a few quick draws with the blade will make things go away pretty fast… the scraping works faster than sanding but do a light sand to get ready for the next time… at least it was only 2:1 / 1:2 Tools will come clean if placed in metal can w/ acetone… please note most plastic tool handles will ‘melt’ Not much to save anyway… cheap scissors and a few brushes… right? Toss and start over.

Bug and Tar remover
has worked well with some sticky glue removal. Don’t know if it would work for your epoxy.

Heat gun
You can try a heat gun and gently push a putty knive right behind the area you are heating like a snow shovel and you might find it will pile up in a tacky goop on the knive. Wipe off knive and repeat. you might need a rag soaked in acetone to keep cleaning off the knive. I ran into a similar problem on a boat I was building last summer and got this to work for me. Good luck.

Could be worse…
If it makes you feel any better, I knew a guy in Montana back in the 70’s who built a McKenzie River boat in his garage and when he was finished…you guessed it…it was too big to get out the door. He had to do some remodeling.

What phase?
where exactly in the building process were you when that happened? If it did not get spread around too much, you can buy the cheap plastic spreaders and sacrifice them as scrapers. A 5 gallon bucket with a medium size trash bag in it as a liner. 3 inches or so of sawdust in it, put on your disposable gloves and long sleeve shirt and start scraping and tossing cheapo spreaders into the “trash” bucket. When you have all the residue up you can scrape, mix new epoxy and apply right on top of the affected area. Preferably in 70 degree or warmer temps. The epoxy should still set up just fine.
I’d find mechanical methods before using lots of acetone.

Be careful with Acetone!
We use acetone in my lab only under the strictest ventilation conditions. It is well known to cause liver or kidney damage (I forget which).

First thing…
… Is to call system 3 and ask for advice… I screwed up a West ratio once and West told me how to cure it… GH

Thanks For The Info
Well I am manually scraping the uncured glue off and I will use a heat gun to help facilitate the task. I work in a medical lab where we to have all kinds of solvents, but I think I will stick to scraping.

The most fustrating thing is, that I measured the Epoxy/hardner using exact measurements, but got confused on which was the hardner and which was the epoxy (Yes I know I should of paid attention). Oh well live and learn. Thanks for all your input.

Causes memory loss :wink:
Actually my grad-school lab partner used to spray acetone on the floor and torch it to kill ants. Amusing when he set his boots on fire.

Richard, white vinegar will cut epoxy if it’s not too stiff. Yours may be too far gone for the vinegar to be effective, tho. It’s good for clean-up. I’m in the process of assembling a Pygmy Arctic Tern. I haven’t made that same mistake you made, but I’ve sure made some others.

Good luck!


the cup method
I’ve built about 10 misc. s&g constructions and found that multiple pumping gets me confused, especially on low volume pumps for pint quantities,it’s better to have two plastic cups, one for hardener, one for resin,and have markings on each one. That way you can see,“yep,two here, one here” then pour them both into another cup.